A friend I have known for five years texted me l night and asked if I wanted to go and get a drink. Over margaritas we caught up with what was going on in our lives and I told him about my blog. I warned him that I would probably write about him and challenged him to give me something noteworthy to write about. Would we finish our margaritas and drive to Chicago to walk on the beach and watch the sun come up over a new day? How about piling in the car and driving to St. Louis to see the arch just because we were here and we could if we wanted to do so? He laughed and said we had better get a move on because it was a long drive and we had to work today. Sorry to say I have no impulsive mad activities to report on from last night, but it did start me musing on our friendship and on age gap relationships in general.
He and I met salsa dancing. He was an absolute beginner, and he smiled his way through his attempts. I was supportive of him, and encouraging, which I guess he liked, so he returned many times to dance with me. He always had such a smile on his face that I called him Mr. Smiley in my head. Over the nights of salsa dancing and conversations our friendship grew and we started hanging out outside of Salsa World even though he was a good 20 years younger than me. I admired his character greatly and we could spend hours talking. When I needed to change my classroom midyear, he came out to my school on a Saturday and helped me set it up, moving all of my furniture for me. I think the world of him, but our friendship has puzzled me a little through the years. He will get married and have a family one day, but in the meantime we are an unlikely pair of friends.
My friends and I have talked a lot about age gap relationships. It seems we are always bumping into them, and that the first words out of the guys’ mouths are always “Age doesn’t matter! It’s just a number!” That may be true; that you can find love and friendship with people of all different ages, but we are never eager to have our hearts broken and so we approach with caution. I feel that in the short term age may not matter, but if you have different life goals your relationship has an expiration date stamped on it.
Now, I am more romantic than my friend. I like to believe that if two people love each other age doesn’t have to be the ending cause to the relationship. She, however, insists that age gap relationships will never work and she always points to Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher as an example. I retort that it was a Hollywood marriage, and look at the general divorce rate anyway! Any one of a million reasons that have nothing to do with age could have been the reason for the failure! We go round and round. Is it better to become involved with someone who is not “age appropriate”, and risk being hurt or is it better to miss the chance for a wonderful friendship and some great experiences? Life waits for no one. What do you think?