Dating a guy three years my junior has been an adventure.
There are the perks, such as his optimism, the simplicity of the relationship and the excitement he has for pretty much anything. It's nice to be reminded to have fun every once a while, especially when it's with someone I care so much about.
But there are moments when the age gap becomes obvious, and I can't help but wonder if the pros outweigh the cons.
These are some things I wish younger guys knew about dating older women to help make that age gap seem less like a burden and more like a benefit.
1. They think we're their mothers.
Whether this be the general stereotype of a woman or specific to an older woman, men can sometimes treat us like their mothers. Us being their girlfriends has nothing to do with making sure their shirts are ironed and their laundry gets done.
To be honest, I iron things with my hair straightener and only do laundry when I run out of underwear. What makes my boyfriend think I will be better about his? There are laundromats on-call if he can't figure it out himself.
2. They think it matters who our exes are.
I really don't understand why younger guys are fixated on who their girlfriends dated four years ago, or why they would even want to hear about them.
In all honesty, I don't even want to hear about my exes. They're exes for a reason. We're together now, and that should be more than enough.
Warning, ladies: If your boyfriend's fixation on your exes stems from their own inability to let go of an ex, run.
3. They assume we go wild whenever we're out with the girls.
On the rare occasion that I do go out, my boyfriend assumes I revert to my 18-year-old self. Me and my friends aren't dancing on tables after ripping 10 of the cheapest shots in the building.
I've grown out of my college habits, as have most women my age. So don't compare me to the girls your age who haven't.
4. They assume we aren't fully capable of rejecting creeps.
I don't know why younger guys think we'd humor anybody else, even if they aren't physically with us. It's offensive for them to even question our inability to tell a creep at the bar to get lost.
It makes me feel as if my loyalty is being questioned, and I can't help but think this wouldn't be an issue if I was dating someone my age or older.
5. They don't understand our love for silence.
It doesn't mean we are mad at them — or mad about anything, for that matter. Personal space is something I value, and it's something I need. But my boyfriend is always active and always looking to talk.
Seriously, silence is great. Let's all try it. Silently.
7. Their idea of fun and our idea of fun aren't even remotely similar.
Just because I don't like being in a club surrounded by young adults I view as children doesn't mean I can't have fun. We women who are dating younger men just grew out of the frat party mentality years ago, opting for better alcohol and a more mature crowd.
Tell me which one sounds better... like, honestly.
8. They think we're nagging when we're just trying to be motivational.
It's OK for younger guys to not fully know what they want to do with their lives, but us nudging them to start thinking about it is like asking them to take a bullet for us. It's an immediate trigger when you're dating a younger guy.
We aren't trying to be annoying, just trying to help. Plus, if they choose to be with an older woman, they shouldn't mind when she wants them to act like an adult by making a plan for their future.
9. Sometimes, they genuinely don't know what is going on in the world.
Younger guys don't completely comprehend how annoying the world is. They're still living in their young bubble in which everything is kind of OK and reality seems bearable. I'd ideally love to live in that mindset — one that is naive to how truly messed up the world is right now.
But 2016 well and truly did us all over, and while my boyfriend nods his head and insists he agrees, he doesn't seem to understand what any of this means for the future, nor does he seem to be worried about the consequences.
Please, guys, just read the news. Or at least look at what's trending on Twitter.
10. They think compromising and losing are the same thing.
I don't know what it is about younger guys, but their egos seems to be more of an issue than guys my age. Meeting halfway is not giving in, it's just part of the relationship.
Compromise and communication are the staples of any healthy bond. And admitting when you're wrong isn't admitting defeat... it's accepting responsibility.
At the end of the day, their ridiculous concerns and our inevitable frustration is a part of the relationship we signed up for.
We knew what we were getting into when we fell for younger guys, and the pros do, in fact, outweigh the cons. But that's another article for another day.