fell for an older guy
When I was 18, I totally fell for a 35 year-old-man. He was in a band—I know, chiche, right? He lived in Boston and I lived in Ohio, and I’d only see him when he came through town for a show. He had star tattoos and he chain smoked and I thought he was so mature—he was getting his PhD in economics at a school in Boston. I was very close with my mom, I told her everything, and I probably would have told her my feelings for Eric. But there was one problem: his mom was my mom’s best friend, and she just couldn’t know.
I went to college a few hours from Boston, and away from my parents, my friendship with Eric grew. We’d talk on the phone every night–me sitting in my dorm or in the laundry room, him in his apartment in Boston. I couldn’t figure out what he saw in me but I didn’t care. Once, he made a joke about boobs. “Why do guys love boobs so much?” I asked flippantly, not expecting a response. He launched into an entire discourse about something about how biologically, when we were monkeys, males sought out females with bigger mammory glands because of something-something-something that was way over my head. I thought, wow, he is so smart.
One day he offered to take me to a concert in New York City. He picked me up in his car and we spent the whole day and night together. We didn’t have sex, but we kissed, and I thought I was probably in love.
I told a few of my close friends from home about Eric, the ones who I knew wouldn’t judge me. They teased me about how he was divorced and closer in age to my dad, but I don’t think they realized how serious I was. We continued to see each other in secret. It almost didn’t matter what Eric said or did, I thought he was everything.
My mom definitely knew something was going on. She told me how Eric should date women his age, and how I should be dating guys my age. Guys in college, guys in my classes. But since I never confessed anything to her, she never directly confronted me, either.
After awhile I started to feel claustrophobic. I wanted to spend time doing college things, but Eric always wanted to talk on the phone. I spent hours writing to him and calling, but I got sick of worrying about a relationship I wasn’t even sure I was in. I started focusing on college, ignoring Eric’s phone calls, writing to him less. After awhile, our contact waned until it was almost nothing.
I started to realize how weird it was that a grown man had been paying so much attention to me. We had nothing in common. We weren’t on the same level in any way. He had been married and divorced, and I was still in an innocent stage of dating and fooling around. I knew it wasn’t right. If had only listened to my mom from the beginning, I never would have had to deal with these feelings. But I’m glad I went through it. Nobody could tell me my secret relationship with Eric was wrong, I had to find it out on my own.*The author of this article asked to remain anonymous
fell for an older guy