It’s far more common in society to witness women dating considerably older men than it is to see young men dating older women. However unfair or inaccurate it may seem, men as they age can often be said to grow more distinguished and more desirable. Obviously this newfound attractiveness is great news for them, but it’s also a tantalising option for younger women tired of pickings from their own age group. This being said and as common as it’s become, relationships of this sort are still met with suspicion and intrigue. If it’s something you’re considering or are already involved in, here are some observations you may soon find familiar.
The assumption from strangers
You won’t be surprised to hear, that no matter the financial situation of your relationship, people will automatically assume you earn far less than your silver fox and are with him primarily for financial gain. As frustrating this may be, especially if you earn more or equal amounts, it should have little bearing on your relationship as long as you and your partner are honest with each other and both know where you stand. Many people lead small insular lives, so don’t be shocked that their perception of your relationship reflects this.
The gender divide
As with men dating younger women, the response you receive from different genders can be very distinct. You may find that men are fascinated by your openness to date someone much older and that women either view you as a threat, or are extremely curious as to your intentions. In circumstances where you’re confronted by either sex, it’s vital that you’re able to determine when polite interest in your decision turns from genuine intrigue, to rude or invasive questioning. As a rule of thumb, if asking the same question back to a person offends or surprises them, then they shouldn’t be asking you it.
The judgement of friends
People who get to know you both individually and as a couple will still sometimes need to rationalise or explain your relationship in their own heads. This is natural, as people tend to be uncomfortable with anomalies in their life that don’t match their accepted model of the world.
A common and safe judgement (meaning it makes them comfortable even if it’s wrong) made by people may be that you’re dating someone so much older because you have ‘daddy issues’ that are somehow being satisfied by the partnership. It’s very likely that at some point, you’ll have to hear this, either directly or in passing. It’s helpful to remember that it’s a judgement taken from what people hear and read and that it’s not necessarily based on you as an individual. You’re not alone, anyone who ever does anything slightly different than what society expects is subject to the same sort of universal judgments.
Relationships with his family and friends
Let’s be blunt here, dating an older man can come with a lot of baggage that you have to be ready for, both emotionally and mentally. There may be ex wives, children young or old, well-established friendships with highly opinionated people or social circles and responsibilities very different from what you’re used to. If you’re an expert in dating older men, then it’ll be water off a ducks back to you, when it’s your first time however it can be daunting.
Our advice here is to be really honest and clear about communicating to your man what you’re comfortable with and what you’re not. This relationship is no different to any other, in that you should not find yourself in predicaments that negatively challenge your sense of self, your future desires or long-term needs.
Relationships with your family and friends
Introducing him to your family and friends will for most people be a new and nerve-wracking experience, but don’t forget that your partner has met parents before and should be open and strong enough to stand his own ground. So, focus on yourself and the personalities you know in your circle.
At social gatherings be sure that you remain observant enough to know when your family or friends are acting as they would with a ‘normal’ boyfriend of yours and when they’re behaving out of character or making a situation more uncomfortable than is necessary. A little leeway is advisable, but only as much as you would want your partner to give his family and friends in the same situation.