I moved in with my older man shortly before we became engaged. Our age gap relationship was great; we got along together well, with only a minor disagreement here or there. That is until seven months after I moved in, when a night of celebrating with girlfriends turned into my first night away from home.
“Nothing good happens after midnight,” my older man said to me when I told him I was meeting my younger girlfriends after work to celebrate my job. It is one of his favorite quotes about staying out too late, and he truly believes that most bad things you hear about in the news—car accidents, drunk driving, and so on—happen after midnight.
He is easygoing, but at times, he can be unrealistic about what he believes happens when my girlfriends and I get together. In his imagination, there are young, smoking-hot men flocking around us, trying their best to pick us up.
The night began with a small group of us celebrating in a classy hotel bar, and it evolved into a night of bar-hopping merriment, which ended at a neighborhood bar just blocks away from where my father lived. Since I left my car at the first bar downtown and I was not able to drive anyway, my girlfriend dropped me at my father’s house. I called my older man at 2:30 a.m. to tell him I had too much to drink and couldn’t drive home. In my mind, I thought I was doing the responsible thing, and besides, I was at my father’s home.
When I awoke the next morning and my head was clearer, I remembered calling my older man, but not what he had said. I phoned home again to tell him I had no car, and he said, “I guess you’ll just have to figure it out on your own,” and hung up.
Despite my best intentions, my older man was pissed. He is not the type that yells or argues; silence is his method of communicating anger. When I got home, he wouldn’t look at me or speak to me. I received the cold shoulder for days.
He told me, in no uncertain terms, we were in a relationship and staying out all night was, quite simply, not appropriate. The appropriate thing to do would be not to drink so much that I wasn’t able to drive home. And, he was right.
Unfortunately, anytime after that night that I told him I was going out with my girlfriends, my night away from home was brought up and became the “scarlet letter” I wore for at least a year. I worked very hard to earn his trust back by always showing up on time with a smile on my face and a big hug for him.
While I do still go out with my girlfriends occasionally, I rarely stay out past midnight. Being in an age gap relationship with an older man means you learn to respect his beliefs and value systems, even if it means the party’s over by 12:00 a.m. And sadly, a few years later, I learned how correct his saying “nothing good happens after midnight” is, when one of my best friends was killed by a drunk driver while on her way home after a very late night out with friends.