George Clooney and his new wife, Amal Alamuddin, are the talk of the town. But, it’s not all good things, as there's also talk about their “bizarre” age gap: him 53, her 36.
In fact, a Boston Globe report went a step further to chart Clooney’s age difference history with previous girlfriends, the average being 9.73 years.
What about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, who were 16 years apart when they were married? Or, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, who are 25 years apart in age?
In their defense, I hardly grew up dating or crushing on men close to my age group. I always seem to date guys between 10 to 20 years older than me, and from my relationships comes some of the best memories and experiences.
I still get the common response from my friends: “He’s too old for you! Why would you date someone that old?” I’ve also had a few people in my life suggest that I do it because I am a "gold digger."
So, the broad answer is this: To clarify, I’m not dating older men because I am a “gold digger.” It’s more important for me to pull my own weight and be financially stable. I have nothing against guys my age; I have tried dating them, but I have constantly come across the following:
- They’re not ambitious enough, or they don't have a go-getter attitude.
- They’re not financially stable.
- They still want to date around.
- They have had baby mama or ex-wife drama.
- They don’t have their sh*t together.
I’m not saying every guy in my age group is like this, but overall, my personal experience hasn’t been fulfilling for me. I started my media career at age 9 at a community TV station and my ambition level went up from there.
I save and invest my money; I’ve never been married and I have no kids. I had a normal childhood, but I have been living in the “adult world” since I was a kid. The only thing probably missing in my life is a partner, a published book and an owned property… maybe even a small business?
To elaborate even further, I’m an only child, and growing up, I never had many close friends. I can count them on maybe a hand and a half. I was teased and picked on a lot from the kids at school.
I never babysat the kids in my neighborhood once; I couldn’t relate to kids at all. I’m 34 now and I still can’t relate to kids. I don’t know the first thing to do with a child. Not to mention, I have no patience for them.
But something I could relate to well was adults. My father was a businessman who ran a successful chiropractor practice. I was around adults all my life -- events, parties, meetings -- so I really knew it no other way.
I guess that’s where I began the attraction for the older man type, and it used to freak my mother out. I would crush on older guys when I was 13, but I really didn’t start actually dating an older guy until I was 26; he was 40.
That relationship was fun and short-lived, but what I've learned since then has taken me a long way when dating older men. At the end of the day, I need to do what’s best for me.
Here are a list of pros and cons to consider if you decide to date older:
He’s More Experienced in Life
Whether it’s in his career, knowledge acquired overtime, relationships or even in the bedroom, this man knows what he’s doing and knows what he wants. He’s confident and can teach you a thing or two with his advice.
He’s Financially Secure
He may be older, but he’s learned a lesson or two about making money, saving money and balancing his checkbook. He cares about his future and even retirement.
He’s Emotionally Stable
The older men are the calmest human beings. This is great for me, since I am a whirlwind during the week and it balances me out. He’s been through multiple ups and downs in relationships, and his feelings are in check. Plus, he’s a great listener.
He Loves Romance
With endless kisses, hugs and soft lit candles, he goes the distance to make sure you are happy and satisfied. When I would go away on trips and had my guy take care of my apartment, I always came home to flowers on the table, chocolate or homemade gifts. Aw!
You Look Good Together
Besides feeling good together in public, you look great together, too. Even though there have been those people who have judged, you’ll be surprised that there are more people on your side than you think. I got this comment many times with my last relationship and felt even more confident hearing it.
He’s Set in His Ways
This is probably the most challenging thing to overcome when dating an older guy. With him, what you see is what you get. Although you can’t change a man (or even a woman for that matter), the key is to bend for one another so both of your needs are fulfilled.
He’s Afraid of Commitment
When you come across an older man and learn he’s single, have you ever found yourself saying to your friends, “There’s a reason he’s alone and still single”? There’s always a reason, but the best thing is not to push. If it’s meant to be, it will be. For now, have fun and see where it might lead.
He Gets Compared To a Father Figure
This comment might make him and even you feel insecure. The important thing is how you two feel about one another and the good times you share. And don’t call him an “old man,” even if you’re joking; it will only make matters worse!
He Feels He Has “Power” in the Relationship
Personally and professionally, he has one up on you and may think only he has a right to call the shots in the relationship. It’s nice once in a while to let the man take the lead, but it shouldn’t be a power struggle. You both have something equally to give one another.
He’s Not the Life of the Party
He loves spending time with you, but may want to call it an early night instead of going to the next big party. Try to find the balance between going out and staying in.
Stay in for a couple nights by making dinner and watching a movie and doing one extreme outing during the week, even if it’s just for a bit. If he can’t, that’s what your friends are for!
Photo Courtesy: CW/Gossip Girl