[Quick disclaimer: I’m not promoting young girls (teens) to date older men (20s-and beyond) This is from my experience. Example- I, myself being 25 and dating someone 31 or something.]
Now, before you get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with dating someone your own age. There are perks to any age, really. (Though, I personally didn’t have the best experience dating a younger guy.)
I’ve always been into older guys, within reason. For me, the most important thing was the understanding and the mindset. When I was in high school, the guys there were just worried about all the wrong things. Why did it matter if I dressed in the latest trends or if I was in the “cool crowd”. I didn’t care about all that because, at the end of the day, I had my mind set on something. And that was getting the heck out of my small hometown! Boys could wait. But when I did get a boyfriend, he was out of high school (don’t worry, it was only a 3 year age difference.)
And in that almost-year-long relationship, I’ve learned so much that not even my mom could have taught me. I would have to say, it was a good experience at the end of the day. And I got out of it alive and yes, still a virgin. He wasn’t the type of older guy that would have taken advantage of me like a lot of guys I met along the way. (i.e. college town football player) but there were moments where we crossed that time where he would want something I wasn’t quite ready for. And you know what? That was ok! Because it was my choice.
I loved the fact that he had his own car, had a job, didn’t have a curfew and had his own money. Those were huge pluses for a 17-year-old girl. And honestly, still is a grown woman. All those things were great, but after him and I split, I got into my next relationship with an even more older guy and that’s when the lessons really came in.
When you date older men, sometimes that comes with baggage and if you’re not quite ready yet for such, it might be best to slow down and go back to the drawing board. And that’s totally not a bad thing. Be honest with yourself. Because I’m telling you, when you’re a young, wild and free shy of 20 years old, the world is so new and exciting. And things are fun and new. And you get with someone who’s a bit older who’s “been there, done that” and let’s say have kids? Yeah, that’s when things take a whole new turn for you. You’re now a step mom whether you like it or not. And if the mother of the kids aren’t as friendly as you thought, there’s another issue. And it doesn’t really get better from that point. You’ll hope it would be simple as saying, “Hey, you need me to go get the kids?” but it’s almost never as easy as you would like it to be. And before you know it, you’re the bad guy and you’ll still be wondering how did you become the bad guy. The mother, for some reason, will always have something against you, where she chooses to be mature about it or not. And even if you guys are cordial, there’s always that little hint of jealousy that will pop out from time to time, even if she claims to have moved on and doesn’t care about your guy. (she cares.)
As long as things remain respectable, that’s the important thing but I won’t guarantee that it will be or always will be. And that’s the thing you just have prepare yourself for. But hopefully, your guy will be the bigger person and be more mature about it. Because it’s not easy being the middle man but that’s where he’s going to be if he chooses to get with someone new other than his children’s mother. And that’s another battle that you’re more than likely won’t win. Even if the mother is absolutely wrong, you will have to stand down because if you come between a man and his kids, it’s a losing battle for you. Especially if he loves his kids. (which we would hope he does).
But that’s just one aspect. There’s also the maturity level that you hope for. Being an “art kid” in my high school days, I lacked understanding from those my age. And even in college where I was surrounded by tons of like-minded peers, I still had those moments where I was misunderstood. I’ve had some guys who looked at me as naive and at times, I was. But I wasn’t looking for a father-figure and a boyfriend to also be my daddy. No. I just wanted someone who can take me out and show me a good time. Someone who didn’t think walking through the park feeding ducks was boring or someone who gave practical gifts I could use instead of 6-inch heels that I could only wear with one outfit on one occasion.
On another side of it all, you have all the judgments and opinions from dear friends and family. It’s your life, so who cares? Everyone, apparently. That’s where you will have to learn to tune people out for whatever they are saying. And the best advice I could give on this subject is to leave people out of your relationship. Don’t tell your friends of all the bad times and some of the good times because no matter how great he is, they will always remember the bad times. And then you will look like the fool for staying with them because you can do so much better. But there are always two sides to every story and they are only hearing your side. So to be fair, if you’re going to discuss your relationship, at least let him explain his side as well. Think about it. When you tell someone what happened. It may have happened just the way you said it, but you might have left out one part. Maybe he didn’t say you were a brat, he said you were acting like one. But you heard something else.
People are biased. If they love you, they want the best for you. And even if they are jealous of you and don’t want you to be happy, still going to have an opinion on why you shouldn’t be with this person or why they suck.
I’ve learned that older guys tend to not like to “play any games”. All those days of trying to flirt with other guys in front of him to make him jealous or not answering the phone when he makes you mad are over. You can mean the world to him but more than likely, he’s not going to want to play any games and there goes the “I love you but I can’t do this”.
But this isn’t all older guys, of course.
On a flip side, you do have some older guys who think they can take advantage of you because you are young.
So, what have I learned? In my experience, dating an older guy made me better all around. (especially the guy I’m married to). He makes me feel valued as a person and coming from previous relationships helped. It helped in a way that gave us both the sense of what we did want and what we didn’t want and mistakes not to make again. And dating an older guy seems to have taught him patience but also taught me maturity and made me appreciate the simpler things in life. And also, being held accountable for my own actions and owning up to things.
Dating an older guy opened my eyes to new things and experiences. Some things I could do with someone my age or younger, sure. But I guess it just feels different. And being looked at as a person and not being judged based on material things.
Once again, just my experience. It varies. There are some older men out there that haven’t quite grown up or stuck in the bachelor lifestyle and just shouldn’t be in a relationship.
But for me, I’m thankful for my decision and how things worked out. And I’m thankful for what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown as a woman.
Experience is the best teacher! And in my experience, I think older worked for me.
Until next time, love with all your heart but don’t take no mess!