Sometimes It Just Adds Up

By Beth M. Wood

Sometimes It Just Adds Up

“16 years! Oh, wow…”

“Well yeah, older is okay, but not…older older.

“Geez. 58. That’s like… another generation…”

Don and I began seeing each other in a roundabout kind of way. He was a personal trainer I knew from a work out program years before. I’d found him again like everyone finds everyone these days. Facebook.

We’d agreed to get together for a work out on a sunny Saturday morning this past summer, decided to spend some time outdoors paddle boarding, and then followed that up with a bike ride and some lunch. The hour we’d planned had turned into six. We began working out a few times a week. A month later, we started dating. It never occurred to me to consider his age. I knew he was older. It was something I liked about him. I’d always dated older men. Ask my mom…she’d be none too thrilled to tell you that habit went back to my high school years.

From my taste in music (I love everything from ’40s standards to ’60s Motown and beyond) to my taste in men, I’ve always believed I was born at least a decade late. This is who I am. But for some reason, these comments – granted from distant relatives and friends who didn’t know me that well – were getting under my skin.

So I did what any sane girl would do. I Googled it. Surely there were success stories. In fact, didn’t that one writer…you know, the Eat Pray Love chick…didn’t she end up with that older guy? Wasn’t he like 20 years older than her or something? And didn’t she attraversiamo with him? Weren’t they living happily ever after? Sure! She even wrote a follow up book about marrying the man!

Sure enough, a quick search of “couples + age differences” turned up pages and pages of results. Bruce Willis – oh, I love him! Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones (do they still count?), Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart, Oh, and one of my favorite actors, Stanley Tucci had married Felicity Blunt…20 years his junior. Surely if Hollywood could do it, I could date someone older, too.

But why did I need all of these reassurances? I felt the need to tell everyone around me that it didn’t bother me at all. And the truth was, when we were together, it never crossed my mind. It was only when we were apart that I couldn’t stop calculating. The math that I had spent my entire adult life avoiding like the plague was now constantly plaguing me.

When I’m 45, he’ll be…61 (no big deal). When I’m 50, he’ll be…66 (still okay). When I’m 54, he’ll be…(pause)…70. Geesh. 70. That’s kinda scary. Okay, but when I’m his age now (58), he’ll be 74. Hmmm. What about when I’m 60…It went on like this non stop.

I cornered my dad one Sunday night over dinner. “How much older do you think a guy can be for me to date?”

“How much older?” he looked puzzled. “Oh, hell, I don’t know. How old are you again?”

I actually had to think for a second. “Forty two.”

He paused, considering. “I think an older guy is good for you.” Another pause. “55,” he said nodding. “Yeah, I think that would suit your personality. You need someone who can calm you down a bit.”

I smiled.

“So,” he said. “You gonna tell me how old this guy is?”

“Nah, I think I’ll let you meet him first.”

‘Fair enough.” Just then a song came on over the speakers on his screened in porch. “Oh, great song! This is…um…”

“A Change is Gonna Come.”

“Right! Who sings this one?”

“Sam Cooke.”


A few weeks later, I met Don for breakfast at a favorite local diner. We bellied up to the counter and sipped coffee, chatting about the week ahead. The owner, Mary, sat down on the stool next to us, going through paperwork. As the song changed on the music overhead I couldn’t help but tap my foot in time to the rhythm. “Oh, The Spinners!” I said without thinking, “I love this song!”

She looked over at me, surprised. “Wow, pretty good!”

After breakfast Don turned to me with a serious expression. “I don’t know if we can date,” he said. “I think you might be too old for me.”

About this writer

  • Beth M. Wood Beth M. Wood is an award-winning marketer, freelance writer and mom of three. Her social media addiction pays the bills and steady copywriting gigs feed her shopping habit. She blogs about marketing and social media at, digresses about life and parenting at and tweets @a1972bmw.

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2 Responses to “Sometimes It Just Adds Up”

  1. Beth, your story proves that age is merely a number, and you’re as young as you feel. Enjoy every moment of your wonderful relationship. This sounds like a match made in heaven.

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