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Still, when Mike and I went out for drinks, I barely thought about our age gap until our server asked for our IDs. I felt like the two additional decades of hard-won life experience created a wall between me and the group—and between Mike and me. Yes, I'd heard of Drake and Snapchat, but it wasn't pop culture.
For the next six months, Mike and I were just friends.
We talk in terms of a permanent "we"—weshould buy a house, we want to live by the ocean at some point in our lives.
That said, while I know our love is real, because of the age difference and kids question, we're both skittish about talking about the future in definite terms. But I am also okay with not knowing—I know it's enough for today that he and I love each other. Although it's cliché, he loves like he can't get hurt, and seeing that has taught me a lesson I needed to learn.
When I tell him Mike he can't knowif he wants children, he thinks I'm being condescending and close-minded. But I went back and forth on the kids thing somany times in my 30s that I don't want him to shut a door he may want to open in the future.
We've discussed marriage, but always in the abstract—like when we went to one of his friend's weddings, we imagined what our ceremony would look like.
Mike's eyes widened—and then he started revealing some deep stuff about himself, too.
He told me about how his best friend had died in a drowning accident in college, and how much that tragedy still affected him, six years later.
Whenever I thought about getting a pet, I'd always think, Mike helped me realize that none of those questions mattered—yes, it was good to know we could take care of her and had some stability, but that we'd always figure out a way to make things work.
Mike's willing to experiment, and I'm willing to really let go—he loves seeing me let loose, and I love showing him that side of myself.
Bottom line: Mike and I are a great fit, because, it turns out, love comes in surprising packages and doesn't follow some one-size-fits-all path.
It's about appreciating the moment, not taking a cozy night in for granted, and not letting the time we do have pass us by.
He's always the one to suggest heading out to the mountains for an all-weekend hike.