Dating a woman 15 years older

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At 18, my mother met and married my 34-year-old father, who was a janitor in the building where she was an executive assistant.

Fresh out of high school, my father had been her first kiss, her first sexual experience, her first love.

It seemed as if my friend's instincts were off, I thought. Earlier in our meeting, Bob described moving to the area as a 30-year-old in 1978 – the year I was born.

But just as I was about to leave, Bob admitted that he was not that interested in me as a writing coach, but as a romantic prospect. Yet when I rejected him, he looked stung and startled, as though he was completely unaware of our significant age difference.

I thought back to the white-haired gentleman at the bar who was easily old enough to be my father and shook my head. Over the next couple of weeks, Bob sent me several samples of his writing without a trace of any innuendo or flirtation.

Shortly after I completed college, my dad confided in me that he had never loved my mother.

When I asked why he married her, he told me it was because he was ready to have a kid and she was young and pretty - and if he had a daughter, he wanted her to be pretty, too.

Dating much younger women seems to stem from these men's unhealthy and unrealistic obsession with youth – perhaps a way to stave off fears of their own mortality.

In fact, such a lopsided romance is my origin story.

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