The older man/younger woman combo is nothing new and is a reality that has and will be around for a long time.  How many ladies out there dated the senior jock in high school when they were only freshmen?  And how many men out there are with women right now that they have a couple years on?  Women date older every day without a second thought, but I guarantee you there aren’t too many women in my age range doing it like me.  My older man doesn’t have a few years on me, and if you’re thinking he has a decade on me, good guess, but add an ‘s’ to the end of that. 

The love of my life is 54 years old. I am 25.

I didn’t set out to date someone who could literally be my father—my dad is actually 3 years younger than James.  As a matter of fact, I always thought these relationships were a bit weird and incestuous, but when I met James three years ago I knew instantly that he was someone I wanted to be with.  No, he’s not a sugar daddy and he doesn’t pay my bills. He's a regular man, with a regular 9-5 just like the rest of us. What attracted me to James was that he was different from the guys my age who were more interested in sex and partying than traveling, trying new things or spending a Saturday afternoon at the museum.  Sure, I’d have more in common with a guy my age, but James was a breath of fresh air. He swept me off my feet with his honesty, maturity and his love.  And while I was concerned initially that he was using me as ego-boosting arm candy, he proved that he wasn’t just interested in dressing me up and showing me off, but actually getting to know me. 

James’ family called me a gold digger that would run off with a younger man the first chance I got. It’s been a tough road trying to get our loved ones to accept our relationship.  My father wouldn’t speak to me for months and having him and James in the same room literally became a dangerous situation at one point. James’ youngest child refused to meet me and in no uncertain terms told him she wasn’t interested in having a “big sister.”  Even his ex-wife jumped on the bandwagon and was totally against him having his children anywhere near me.  These days, while most still don’t agree with our relationship, they’ve come to accept it.

Now don’t get it twisted, it’s not all roses and cotton candy when you’re dating a man nearly three decades your senior. James and I argue about everything from social media usage to my wanting to go on girls-only getaways with friends.  Another big area of contention for us is children. With me being 25 years old, I would love to have a child in the next few years, but for James who has two children already (the youngest being 6 years younger than me), having another child when he’s pretty much “home free” is a bit scary. He also has an annoying habit of treating me like his child and not his partner from time to time, something that bothers me greatly. 

Alas, the bigger picture for us is that we love each other.  I’m not sure what the future holds for James and I, when I picture my life all I see is him in it so I hope those visions become reality. To some, our relationship is temporary lust with no staying power, but I think the smartest decision I’ve made in my twenties so far was dating an older man.  It has forced me to focus, be more mature and really take stock of what I want for my future, something many twenty-somethings don’t grasp until maybe their 30s…maybe.  It hasn’t been easy and as we navigate the road ahead, and especially as we negotiate a family of our own, I just hope that we stay strong in our love and in each other.  It has gotten us this far, hopefully it will take us a lot further.     

~As told to Danielle Pointdujour