Lesbianing With AE: So You’re Freaked By the Age Difference

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Dear Lindsey, 

I have fallen for a woman 9 years my senior. We love each other and I am incredibly attracted to her. I’m very happy to have found love but I must admit I am a bit hung up on the age difference. We’re both grown-ups (early 30’s and early 40’s) and still physically quite young. You can tell there’s an age difference looking at us, though, and I sometimes notice people staring at us like our love is weird. As though being a lesbian isn’t enough! 

My parents don’t approve, but they’re not particularly keen on me being a lesbian at all. However, when they tell me I should think more about the future, I sometimes feel like they’re right. Sometimes I find myself thinking about the fact that she’s older and get trapped in nightmarish thought loops of a future where she’s old and sick, and I have to look after her.

This hang-up of mine is definitely damaging our relationship. I wish I could just relax and let it go, but how? 

Over-thinker

Dear Over-thinker,

You should be so lucky as to be taking care of her if and when she is old and sick.

Hey, I’m a romantic. But here’s the thing….

Your parents are homophobes. They would really rather you date dudes, and since you aren’t exactly gonna do that, they are going to look for the easiest criticism of any partner you bring home and gripe about that until you do EXACTLY WHAT YOU’RE DOING NOW and start to doubt your actions.

I bet if this silver fox was a different religion, they would say, “Gee, you know, if you two have kids she might not want to raise them as a pagan/Christian/Quaker/Muslim/Jew. You should really date someone who shares your faith.”

I’m 5 years older than my wife (and 6 years for the month between our birthdays), so I may be biased.

Here’s the thing, though. None of us are guaranteed a long and physically or mentally healthy life. Your silver fox could just as easily be taking care if you if, say, you two stick it out and decide to have a baby which you would carry cause your eggs maybe aren’t dead, or if you break your leg falling on the ice in winter or god forbid get early Alzheimer’s.

None of us are guaranteed a long and physically or mentally healthy life. Your silver fox could just as easily be taking care if you if, say, you two stick it out and decide to have a baby which you would carry cause your eggs maybe aren’t dead, or if you break your leg falling on the ice in winter or god forbid get early Alzheimer’s.

And while these are just made-up scenarios to get you thinking, I did just meet some rad lesbians with a 9-year age difference, and the younger one was getting knee replacement and being looked after by her older partner.

Age is a number, and you are the one assigning a value to it. If you love her and are satisfied with where things are going, then nine years matter very little.

But, sure, do the thinking of whether this woman is someone that you would be willing to care for, because that’s what you should do for anyone you’re considering getting serious with, whether they’re 9 years or 9 days older than you. If you aren’t willing to provide care if she becomes ill or needs emotional support, then you should break up with her because she deserves a partner who will be there for her, and that’s not you.

Do the thinking of whether this woman is someone that you would be willing to care for, because that’s what you should do for anyone you’re considering getting serious with, whether they’re 9 years or 9 days older than you.

Also, do some tough thinking on how much you let others’ opinions influence you. You are in your thirties and letting your parents’ criticism affect your views of your partner, and also letting random strangers’ curious glances affect your happiness. Whose happiness are you really honoring with your actions?


Do you need Lindsey’s advice? Write to the editor here: memoree@afterellen.com with “Q for Lindsey” in the subject line.

 

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