Wednesday, October 1, 2014


I recently read an internet comment (I know, never read the comments...) in which someone suggested that a relationship between a forty-something and a twenty-something is, if not doomed, then probably shallow, because what would they find to talk about? It is not the first time I have heard this suggestion.

I am 43.

RI is 28.

Also, the last two people I dated were 18 years older and 13 years younger than I. I have a little expertise here.

In case there are those who literally wonder what people with a more-than-ten-year age gap find to talk about, and who are not merely pearl-clutching as an accessory to judgement, I offer a partial list from my current relationship (list may skew to the recently-discussed):

  • Our days
  • Our jobs
  • Our volunteer work
  • Bowling
  • Laundry
  • Sleep
  • Politics, local
  • Politics, national
  • Politics, identity
  • Religion
  • The Office
  • Other TV shows
  • The Ramones
  • Other music
  • Movies
  • Playing games (card or board, not mental or emotional)
  • Our respective childhoods
  • How we feel about each other
  • How we feel about ourselves
  • How we feel about other things
  • Our friends
  • Our families
  • Our schedules
  • Social inequalities
  • The future
  • What we're having for dinner
  • What to do with so much kale
  • Money
  • Sex
  • Our deepest values, and how attached we really are to them
  • Our health
  • If this outfit looks OK
  • Yard saling
  • Prison
  • Stuff we read on the internet
  • Stuff we read in books
  • Jokes, heard or read somewhere
  • Jokes, inside
  • Jokes, nonsensical
So, yeah, kind of a lot of what we talk about is pretty surface level. And also, some of it is not — and I am not sure it is always possible to tell which, nor am I sure it always matters.

I can't speak for RI, but I'm pretty happy with the balance.

What do other people find to talk about?


Mike said...

Lyrics by a friend of mine, from a song about watching his daughter grow up and bring home suitors: "I know he ain't much to look at, and he don't own a sports car or a boat, but he's a good hard-working Christian and he makes me laugh a lot, and he knows the words to every song Hank Williams ever wrote."

Mike said...

Point being: One wants one's loved ones to be with people who make them feel good and do good and who look after them and bring out the best in them. All the rest is superficial. Which I suppose is also my take on sexual orientation, gender spectrum, etc.,.

Joe said...

Pfft. They're nothing but numbers. But you knew that already. You have an excellent list, too.