My girlfriend Keri Szewczyk is just under a year older than me. It's not a large age gap. She's 20, I'm 19. She is a year above me in school, which is the only really noticeable difference. But even this age separation has some impacts. Dating someone who's older than you is not a bad thing at all, yet there can be some negative aspects which accompany it - all things which, of course, are minor and can be looked past. Much of the negativity surrounding the younger person in a relationship revolves around people outside your relationship making sly comments. But it can also lead to some awkward situations between you and your significant other.
Here are 5 things you experience when you date somebody older than you:
1. People always assume the guy is older, sometimes leading to awkward encounters.
A norm in our society is generally that the guy in heterosexual relationships is older. This is pretty much bulls*** relevant to all of the sexism that exists in our culture around hetero relationships, such as that the guy should be "bigger, stronger, less emotional, the protector of the much weaker woman." It's just usually assumed by people at first glance, so when they find out that's not the case, there can be some (completely unnecessary) awkwardness.
2. People make annoying comments.
Obviously, there is some teasing towards you that gets old (no pun intended), really, really fast. "Baby." "Fetus." Et cetera. No matter what, it's all just words, and most people forget about the age thing very quickly so those comments will fade.
3. You feel like you have to prove your maturity to your SO's parents.
Sometimes, you worry that you won't be taken as seriously by your significant other's parents because you're not "at the same stage of life" as them, or something similar. You always feel like you have to prove to them that you can run with their son/daughter and not fall behind. You are equipped to give them what they need. But you shouldn't have to do so. Once their parents get to meet you, they will (hopefully) like you for who you are, and your age shouldn't really matter to them in the end.
4. You may feel lesser than your SO.
Many times, especially while in different stages of schooling, you will have not been around for things that your significant other was around for. It can be very easy to feel like you've missed out on a lot of things because of your younger age, and that can make you feel lesser than them. But do not fret - not experiencing those things does NOT make you lesser. You both have many different experiences that the other does not. Being inexperienced in a way they are not does not make you any worse for it.
5. You can feel left behind when they can do things you cannot.
My girlfriend will turn 21 a year before me. She can go out and drink then if she wishes but I'll have to wait. There are various things that are age-restricted, and sometimes your SO will get to do these first. But it's okay, you'll get to do it eventually! And if you're SO likes you, they'll try not to rub it in your face too much.
It can be frustrating to be younger in a relationship sometimes. But just remember, it's also pretty cool to be dating someone older!