Our 15-year age gap

We chat at 1 p.m. today.

Dear Meredith,

I am a 45-year-old woman who has been in a relationship with a wonderful guy for a year now. Before meeting my boyfriend, I was a happy and busy single mother (my son is now in his 20s), and was not one to pursue a relationship. Between being a mother, socializing with amazing groups of friends, going to the gym, volunteering my time, and traveling (I love traveling solo), I never felt that I was missing anything by being single. Now I can't imagine my life without this person. He is the kindest, most considerate, fun, smart, compassionate man I have ever been involved with, and he makes me feel beautiful and loved every day. It also doesn't hurt that we have phenomenal chemistry and our love life could not be better. We have met each other's friends, family, and co-coworkers and spend time with each other's children. My son gets along with him extremely well and I adore his children. Neither of us want more children and we both see a wonderful future together.

The reason I'm writing is that my boyfriend is 30 years old. I know the "age gap" letter is not groundbreaking stuff, but here it is anyway. I am the loudest "age is just a number" cheerleader, and our age difference in no way affects our relationship. I have always taken very good care of myself physically and am often told I look much younger than my age. He made it clear, early in our relationship when I was concerned about the difference, that he does not care about our ages and that he loves me and is very attracted to me. What I do think about is "down the line." What will it be like for a 40-year-old to be involved with a 55-year-old (eek!)? Will he look at me one day and think, "How did I end up with this old lady?" I know I am putting the cart before the old mare here, but I do think about it and would love advice on how to put it out of my mind and to hear about other people's experiences. I know that no matter what happens I will take it, because the time I spend with this man would be worth it, but advice is greatly appreciated!

— Potential Old Mare


"I know that no matter what happens I will take it, because the time I spend with this man would be worth it ..."

If that's how you feel, you have to make peace with the what-ifs. It's possible that the age gap will begin to look massive, but maybe you and your boyfriend won't care. It's also possible that you'll take better care of yourself than he does, and that he'll be the one who feels like an old horse.

The cool thing is that you like him enough to imagine what life will be like with him 10 years from now. And that's what you have to remember — that if you're still together when you're 40 and 55, you'll have a decade of history behind you. Those years will be more significant than new wrinkles.

Instead of guessing about all of the potential problems in 2025 (insert Olympics joke here), just focus on year two. That's the only year that matters right now.

Readers? Any experience with this kind of age difference? Gender issues here?

– Meredith