Dating: Gen X & Gen Y Sitting in a Tree…

September 30, 2010 at 7:35 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 10 Comments
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I’m pleased to present my first guest blog post from my friend Dez from Dezolutions.  Check out her blog for a fun, motivational account of the trials and successes of reaching your goals.

“You’re acting like a CHILD! Stop it! What do you know about life!?”

“Stop telling me what to do! God, you’re not my boss.  I know MORE than enough about life!!”

Sounds like the typical fight between parent and child right?

Wrong.

These were the types of fights I had with my boyfriend. Like any normal healthy couple, we argued. The difference? We are 10yrs apart. These arguments just came with the territory of dating someone older.

I was 20 and he was 30 when we met at work. We didn’t start dating till I was 21, and we haven’t stopped. Almost 6yrs later and many milestones crossed together, we have certainly grown to respect our different generations.

Boyfriend had traveled the country, and other countries, worked hard on his career as a successful artist, seen his share of all sorts of lifestyles and cultures and had a beautiful daughter.

While he was building his foundation, my biggest concern in 1999 was finishing my chemistry homework and making sure I washed my softball uniform. Our brains were clearly not on the same page.

When we met, we both had concerns about the age difference. Is 10yrs really that bad? We have a completely different letter for our Generations! But, we decided to give it a try, and we learned a LOT about each other over the years.

When he would try to explain something to me, it was hard for me to empathize. I’d only ever lived with college roommates before, never a boyfriend, so not only was he my first live-in boyfriend, but he was also my first real roommate (in terms of splitting the bills, paying rent, buying food, respecting space).  He had roommates for years before me. It wasn’t that I was inconsiderate and messy, it was because I was naive and clueless. “You mean, I can’t just eat peanut butter out of the jar and move his stuff around without asking? “ Totally foreign to me. It took many YEARS of practice till I finally realized how to properly live with another adult. It’s all about respect, from both ends. He realized I was a newbie, and I realized I had to smarten up quick if I didn’t want to annoy him anymore.

We also had a dog together. A WHOLE other set of confusions. I’d never had a dog, ever. My family were cat people. But I LOVE dogs. I had zero clue how to take care of one. “You mean I have to get up and take her out 4x a day!!? AND feed her!!??” Oh man, cats were so simple. Just give’m a box to pee in and box to eat from, done. So, first time roommate, first time live-in boyfriend AND first time caring for something that relied on you 100% to live. Talk about a boat-load of responsibility thrown onto your lap. I tried to master these 3 new areas of my life AND work 40+ hours a week AND go to school full-time.

I must say, I think I did a very good job. With a patient Boyfriend, who sometimes…wasn’t always patient… made it worth trying hard for. He wasn’t the only teacher in the relationship. I brought  a lot to the table as well. I was book smart, I knew a lot about finance and business management. I knew how to communicate, network and make friends quickly. I know how to plan for the future and put strategy into motion to reach our goals. He didn’t need any help on keeping himself young, but I’m sure I helped a little bit 🙂 And he has since traded in his cargo shorts and band T’s for some well-fitting jeans and button downs. I’d like to think I had a little influence, but he is one snazzy gentleman.

There were lots of disagreements, but also, lots of communication. We may not always agree, but we respect each others opinions.  It was important to know, that we wanted to make things work. With any long term relationship, that’s what it takes… work. Not all the time, but its a key factor. Most of my family members have large age differences in their relationships, I guess I was just used to that. Even previous relationships, I always dated 6 or 7 yrs older.

So where are we now? I’m 27, he’s 37 and the 10yr difference now, is almost non-exsistent. I’ve done a lot in these past 6yrs. I’ve traveled a bit around the country (went to Italy right before i met him), worked hard on my career, finished school, challenged myself, learned SO many new things, and became a better roommate. His daughter is now 15, and as beautiful as ever. I love her so much, and we have such a great time together. I love his entire family and vice versa, they tell me all the time 🙂  Sadly, our first dog passed, and grieving over a huge loss, definitely brought us closer. We have a new doggy-addition, her name is Gabby, she’s 4 now and sharing the responsibility of a living creature is one of the best ways to form a strong bond.

Even though he has a 10yr head-start, we may not be on the same page all the time, but we’re definitely in the same chapter. We had a variable that not too many couples had. But we work well together, we’re happy, and without all that bickering and head-butting we’d never be as close as we are now.

So as I approach 30…he approaches 40, I’m proud to say, his birthday cake candles, will always burn down the house before mine 🙂

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10 Comments »

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  1. Lovely post! I’ve kind of got the opposite problem. T is the same age, but I’m an old soul.

    I’ve never been in a relationship with a big age difference – my only two serious bfs have been a few months younger than me.

    Ah well, you can’t choose who you fall for!

  2. thanks eemusings! I’ve felt the same way, that I was an old soul, which is why I’ve always gravitated to older more wiser gentlemen. Dating within my age group drove me bonkers.

  3. […] Gen X & Gen Y Sitting in a Tree […]

  4. GREAT GREAT POST, Dana. Very thoughtful and I appreciate you sharing this insight into your personal life. It’s great how you were able to see your shortcomings objectively and talk about how you guys are learning as you go along. Great stuff!

  5. Wow, Dana, I spoke too soon. I didn’t see that was a guest blog post from Dez and I was wondering why you never told me these things.

    Dez, great job!! All of my commentary above applies to you! 🙂

    • Haha! Thanks Steph! I appreciate you reading! I actually made sure he read it first before I made it accessible to millions of people. He liked it too! That’s the #1 rule in our relationship, communication. Even if we have to shout it out for a couple minutes(HOURS!?), we gotta take a second in our corners before we go back to the ring 😉

  6. […] Dezolutions guestposts on Pushing Thirtyy, pondering the implication of a GenX-GenY relationship. […]

  7. Love this post, never really thought about life with someone 10 years older would be like. Thanks for the little insight into your life.

  8. lol! I can totally relate! EXCEPT I am the older one! Yep, I am 10 yrs older than my hubby! Im 35 and hes 25….and I am the one who gets carded!!!! People dont really make a big deal at first because I LOOK like I am maybe 27 or so, but then when they find out the REAL age difference…hahaha….he gets the nudges and winks and I get called a cougar! I HATE THAT WORD!!!!! Funny thing is is we actually do have more in common than not….but oooohhhh when we DONT see eye to eye…..OH BOY….

  9. Gen y women take it for granted how lucky they are when it comes to relationships. Their Gen y men are not committment phobic like our Gen X men were.


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