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Will I be a young widow?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  May 12, 2010 09:45 AM

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Finally, details on the June 4 Love Letters/Extra Bases party.

1. It will be at Game On! near Fenway Park at 6 p.m.
2. There will be apps.
3. It is free.
4. There will be some trivia during the night, but not enough to annoy you.
5. I might bring my cotton candy machine if they let me. We'll see. Pink or blue. Your call.
6. We'll have access to visitor batting cages at Fenway so you can work out your aggression.
7. There will be other surprises. The Extra Bases folks and I are still working them out. Yes, all sports writers who are not on the road with games will attend.
8. Sports fans are welcome. Love Letters fans are welcome. People who dislike sports but like Love Letters are welcome. People who dislike Love Letters but like sports are welcome, but I'll probably give them the evil eye.
9. All ages are welcome. This isn't a singles' event, so couples are also welcome. But if you want to trade some numbers with new friends, fine by me. You know I'm dying for a LL wedding.
10. Please RSVP at events@globe.com. I think the RSVP helps us make sure we get enough free stuff to pass out. Remember those Boston.com ice scrapers from the last Love Letters event? Those were some sweet, sweet ice scrapers. And I'm still using that Boston.com lip balm.

Sound good? The Sox will be in Baltimore that night. I was raised in Maryland but I promise to root for the right team.

Also, it's chat day. 1 p.m.

Q: Hello Meredith,

I love your blog and like others never suspected I would be writing you one day! So here is my story ...

I am 26 years old. I am madly in love and have a man in my life that I am committed to being happily ever after with. We have been together for two years, share a house, and have a couple of dogs that we may or may not have an unhealthy obsession with. You're waiting for the "but" right? OK, well my "but" is that this man is 11 years my senior.

So, I know it's a lot (Or is it? I don't even know anymore.). The thing is, when we're together, I don't feel this difference and neither does he. We like the same things, have fun together and both of our families and friends are always telling us what a wonderful couple we are. Granted, we occasionally have a generational misunderstanding about music, TV, culture etc., but nothing crazy -- more comical, I would say. I'm mature for my age and he is probably a little less mature than the average 37-year-old guy. He was in graduate school (PhD) until he was 29 and since has been in a tenure track job that is a tad bit demanding. I am currently in graduate school (doctorate) in a totally different field/academic institution. We both have long-term relationships in our past, including one called off engagement for him.

The thing is that we've been talking marriage lately. My problem is that I'm now feeling a little anxious about our age-gap. I'm having thoughts like, "When I'm X age, he'll be X age," and asking questions like, "Will I be a young widow?" I keep talking about these things with my poor boyfriend and he calms me down, but the fact that I'm thinking these things is stressing me out. We were also recently at a party and a man who was introduced to us winked at my boyfriend and said "She's a little young for you, eh?" I was there by the way, and pretty mortified. So yeah, that's not helping and it's making me a bit paranoid about what other people might be saying behind my back. I'm officially losing it, right?

So my questions for you are: What do these anxious questions/feelings mean? Is this age-gap a big deal? Am I being just a Nervous Nelly who is questioning a good thing, just to question it?

– A Little Young for Him Apparently, Boston


A: You're being a Nervous Nelly, ALYFHA, but that's OK. We all get neurotic when we're about to sign on the dotted line. It's normal to try to anticipate anything that might go wrong.

It would be great if you were the same age as your guy, but you aren't. I understand the math (when you're 50, he'll be 61!!), but really, 11 years isn't a big deal. It doesn't mean you'll be a young widow. You're both so young. It really doesn't seem worth guessing about your deaths at the moment. Maybe you'll both be taken out by some sort of crazy wave/poisonous fruit when you're 90 and 101. It's not worth stressing about that kind of thing.

People say that age is just a number and it really is. One of my close family members dated someone her own age for a very long time and it seemed … off. Now she's with someone who's about a decade younger and it seems much easier. Their shared place in life is more important than their birthdays. She watched "The Cosby Show" when it was new, he saw it syndicated. She grew up with Mariah Carey's "Vision of Love," and he probably had "Honey" on a mix tape. No biggie.

The guy who made the comment at the party was probably just jealous. Next time that happens, just wink and smile. The age stuff is only as important as you make it. And at your age, it doesn't seem worth worrying about.

Readers? Is she just being a Nervous Nelly? When is an age gap inappropriate (10 years? 11? 20?)? Is the "Will I be a young widow?" question a logical one? Anyone who's in love with an older person want to weigh in on this? Discuss.

– Meredith


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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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