Thursday, July 10, 2008

Advice Column #27

Hey Bartender?
My most recent boyfriend was one and a half times my age (24, 36) and during the course of our relationship, I convinced myself that I needed to be with someone significantly older than me due to my abnormal level of maturity (ha!). Now I've met someone who's my age who's wonderful, adorable, and makes me feel like a giddy kid with a new toy that I want to play with all the time. Should I be afraid he's going to ultimately be too immature and hurt me or should I just let myself be happy again?

When given the choice to enjoy your life or tear it to shreds with worry: always choose enjoy. Who knows what this new boy will be like, but right now, it's working well for you. If it stops working for you, then you get to decide if you want to work on the relationship or start over again. That fork in the road is not for a while.

As for the dating older men to reflect your maturity, I have a few words on the subject. Women who date older men are often looking for a man who grew into a type of person that the girl also wants to grow into. Sadly, the men are often looking for someone who they can eclipse. When you're young, try to choose a partner who has similar goals, or dreams of life, as you do- not one who is already living your dream or has already become the person you want to be. One of the greatest joys of love is knowing that as you grow, your partner will grow with you, and you can build your life together. These older-younger relationships often fail because the girl finds herself growing in a different direction than she planned to, or the man wanted someone who was not going to become more like the people he already knew. They're ultimately unsatisfying.

As you are now young, and with someone who makes the world sparkle, be happy. If you're worried about being with the wrong sweetheart, settle your tummy with some words: talk about your future, the far off distant kind of future, twenty years from now- do you both envision life going towards the same horizon? Do you want the same kind of things, adventures, houses, children? Find out all this stuff, and make sure you both share goals. As a team, you can achieve whatever you can imagine, but only if those dreams don't clash. Sure, there's always a little bit of compromise, but make sure the big picture is similar.

I would suggest that you have this conversation on a rooftop, with a plate of chocolate covered strawberries, on a summer night. You should make some strawberry iced tea in the afternoon. Before you climb up to the roof, new lover trailing you, muddle two (not chocolate covered) strawberries with a spoonful of sugar in a shaker, add 3 ounces of gin, a hefty dash of lemon bitters (preferably Fee Brother's Lemon Bitters), and fill the shaker 2/3 of the way with iced tea. Shake it like you mean it. Pour into two glasses, with some ice. Eat the chocolate covered strawberries and toast to the happiness in life. You'll get there, together, by choosing to enjoy life whenever possible, by licking the melting chocolate off your fingertips, and by growing together through all the adventures that await you.

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