Now, I’m not saying these are conscious reasons why dating a man quite a bit older—there have been several moments when I’ve thought that going out with someone closer to my age would be much simpler.
I even tried it when my boyfriend and I took a short break, and I found it was painstakingly difficult and more complicated than my experience dating an older guy. The texting games (How long should I wait to text him back? It’s exhausting), the fear of commitment that plagues most twentysomethings, and the simple fact that most guys my age aren’t as emotionally mature as I am.
I can recall numerous situations—work issues, arguments with people—that my boyfriend was able to help me with based on his own mistakes and victories.
Plus, when it comes to things like taxes, real estate, and life hacks that you pick up over time, an older guy can be a goldmine of useful information. I dated a guy right before my boyfriend who was really … I’m the kind of girl who looks up to independent women, and I tend to put my girlfriends before dating.
It can be tough when you and your older partner can’t share childhood commonalities (dude’s never read a book!?
), but the benefits can certainly outweigh those little things.
He just didn’t get that and wanted to be around every second.
Keeping in mind what I’ve learned from my own relationship and anecdotes I’ve picked up from women in similar situations, I’ve outlined the perks and challenges of dating an older man. I get asked a lot of questions about my boyfriend’s finances (why else would I date someone much older, right? It’s not actually anybody’s business, but I can tell you that I’ve never dated anyone because of money.In general, there’s a stigma that a younger woman dates an older man because he’s more powerful and can essentially take care of her.And while that may be true for some, a 2010 study by the University of Dundee in Scotland found that as women become more financially independent, their taste may skew toward older (and better-looking) men. As a woman becomes more confident in her own career and finances, she seeks a partner who matches that, which often is not a 25-year-old guy.Evolutionary psychologists say that relationships like this often occur because while fertility lasts only from puberty to menopause in women, it starts at puberty and can extend long into midlife for lots of men.That means there’s a strategic advantage for women to snag an older gent—he’s had more time to accumulate resources and stability than his younger counterparts, which could make him a more viable partner and father.Anyone who’s been in a serious long-term relationship knows the journey isn’t without certain challenges, and when you’re dating an older man—we’re talking a decade or more—things can get even trickier.I know this firsthand, as I’m 25 years old, and I’ve been dating an older guy nearly 15 years my senior for almost four years.While you figure out the math, let me be clear that I’ve met several other women in their early- to mid-20s who also prefer to date from a much older pool for various reasons.And while cliché dictates that, sure, men are into it, there’s been some recent research done about younger females often gravitate toward mature men.Persistence also takes confidence—my boyfriend extended three invitations before I finally agreed to get coffee with him.As Aaliyah once said, “If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.” Older men know this. I won’t lie: It can be annoying at times dating someone who has “been there/done that,” but it can also be helpful when your partner can use his experiences to guide you.Getting awkward questions (wait, do you know each other?! I find it difficult to explain to people how my relationship came to be.I’m often asked how we met—and not in a giddy kind of way (it’s more like concern).From what I’ve gathered, a man in his 20s is more likely to blow his cash on frivolous things, while men in their 30s and are likely to save money for the future or for experiences, like a romantic vacation (wink, wink). “He texted me an hour after I texted him.” “What should I text him back? I can still remember the days when I’d utter those words and essentially have an anxiety attack every time my phone buzzed and it was a guy my own age I’d been casually seeing.