“I don’t agree with the idea that compatibility between two people is only defined by age,” she says.
Naureen (name changed) is a 27-year-old M.Phil student from Bangalore.
When I started dating S I wasn’t bothered by our ten year age difference but all my friends were. They were sure I was going through a phase and they wanted me to get past it to start looking for a real relationship.
What none of them understood was that I wasn’t into S because he was older, I was into him because of who he was as a person. He was funny, smart and incredibly passionate about history, something that was my obsession as well.
'Daddy issues'My mother is eight years younger than my father and I don’t think anyone was scandalized by them being together. So basically it’s okay if you are with an older man in an arranged marriage set up but the moment you make that choice independently people start doing a pop psychology analysis of your actions.
My boyfriend is ten years older than me and I wish people could understand that we’re not together because I have some kind of “daddy issues”.
CompromisesYes, the age gap means that some things in our relationship are complicated. S was thirty-four when I met him and within a year of our relationship he was seriously considering getting married. But I wasn’t ready then, so we talked about it and he waited.
Actually he is still waiting but he knows that I’m committed to him and if marriage is just about making that commitment formal in a public way then he doesn’t mind waiting longer. We’ve discussed our priorities in life and though both of us have had to make some compromises, all in all we’ve been very happy.
Passing phase?The only way in which him being older bothered me was that I used to be insecure around his women friends. They were older, more accomplished and in some ways more sophisticated than me. They had a shared history with S that sometimes spanned almost fifteen years and I was jealous of it.
But he made a real effort to make me realize that I didn’t have to measure up to anyone. It wasn’t easy for me but with time I figured that despite how amazing all those women were he had made a choice to be with me. But you know what – insecurity cuts both ways, he confessed to me several times that he was scared I will leave him for someone younger.
We’ve been together for three years and I’m still very much in love with him. If this were just a passing phase it would have been over by now. And we’ve both realized that if the age thing is not an issue for us then with time it will stop being an issue for the people around us as well.
(The people shown in the photo do not feature in the article.)