I had seen Samal at different events. We were both journalists (in fact, we worked for rival newspapers), so would attend same events often. But we never actually spoke to each other. We also had common friends, but somehow we never got formally introduced.
I don’t really remember the first time we two spoke...what I do remember is the day we talked for hours. He had planned a lunch at his home and had invited a couple of friends, it included me as well. By that time we’d both had hung out a couple of times with our common friends. But the three other people who were supposed to come couldn’t make on time, and I was already there at his place. So while we were waiting for rest of the party to arrive we started talking, and after some time we were so lost in our conversation that we forgot about the others.
Samal was a fun person to hang out with. I always had good time with him and we both started spending more time with each other. Going out for drinks on Friday nights with our gang became a norm. I met his friends and he met mine - we all often partied together. Even our friends could see that there was something more than just friendship between us. Though neither of us had confessed to it, we both knew that the other one had feelings for each other.
However, the big revelation that he was five years younger than me came after couple of months - while we were having an otherwise normal conversation. The fact that I was in college when he was in Class X was a bit of a shock for me. I would be lying if I said this didn’t make me uncomfortable.
It seemed from our conversation that Samal had no issues about the difference in our age. But I started to contemplate not taking this any further. How could I be dating a guy so young? He was as young as my cousins! I started distancing myself from him. I would often cancel plans and tell him I was busy. I never stayed online so that he couldn’t initiate a conversation. For more than a month, I stuck to my decision about staying away from him. I even stopped going to our usual hangout spots so that I wouldn’t accidentally meet him. It was extremely difficult for me to stay away from him, though. I was miserable and my best friend thought it was stupid of me to torture myself this way.
Samal was totally confused about why I was avoiding him. When he couldn’t get through to me, he contacted my best friend to find out what was wrong. My friend told him the truth and he sent me a message through her. He said to her: “This whole age thing doesn’t matter to me, all I know is I like her and I want her in my life. If she wants to take time to think about this, I will wait.”
This totally broke my heart. Here I had stopped all contact with him without even telling him why, and there he was being so understanding and patient. I guess he was acting in a much more mature manner than I was.
After a few weeks, I met Samal at one our friends’ birthday party. The birthday boy was a very good friend, so I couldn’t get out of this.The moment Samal saw me, he came up to me, gave me a huge hug and asked, “Are you done with your stupidity?” And that was all it took for my resolve to vanish. I just couldn’t hold back my tears, and hugged him as tightly as I could.
Though Samal and I broke up after a two-year-long relationship, the breakup had nothing to do with our age gap.
This whole experience taught me that in a relationship we often give importance to issues that we should not. Will I again date a guy younger than me? I might, I might not… Because I will not focus my decision on the age factor for sure.