Tales From the Front: She Can Name All Four Beatles; Can He?
When Nancy met Chris, she was looking for a relationship. Not a relationship with a younger man, just a relationship. When she found out he was 14 years younger, it wasn't a turn on.
"Actually," she says, "His being so much younger was a barrier for me at first, and I wasn't sure if I could handle the age difference. I apparently decided I could, because we got married."
The problem about different cultural references ("Paul McCartney? You mean the guy from Wings?") wasn't an issue.
"Chris knows more pop culture references from my time than I do. I've always teased him that he's an old soul."
And what about looks? No woman wants to look like she's dating her son.
"I look like a young 50," says Nancy. "That's the good news. The bad news is that Chris looks like a young 37. So, I can't say that I have that going for me."
While the age difference doesn't seem that great now, Nancy knows that may change as they both continue to age. After all, AARP has already invited her to join, and in 12 years, she'll be eligible for Social Security. "I wonder what it will be like when I'm 70 and he's 56. He claims he's not concerned."
Once she gets past their ages, Nancy says she and Chris have so much in common. "We share the same value system, see the world very similarly and believe personal responsibility is the most important trait to have. We often blurt out the exact same phrase at the exact same time and with the same inflection. It still cracks us up and probably makes other people sick of us.
"Neither of us has had this kind of rapport with anyone else in our lives. For all those reasons, and so many more, it seemed like a good reason to take a chance on this relationship.
"The only drawback for me is how hard I have to work to stay at a good weight and maintain my appearance. Those things were important to me before we met, but now they seem really important. I don't want him to ever be embarrassed to say that I'm his wife.
"As I continue to age, the weight thing, what with fluctuating hormones, seems to be more difficult to manage, but I still work hard at it. I go to the gym five or six days a week and watch my diet. Before we met, I watched my diet but maybe hit the gym only three days a week. It's not a radical change for me, and working out alleviates the stress I have from my job, so, really, it's all good!
"I think any relationship with a 14-year age difference can work if the people truly get each other and understand that one of them is going to hit the next stage in life quite a bit sooner than the other."
Got a problem? Send it, along with your questions and rants, to firstname.lastname@example.org. And check out my new e-book, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front."