Steph #11 + Britt #16 = Team 27
Steph and I knew each other for roughly two years before our relationship moved anywhere beyond friendship. Though I can’t say we knew each other that well. She joined the hockey team I had been playing with for several years, but I was a show-up-5-minutes-before-the-game type, as well as a leave-within-5-minutes-of-the-game-being-done type. I didn’t spend a lot of extra time socializing with the team.
- I’m not gay
- We are 15 years apart
- I have been dating boys since I was eleven years old, maybe even younger. I’ve always been attracted to men and I’m still attracted to men. I identify as straight and if someone told me that I’d end up marrying another woman, I never would have believed them…yet here I am. I can distinctly remember the day when it all clicked for me. I was sitting beside Steph at her condo and I looked at her and said “I get it now.” It was the moment when I finally understood that you could fall in love with a person, regardless of anything else. When I looked at Steph, I didn’t see gender, I just saw Steph. I saw the kindest, most thoughtful, passionate and motivated person. Someone who pushed me to be better, someone who encouraged my dreams and someone who accepted my flaws and vulnerabilities.
- On top of the confusion of falling in love with someone of the same gender, Steph and I had countless conversations about our age difference. It seems like a lot. In fact, while writing it out for this post, it still surprises me. But truthfully, it has never been noticeable when we are together (probably due in large part to Steph’s charisma). We spent a lot of time talking about the future and the fears about when the age difference would be noticeable. But the same theme came up in every discussion…fear. Both of us had experienced enough crappy life lessons to know that life is too short to miss out on something great out of fear. Life can change at any time so how could we justify giving up on a once-in-a-lifetime connection simply out of fear? We couldn’t, so we jumped two feet in.
I was falling very hard for Britt and I was extremely concerned that this was different for her. Possibly a rebound relationship (I had been single for about 7 months and she had just got out of a 4 year relationship) or what some may call a “phase/experiment” (I knew she was straight). The fight-or-flight in me told me to run, but my heart kept me there and I trusted that it would work out the way it was supposed to. Matters of the heart are the most difficult and I definitely didn’t want to go through a situation where mine would get broken, but Britt was worth the uncertainty and deep down I just knew she was the one.
Definitely the age gap. EEEEKKKKK I’M 15 YEARS OLDER!!!! Well looking back on it, I know now that 85% of the worry was about what others would think. I couldn’t care less about our age difference, but it does worry me for Britt. At this point in our lives, you truly wouldn’t be able to notice much of a difference, but when I’m 80 and she’s 65…that makes you wonder, is this a good idea? Now, I could have stopped what was happening, but my gut said if you’re thinking that far into the future, you can’t just walk away. I love a challenge, so Britt and I talked extensively about this topic and although we can’t change the number, we can do things to make sure our age gap stays “somewhat” unnoticeable. (working out, eating healthy, etc.)
Having children was another intense topic. I was leaning towards having one kid, but Britt was adamant about having two. She’s always known she wanted to me a mom, but for me, I was on the fence. I didn’t know it then, but now I know that you just need to find the right partner in order to jump two feet in and it sparked me to be very excited about this future chapter.
It seems impossible to capture just how difficult this situation was to navigate. The start of any relationship is already hard enough as two people are learning about each other, likes, dislikes, quirks and nuances. Then add gender and age confusion to the mix, being on different pages about children, all while we hid our relationship from friends and family until Britt could sort through her feelings…it was a lot!
And I have to thank Steph, who never pressured me to tell them before I was ready, who has never asked me to label my love or myself and who was beyond patient and understanding through countless tearful, late night talks.
Despite having several hurdles stacked against us, we faced our fears and committed to this journey together. It hasn’t been easy and we know the hurdles aren’t over, but every day has been worth it and we’re excited to share this journey with each of you.