Monday, August 15, 2011

Is Age Really Just a Number?

The inspiration for this blog came from the dating site I'm a member of. Despite being very smitten with Mr. CT - I'm trying to "keep my options open" (as a friend so wisely recommended) and have not closed my profile. I'm not on the site searching through other people's pages, but am leaving mine up for others to contact me (I know this isn't the way to find a date but really I'm more interested in seeing what happens with Mr. CT than anything else at this point). 

Anyway. I've noticed that either mostly men over 40 are looking at my profile (you can see who has viewed you recently on this site) or there are only mostly over 40 men on this website.

Is it because by 40+ men don't feel the same pressure as younger men to conform and date "super model" looking woman? Is it because they're looking for a younger woman to make them feel young? Or is it just something about me that appeals to older men?

Not that I want to judge all older men based off my first-first date experience but I think that date showed me that there might be an age limit for me. Someone who hasn't experienced everything I've yet to (marriage/divorce, traveling, etc) or at least wants to do them again (i.e., have children).  I understand the benefits of the "older man" - ready to settle down, done with the "bachelor lifestyle", secure in job/finances....but I think for me ten years older is really my maximum. Anything over that and I start playing the mental "Are you closer to my age or my mother's?" game (fyi Mr. 1st 1st Date was closer to my mothers....eek)

On the reverse side I definitely feel that there is a limit to how young I could/would date. 

Yesterday I saw a 20 year old had viewed my profile. Now he didn't make contact but the first thing I thought when I saw his age (age mind you not profile/picture) was "Oh hell no!".

Mostly because my younger sister is only 20 and since I helped raise her after my parents divorced I some how can't get the Baby C's Age = Child (I still call her and her bf "The Kids")... which brings me to her boyfriend... he's 22 and I still don't think I could date someone that young. Sure they're old enough to go to the bars (where a 20 year old can't even do that!)... but I'd forever thing Mr. X = Same Age as Nick-Nick.

No thank you.

I think the youngest I could go... probably only a year or two younger than myself... or at least for now. I've been out of school for five years, have worked at a number of businesses and organizations as well as moved around a bit. Just like I don't want to be with someone who has experienced much more life than I have I don't want to be with someone who is still discovering who they are. (Not to say younger people haven't "lived" more than I).

However, as a general rule of thumb I don't (or at least try not to) prejudge based on age. I'll engage in conversation, reply to an email, but I can't help but wonder how much farther than a "hello" it will go.

What about you? How much older/younger have you dated?


  1. Katherine (via facebook)August 16, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    As an expert on this topic, I just want to say that I love your blog and your brave topics!

  2. as someone who has now experienced both ends of the spectrum, younger and older than myself, I say don't limit yourself. Life is too short. Live and love ♥

  3. Katherine (via facebook)August 16, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    As someone about to marry a man 17 years my senior, I feel pretty qualified to respond to your question.

    I dated a man who was literally my dad's age. That was not weird. His being married, not divorced like he initially told me, was WAY weird. I dated 2 guys who were younger than me during the span of my "dating years" and found both to be lacking for reasons of maturity, not of age.

    Certainly the concepts of age and maturity are linked, but they do not develop at the same rate in either sex, nor are they balanced in all areas. I initially dated older guys because I thought it was edgy and sexy, and I wanted to play at being objectified a bit... truly. I'm a plus size girl and was honestly losing my edge in the dating game. Opening myself up to a higher age bracket put me in charge again. (See maturity and age reference above...) In retrospect, thank God I was so shallow and desperate. I had time to get through all that bulllsh*t before falling truly in love with a great man.

    I had to deal with a lot of criticism, from people I didn't know as well as from people I counted as my closest friends. Some of their built in prejudices (Mr. Robinson, teacher/student fetish, daddy complex, trophy bride, assumptions that he must be wealthy and that I must be gold-digging) were cruelly presented and I really had to defend my choice. In the end though, I am excited about our life together. He has lots of long but interesting stories, I have the patience for them. I am still inventing myself and he supports me completely while still treating as his equal. Maybe I just got really lucky, but I believe this runs much deeper than luck.

    Oh, and dating someone who is too young to legally drink is just boring. ;)

  4. I have to say that part of me thinks you are lucky - but not because you found a great older man, but because you found true love. ♥

    Maybe part of my block/hesitation with older men is that I'm still finding me and trying hard not to fight my own internal "daddy complex" battles. I have dated (as in more than just a single date) older than myself and they were in that predatory mindset - too bad I had to learn the hard way and too late in the game.

    I don't believe that all men are out for the trophy bride when looking at younger women. But I have my own personal and familial baggage (father leaving for a woman 10 years younger than him) that has created walls and scars preventing me from remembering this when I have a 58 year old man email me telling me I'm his "kinda lady".