Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Dating Gap: How Old is Too Old?

For some reason I've recently been blasted with reminders that, at 20 years old, I am Young. One man who is particularly fond of calling me at the alumni office and relaying his life story to me frequently regales me with such reminders: "I'm using a rotary telephone, you probably don't know what that is!" "I'm computer illiterate, but I bet you grew up using the computer!" Another man who came into the office earlier said, "I graduated in 1986! Probably even before you were born!" I responded with, "Yes, it's true, I was born in 1988. I'm 20" and he looked like I shot him in the face. "I'm old!" he shouted, "Get me a walker!" (He graduated from Tisch so he was a little dramatic)

The thing is, just because they're old doesn't stop them from flirting with me. My alumni phone friend frequently tells me how "sweet" I am, and the aforementioned walker man asked me to get lemonade with him - I'm assuming because I'm under 21 he suggested lemonade instead of a drink. Funny.

I've always been super attracted to older men. I'm not sure if it's a Freudian father complex, or if I'm just sick of the emotionally immature man-boys I seem to constantly choose. But I don't think dating someone older than you is a crime. In fact, I think it's hot.

One of my close friends recently embarked on a relationship with a guy who we believe to be 16 years her senior. It made me think - how old is too old? Below are the pros and cons of dating an older man.


1. The Physical Factor: It all kind of boils down to experience. Men who have had more sexual partners are more apt at pleasing a lady. Case and point: They know where your clit is. This can lead to a highly sexually gratifying experience.

2. The Youth Factor: The cool thing about age is that the gap will always be sexy. You'll always be the pretty young thing he scored. He will value your youth more than a younger guy will, and beyond that, he'll find your youth sexy, which will help to make you feel sexy.

3. The Money Factor: This shouldn't be as big of a deal, but older men are generally more financially stable with steady jobs and nice apartments. If you're looking for a sugar daddy, this is definitely a good thing. If you're not, then it's just one of the perks that comes with the territory.

4. The Intelligence Factor: He's going to be more booksmart and more emotionally intelligent, mostly because he's been around the block many more times than the little NYU students hovering in the stacks at Bobst. I personally find intelligence to be unbelievably sexy, so this is a big factor for me.


1. The Generational Gap: Like my rotary telephone guy, and the 1986 grad, there are some things you two just might not be able to relate on. You grew up in a different age. We were fed on Facebook and reality TV, and he may not even have had cable as a child. It can lead to some pretty fundamental differences concerning personal interests, as well as the way you operate as a person.

2. The "Different Stages" Factor: If you're a college student, and he's working a 9-5 job to pay off his mortgage, you're at completely different stages in your lives. He's probably looking to settle down, get married, have kids: and if he's not, then he's got Clooney syndrome and he's even more trouble than you first thought. You two might have some major conflicts over how serious you're each taking the relationship.

3. The "Oops I Lied, I'm Married" Factor: Please. Make sure he's not married and using you as his on-the-side arm candy. He will not leave you for his wife, no matter how hard he tries to convince you otherwise.

4. The Illegal Factor: Depending on what state you live in, it could be illegal for you to even be dating this guy. If you're under 18 you probably want to check up on statutory rape laws in your area, and also use the Megan's Law website to make sure this guy isn't a pedophile. I'm mostly joking but like... yeah.

I guess it's really just on a person by person basis. I wouldn't recommend someone who hasn't had a lot of relationship experience to allow their first serious relationship to be with a much older man, because I can only imagine that that pattern would simply keep repeating based on the fact that it's what you'd become used to. It's probably better to experiment with people your own age, even if it's just so that when the vintage wine comes around, you can more aptly appreciate its bold, robust flavor.


1 comment:

Marshall said...

How did I avoid knowing that Clooney and his lady had broken up until now? I'm so behind the times. Still, he's mine.