Aged to Perfection?

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OK so I’m jumping the gun a bit on this one in a ‘we’re yet to go on a date but I’m already contemplating the viability of a relationship with an older guy’ kind of way.  But I ask you, how many women have a handle on their imaginations when it comes to romantic entanglements?

We met at a ball last summer.  The other people in our party were mid to late twenties so I assumed he was too. I thought him charming and witty, as I presume did his then girlfriend.  In the course of the next few months our paths crossed occasionally.  Pleasantries were exchanged, dances were shared: life went on.

Thursday was different.  He came alone.  We chatted and flirted the whole way down the dance.  For the first time, I didn’t ask after the girlfriend.

In romance, as in every other sphere of life, things do not happen purely by chance; you have to help them along, however subtly.  Had I not hastened my departure from the venue, he might not have seen me leaving, turned back, asked if I was going to the pub, and, when I said that I was not, offered to drive me home.  At my door we said an affectionate goodnight, he insisted I email him the following day with information about an upcoming ball, and I went in to bed.

That’s clearly a lie.  I went in and looked him up on Facebook, and then looked up the girlfriend.  All evidence, once prolific, of their involvement had vanished.

I was about to jump for joy when his graduation date caught my eye.  I did a double take.  Maybe it was an error, or perhaps it referred to matriculation?  No, because then his school-leaving date (also given) wouldn’t make sense. Time to face facts: my new crush is 38. To my 23. Uh oh.

A female in her early twenties has a wonderful capacity to rationalise away red flags.  Some might say that a 15-year age gap is more of a red sail.  My flatmate, who is 32 and would never go near a 23-year-old, certainly thinks so: ‘You’re in different places. He’ll probably be looking to get married.’  Oh my God, a guy who wants commitment!  Run for the hills!  I see his point of course.  By 38 you are probably over slumming it in the Australian outback, or wading through mud at a music festival.  Scrabble and a civilised supper constitute a happening Saturday night.  Let’s suppose then that the 23-year-old in question quite likes comfortable hotels and word games.  (Crazy, eh?)  Is it still a terrible idea to get involved?

Marriage and babies: that’s potentially a bigger stumbling block.  Let’s see if he calls first.

CC Image courtesy of Christian Haugen on Flickr

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