In this edition of things I thought I’d never say…
I have always, well, almost always dated younger men. I’d like to say I don’t know why this is, but I know exactly the answer: youth. As with anyone who fears the change that time and aging will do on my young body and soul, I’ve always put youth on a pedestal. It is gorgeous, flawless, perfect and, my fucking god, wasted on the young. I didn’t understand what this really meant until a few years ago, and ever since, I’ve been struggling with the fact that in knowing what it truly means, it actually translates to the fact that I’m getting older. As I’ve written before, I didn’t sign up for this shit; I wasn’t supposed to grow old.
There is, and will always be, something about younger men that captures my heart. It’s not a desire to mother them, baby them, mold them into what I consider ideal, but instead, a natural attraction to their take on the world. Even men I dated who were just four or five years younger had this way of looking at things like I did not, and there was an addictive charm to it, although part of me shuddered, while another part of me wanted to eat them up. And of course, when I say, “eat,” I most definitely mean à la Jeffrey Dahmer, and not like a bunny or anything even remotely innocent.
Over the last couple years, something in me has shifted. Although my appreciation for boys in their 20’s will never die, I’ve found that what I once found attractive isn’t so much there anymore (and believe me, I’ve been fighting this fact tooth and nail.) The boys I thought were “so cute!” in the magazines from my youth no longer have the same appeal, and suddenly my idea of sexy includes a wee bit of grey, and the crinkle along the eyes that comes with a lifetime of too much laughter. (Yes, I’m even shocking myself as I write this.)
Unlike a younger man, men your age “get” it. They don’t just get how things work in life, but their experiences make for more well-rounded people. Men in your age bracket also have a really great grasp on pop culture (and isn’t this extremely important?) If you act out the scene from Saved by Bell where Jesse has a brief stint with caffeine pills and your boyfriend can’t get it, then what’s the point of dating him? Seriously. Please note the proof below.
If this is the first time you’ve seen that, then you and I can’t date either.
While I know this isn’t for every younger man, but men are, at least according to science, fairly behind in maturity compared to women. If you’re 27 years old and dating a 23-year-old, that only four years may not seem like much number wise, but in regards to maturity, that dude is working with a 17-year-old brain. Do you remember what it was like to date 17-year-old boys in high school? Even as an equally aged 17-year-old woman, it probably made for more face-palm moments than not. This, once again, goes back to the “getting” it thing.
In addition to maturity, there are life goals and security. I’m the first to admit that when it comes to security, I bounce around like a bird missing both a wing and a leg. It’s not how I view the world, and frankly, a lot of men my age would find this annoying. But at the same time, there’s this comfort in your other half being able to even out whatever parts of you might still need some growing up. I’m not suggesting being tamed, because, to quote D.H. Lawrence, “I never saw a wild thing feel sorry for itself,” but creating a balance. I can promise you that two people on the same road to Crazy Town will just crash and burn before they’re even 10 miles into their trip.
I should point out that this isn’t an ode to dating an older man per se, but instead, perhaps, avoiding men who happen to be younger than you, especially excessively so. I’m not suggesting that every younger man acts the same, or that every older man has their shit together, because that’s just not true. But what I am saying is that there is something to make of this entire “not dating younger men” thing that I’ve been hearing about since I started dating. It’s not that it’s better, but simply different when you’re with someone who isn’t behind you in age. Yes, I wholeheartedly believe that age is just number and not every older woman–younger man relationship can be put under the same tier, but there’s something to be said for giving up on dating younger men. I still can’t exactly put my finger on it, but it’s worth giving a try if you, like me, always had a thing for the younger guys.
You have to try everything once anyway. Except coprophilia; I would advise against that.
Photo: Paramount Pictures