And I've Finally Figured Out Why.

Everybody has an image of themselves inside their heads. Not something you actually think about. It's just there. Sometimes it shows up in your dreams, I mean, how old you appear in your dreams. Well, in my dreams, I'm always in my early twenties. I have no idea why that is, but that explains why I sometimes bite off more than I can chew, physically, why everyone close to my age seems so much older to me than I am, and why, for the better part of my adult life, I've been attracted to much younger women. Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. It's just something odd I've discovered about myself. I'm sure there's some reason why my self image is stuck somewhere in my early twenties. Maybe some day someone will explain it to me. I might even figure it out myself.

onlinegrandpa onlinegrandpa
11 Responses Oct 15, 2009

You are the first man who I have heard about who feels the same as I. I have had a very strange life. My father was 60 years my senior and married a woman about 30 years his junior. My mother abandoned me and my father when I was four, so I never really saw a proper relationship between my father and any woman. Very long story, but anyway as a result of many factors I am about 26 in my self image, and about 16 emotionally. I had to teach myself most everything I know about life, even how to read properly. Most men can 'see' getting married, and see maturing and having kids in their mind's eye. I never could see this because I don't have the mental structures that a mature man has--my mother leaving interrupted my psychological development. I was left as a little boy to try to put humpty dumpty back together again. It was like an episode from the original Star Trek, where they go to a planet where the inhabitants are mental giants who have the power to make humans imagine anything. The Enterprise goes to the planet because of a crash distress beacon, where they find that only one young woman has survived. She looks beautiful in their illusion, but in the end, the aliens allow her to be seen as she actually is--misshapen and ugly. The aliens recount the story of finding her alive but broken after the crash. 'We had no model of what her body was supposed to look like, so we put her together the best we could', they said. This was exactly like me as a four year old boy; I was shattered and I didn't have any idea how to put myself back together again--so I just did the best I could. When you have parents around, you get an unconscious sense of how you are supposed to be--there's no perfect model, but you have a human sense. I never had that; my mother was gone and my German father was too scared to roll up his sleeves and deal with my anger and fear. So, there I was: left to cobble a life together with no internal blueprint. I did a terrible job, not bad for a four year old, but nowhere near what a mature man should be. Sorry.....all of that was to explain why I am attracted to women in their late 20s and early 30s. I never passed that rough age psychologically. Now, at about 50, any woman near my age looks far too old for me--sort of like my ‘mother’. Sometimes I feel foolish being attracted to younger women, but I can’t help it. These days, I try to look at these women dispassionately and hide my attraction. I want to at least act reasonably mature, even if I am still in my 20s in my mind. At this point, I may have to be content to live on my memories, but I am not dead yet. Wish me luck.

Yeah, I don't really mind it all that much, it is rather interesting, actually, until I attempt to do something I have no business doing and suddenly realize I'm in trouble. Age inappropriateness springs immediately to mind.

i totally get this as i'm 40 today but in my mind i'm nowhere near this age and to be honest i love it that way

Women my age somehow appear much older to me. I was puzzled by that until it occurred to me, if the mental image I have of myself is stuck in my late teens or early twenties, then it makes sense for that to be the case.<br />
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Fortunately for me, women I find attractive are never narcissistic or superficial, so no one ever puts me down for having the audacity to speak directly to them in an open, honest, and easygoing manner.<br />
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Some people say I'm flirtatious, but I prefer "open, honest, and easygoing manner."

Makes sense to me. I am also attracted to younger women as well as women my own age. I also seem to be oblivious to my own age when I'm near a woman that I find attractive.

Well, I've asked this question a lot and, from the answers I've gotten, I belong to a small minority. It appears most people's mental image of themselves corresponds to their actual age, or close to it.<br />
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I had one of those nights filled with lucid dreams and there I was, twenty-something.<br />
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Oh, well.

not bad

I just wish my mental image of myself would update itself once in a while.<br />
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My first reaction to a girl I find attractive is the reaction of a guy who's in his late teens, because that's the image I have of myself floating around inside my head. It's easy to back right off of that reaction and, no, I don't embarrass myself. <br />
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On the other end of the spectrum, my first reaction to an attractive forty or fifty year old woman is she's too old for me.<br />
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Fortunately, I have no trouble waiting for that first impression to pass. It's just a little disconcerting.

I apologise for jumping into your harem of youngsters, OG, (I'll scoot soon, and leave you alone with them - after all it IS Valentine's day). I am a smidgeon younger than you and feel exactly the same way. I think its the personality that defines the age - if a man or a woman thinks young, and acts young (within reason of course!) then you tend to overlook the physical appearance. Add to that, as you and Autimom mention, intelligence, empathy, honesty and all those good traits, then you're onto a winner.

When I was younger, I engaged in the usual wishful thinking about looking different, as in better, pretty much like everyone else does, so I understand what you're saying, but I finally put it together that kindness, honesty, and genuinely caring for someone trumps looks every single time.<br />
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I'm sure your breasts were amazing when you were eighteen, just as I'm equally sure they're pretty amazing now, but, then, if you lost one or both of them, what makes you unique is not your breasts, now is it? When someone longs to be with you, they're not thinking about your breasts at all, and, even if they do think about your breasts, that's not why they want to be with you.<br />
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My dad used to tell me, "If you can look at someone for a good long minute without having to look away, they're good looking enough."

I feel you on this. Sometimes I see photos of myself and I am surprised at my own image. Not that I am nearing "old" just yet, but the picture I have of myself in my head certainly does not include these quickly accumulating lines that my face seems to manufacture daily. I'm also much thinner in my head. Imagine that. With the breasts I had at 18,...but that is another story entirely. <br />
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I don't think I have a "type," as far as a typical man that I find myself attracted to. I've found myself attracted to men of nearly every age, and appreciate the difference models men are available in. I appreciate an attractive face and broad shoulders, a nice smile and kind looking eyes,...but intelligence and wit are really what does it for me.