What do people like Catherine Zeta-Jones and Amal Clooney know that we don’t?
Well, lucky for you, I’ve found out. During this past month and a half, I’ve been out and about in San Francisco and channeling my inner Lana Del Ray. I’ve exclusively been going out on dates with men over the age of 35.
Here’s what happened
1. I was surprised
When I started my experiment, I expected most of these men to have kids and/or be divorced. But that wasn’t always the case! Due to a myriad of reasons (mostly career), a lot of guys had put off the whole kids/marriage thing or decided to not be interested in it at all. In fact, one guy I saw had been so focused on his career that he didn’t even end up losing his virginity until he was 29. And most didn’t mind that I wasn’t ready to settle. They weren’t looking to do that anytime soon either.
2. But I found it really wasn’t super weird.
Another expectation that I had blown out of the water was the extent to which I actually got along with these guys. When I started, I was worried that I wouldn’t have anything to talk about with these guys. I mean, what do I know about shit like mortgages and taxes and brisket? Do these guys go fly fishing in their time off? To bingo?? I don’t know!!
But it turns out, if you have common interests, you’ll still find stuff to talk about. If anything (
Because I am a pretentious piece of shit who does things like read The Financial Times and watch Anthony Bourdain), I found I actually had more to talk about with these guys. They may miss a cultural reference here or there, but not a lot. Most of the time, I actually forgot about how old they were. That was until they said something along the lines of
“Do you remember when President Clinton…”
No. I was two. So do not recall.
3. And that they can be super sensitive about aging.
Western culture is not super kind to the concept of aging. While men are not subjected to the same idea of an “expiration date” as women are, men still face pressure to keep up in old(er) age. Some of them were sensitive about growing greys, their (relatively much lower) lack of energy, or their (extremely loud) snoring habit.
4. I was blown away in bed.
A++, 12/10, would definitely recommend to a friend.
5. I had some who saw me as just a young and hot piece of ass and not take me seriously as an individual.
6. But I didn’t feel like it was at any higher ratio than the men of Tinder do anyway.
7. If anything, I found them to be more mature, communicative, and careful.
If an older man likes you, you’ll definitely know. They’ll generally have enough confidence and self-awareness to both compliment you and make their intentions clear. They’re over the idea of playing games and texting for seven hundred years before asking you out to a drink. They’ll tell you if they don’t like something or what bothers them. They don’t expect you to be a mind-reader. In short, they knew how to date somebody.
With that maturity, I found, also came a tendency to take things slower. For instance, after going on four dates with a man named Yosef, I asked for a check-in. Did he want to be exclusive? How did he feel? What were we doing? Yosef looked confused and said we had just met each other. He wasn’t seeing other people but it was too soon to commit or know anything, really. *
Maybe I have a tendency to take things way too fast but I think that both of our thought processes make sense in respect to our lives. I’m twenty-two. I started dating when I was about eighteen and the longest relationship I’ve ever had was 5-6 months. So it would make sense for me to think of four dates as a lot. But, to Yosef, whose longest relationship was five years, it probably felt like nothing. Additionally, his experience has likely made him more cautious. Whereas, while I’ve had heartbreak, I’ve never had a breakup turn my life upside down.
8. People judged me a lot.
While none of the men I dated were old enough to (reasonably) be my father,** the age gap was still significant enough to cause people to look twice and assume things about us. I have no doubt that onlookers may have seen me with one of these guys and thought something along the lines of “Wow, that dude has a lot of money.”
I could also tell that many people (particularly my parents) were concerned about me getting taken advantage of. Which, again, is a valid concern. Youth is easily fetishized and it’s easy for older men to act more paternalistic towards somebody so much younger. It’s an obvious power grab. And I’m sure even the nicest of guys who I dated in this time didn’t mind waking up to a young blonde girl fawning over them.
Or, of course, people may have been worried that these men were married and I was “the other woman.” My previous track record may have not served me any favors.
So if you’re interested in dating older men, then my advice is to totally try it out! It might not be for everybody, but I learned a lot and am glad I did it. Like any relationship, it’s important to be cautious and careful, but also remember to have fun.
Thanks so much for reading! Make sure to hit that subscribe button down below and get more updates about my amazing adventures. I’ll be doing a “farewell” tour around Europe for the next month, so a lot of interesting things are sure to happen!
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*While I fully recognize that he could also just be taking me for a ride, the point still stands.
**My largest age gap was 17 years.