Should Age Dictate Who You Date?
With rates of divorce rising and less importance placed on maintaining the family unit, increasingly more people of older ages are becoming single and dating again. Many men choose to date younger than their own generation and equally, many younger women find an older man attractive. It seems like a win-win situation, however, large age gaps in relationships are often viewed with suspicion.
A large age gap is hard to quantifiably define but generally, it’s safe to consider an age difference of 10 years or more as significant enough to be labeled large – particularly with regards to younger women. Skepticism arises due to the skewed power dynamic that is prevalent in most relationships with a bigger difference in age.
With age comes a level of maturity, wisdom, experience and cynicism which is absent in most younger people. By contrast, youth is a time of naivety, open mindedness and trusting optimism – characteristics that can make a person open to be taken advantage of. On the flip side, these concerns can also be considered a form of ageism and prejudice since everyone has a right to look for love and it’s unfair to assume the worst of someone just because of their age.
The question of what the acceptable minimum age is for dating still remains. One popular guideline is the ‘half your age plus seven’ rule. In this scenario a 30-year-old man can date a 22-year-old (30/2 + 7) whereas a 46-year-old man can date a 30-year-old woman (46/2 + 7). This rule acts as a guideline for what a normal age difference looks like that wouldn’t raise any eyebrows. Realistically, many relationships have an age difference much larger than outlined in the ‘half plus seven’ rule. Some would say that as both sides are of legal age and consent to the relationship, there is no further issue worth discussing.
What Are The Pros of Dating and Marrying an Older Man?
Since an older man has lived for much longer in this crazy world, he will also have experienced a whole lot more. It’s likely your more sophisticated date will be able to regale you with crazy stories and impress you with knowledgeable facts.
The biggest perk of this however, is being able to have long, interesting and intelligent conversations. A date with an older gentleman could consist of discussing the politics of Columbia over Michelin starred food accompanied with a delicious red wine. Your man will waste no time in filling you in on the history of the chef and flavours he detects in the vino.
Aside from all the fun trivia, it’s likely his life experience will actually come into use. Say, for example, a tyre blows on your car; this sort of thing would have already happened to him multiple times and he’ll know exactly what to do and who to call to get it sorted. Apply this scenario to every aspect of your day to day and you’ll find dating an older man can make life much easier.
2. Sexually Experienced
Sexual relations with a more sophisticated senior could possibly be much more satisfactory than when dating younger men. Indeed, young men tend to be selfish, inexperienced and put little effort into learning how to please a woman. Like many activities, practice makes perfect and with his extra years under the belt, an older man is likely to have had a lot more practice.
While some may wince at the thought of sex with someone old enough to be their dad, their increased expertise could more than makeup for it. The older people get, the more they find out about themselves and their preferences so dating someone older could open your eyes to a whole new world of sexual conduct; an older man is likely to take their time, maximizing pleasure for the both of you and introducing you to all his cheeky kinks.
3. Financially secure
While finance and money are ideally not essential when looking for love, realistically it has an effect on every relationship. With few exceptions, younger men are still starting out on their careers, spending their whole paycheck each month and have limited funds to invest in you and quality time together. Alternatively, someone a little older is much more likely to have established a career, have some financial sensibility and still have some money left at the end of each month – even after splurging on some sexy underwear.
Even though love isn’t based on wealth, it can be a relief to date, someone, who isn’t constantly figuring out his spending and who can actually afford to take you to nice places. Having a financially stable partner can make life so much less stressful and gives you a little support to fearlessly chase your own dreams. The fun side of a financially comfortable partner, of course, is the nice gifts, exciting holidays and fancy dates.
4. Don’t like playing games
Everybody grows up and gets a bit more mature eventually. An older guy is probably completely over the days of playing stupid games to manipulate and hurt their partner. You won’t find an older man attempting to make you jealous by liking some girl’s Instagram photo or ghosting you for an evening while he’s out with mates. His age will mean he’s experienced relationships in the past and will see the value in respect and good communication.
What Are The Cons of Dating and Marrying an Older Man?
1. Less Exciting
Despite the pleasure found in sophistication and elegance, sometimes you just want to let your hair down and have a wild night out clubbing or getting drunk with your friends. An older guy might not get this as with age, people feel less of a need to dance to the morning and get so drunk you might puke.
It’s unlikely your man will be happy about you heading to club for hours and so you might have to leave him at home. This is unfortunate as someone your own age would match you drink for drink and stay up dancing the night away together.
While his age and experience may actually make him more knowledgeable, it doesn’t mean he’s going to be right every time. Unfortunately, this sort of relationship can lead to the older guy assuming they’re right about everything and discounting his partner’s opinion. This very condescending attitude can quickly move into controlling behavior as he’ll take the lead in every situation and you’ll have to fit into his plans.
3. Set in his ways
Psychologists have shown that if you don’t try something before you’re 35, you’ll probably never try it. Youth brings the opportunity to delve into many different areas and activities to sample what the world has to offer and decide what you like. This novel-pursuing behavior decreasing as you age. It’s unlikely your silver fox would be super excited to go to the new restaurant in town to try out some brand-new cuisine.
Life experience means past relationships and with an older man, this also means he has probably had a couple of kids along the way. If you can accept that you’ll be the new stepmom in the family, you should make an incredible effort with his children. If you like each other, it’s going to make your life so much easier.
A slightly more difficult relationship to come to terms with is if he has a relationship with his ex. A good father probably does have a great relationship with his ex-wife in order to arrange weekly custody and to keep a stable image together for the children. However, this doesn’t stop it being terribly awkward and a little down putting when your boyfriend is on the phone chatting to his ex-wife, regardless of what it’s about.
Do Marriages with a Large Age Difference Work?
If you find the right guy, there’s absolutely no reason that a relationship with a wide age gap isn’t perfectly viable. If none of the cons listed here rear their ugly heads, the worst you’ll have to deal with is other people’s judgement. Be prepared for every person under the sun to chime in with their bit of advice regarding your relationship.
People will also assume the worst and think that this a sugar daddy arrangement, call your boyfriend a ‘cradle snatcher’ or to think that there are daddy issues at play. However, once you have established your relationship and practiced it for a while, people’s rumours will die down and once they get to know the guy, hopefully they won’t even care about his age.
The power dynamics in relationships with large age gaps are always curious and not always healthy. If you are interested in dating or marrying someone older, the first and most essential thing is to make sure they respect you and your boundaries and they don’t overstep the line at all early in the relationship, so you can break it off without also much heartache. Finally, the majority of people are good people and deserve a chance (or second, third or fourth) at love. So, if someone takes your fancy it’s worth shooting your shot no matter how old they are.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé