I met a guy on JDate a couple of months ago and we’ve become nearly inseparable! It’s been amazing… except for one thing: he’s five years younger than me. It may be normal for the guy to be older, but not so much for the girl. Although it doesn’t bother me (he’s really mature and better than any guy my age or older that I’ve met in the past few years!), I think he’s starting to feel pressure because I’m turning 30 next month. I do want to get married and have a family and all that, but it’s not like my biological clock is deafening. I don’t want him to get freaked out now that I’m entering my thirties. He’s made a few comments here and there, and the friends and family we’ve introduced each other to have joked around about it. What do I do?
—JDater Turning 30
Dear JDater Turning 30,
First, many mazals on meeting someone awesome! I’m glad that you both were open to someone who likely wouldn’t fall within the generalized “preferred” age range for your age. A connection is a connection, and being a couple of years older or younger than who you “thought” you should date becomes irrelevant.
I think the best move for you is to confront it head on. Next time the opportunity presents itself, tell your boyfriend that you know your impending birthday might be freaking him out, but that it doesn’t change anything. Let him know that you’re happy where you are in your life, and in your relationship, and that entering a new decade doesn’t need to put any pressure on your relationship. You have to back up those words with actions and perhaps also politely let your friends and family know that the age jokes are not appreciated.
That said, you both do need to have a sense of humor about the fact that you’re a “cougar” at age 29 – and be able to laugh because you’re confident in your relationship, rather than cringe because you’re insecure in your relationship.
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