Things You Should Know Before Dating An Older Man
I’m currently in a relationship with a fella the age of my older sister. It has its perks and it has its bummer moments, but I think dating up in age is something that women should do at least once in life, even if it doesn’t turn into something serious. Dating an older man can teach you a lot, especially about yourself (and what you do and don’t want in a partner), but it’s not always the easiest of relationships. But then again, what relationship is ever easy? Just in case you’re thinking of getting serious with a fella quite a few years older or even decades older than you, here are a few things you might want to keep in mind before you get it crackin’.
Patience Is EVERYTHING
Depending on how old the man you’re seeing is, he might have certain goals he’s trying to finish accomplishing. I know a woman who dates an older man, and he jumps from profession to profession while trying to make a career in music take off. But the guy I’m dating is focused on taking his career to the next level. He’s busy studying for a major exam that will allow him to work for whomever he wants and to make the kind of moves and money I probably won’t ever see (hey, columnists weren’t meant to be millionaires). With all that drive comes a lot of time we don’t get to share together. Early on I used to have a fit every week about what he could do to make more time for me, but at a certain point, after some compromising, you end up just trying to be supportive and patient. Besides, I wouldn’t want the finger pointed at me for having a part in keeping him from doing what he needs to do to get ahead.
He Might Be Stuck In His Ways…
Some older fellas are flexible in trying new things (aka, the stuff you like), but what happens when you’re dealing with one who says, “I stopped hanging out at places like that in my 20s”? Sometimes you just have to accept that you might be messing with a party pooper, and from there you will have to determine if his lack of spontaneity is enough to make you leave because you feel you’re being held back. But for the most part, suggesting a range of fun things that don’t become repetitive could get him out of his set ways slowly but surely. Especially if those things are free.99…
Don’t Be Afraid To Suggest Things To Keep It Fresh (Or It WILL Get Stale)
Like I said, if you allow it, things can get pretty dull. While I love me some him, my partner has no problem with chilling indoors all day, catching up on his taped shows and eating the same rice dish every week. Uh, I can’t go for that.
Feel free to encourage an opportunity for the both of you to cook together. Go for walks when the weather permits. Hit up a cute wine bar and talk about more than work. Try a new type of food (and pitch in to pay from time to time), or if you must stay cooped up in the house, pull out the Dominoes. You don’t have to hit up a nightclub every weekend, but you definitely don’t want to spend too many weekends being the coupled up couch potatoes.
Don’t Make Him Feel Too Old, Or Make Yourself Look Too Young
Joking from time to time is cool, but don’t get too comfortable trying to blame certain issues on his age. (“Just because you’re 44 and you don’t like to do ___ doesn’t mean ___.”) Just as you wouldn’t want him to continuously blame certain things you do on your age (like you’re a child), I wouldn’t recommend doing the same. And if he likes a certain type of music or movie that is a bit “old” for you, don’t be too dramatic when he talks about his love for it (i.e. “WHO!? That must be before my time…”).
Be Prepared For His Friends And Family, And Their Expectations…
An older man might know what he wants for himself in the next span of years, but so do his family members. Don’t get too bent out of shape if a question is asked of you that you didn’t see coming (“When are you guys getting married??”). Just be honest about the fact that you’re taking things slow (if that’s what you’re doing) and keep it cool (Or, “You gotta ask him” always works). Also be ready for nosy friends (especially women friends) who might think they’re entitled to question you about your cooking abilities, and what you’d be willing to do for their friend if you’re around for the long-term. Instead of cussing them good, just say, “No comment.”
Don’t Assume Anything
Don’t come in thinking you’ve found a sugar daddy, or that because he’s older he will have his life together and be wise. Sometimes age really isn’t nothin’ but a number. He might be in a world of debt and have a sideways way of thinking as opposed to an IRA account and a wealth of wisdom from past experiences. Every man is different, and sometimes change of self doesn’t come with a change in age.
Do You, Boo Boo
Don’t start changing things about yourself to mold into wifey-material, just because he knows he wants to settle down soon. It’s okay to take interest in things he has a passion for, but don’t start doing things you know you can’t stand to make a good impression. That includes cooking elaborate meals, pretending you enjoy baseball and agreeing to watch old war movies. Don’t change yourself to get his attention. You’ve already got it!
All that *I know you can read my mind so you should know I’m hella pissed* way of doing things could get you ignored by an older man real quick. Trust me, I learned the hard way. So if you’re upset about something substantial, don’t be afraid to calm yourself down, open your mouth and let it be known that you’ve been hurt by his actions. If you don’t want to do something or don’t like something, speak on it. Don’t keep it to yourself and sulk or moan about it. Being straightforward goes a long way.
The Age Difference Is Only A Problem If You Let It Be One
The fact that I wrote this article should tell you that age does matter. But it shouldn’t be that big of a deal in your relationship to the point that it’s often brought up or on your mind. Know soon into a relationship with an older man where you all stand on different things that could be a big deal in the future, including kids, marriage, and your feelings on cohabitation and more, and you should be able to make the relationship work as if you were dating someone the same age as you.