I am not a relationship coach or therapist. In fact, I try as much as I can to avoid subjects bordering on relationship because of how controversial they can be. So don’t get too excited, I’m not here to tell you the dos or don’ts of dating.
Personally, I believe there is no one size fit all formula for dating. Different strokes apply to different folks. However, I had an interesting experience some months back which made me question the stereotype around dating a younger man in this part of the world.
I have observed that most men do not mind dating older women unlike the female folk who cringe at the mere thought of it. It is unlikely to find a man being curious to know the age of his date on the first outing. Some say it’s because men automatically consider themselves to be older than the lady. While this may be true, another theory could be that they really couldn’t care less about the age difference. So, I thought it would be nice for us to play around this topic and discuss the pros and cons of dating a younger man.
Is dating a younger man really that much of a deal?
Perhaps, we may have made too much ado about nothing.
First, let me share my story with you.
There is a cyber café in town where I go to work whenever EEDC decides to disappoint. It is common to find students, internet users and freelancers like myself seated in their own corner and clicking away on their computer. On this particular day, I had come to work as usual. There was a certain guy seated next to me. He was completely engrossed in his work and I paid him no attention either.
After working for a while, I quickly walked out to get lunch leaving my laptop behind. Upon my return, he looked up to me and asked,
“Do you trust people so much that you can leave your laptop with a total stranger?”
“No, I don’t trust you, but I was counting on the shop owner to help me keep an eye on it just in case you try to steal it”, I replied
We both laughed and a conversation ensued. It was then that I took notice of his rugged features. He wasn’t devastatingly handsome but he was good-looking and very conversational which is a plus for me. Soon he was set to leave and thus came the formal introduction,
“My name is Henry. I am a 300 level student of Architecture”
A younger man!
The earth stopped revolving for a second and I could hear a dirge playing in the background. A thousand and one questions ran through my mind in split seconds as I made a mental calculation of his age. Gosh! I was mortified. Needless to say, our harmless flirting was instantly cut short. He asked for my contact info and I blatantly declined.
“You know I’m probably older than you, right?” I blurted without thinking.
He persisted but I wouldn’t bug not even when his friend pleaded on his behave.
Hold on! I know you can’t resist the urge to come hard at me now, but let’s not lose focus of the discourse.
Sure, dating someone within the same age range has its pecks and no woman wants to be tagged a “cougar”. But when you meet a great guy and you two have a connection, do you have to throw it all away simply because you are older than him? Would it really hurt to give what you two have a chance?
Current trends show that men and women are gradually becoming more receptive of age-gap relationships. Dating a younger guy is not necessarily a cry for help. It is probably not as bad as we paint it to be. It’s only fair that you weigh the odds before throwing it all away. Here are some points that could come in handy.
THE PLUS COLUMN
1. Younger Men Are Fun and Adventurous
There is no such thing as a dull moment when you’re dating a younger man, not with all that blood and energy flowing through his veins. A younger guy will rock your world in more ways than you can imagine. He is in tune with the latest trends, he knows what’s in vogue, he knows where the party’s at and of course he knows when there is a new clique in town.
You may be used to the good old dinner dates and movie nights, but his idea of a fun date would be to go dancing, swimming, clubbing, karaoke, music concert, surfing or even hiking. If you are looking for some fun and pizzazz, you may want to consider giving that young bloke a shot. He will definitely bring out the freak in you.
2. They Come With Less Baggage
Dating a younger man saves you the trouble of dealing with a nasty relationship history. With younger men, you don’t have to worry about vengeful exes, scary secrets, old flames, high body count or an ugly blast from the past. That’s because he is still young and probably new to the whole dating thing unlike an older man who must have had his own fair share of love escapades and possibly has a long list of exes on his trail; who knows, even have a child somewhere.
Even if your younger guy has been in a relationship before, it won’t be a messy pile of seemingly endless man/woman drama that may come back to haunt you. In fact, Jene Luciani of Shape.com opines that the younger and less experienced your prince charming is, the more sincere and open he will be with you and that’s because he really has nothing to hide.
3. Younger Men Are Open-minded
Most young men have an unconventional perspective to life. They are flexible, open-minded and receptive of change. It is not strange to find younger men who are comfortable with their women calling the shots in the relationship. He is not out for a power tussle as he knows that you are the more experienced of the duo.
In fact, I won’t be mistaken to say that he would practically worship the ground you walk on because of his perception of your worth. He would most likely let you take the lead and heed your opinion and suggestions without allowing his ego get in the way.
THE MINUS COLUMN
1. Different Lifestyle and Priorities
The major challenge that could drive a wedge in your relationship is the incompatibility of your value system. You may struggle to relate with each other due the difference in your age-gap. Your goals, agenda, priorities and perspective to life may not align properly. He could regard something dear to you ever so slightly and vice versa. Sometimes it would seem he is on the fast lane and you’re barely struggling to keep up. Other times, it would seem that you are pushing him too hard while he just wants to take his time. It takes more than mere chemistry to build a relationship. If you can’t cope with a partner whose lifestyle is completely parallel to yours, then you should call it quits.
You may be fantasizing about starting a family and raising kids meanwhile that’s the last thing on your partner’s mind. This could pose as a serious area of contention. No matter how awesome or amazing he may seem, no woman wants to date a guy who has commitment issues. Most men both old and young, stall at the thought of marriage, rings and a wedding gown.
It would be much difficult to get a younger guy to pop the question as quickly as you want due to the difference in your timeline and priorities. He is still young, vibrant and has his whole life ahead of him. He would definitely want to embark on more adventures before settling down to build a home. On the other hand, you are much older; you’ve had your share of the fast life and have retired from active service. To a younger man, marriage means relinquishing his freedom, taking up new responsibilities and he is simply not ready for that. Unless you are willing to wait around till he is ready, you may want to reconsider the whole age-gap thing.
3. Financial Imbalance
Due to the difference in your age-gap, you both would presumably be at different phases of your career. If you have an established career path while he is still getting started, and that could pose a problem in terms of financial obligation as he will be dependent on you for some of his needs. This basically translates to you playing the ‘mummy’ role and most men find this unsettling. It makes them feel emasculated and incapacitated. There is really nothing wrong with being the breadwinner in the relationship. There are still some men who won’t mind all, but you must beware of those who are only up for grabs.
Ultimately, I believe everyone deserves a fair chance at love whether you are older or younger (as long as you are within the legal age bracket). Don’t box yourself to a stereotype. You can have a blissful relationship with a younger man as you can with an older man.
Don’t they say age is nothing but a number?
It’s 2019 for heaven’s sake! It’s all up to you. If you are looking to date younger men, you just have to be more open-minded, weigh your options and go for what you want. Don’t let age get in the way of your happiness.
Let’s go back to my story.
Weeks later, I had a coincidental meeting with Mr young guy’s friend and it turned out he wasn’t that young after all. They were both actually running their master’s program in Architecture and he had only said that to play a silly prank on me. Yeah! The joke’s on me, right? Oh well, that’s my loss (or not).
…and that was the end of our happily never after.
So, would you date a younger man?
Yes or nay?
Do share your thoughts with me in the comment section.