10 Signs You’re Nearly 30

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  1. You’re 29.
  2. You go on a date with a guy you met in a club. He’s 25 and, when you reveal your age, he says, ‘Well done.’
  3. You start wondering about felt tip pen as a viable, affordable fix for prominent grey hairs.
  4. You decide it’s now or never with giving the dream career a shot. Hell, there has to be an upside to not having a joint mortgage!
  5. You go to parties and are the token single person there, fielding questions like, ‘What do you think of Tinder?
  6. So you embrace it, cast aside your inner Charlotte, and sleep around.
  7. When that doesn’t prove to be fun (bad sex and, oh, bad sex), you go back to focusing on that dream career.
  8. Which proves to be a nightmare, so you get to wondering if children are really that bad.
  9. And decide they are.
  10. Maybe New Zealand is calling. There’s Tinder in New Zealand, right?

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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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