You know those girls who refuse to date anyone younger than they are, much less anyone their own age? They have a specific, thought-out reasoning as to why they’re only romantically compatible with guys who are older... I am one of those people.
Throughout my entire love life -- or whatever you want to call what has been 23 years of going through men, some for longer than others -- I have never so much as lusted after any guy who is younger than I am. (With the exception of my first Asian… IT WAS MY FIRST ASIAN!) And I obviously have the matching theory as to why to go along with it (naturally, it involves being the younger sister).
Without going too much into my dating career, the main factor in all of my relationships -- significant or otherwise -- has always been the man’s age. For me, and many other women like me, it all begins with a number.
Seriously, though, it does. Before agreeing to a set-up, as a follow-up response or even playing a flirtatious game, I always find the answer to the question, “So, how old are you?” very early on. And if you don’t know who the Seavers are from "Growing Pains," then you don’t stand a chance.
As much of our generation is delaying activities like marriage and procreating, we are, in effect, also prolonging its adolescence. Without those weightier responsibilities, Millennial boys (or, for the most part, the ones I’ve encountered) are living this suspended fratboy mentality.
Thus, we ladies have looked to older men to fulfill those more grown-up needs. To engage with an older guy is to peek inside a different point-of-view on life.
So, now that I’ve glorified older men enough (don’t worry, young, 20-something lads, your day will come… something I’m sure you all heard as freshman during "Hell Week"), the next logical step is to break down what goes into dating them. Because those cologne-wearing, Dolce-upgraded, French-press-drinking, 30-something hunks are a whole different animal.
Here’s everything you need to know about dating a 30-year-old in your 20s:
1. He’s not your daddy; don’t be gross.
2. Show him something new. He likely believes he’s seen everything, or at least more than you because he’s older, so prove him wrong. Which leads me to…
3. Challenge him, but know when to stop. A challenge is enticing, but don’t take it too far, lest you become an angry remonstrance. He’ll be impressed and allured by your precocious disposition.
4. Start becoming a do-er. You can’t get totally obliterated Saturday night and ruin the whole next day because -- guess what? -- he’s got it all planned out from brunch, to biking, to bonding! You said you wanted to be more active, remember?
5. Don’t talk about the age difference -- but if he brings it up, play it coy. Just never refer to his age in a bad light because that is his Achilles Heel; it's what his mother nags him about. That means no joking about him being an old man or way, way worse… an old fart. (Recoils in horror.) Heaven forbid you ever, ever, use the f-word!
6. He’s not moving too fast by offering to cook you dinner. You’re a single, 20 -something girl; you take that nutritious, well-balanced, home-cooked meal made in a well-furnished and clean apartment (neither of which you’ve encountered in weeks), and you embrace it with open arms. Just understand that his cooking you dinner is not the same as you two cooking together. One means you’re casually dating; the other implies your side-by-side partners in crime.
7. Don’t expect much early on; the good stuff happens later. Okay, so maybe these guys aren’t all they are hyped up to be. That being said, early on, a lot of the magic (so to speak) is due to the appeal of their age. Later on, once you’re in and they trust you won’t ruin their reputation, run away with their money (chiefly in the form of wasted presents), or go batsh*t crazy, they’re hooked. And that’s when the real fun begins. So just keep your inner-psycho on a leash for a couple months, kay? Maybe not mentioning the dumb sh*t you did abroad is a good idea, too.
8. Some of them are man-children. Here are the tell-tale signs he’s 30 going on 13: A) He still proactively buys tickets to an EDM concert and can only pontificate about DJs, B) He is incapable of choosing a proper place, date and time for your first meeting (i.e. doesn’t have a game plan), C) He is the organizer of organized parties (i.e. a promoter, an event sponsor or PR assistant), D) He brags about using substances or not having a consistent job (i.e. the degenerate guys you know now). Man-children are fun; just don’t expect them to get better later, a la Number 7.
9. He’s not interested in a one-night stand, unless you either make that clear upfront, or meet him at his man-child stomping ground of choice (ex: EDM festival, the Roseland Ballroom, etc.).
10. Don’t play stupid when you know what you’re talking about; instead, allow him to teach you something new when you don’t. Smart girls with personality can rejoice after years of griping that guys never give them a chance because the boys have finally grown up!
11. They come manscaped. You will be pleasantly surprised to learn that you don’t need to nose-dive into a face full of pubes -- unless he moonlights as Bozo the Clown.
12. You'll know when he likes you or not; 30-year-olds don’t play games. If he’s into you, he’ll try to see you -- bottom line. Why would he deny himself something he wants?