What Happened When I Fell in Love with Someone Way Younger Than Me

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

By Fiona Flores

“You really want us to be serious? Imagine what all of my friends would say. I’m almost four years older than you. I already finished college and you are just starting…”

These are the exact words I said to my SO after two weeks of dating when we started talking about if we could become something more. Yes, it was a horrible thing to say, I admit it. But in that moment, I wasn't thinking straight. I was actually scared. Scared of what could happen if I admitted that I was actually falling in love with someone who was younger.

Let me clarify: I had never dated someone younger than me. I always searched for older men because I thought they were more mature and knew what they wanted from their lives (LOL!). I was usually attracted to older men because they gave me a sense of security. I thought that being with somebody who had his life figured out was going to help me figure out mine. Turns out that wasn't the case, and all of those relationships ultimately failed.

When I met my current boyfriend I wasn’t really looking for love ,and I wasn’t looking for love with somebody who was younger than me. But then I found myself attracted to his jokes, his appearance and the way he treated me. Weirdly, he treated me in a way none of the boys I have dated before had. He was very nice, he would listen to my “I just graduated and I don’t know what to do with my life” speeches. He was patient, kind and smart, all the things that I really needed.

The only problem was his age. I was 23 when I met him and he was just about to turn 20. I could already imagine all the cougar references people might make. I couldn’t help worrying about what people would say or think about me. The perfect man I used to imagine was the one who already had a “life” in which I could just fit myself into. As we all know, though, life has a funny way of changing our plans. So when I found myself attracted to someone who didn’t really fit in my ideal world, I tried to run away. I tried to pretend that it wasn’t a big deal, but deep inside I knew it wasn’t like that.

Was I really going to walk away from the only man who had shown honest feelings for me, just because he was younger? Would I be able to live without regrets whenever I thought about that decision? When I realized that the answer to all of those questions was “no,” I did what I already knew I would. I decided to give it a try and surprisingly, it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. It’s the first time I feel that I am growing up in a relationship (despite our occasional fights), and it’s also the first time that I truly feel loved by somebody else.

I also found out that by dating somebody who is younger my life has become a little less stressful. The energy he puts in my daily routine makes me want to try something new every day. Apparently, dating younger men can bring a lot of benefits to you.

I believe that love is difficult, no matter what our age is. But I also believe that if we allow ourselves to really fall into it, really good things can happen to us. 

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