21 and 25 dating

He didn't notice, but an older guy next to me, slightly balding with a crooked nose, did. We'll see about that," he replied, handing me a shot. We continued to joke back and forth, and despite the fact that I'd just graduated from college and he probably had a decade ago, it seemed we had a lot in common. We stayed deep in conversation until last call, and eventually he asked for my number."You're way too old for me," I said. Before I knew it, we were well into dessert, and I realized I didn't want the dinner to end. My roommate and I would routinely go out and try and get guys to buy us drinks, a practice Michael was not entirely fond of.

I took it quickly and gagged while he slammed his without flinching. As we grinned at each other across the table (maybe it was just the buzz from the wine), I began to think that maybe eight years age difference wouldn't be so bad. In truth, my immaturity—and insecurity about his age—drove us to the verge of breaking up too many times to count.

Dating an older man meant no beer pong or silly dancing, but it also meant security and commitment. I gave in and let him off the hook, and he was so grateful.

When I moved to New York right after college, finding a boyfriend was the last thing on my mind. I knew that if he knew I was 22 the conversation would soon be over, and I was enjoying it, despite myself. Two minutes later, I got a text."My name is Michael…in case you forgot." I had forgotten. "I didn't want to blurt out how old I was at dinner after you went on and on about what a big age difference eight years was. " Michael protested."You were supposed to say your real age, like I did! He was so different from the guys my age I 'd met in the city, eager for the drunk bar make-out but far less eager to have a girlfriend. I delayed taking him out with my friends, because I was worried he wouldn't fit in. We went to a dive bar in the Lower East Side with a bunch of my friends.

Michael went to the bathroom, and immediately they started in."How old exactly are you?

" asked one of the women."Um, 23," I said."Do you know how old Michael is?

But in spite of all that, I love him more than I ever thought possible. Sometimes I think we're going to get married, have babies and live happily ever after.

I smiled weakly, and prayed that Michael would get back within the next five seconds. I stood up quickly and walked outside, a blast of cold air hitting my face. That wasn't the first time older women rolled their eyes or gave me disapproving once-overs.

His hair is going gray, and every day he loses more off the top of his head.

He isn't getting any younger, and yet he still isn't ready to settle down just yet.

My guy friends teased me constantly, calling him "Old Guy," and I felt like I had to make fun of myself for dating Michael before anyone else did.

I went out more to prove that I could still act 23, even if I was dating an older man. Each week got a little easier, as we tried to balance separate friends, living on separate banks of the same river, and totally separate schedules (me in graduate school, him working).

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The guys, crowded around, busy discussing finance, barely noticed me.

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