Mike reached across the table to examine mine."You were born in 1966? That's so weird."The word rattled around in my head, even after he changed the subject to his upcoming marathon training. The banter that had come so easily seemed stilted in the bar. A week later, he invited me to join him and his friends for a hike, followed by a party.I said yes, but as soon as I got to the meet-up spot, I wanted to drive away. It wasn't what they were wearing—I was wearing an athletic tank top and hiking pants, same as the other women—but they all seemed so carefree.Things changed one night over beers at a favorite local bar when I finally said what I was afraid of: I was worried I'd screwed up my life, and that it was too late to change it.Mike's eyes widened—and then he started revealing some deep stuff about himself, too.It wasn't until the next day that my friend revealed he was only 25.Still, when Mike and I went out for drinks, I barely thought about our age gap until our server asked for our IDs.He's always the one to suggest heading out to the mountains for an all-weekend hike.We adopted a dog together, which was a really big deal for me.
It was as if by getting to know me on my terms and proving he wanted me in his life as a friend, I'd finally felt comfortable enough to open up in a way I didn't with men I met in typical dating situations.
We've discussed marriage, but always in the abstract—like when we went to one of his friend's weddings, we imagined what our ceremony would look like.
We talk in terms of a permanent "we"—weshould buy a house, we want to live by the ocean at some point in our lives.
Two years later, Mike and I are definitely a couple—we live together and we're deeply in love.
Even his mother approves of us, saying that Mike has always been one to follow his heart. My dad has no idea how old Mike is, and while my mom knows he's younger, she's never asked for details. Although he says having children isn't important to him and that he'd still feel fulfilled without kids, I don't believe him.
I didn't know them personally, but I was pretty sure none of them had been divorced—which I had by time I was their age.