There are a lot of things that my mother has been right about over the course of my teenage years. Now, a month short from turning 21 years old, I am beginning to question if this is one of them.
I would love to argue with her and tell her that she is wrong. Tell her that age is just a number and that he loves me. But honestly? I’m over that. I’m over telling her she’s wrong, even though I want her to be wrong so badly.
I am currently dating a man who is seventeen years older than me. He is divorced and has two lovely daughters, ages 13 and 9, whom I have come to care about very much, yes, I can even say I love them. We have been together for almost two years. In those two years, I have grown to love him, love him more than I thought I could ever love someone. As a person, as a friend, as a lover, I just love all of him. We connect in a way that leaves me at a loss for words,(which is a rare occurrence for someone like me). We even spoke about getting married sometime in the future, and even though I didn’t let him know it then, just the idea of spending the rest of my life with him has motivated me more to finish school and get my career in motion.
After having lived with him for about a year, and recently moving back to my parents’ house about a month ago, it would be a stretch to say that we have had a “normal” relationship. However, not being “normal” doesn’t necessarily mean that we haven’t been happy. Or so I thought.
On average, he sees his girls about once a month, twice if he’s lucky. Recently they’ve been asking to see more of him but it’s hard because of time, money and the distance between their house and his. With good reason, my boyfriend is terribly upset by this and for two days now, has only answered one of my phone calls and one of my text messages.
At the risk of sounding selfish, I am angry that he is not answering my attempts to contact him because I need him too. I know that he’s having a hard time, and I really wish I could help him, but part of being in a relationship means that we can rely on each other. Be each other’s rock.
Moving back to my parents’ house has been really hard on me. Crying every night when I try to go to sleep without him, crying every morning when I don’t see him next to me. And let’s not forget, crying every time I go to his house and I have to leave. He has never not listened to my bitching, but this month has been particularly difficult for both of us. I feel alone, lost, and now, questioning how or if this is all going to work out.
While the relationship has brought me lots of happiness, it has been a constant struggle between my head and my heart. It could be that I am looking too far ahead, or maybe that I was never looking far enough ahead. At the moment I feel stuck, or really too pressured to fast forward through my twenties to make someone else happy. I’ve often thought about my future and there are many things I have always thought of doing before settling down with someone. Travel, graduate, make a lot of stupid mistakes that I can tell my kids about in the future (haha), and hopefully make money before I decide to even have a family.
My mom says that I am wasting my youth by dating an older man who already has the responsibility of children. She says I have to “find myself” and “live”. And for a long time I’ve been telling myself that I am “living” the way I want to, but today as I wait for my boyfriend to answer my phone calls I realize he’s already “lived” and has his reason for living; his girls.
Though I cannot blame either of them for wanting what is best for their children, I do want to know where this leaves me.
I wrote the above about a year ago while I was in a very serious relationship that may not have been ready for at the time. I had originally titled this post “Wasting My Youth”, but now that I look back on it, I don’t know if I was. After all, it was not a bad relationship. I learned a lot, laughed a lot, and most of all LOVED a lot. The problem was that I questioned the relationship too much and if you can’t trust yourself to know what’s right, that’s enough to drive you insane.
The right decisions aren’t always the easy ones. C’est la vie.