Ok so it’s been a few days since I’ve posted anything new on here (sorry I’ve had work). How’s everyone that reads these things doing out there in the big wide world? Go on leave a comment, I’ll be forever grateful and love you a little bit. I want to know who you are and how you came to find me and what kind of stuff you’ve enjoyed reading.
So today is a day off for me and I’ve indulged in my guilty pleasure of watching Phillip Schofield on “This Morning” (don’t judge me), and an article they had on grooming and inappropriate relationships caught my attention. It started off with a story about a teacher that had ‘groomed” one of his female students into a relationship that lasted a number of years, this led to a number of people contacting the show to tell of similar stories that involved inappropriate relations or relationships with what appeared to be an older man.(The majority of them seemed to be women but I am well aware that there are men in the same situation).
Now in no way shape or form am I condoning grooming or pedophilia or anything of the kind, far from it. It simply got me thinking how people view age gaps in relationships. Personally I have no issue with it, there was thirty years between my parents and I’ve been brought up to see age as just a number, I’m a very open person and if I like someone I don’t see their age, I see them.
My partner is nine years older than me (I’m twenty three and he thirty two) and apart from the occasional joke from friends (and myself) the age gap is completely accepted. Before writing this I asked him if he had know me when I was sixteen (and he twenty five) would he have still acted on any feelings he had for me knowing the difference in age…he said yes. Now I’m pretty sure if I was sixteen and seeing a twenty five year old there would have been some concern from some people despite everything being completely legal. Part of me finds the initial attraction to someone is their age. I don’t know why, it just is. When I learnt my other half was nine years my senior it was a massive turn on, and yes this was partially because of the issues surrounding age.
So where does this stigma of age come from? For the last few years cases of grooming, pedophilia and the like has been prominent in the media all over the world, and whilst I know the people that do this are wrong it does make me question how “young” some of the victims truly are. (Before I get any hate for saying this, and yes I fully expect to get some, I would like to point out that I am not agreeing with pedophilia. It is wrong and those involved with it need help.) I am merely questioning the mental maturity of some people, you can get a fifteen/sixteen year old that’s far more mature than some twenty somethings. Because of this people now seem to be far more wary of any age difference in a relationship, and anything over a couple of years is something that’s open to judgement.
Age is how long you’ve been in the world, not how old you are. One sixteen year old can be far more mature than another, I’m using sixteen as an example because it’s the legal age of consent and makes it easier to get my point across. When I was sixteen I was fully aware of myself (my Mother says I completely skipped the anxty teenage years) and who I was as a person. If I had known my partner then I wouldn’t have had a second thought on acting on any feelings I had for him, as long as I was comfortable.
Looking back at it any “crushes” I had were for older men and I found it very hard to date people my own age let alone younger by even a couple of months. Anyway, going back to the woman on “This Morning” and her teacher, she was fourteen and he considerably older. (This again I am not condoning), but it got me thinking about the age gap. If I had been sixteen and found myself or someone else in her position of being “involved” with a teacher I wouldn’t have had an issue with it, you take away the profession and it’s down to the age gap again.
(I am fully aware that age wouldn’t have been the only concern in this situation, a teacher is a position of trust that some abuse).
It doesn’t help when you can buy “naughty schoolgirl” outfits from Ann Summers or have “Back to School” themed nights out (which always consist of wearing your old school uniform in a ridiculously provocative way). It adds to the whole fantasy of being with someone you shouldn’t, in this case teacher and student which in turn adds to idea of an older man being with a younger woman. (Again not condoning teacher/ student relations when it’s inappropriate). But things like this add to the stigma… as much as I enjoy dressing up when the situation arises. (Slightly hypercritical I know).
As I said before my partner and I usually find ourselves on the end of playful jokes about the age difference and the fact I still look about sixteen (I’m twenty four next month), all of this is well and good when it’s among friends. It’s the occasional sideways looks that people give when we’re out, especially if I’m wearing a pair of Converse and a Harry Potter tee shirt and he’s in his usual shirt and jumper. People judge.
I don’t mind it, it’s my partner that I feel for. People see him with a considerably younger women (girl if I’m not wearing make-up) and automatically jump to the conclusion that it’s something dodgy when in reality its the most loving and genuine relationship you can get. When I asked him whether he still would have been with me when I was sixteen he said yes but also said he didn’t think it would have lasted, as I still had growing up to do and things to experience.
Growing up? What makes someone grown up? There is no definitive answer to this, personally I think it’s when you are in control of yourself, understand and except yourself for who you are. All of these I was at sixteen, but the experience? What experience? Love, life? If I’d been in a relationship with him then I would have wanted to experience that with him too, just as I do now. Isn’t that what a relationship is?
You should see a relationship as the two people involved, if they are right for one another it will work regardless of age, if you love them, you love them. Yes people confuse lust for love all the time, and it’s when people take advantage of this that the problem arises (being were grooming and pedophilia come into play.)
Two people can be happy together regardless of age, as long as there is love and trust nothing else should matter. Age is just a number it shouldn’t define a person let alone a relationship. Yes some abuse younger people for their own purpose and that’s wrong, but it doesn’t change the fact that sometimes an age gap shouldn’t matter.