Anyone who’s been in a serious long-term relationship knows the journey isn’t without certain challenges, and when you’re dating an older man—we’re talking a decade or more—things can get even trickier.

I know this firsthand, as I’m 25 years old, and I’ve been dating an older guy nearly 15 years my senior for almost four years.

(Spoiler alert: I wasn’t.) Introducing him to your family won’t be easy.

I was dead nervous to reveal my boyfriend’s age to my parents, so much so that I stalled introducing them for six months.

I get the impression that people outside my inner circle wonder if I’m lying and that maybe he picked me up at a hotel bar or something cliché like that.

Other inquire whether I was purposely seeking an older man when I met him.

That said, there are not-so-little things that can cause friction too.

Keeping in mind what I’ve learned from my own relationship and anecdotes I’ve picked up from women in similar situations, I’ve outlined the perks and challenges of dating an older man. I get asked a lot of questions about my boyfriend’s finances (why else would I date someone much older, right? It’s not actually anybody’s business, but I can tell you that I’ve never dated anyone because of money.

Persistence also takes confidence—my boyfriend extended three invitations before I finally agreed to get coffee with him.

As Aaliyah once said, “If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.” Older men know this. I won’t lie: It can be annoying at times dating someone who has “been there/done that,” but it can also be helpful when your partner can use his experiences to guide you.

This alone is a reason why I refuse to go back into the dating pool with guys my own age. When I’m out, the guys I seem to attract are generally in their mid- to late-30s. To find out why, I asked a straight twentysomething male friend, who pointed out that younger guys are simply intimidated.