Dating Someone Older Is Complicated But Sometimes Totally Worth It, 6 People Say
Dating someone older than you can teach you a lot about life. It can help you better understand what it's like to be a certain age, gain perspective on the current phase you're in, or realize that you actually don't like a large age gap when it comes to relationships. There's a lot to consider about dating someone who's older than you are, because your relationship may need some added communication to bridge the age gap. In case you were curious, here are six different perspectives from people who have experienced dating someone older.
Dating someone older taught me a ton about myself and what I want in a relationship. Don't get me wrong, I definitely got my heart low-key broken. But it also taught me a lot about how adulthood shifts and changes between your 20s and 30s. She was also, like, really great at sex and part of that was simply the fact that she had way more experience than me. It didn't end up working out but I am definitely grateful for what I learned along the way. To get more insight into what it's like to date with an age gap, check out the following following stories.
Sometimes you wonder about their intentions...
"I would say dating older men has been a really formative part of my life. I’ve always dated older men — probably because my mom and teachers always told me I’m 'wise beyond my years.' Older men have made me feel both so special and so useless and common. My biggest problem with dating older men while I’m in my early 20s is I wonder if dating younger women is a pattern for them ...
When older men have good intentions for you, they are good friends. They remind me to be kind to myself, to put my life and worth into perspective, and they help take care of me. And as someone who has nurtured and mothered men my age in relationships, that change in dynamic is invaluable and reminds me that I’m worthy of being cared for too. When older men don’t have good intentions, they have a detrimental impact on my self-esteem in ways that only they can.
One of my exes is 34. I was looking for commitment from him in ways I rarely do in relationships, plus his passion and drive and knowledge just absolutely had me hanging on his every word. After five months of monogamy, he ghosted me. Out of nowhere. Our last conversation was that he has a gift for me and was excited to see me. It was almost a year ago now and I’m still reeling.
Oh. Also. Older men can lay the fucking pipe."
— Raquel, 24
Sometimes you're just not right for each other...
"When I was 23, I dated a 33-year-old guy for five months. We met on a noisy dance floor and I shouted, 'I'm Hannah, like Hannah Montana,' which is what I always say when I think people might not hear my name. Later, he told me he had no idea what Hannah Montana was. The age gap definitely had some perks: He lived in a sick apartment, had no roommates, and could afford to treat me to great restaurants and cool vacations.
But there were also some issues. I felt pretty insecure about our difference in age; I always worried he didn't really take me seriously; I wrongly assumed that he was looking for a more serious relationship because a lot of his friends were married. Ultimately, had we felt more strongly about each other, I think we could've overcome some of those issues with better communication. But in our case, the age gap was actually a pretty major deal. It turned me off of dating older guys."
— Hannah, 25
Sometimes it really works out...
"My fiancé is 10 years older than me. When we first started getting serious, and I began introducing him to my friends, I wondered if our age difference was too much. But honestly, the only time I notice our age gap is when one of us makes a pop culture reference that the other doesn’t understand. For example, I was a toddler when some of his favorite albums came out, and he was finished with college when I was discovering angsty teen music. He gives great advice because he’s had a little more life experience than me. I also enjoy the fact that I’ll always be the partner with fewer gray hairs and wrinkles."
— Faith, 28
Sometimes you appreciate their maturity...
"My boyfriend is over 10 years older than me, and I'm in my early 20s, which at first was a little intimidating. But over time, I've realized that he's so much more mature than other men. We have such a good connection that 99 percent of the time, I don't remember the age gap."
— Taylor, 22
Sometimes it creates a balance...
"I think when dating someone older there are inevitable pros and cons. My boyfriend is six years older than I am and we both work in the same industry. He’s been doing this for six years longer than I have and also lived in New York City for six years longer than I have. When I moved to the city directly following graduation, the age difference was frustrating because I oftentimes felt that he just expected me to get a job and then to be at the same level that he was — immediately. This was never actually the case and was an unfair assumption, but I think the consequences of the age difference took him by surprise, too. Sometimes it’s frustrating because my complaints probably seem menial to him as he’s already experienced what I’m currently experiencing.
At the same time, the age gap can be beneficial because he’s able to help me when I ask for it and able to explain certain things that he's been through. But that’s strictly when it comes to our careers, because we're in the same field.
In terms of our personal relationship, I think dating someone older is fantastic for the same reasons that working in the same industry is sometimes annoying. Because he’s older he’s more established and stable, he's also more mature. I don’t think I’d be able to date someone who graduated a year ago because I couldn’t handle being in a relationship with someone at the same life stage that I’m at — it’d be too dramatic."
— Lucy, 24
Sometimes you forget about it completely...
"I'm currently dating someone who is exactly nine and a half years older than me... At first, especially right when I met Ryan and when we first started dating, I was very concerned about the age gap. I was concerned especially about what my parents would think of the situation and also that I might feel like my life would feel rushed if I dated him. So far, both of those worries have been for nothing. My parents surprisingly had no qualms with the situation, and I definitely don't feel like he rushes me into anything. I am so lucky to have met Tobin, and I often now forget about our age gap, except for when he says some word or phrase I swear no one has used since the '90s."
— Emma*, 25
*Names have been changed
Whether things work out or they really don't, dating someone older can teach you a lot about life and yourself. Hopefully these people gave you insight into what it's like or reminded you of your own experience!
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