Men of a Certain Age: The Pros and Cons of Dating Much Younger and Older Guys

February 2, 2012  |  
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If you’re in your 50’s and he’s in his 70’s, no big deal. And lucky him by the way. You’ve both basically done all the personal growth you’re going to do. You’ve both gotten your wilder years out of the way, and you’ve both lived full lives with satisfying careers and plenty of travel (hopefully). But, when you’re younger, every year, even every half year, changes come, meaning different concerns, different priorities and overall different mentalities. You want someone whose knowledge and experience will complement—even supplement—your own. And it’s a very particular aged man who can do that. To be a cougar or try your hand with an older man? If you miss the mark, you’ll be dealing with these issues:


Too young to know

To bring you soup when you’re sick. To be your date to your parent’s anniversary party. To pick you up. To call and ask how your day was. It takes a certain amount of maturity to know how to effortlessly incorporate someone else into your life—and that includes incorporating their needs. A young guy might be a lot of fun and you might relate on a lot of levels, but some just might not know how to be a partner.

Too young to care

He hasn’t been out of college for too long. He has a decent job, although it’s not where his heart seems to be, but it’s where the money is at. His bills are paid, and he is having fun exploring the “real world” and his new freedom. He isn’t thinking too much about the repercussions of going out every night. Honestly, he is excited to be making all of this money to spend on things he might laugh at years from now. And you might be tempted to join in on his carefree lifestyle. Come on. He’s hot and he is texting you to meet up at a bar. What does it matter that you have a presentation in the morning that your promotion is riding on…right? Wrong.

Too young to pay

It is nice to be treated, of course. But that’s not what this is about. The real issue is that he doesn’t have the big bucks or money saved even for himself for the truly valuable experiences, like cultural trips you want to take together, or even to see that Tony-Award winning play opening in your city tonight. Or how about that new Asian-German-whatever fusion restaurant everyone is talking about and that is apparently transforming the culinary scene around town. His budget his holding back your development, and unless you want to pay for everything or do all these things with girlfriends only, you’re probably going to start getting bored.

Too old to party

You don’t want a party animal but you don’t want a total home body either. If you date a man that is past his partying days, he will either, A.) insist you stay in with him, in which case he is keeping you from your friends, or B.) let you go, but without him, and you don’t get to share the experience with him. You don’t get to laugh about the funny things that happened during that outing together. Or have awesome drunk sex (kidding). In fact, you crawl into bed when he has been passed out for hours, and you sleep in late while he gets up early to read or for a jog. You’re missing each other.

Or even worse, he could come to the club with and be anything BUT the life of the party and be ready to go home and hit the sack before you know it.

Too old to worry

You might just be making moves to start the career you want. This could mean writing a little dinky blog that you hope to turn into a book. It could mean teaching cooking classes at the local recreation center for almost zero pay just to get a name out there for yourself. Essentially, you’re at a place in your life that seems ages ago to him now that he is established. First off, being constantly in the presence of luxury and an established life by being with him might make you grow lazy and give up your dreams, or it might make you think less of your accomplishments and the job you have…it’s true. Or, you just won’t talk to him about the things you’re working on because you’re afraid they’ll sound silly and petty to an established business man or entrepreneur. That’s no fun.


Too old to wait and take things slow

Listen, this dude wants to get married soon! Men have biological clocks too. They don’t want to be 70 years old at their kid’s high school graduation. And they might be feeling a certain way about being the only man in their group of friends who isn’t married (whether committed or not). Even if he doesn’t verbally rush you, you will feel that pressure.

The perfect age

In you’re 20’s and early 30’s, it’s best to have a partner who is maybe just half a step ahead of you in life. Maybe you’ve just graduated, you’re starting your menial job and you’re barely paying rent and he just got promoted; but he was where you are a mere year ago. He relates. He knows what will help you. He doesn’t feel so far ahead that he feels more like a mentor than a boyfriend. Maybe you’ve just conceptualized a business idea, and his own business is just starting to take off. Once again, he was just there himself. He can offer guidance, but he still relates. But as always though, you should definitely go with whatever works for you and puts you in the healthiest and happiest situation. Because you never know, you could find that perfect match and then age really won’t be anything but a number…

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  • Auntieruckus

    Coworker is 28 dating a 22 year old male,she thinks they are getting married,poor thing.

  • aussie

    I’m mid 20s and dating someone with kids that are almost my age..
    When we first met- we were horse riding- we have almost exactly the same interests, we are both self employed- although he is a Lawyer with his own practise and I’m just getting mine going…
    He is very supportive of my ambitions, isn’t controlling and treats me how I deserve to be treated. And NO he doesn’t always pay when we go out- if I think it’s my turn I go and pay or leave $$ in his pocket when we go out if i don’t take a bag. He doesn’t see it as an insult and really appreciates that I can and do pay my own way…
    But I do get all the gold digger comments when around my friends- he gets a high 5 from his- but it doesn’t worry me so much any more… If its meant to be- its meant to be

  • CLW

    I’m 60….when I look at men my own age, I’m horrified….but I won’t date anyone young enough for me to have changed his diaper, or been his teenage baby sitter, either. What is a vibrant lady to do?

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  • Mz Tya Love

    Its who you love and it is also based on your social circle. Preference and compatibility accounts for much. I am a single, Intelligent black woman 29 this year and I am attracted to very intelligent men that are between 35 and 45. I find that older men(some) are very gentle and nurturing, they have a tendency to be complete gentlemen and have a genuine concern for the ones they are with, they are giving and at a point in their lives where they are ready for life as it comes(stable minded).
    They are fantastic in bed and focus more on pleasing and giving satisfaction than anything else. Younger men and men my age are nice to talk to but seldom engage me on an intellectual front. I find them annoying and unstable and in bed its all about ” blowing your back out” than being gentle and responsive. Older men just get it, attractive and smart and older, simply delicious besides its nice to be with a man who listens to anything besides hip hop and doesn’t wear his pants under his a**!!

  • Arrowmg

    this article is way off. it is based solely on stereotypes…the image accompanying the caption ‘too old to party” looks like a guy in his late 30’s maybe early 40’s. (these days 40 somethings pass for late 20’s early 30’s – I know because I am one of them) and were not too tired, LOL. I’m 43 and socialize fairly regularly and have no problem staying the course,til 5am the next morning or whenever we feel like going in. I dont cling  to or control my young PYT.I know she is going to date guys her age but I will be there regardless because you know relationships in your 20s rarely last. And if I’m a mentor to her , so what what’s wrong with that?? If she ends up in a better place because of me, that’s a good thing I did my job. And to be honest with you most older dudes know there’s a slim chance that it will last for the long haul, but as long as I give her some good years, im good, and she will be too!

  • Sky

    I’m confused…this article’s title states “…the pros and cons of of dating much younger and older guys..”but the article only describes the cons…

  • Is It 5:00 Yet?

    I’ll probably end up with someone older, but I don’t want anyone old enough to be my dad.

  • my hubby iz 13 yearz younger than me & the age diff. cumz w/no cons thx u

  • MixedUpInVegas

    OK, so now a comment about older men.  Dated and married one, who later passed away, and another now.  Both were professionals who mentored me and helped me grow professionaly.  I never felt that they thought my career concerns were silly or petty.  Both helped me meet the right people, helped me with my advanced degree studies and paved the path for my personal professional success.  They were there for me and helped me make it happen.  As a result of their love, support and connections, I have gone far beyond what I could ever have hoped for.

    I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have had these two fine men in my life.  They loved me, lifted me up and showed me the way to success.  They were my gift from God, and I thank Him every day.

    • Terry

      I am glad that you had such a wonderful experience for you.  Mine story is the opposite.  My older husband was controlling, belittling, and downright mean if I did not go along with whatever he thought.  When I decided to return to school, he stated that I was competing with him and that my place was at home with the children.  He never supported me need to grow and become the woman that I am today.  He was a bad example as a father to our children, especially our sons; all they know to do is be disrespectful women, especially my oldest son.  I guess he had a great teacher in his dad.  I would NOT recommend a young woman to marry a man who could be her father.  I DO know that all men are not the same, but you just never know what you might end up with in  the long run.  Just my opinion and speaking from personal experience.

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  • lacehankies

    I say OLD enough to know better and YOUNG enough to ENJOY!

    I don’t want to sWEEP foot loops out of my BED when he exits nor do I want to install railings by the BED so that he can get enter the BED with me!

    Anyway, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to find a MAN that has every ELEMENT that you desire in a MATE(that implies PERFECTION)… great commnication skills, attentiveness(thoughtfulness, compassionate), is able to GUIDE me and is MATURE(decision making, money, etc) are some GREAT qualities. There are times when a MAN could be too old or TOO young which creates a GENERATION gap and that impedes the GROWTH and or anything blossoming with such a person.

    I think that in the beginning a lot of people use the “AGE is just a number” because it’s still the HONEYmoon phase and ALL of the dynamics haven’t manifested itself….when the dust settles and you actually start spending time with such a person you began seeing ALL the differences—you rethink if AGE is just a NUMBER. That’s GREAT if you are able to BRIDGE those difference and develop a relationship…just as long as you aren’t thinking UNDERLINE that  you’ll CHANGE that person once we’re are in a COMMITED relationship–PEOPLE don’t CHANGE–they may ADAPT for a while but they will REVERT back to who and what they truly are.

    • lacehankies

      ENJOY it*
      *oops*he can enter the bed



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  • CriticXtreme

    I like them 18 to 24, no less, no more with real hair, flat stomachs, nice culo, skinny, no scars, knife or gunshot wounds, does NOT wear slippers in the street, not ashy and with a excellent credit score! 

  • Rnp_daddy

    OOlder man are not any better i am in my early 20s and dated a man 10 years older and he thinks he knows everything… i can’t stand that..

  • Ariona Taylor

    To be honest, older men are possessive. Becauseof their age, they tend to hold on with an iron fist, afraid that their PYT will find a younger more vibrant man. I can agree about the behavior of younger men. All their good for is taking out the trash in the morning.


    If you are not interested in a relationship,  n…. know they have to pay !

  • MixedUpInVegas

    These ladies have it right about younger men.  I dated a few in my single days, and they were pathetic.  It wasn’t the lack of funds; the few I dated took me to nice places and always paid the bill.  The problem was they were poor conversationalists, didn’t have the manners of a grown gentleman and our lack of commonalities made it difficult to relate to them.  They were good, though, for fixing my computer or setting up my sound system–hardly the stuff of a great romance.  They just lacked the life experience to be interesting for more than a minute.

    Oh, and they all thought they were better in bed than they really were.  Energy and enthusiasm doesn’t make up for skill and ability.  Again–lack of EXPERIENCE!!

    • FromUR2UB

      The ones in their 40s and 50s aren’t much better.  You try to engage them in conversation, or ask what they’ve been up to, and they give you some dumb answer like, “Thinking of you..” and you’re supposed to be so overcome with flattery that you forget they don’t seem to have much else to say.

      • Brownielocks

        Never had that problem with older men. However, a good conversationalist is one of the things I look for in a man. I like men anywhere from their forties to their mid fifties. I’m in my mid thirties.

  • Martini

    Im in my 30s, if I was single, I wouldnt touch men in their 20s with a 50 foot pole.  Do not like younger men.

  • Freebee33

    It’s all fine and dandy if the guy is up to 10 years older than me (I’m in my mid twenties). But what I find is that I’m approached way too often (almost exclusively) by men who are old enough to by my Father, Uncle or Great Uncle just gross lol

  • Pahleeze

    Great article. My personal age criteria is that he must be about 18 years younger than my father. I dont want any guy too close to my fathers age. I do not date guys younger than me at all…not even a year younger. It may sound shallow but I have always had bad experiences with young guys. They seem to not know what they are doing is silly or ridiculous.

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