Things I’ve Learned from my Gay May-December Romance
June 14, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I’m 22; my boyfriend’s 48. Here’s a few things I’ve figured out along the way:
Have a sense of humor. If you can’t handle the “who’s your daddy?” jokes your friends are (inevitably) going to make, you probably have no business being in a relationship with someone twice your age in the first place. So rather than bracing yourself against the barrage of cradle-robbing and gold-digging jokes that are bound to come your way, just embrace your new role as a child-bride and make sure people are laughing with you, not at you.
Kink is cool! While my current relationship wasn’t my initiation into role play, it was the first time I realized adventurous sex and loving kindness aren’t mutually exclusive. So go ahead, let him be the pervy coach! Be the jailbait slut cruising in the bookstore! Have sex in (and/or with) a roomful of men! You don’t have to feel dirty afterwards—instead you can cuddle.
It’s okay to benefit from his experience. No, I’m not talking about money (mostly). Anyone who’s ever been on the younger end of an intergenerational romance knows the self-doubt that comes along with it. In the past year, I’ve frequently felt that I don’t have a lot to offer; sure, I’m pretty smart and accomplished for a 22-year-old, but that’s a daunting qualifier. It’s important to remember that being young isn’t a flaw. Keep working hard, and don’t be afraid to enjoy the advantages his age provides (parties you never would have ended up at otherwise, conversations with writers you grew up reading, etc.). He’s had a lot more time than you to do cool things and meet cool people. Now you’re one of them.
Your dad might get along with him after all. Once you get over the initial strangeness of seeing the two men you’ve ever called daddy at the same table, you might be surprised at how much your Republican father and radical leftist lover have to talk about (and with no hostility, to boot)!
Suburban Girl, starring Alex Baldwin and Sarah Michelle Gellar. This uncelebrated 2007 romantic comedy, about junior editor Sarah Michelle Gellar’s relationship with publishing honcho Baldwin, may be the best/worst May-December movie of all time. Trouble in paradise? Watch Suburban Girl and weep without shame.
Don’t forget how young you are. I know how easy it is to get swept up in the pleasure and security of being with someone whose life has a definite shape, particularly when your own feels constantly in flux. But that’s exactly why it’s so important to remind yourself what 22 should feel like: scary as hell. Lean into that uncertainty; it’s an important part of life. Don’t be so afraid of making the occasional bad decision. Stay out too late. Sleep in too late. Forgive yourself. And don’t abandon the friends trapped in the same post-collegiate limbo as you. They’re important, too.