You ever have one of those "Hey - wait a sec.." moments? Happened to me .. just now, in fact. Let me explain.
Surfing the net (like ya do) I came across a poll on www.emandlo.com, which is on my short list of nightly stops - to pick the official term for those who date much older people. How odd, I thought, envisioning geriatric/teenybopper couples - I guess it's more common than I thought ... and then I saw their example, and the reason for this (apparently) controversy inducing poll - a 19 year old dating a 28 year old.
Full Stop. Breathe. WHAT?!?!?
You see - not only was my husband 28 when we starting dating, when I was, you guessed it - 19 - but most of my boyfriends prior (once I was legal) were in their mid to late twenties - and almost every man I've been involved with since has been at least the same age (if not older) than DH. The baby of the group was only 3 years older than me, and I thought (and think) that he was horridly immature.
I have always gravitated to older men - and before you ask, my father is alive and well, and we have a very good relationship, thank you. I hadn't realized it was odd, or weird, or something that needed to be labeled - it just was. I love each of my partners for who they are, not how many candles on their cakes - now, people were trying to come up with a label for what I was.
It rocked me a bit, maybe because I have always hated being labeled, and only recently accepted that sometimes it's a necessary evil. So I answer to "poly" to "pagan" to "wife" and "professional" and anything else that will help people explain to themselves how I live my life. But now I had to explain why I had chosen these men I love - not in terms of who they were, but how much older they were?
If we were talking decades -plural -I could almost understand - almost. But this is a difference of less than 10 years - hardly significant in the long run, once we reach adulthood. And we are talking about adults here, are we not? To require a label implies that age is a factor in the decision. And that lessens the individual connections that have created my relationships with the people I love - people I have chosen because they are sweet, funny, intellegent, mature individuals with whom I enjoy spending time, and who have been there for me - physically, emotionally - when I have needed a shoulder to cry on, or arms to dance in. Ask me how old they are and I would have to think about it for a minute - I remember birthdays, not years.
So call me what you like, I guess - I can't stop you - or society's need to label anything that doesn't fall into their idea of the "norm". But don't be surprised if I don't answer ... the only label I truly answer to is "lucky".