I’ve never really hesitated about dating younger men. If you asked my friends, they’d probably tease, “Oh yeah, Mary Lane has a thing for younger guys.”
Which is true if you subscribe to a myriad of dating clichés:
Yuck. I’ve found as much truth in those cliches as I’ve found inaccuracy. I call it a wash. Am I an expert? My friends, again, would tease, “Yes!” My sample pool is not exactly scientific, but I can claim to having dated just as many men who were younger than me as I have men who were older.
Let’s play a little game, called:
Was He Older or Younger Than Me?
(Take a guess! No cheating!)
A. The guy whose parents still paid his rent.
B. The guy who got black out drunk every single weekend.
C. The guy who cheated on me and I found out by reading his diary.
D. The guy who had his own car, an adorable dog, and a beautiful back yard.
Did you write down your guesses? Recognize any of these stories from blog posts past? Ready for the answers?
WAS HE OLDER THAN ME OR YOUNGER? ANSWER KEY:
A. OLDER: I was 22, he was 29.
B. OLDER: I was 28, he was 34.
C. YOUNGER: I was 24, he was 19. So no surprise there. It’s also a great story and you don’t have to take my word for it cause I blogged the shit out of it.
D. BOTH. I dated two very different guys who fit this description. One when I was 26 and he was 23, the other when I was 27 and he was 34.
Take from this game what you want. In my experience, not all younger guys are immature and not all older fellas have their shit together. Shocking revelation, I know.
Age is just a number, goes the cliché.
Sometimes an age difference of 4 years feels like nothing. Other times an age difference of mere months feels huge.
Like when you’re in 9th grade and dating an 8th grader. That’s the difference between middle school and high school. Between popularity and social suicide!
Or when you’re 22 and dating a 20 year old. That’s the difference between social drinking and social suicide sobriety.
When you’re 30 and dating a 29 year old. That’s…that’s really no difference at all. But I was on a date with a 29 year old old last week, and suddenly that one year felt like a huge difference.
It was the day before Valentine’s Day, we sipped white wine at a bar in Greenwich Village. He was cute in that cliche Clark Kent way, with wire rimmed glasses and well cut hair. It was a Monday night, we were sharing stories from the weekend.
“I was completely useless yesterday,” my date said, “A horrible hangover and it really knocked me out. Can’t drink like I used to, you know? Makes me feel old. Suddenly I’m pushing 30 and it’s like, I can’t drink any more. ”
I smiled and nodded and probably offered some anecdote about a killer hangover to commiserate. But I kinda wanted to roll my eyes and tell him to shut up. I didn’t, but this conversation stuck with me.
Why talk about feeling old on a date? Joke about it sure, but you better be funny. If you’re not, I’m left scratching my head. Why would you talk about feeling old, “pushing 30”, to your date WHO IS 30? I don’t get it! Boggles my mind!
My mind is boggled and annoyed. Like it usually is when a double standard is staring me in the face, sipping wine.
Hey hey hey! Men get to talk about feeling old on a date without a second thought! Haha! Isn’t that cute?
Can I even IMAGINE a world where I could casually chat about “feeling old” on a date? FUCK. NO.
A world with time travel and talking animals seems more realistic at this point! Everything I’ve ever read, ever heard, ever watched, ever lived, ever KNOWN tells me the exactly what to expect if I even hint at feeling old on a date. Even ever so vaguely, even as the most blatant, hilarious, I’m-clearly-kidding joke.
A woman expresses, “I feel old” and her date’s genitalia recoils, shrivels up just like Jack’s did when he hit the water in Titanic. The pee-pee hole becomes a mouth, emitting a terrified scream, like the terrible sound a rabbit makes only when death is imminent.
Mention you feel old as a woman and the heavens part. Your fairy godmother descends to earth, amid a shower of anti-aging cream. Does she make you a dress and take you to a ball to meet a prince, like in Cinderella? NO, BITCH! Your fairy godmother descends to earth to SLAP you HARD in the face, with whatever the current bestseller version of “The Rules” . No Bippity Boppity Boo for you, just a simple, harsh, “ARE YOU TRYING TO DIE ALONE!?”
You asked why I marched? This. This is why.
That’s a joke. Kinda. Sorta
I’m sure some would say to my date’s conversation this as a complement. Like how if someone complains about feeling fat to you, they must not think you’re fat! He complained about pushing 30 so he must not think I’m 30! How nice!
He saw my online dating profile. There’s a big 3-0 next to my name there. He knows I’m 30. He’s just a dummy. No, no, that’s not fair. It’s not my date’s fault this was my thought spiral. I didn’t tell him any of these thoughts…confrontation doesn’t belong on first dates. I shared these thought’s with you, dear reader, instead. Because I had to tell someone.
Tell me I’m overreacting. Tell me this is just dating in the age of Drumpf. Maybe tell a story how something similar happened to you too? Ooo, if you know a story of a woman who complained about feeling old on a date, that I need to hear! You can totally tell me I’m crazy for dating younger dudes. Is the love of your life a dude 4 years younger than you or a lady 4 years older? Please share! Really, tell me whatever your thoughts are after reading in the comments below. Or you can pop over to my Twitter or Facebook.
Thanks for reading!