Hello Giggles
February 26, 2017 AT 06:53 PM EST

If you’ve ever been in a healthy long-term relationship, you’ll understand that the journey, though kind of amazing, isn’t without its hardships. And if you happen to be dating an older woman (or anyone significantly older), chances are you’ll experience a few extra bumps along the way. However, because there is no *right* way to date, and you can’t help who you fall in love with, a lot of 20-somethings will find themselves in relationships with much older partners.

Dating a woman who is significantly older than you can turn out to be an incredibly rewarding experience. She’s been there and she’s done that, so whether the relationship lasts 3 months or 3 years (or forever) you will gain some clarity — and maybe even become a better person for having loved her.

And sure, it might be tough when she doesn’t understand your pop culture references or you’ve never heard of her favorite band, but if you’re lucky, the benefits will outweigh those little issues. Here are a few things that may happen when you’re dating an older woman:

1. She’ll open up a whole new world

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Older women are wise AF! They have a sense of things in this world. Because they’ve tried and failed and picked themselves up, and had their hearts broken a couple thousand times — they’ve gained a whole lot of wisdom and experience. Plus, they’ve had more time collect quality books, films, music, and art which they’re usually more than willing to share.

2. The sex will be amazing

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There are way fewer body hangups. The inhibitions go right out the window. She knows exactly what she’s doing, she knows exactly what she wants, and has no trouble expressing it. What’s not to love?

3. You may become a little bit more responsible

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With ages comes responsibility. Your new love may have children that she supports while you’ve only ever had to worry about yourself. Even if she doesn’t have kids, you can be sure she’s been responsible for other people, or at the very least, is very familiar with being fully responsible for herself (and hey, that’s a lot). When you become emotionally involved with her, you also take on some of her responsibilities which may force you to grow up a little bit.

4. People may mistake you for her kid

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Speaking of kids, depending on how obvious the age difference is when you’re standing next to each other, things may get a little awkward when people assume she’s your mama.

5. You’ll spend way less time at the bar

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Say goodbye to having way too many drunken nights! Your weekends will now be filled with quiet nights in and romantic getaways, which actually sounds a whole lot better, if you ask us.

6. She’ll inspire you and make you feel safe

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She’s worked through her “stuff” and is confident and self-assured in a way you’ve only dreamed of being. She has survived her defining decades and holds the battle scars to prove it. She’s more likely to be emotionally and financially stable too. Loving her will make you want to be your best self and a better partner.

7. Change will be hard…

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This is where she’ll use all her wisdom and experience to justify her actions and probably drive you crazy in the process. She may be stuck in her ways and reluctant to change.

8. You won’t quite know how to introduce her to your parents

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Like, “Hey mom and dad, this is my new girlfriend and she’s just 2 years older…than you.”

Everyone’s relationship and experiences will be different. But one thing remains the same: Loving yourself unconditionally and learning how to love someone else the same way is probably the most important thing you can do in any relationship.

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