Dating men 20 years older than me
Imagine my surprise then when, over beers, I casually mentioned my kids and was immediately overcome by the desire to pull the words back into my mouth.
My chagrin made me realize that, at least on a subconscious level, I was interested in him. A few days later, he sent me a message saying he missed me. We meandered to a nearby hotel to check out the rooftop bar there.
While I worry that he'd prefer a woman whose body hasn't been quite so affected by gravity, he tells me many times a day how beautiful I am — even when I know I am not at my prettiest.
Because he is on TV a lot and quite well-known in Tunisia, he's always had girls throwing themselves at him (and still does). He tells me that of the hundreds of women he's met, he's never met anyone like me. It's precisely my experience and my different perspective on life that makes me interesting to him.
I didn't want to get into another serious relationship any time soon. As if anything in my life had gone according to plan…One night, I noticed a Friend request on Facebook from someone I didn't know.
He was a Tunisian journalist coming to Cairo to start a new job, and he wanted my advice about neighborhoods and rents. A few days after he arrived, he asked if I'd like to get together. In the meantime, I checked out his Facebook profile and realized that he was much younger than me.
After all, there is something innately sexy about a silver fox.
Then I remind myself that if it were he who was 20 years older, neither I nor anyone else would think twice, and I realize that I'm falling prey to the same sexism I bemoan.
We met the following week, and I spilled the tale of my failed marriage. It was under renovation, but we snuck into a dark conference room to admire the stunning Nile view … It was a great kiss — until a security guard pointed his massive flashlight at us and shooed us away.
The last time that had happened to me, I'd been in the back of my high school boyfriend's car. A few days after our kiss, he said he considered us a couple, and a week later, he told me he loved me.
Instead, I chose to relocate with my two young sons to a country in turmoil, arriving on the bloodiest day in its modern history. 14, 2013, the day Egyptian forces killed more than 700 civilian demonstrators — including a British journalist who had been a guest at a dinner party I'd thrown — I moved to Egypt.
While looking for peace there may sound insane, for me, the move was a lifesaver.