I’m a young mature woman in love with an older man who’s a child at heart

Cheeni kum

(As told to Tania Dey)

Our unconventional love story

A lot of people would say that love is all about meeting your loved ones, spending time together, planning romantic dates, hanging around hand and in hand with each other and more. Love is usually seen through a rose tinted glass, and is always beautified. We never consider boredom, drudgery and coexistence to be a part of the romantic journeys we have.

Our love on the other hand, was thankfully of a different kind. We met for work, I was good with my words, and he was the editor of a leading newspaper, (he interviewed me for a good 15 minutes, of course he didn’t hire me because I was too young, but then we started texting two nights later), and we chatted and discussed our ideas on politics, religion, literature and more. The connection was instant: I am a woman who talks and thinks like someone who is in her 30s, I am what adults would call borderline adult, and he was an adult, with a hidden child in him.

Related reading: 20 signs you are ready to be ‘exclusive’

Did he love me too?

Nights became interesting, because we always had enough to talk about. Soon the days began to pass by quickly, and I realised that I was in love with this man. He respected me the way I was, he made me feel comfortable in my own self, he was always motivating and supportive, he gave me positive corrections, and the bottom line was, he was a very good man. Humble, honest, brave, courteous towards women, he was someone to look up to. The realisation dawned upon me that I loved him, when there was another meeting between us, and he asked me to meet him, “See me tomorrow please” those were the exact words, and I knew that I loved him. It took me by joy and exhilaration.

Couple hugging on bed
Did he love me too?

But then it struck me that, I loved him, and I had no clue if he was committed to someone else. The age gap between us is about 12 years, and this gap prevented me from posing a direct question. So I waited months in despair, and still continued talking to him over social media.

I finally told him how I felt

We lived in two different cities, so meeting frequently was never an option. We met once in a year, or if extremely lucky, twice. This man kept me charmed with his diction and knowledge, and I felt myself slipping into greater love each day. All this continued for over a span of a year, until my patience ended and I wrote him a four-page love letter, sent him an antique pocket watch and a handmade card.

Of course he didn’t respond well. Initially he flared up, disconnected the call, and was angry. The words on the phone were “I don’t want to talk to you.”

He didn’t even tell me if he received the package, and I was heartbroken. I had told myself that maybe this wasn’t a love that would reach its outcome, and maybe it’ll remain this way.

There was a long period of silence between us, and we didn’t communicate. It was one month almost that we were out of touch. But not for a day had I forgotten him.

I’m not good enough for you

Some more months later, he called me and wept profusely. He apologised, for some weird reason, he told me in whispers that he loved me too, and he didn’t say it then, because he felt he wasn’t good enough. Of course I got a shock; the editor of a leading newspaper, who I absolutely adored and worshipped, thought he wasn’t good enough for me! He told me that he had received the package, and he always wanted to be with me, but was only waiting out to see if I stood strong by my decision. A little softly, he asked, “Do you still love me?”

We have been through a bucket list of troubles in our 3 years of relationship. No, we never announced it to each other that it is a relationship that we are in, we never made it public, we were just silently fulfilling our duties and looking after each other. It was an unnamed relationship, and he chose to keep it this way, because he felt that certain things were better left unsaid.

Related reading: The silent but enduring love between husband and wife

The one mistake he made

He’s cheated on me once even, with his secretary. He came to me and confessed what had happened. He was apologetic, and told me that the distance between us had taken a toll. I was heartbroken and depressed, I almost starved myself to sickness, but later decided to give the relationship a chance. I thought that I should give my love a chance here.

Angry woman
The one mistake he made

She kept talking against me, and used my absence to prove to him that I didn’t love him. But there are things we forgive because we love each other beyond words. He crosses cities and travels down to see me in my city frequently, despite his fragile health. I forgave him thinking of all the good things he has done for me, instead of focusing on the one wrong thing he has done. It would be wrong to end our beautiful relationship because of a mistake that happened in the past.

Love is in the simple things

Movies and books are overrated. They portray love as something extraordinary, something that is out of the way. They often forget to remind the readers and viewers that love might be something as simple as watering your plant because you don’t want it to shrivel, even on days that you are tired and can’t get off the bed, or maybe taking your dog to the vet, because he is unwell, even though you are unwell too.

Love is in all of the simple things that we do for each other and never ask for something in return.

Love is in all of the simple things that we do for each other and never ask for something in return.

If all things go well, we’ll be married by next year. We’ve been to two successive vacations and we had a wonderful time! We still haven’t been on an official date; we still don’t have a picture together. We’ve never watched a movie together. All what we’ve done is written a lot of letters and poems, met at clumsy bookstores and Chinese outlets, and have stared at each other without saying a word. Love, for us is in old ways, and we can love in the silence too.

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