When Lanre met Fiona at a music concert some months back, he was convinced that he had met the woman of his dreams. She ticked every quality he desired in a woman – compassionate, loving, kind, and generous.
After surviving a past toxic relationship that almost tore him apart, Fiona came in the nick of time. She showed him the true love he had always yearned for and helped him heal.
Nine months into their relationship, they were having dinner at her place when their random conversation tilted towards marriage.
“So, how old are you?” Fiona asked.
Lanre took a sip from his glass of wine. “So, you don’t know my age and you are dating me, ehn?” he teased.
“I am serious, joor, I don’t know.” She replied. “Tell me now.”
“Why do you wanna know? Are you planning towards my birthday?”
She shook her head. “I’m just curious.”
He dropped his glass of wine on the table and reclined in his chair. “Okay, tell me yours first since you brought it up.”
“No, I asked first! So, tell me.” She insisted. “We have been dating for about nine months now and I don’t even know how old you are.”
“Because it doesn’t matter, babe.” He said.
She raised an eyebrow. “Aren’t you curious?”
“Okay, Lanre, just tell me and let get this over with.” She said and scooped more rice in her mouth.
“I am 28.” He declared and sat upright to continue eating. “So, how old are you?”
Fiona froze. Her spoon was mid-air as she glared at him. “Y…You…You’re 28?”
“Yes, is there a problem with that?” he asked without looking up. He was busy trying to tear his piece of chicken that he didn’t realise that her countenance had changed.
She dropped her spoon and buried her face in her palms, thinking.
That moment, he looked up and saw her worried state. “Fiona, are you alright?”
There was no response from her at first which worried him. As he made to stand up, she interrupted him. “No, don’t do that. I am okay.”
“No, you are not.”
She exhaled deeply and looked up. “I will be 32 next month.”
“Okaaaay?” He asked, wondering what the fuss was about. “How does that have anything with our relationship?”
She gasped in shock. Surely, she wasn’t hearing right. “It doesn’t bother you that I am four years older than you?”
“No, it doesn’t.” He replied, matter-of-factly. “And it shouldn’t bother you too.”
She scoffed and stood up. “You don’t understand.”
He stood up and followed her to the living room. She sat on a couch and he stood in front of her. “What exactly is the problem?”
“I am older than you, Lanre!” she yelled. “You and my younger brother are the same age.”
“So, how is that a problem?”
She stood up. “Wait, are you deliberating doing this?”
“Living in denial! You know it’s awkward that I am the older one in this relationship.”
Lanre held her gaze for some seconds and then erupted into laughter. Fiona stared at him in shock. What was funny?
Here she was, panicking about the situation and he was guffawing like a hyena. When Lanre noticed the look of displeasure on her face, he stopped laughing immediately and apologized.
“Hey, babe, I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to laugh about the situation, seeing as it is very important to you.”
Fiona said nothing, her face deadpan.
Lanre cleared his throat. “Okay, let’s talk about it. Okay?”
She nodded and sat down.
He took his seat beside her and pulled her close. “You are overthinking it. Of course, I knew your age before we started dating.”
“What?” She withdrew from him, stunned. “Lanre, you knew?”
He nodded and pulled her closer. “I know you are mostly worried about what people will think and say, especially our families. That aside, you have no issue being with me, right?”
“Right.” She replied.
“Okay then, we will abscond and marry in another country.”
She was taken aback and her face showed it. “We will what? Lanre? Do you realise what you are saying? What about my parents, my brother, my friends? You want one of the most joyous days of my life to be spent away from them?”
“Okay, okay, Fiona. Relax, I was kidding.” He confessed. “I was just trying to make you understand that their opinions don’t matter. And neither should our age difference. I want to spend the rest of my life with you and that is the ONLY thing that matters.”
She exhaled and said nothing.
“So, it is settled then, you will marry me!”
“What?” She became apprehensive, looking at Lanre who was now on one knee in front of her. “Like now? As in, right now?”
Lanre chuckled and held her shoulders to calm her. “I mean when the time is ripe or won’t you?”
“Oh. Of course.” She sighed and smiled. “Of course, I will, Lanre.”
He kissed her on the forehead and stood up. “Good. Now, I have a chicken lap waiting for me to devour it. Since you are bothered about my age, you won’t be able to eat yours, so I will help you do it.”
Before he could take a step towards the dining, she shot up from the chair and outran him to the dining table, their laughter piercing the quietness that once enveloped the room.
Three days ago, I was in the office I share with my colleague, Kehinde, ‘the sexiest girl ever’.
I was trying to make sense of what I was writing as I stared at the words on my screen.
“Can you date someone you are older than?” she asked, interrupting my thoughts.
Without missing a beat, I replied, “Of course, I can.”
She chuckled. “Ahn ahn, you didn’t even let me land.”
I shrugged. “Because age only records the number of years you have spent on earth, having sense is a different ball game entirely.”
And that, my friend, is true.
Contrary to popular opinion, age and maturity do not really happen at the same time.
It is expected that as one grows, so should their maturity. But that is not completely true.
If you need more evidence on this, just check social media, you will understand what I mean.
In Africa, Nigeria especially, it is ‘expected’ that the man should lead in everything; age, provision, and other aspects.
It is believed that if the woman is older than the man in the relationship or marriage, she will not be ‘submissive’ or ‘respect her husband’.
Guess what? Times have changed and are still changing.
Gone are the days when you would only find men at the helm of affairs.
Now, there are women changing the norm and making waves unapologetically.
Does that mean they would be disrespectful to their partners? That’s a conversation for another post.
Basically, what I am trying to say is, when it comes to love, the rules are ever-evolving.
Look around you today; there are couples with age differences who are excelling and living their best lives. Watch out for my next blog post, it will give you the scoop about this!
So, why risk losing the perfect person because you are biased about the number of years they have existed on earth?
Is it the years you are in love with or the wonderful person that is bringing love and joy into your life?
Over to you, can you date someone you are older than?
Do you think age differences should matter in a relationship?
Spill your thoughts in the comment section.