Ladies, Could A Younger Man Be Better?

by Caitlin Rondino

It’s common for women to go after guys similar to their age or older. Does an age gap imply an increased level of maturity and the ability to act “accordingly” in a relationship, when the man is older than the woman? No, I believe that’s a crock of sh*t.

Growing older and maturing doesn’t always correlate with a successful relationship. Typically, males take longer to mature and their expected date of arrival into maturity is entirely up to when their small minds decide to become grown. I don’t know if the idea of a woman finding an older man to take care of her stems from motherly advice or some old-age culture, but either way, shifts in Generation-Y culture show otherwise.

The dynamics of relationships have changed and for good reason, too.  You can’t limit the possibilities that exist, or create a mold catered to your desires and expect everyone to fill it as you wish. This isn't the 1950’s. What’s considered “normal” is no longer laid out in black and white. Traditions from decades ago no longer apply to this generation of constant change. A family can have two mothers, two fathers, a transgender parent and interracial children.  To disregard every other pairing of lovers, or arrangement of family outside of heterosexual parents, two kids, a white picket fence and a f*cking golden retriever, is ignorant.

Elder men at work, and even some professors at school, have approached me to say how sorry they feel for our generation.  They’re sorry for the fact that it’s going to be a while (if ever) before I meet a true gentleman my age. I don’t want to generalize my entire demographic so I’ll just continue to smile and nod when people send me their condolences for the fact that I’m either a) going to end up with an assh*le, or b) going to die alone.

Girls stick to the belief that older is the way to go; that you’re some kind of cradle-robbing freak if you choose to be with someone younger than you. And when I say younger, I don’t mean two months and three days; I’m talking just barely legal status.  I'm not advocating that you flirt with the law and date a minor. But much like older men are assumed to be more mature, younger men are assumed to be immature, which means no commitment – and that’s a huge plus for many women.

A more mature man sounds good on paper, but in reality, he just doesn't hold up. I know plenty of women who date, or have dated, older men.  All of my boyfriends have been older than me.  My last boyfriend was ten years older than me. We almost made it to the three-year mark.

I was in love with him, but was he a bit of a man-child?  He sure was.  A lot of men in their thirties are apparently just like him.  When things got heavy, it wasn't ideal. But in defense of that relationship, his version of man-child did create a fun mood, even when we were doing nothing. So, I have no choice but to believe that maturity should not be expected with age. My therapist has confirmed that for me.

But if men are going to bask in immaturity for some time, why should it matter how old the men we get involved with are – no matter what our age difference?  We already know it’s stupid to date in our 20s for endless lists of reasons. Why should the way we women spend our years be dictated by how a man spends his?  If we’re just supposed to have fun and enjoy ourselves, I see no reason why the age of the men we date should matter.

Therefore, if we can’t make the sweeping generalization that every guy equal to, or greater than, our age isn't mature or gentlemanly enough to date, we can't make the same type of generalization that younger men are too childlike for a relationship.  Plus, if older men pushing 70 are calling out their younger counterparts - that most girls are pursuing - what choice do women have other than to find ourselves a strapping, young gentleman to satisfy our needs?

So, when the opportunity presents itself, and you're willing to boldly go where you've been convincing yourself not to go - for absolutely no reason - here are some tips for being with a younger guy:

Don’t Mommy Him

You’re not taking on the responsibility of a foster parent or legal guardian. You may be older, but you’re a love interest. No one wants to sleep with his mother. As women, most of us are nurturers and we love to express that in relationships, but don't view this as an opportunity to overdose on taking care of him.

Don’t Act His Age

He could be mature, but he’s still younger. His friends will be younger, you might be over the activities he still enjoys, and your lives could be in two completely different places. Chances are, he was attracted to you not only for your looks, but also the fact that you’re older, responsible and mature. Change your intriguing, older woman appeal, and you can just disregard the rest of these tips.

The Age Difference Shouldn't Rule The Conversation

Again, the age gap has been acknowledged probably more times than it realistically needed to be. Get over it or move on.  You don’t need to dwell on the fact that he's younger or constantly seek reassurance that it isn't an issue. It’ll create a self-esteem issue for you, as well as annoy him. Would you want him constantly reminding you and over again that you're older? Probably not.

Be Open To Everything

Be open to the fact that this may not be a permanent arrangement. His interests, direction in life and wants can change a hundred times over. It shouldn't create resentment; you knew what you were signing up for. Be open to experiment with him. Getting with an older chick may be experimental to begin with, but it can’t stop there. You shouldn't be so quick to give up on experimenting, anyway. You may be older, but you aren't old. Also be open to the fact that you may have found someone you can see yourself with and age really does become just a number.

Appreciate The Experience

As much as you may be teaching him things, he’s also teaching you things. He may have never been with an older woman, but maybe you've never been with a younger man. You can never gain too much perspective on anything, let alone building relationships and learning what makes people tick. Life holds many lessons, and if you’re close-minded about what life has to offer, you’re only shafting yourself.

Don’t Be Swayed

For the sake of this argument, let’s say the relationship has taken off and doesn't seem like one of you is going to lose interest in the other. Do not let the opinions of others talk you out of doing what feels right to you. Life is controversial and controversy permeates so many areas of life that we can't do anything about. This is one of those areas that are nobody’s business.  You can't control people's negativity, but you can prevent it from affecting your positivity. People will express their feelings, they’ll make their facial expressions and whatever else they feel necessary.  You're dating someone, not smoking crack.  And unless he smokes crack, it isn't as big of an issue as people will pretend it is.

If I had a nickel for every time I was told it wasn't going to work with my last boyfriend because of the age difference, I could have bought an iPad and a cute case to go with it.  Remember, we're working with nickels here.  Granted, I would have been stripped of my nickels because they were right, but that isn’t the point.  I did what I wanted and what felt right to me at the time.

For all you know, the love of your life is 17-years-old right now, and by the time you meet him, although he’ll be older, he’ll always be younger than you.  He’ll keep you young, so thank him for that.  And as an added bonus, if your timing is really superb, and there is just the right amount of years in between your ages, you both could be entering your sexual prime at the same time – hell.yes.

So here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson. Thanks for guiding the way.

Photos Courtesy: Tumblr