I never thought the 14-year difference between me and my husband would be a big deal when we started dating back in 2007. We had a unique way of meeting—his brother married my sister—so we were already kinda family. However, the age gap came with its set of challenges, which I hadn’t fully anticipated.
Let’s get real—I was 20 and about to finish college, and he was 34. Most of my friends just couldn’t wrap their heads around it. One of them couldn’t stop cracking “old man” jokes, and we eventually drifted apart. Another friend was subtler with her concerns, but I could tell she was worried. We’re not really close anymore. Only one friend from high school kind of got it, and she’d travel back home with me to visit Andy. But as my relationship with Andy grew, she and I grew apart.
Moving on to the making-new-friends part, it was tricky since Andy and I were in completely different life stages.
Sure, growing apart from college buddies is pretty normal, but being with Andy made the gap more obvious. My old pals were still in the part-time-job-and-party mode, while Andy’s friends were all settled down with kids. Hanging out with them felt awkward since they were all around his age and had known each other forever.
Plus, Andy and I decided not to have kids, which made it even harder for me to connect with his friends’ wives. They were all lovely, but their talks about pregnancies and kids were just not something I could relate to. For a good while, it felt like we didn’t really have mutual friends, and that was pretty tough.
These days, our 14-year age gap doesn’t feel as big of a deal, especially now that I’m in my 30s. But oh boy, back when I was 20 and we had just started dating, we had our fair share of weird and awkward moments, all thanks to people jumping to conclusions.
I’ll never forget the time when Andy’s cousin’s little kid blurted out asking if I was Andy’s daughter at a family event. Talk about a cringe moment! And then there was this other time at a store when an old buddy of Andy’s started asking me about school, clearly thinking I was Andy’s kid. It took me a moment, but I finally caught on.
Yep, those situations were just as awkward for everyone involved as you might imagine.
Looking back, I wish someone had given me the heads up that relationships with an age difference do get better over time. It would’ve been nice to know that drifting apart from some friends was kind of inevitable and that there might be a few years of not having many friends after tying the knot. But what I really wish I knew was that our relationship would only grow stronger and better with time, despite those early challenges.
Fast forward to today, Andy and I have finally found friends that suit us both. He’s stayed close with his old buddies, and now that their kids are all grown up, I actually enjoy hanging out with them from time to time. And the best part? It’s been years since anyone mistook me for Andy’s daughter.
So here we are, 14 years into our marriage and stronger than ever. I’d say we’re doing pretty darn well.