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I Used to Date Older Men.

I feel compelled to edit this story, because several people have written in objection to my sentiments about dating older men. I'd like to emphasize what I've said in my post, which is that these two men played a significant role in my life, and I appreciate them for the love that they gave me in the time that we were together. But, the sum of my experience, which is what this site tries to cull from its members, is that I have chosen to no longer pursue relationships with men who are significantly older than I am based on what I learned from these two situations.

For a while in my early twenties, I found myself strangely drawn to men who were substantially older than I was. When I was 21, I began dating someone who was 38; one year later, I found myself with a 43-year-old. Both of these relationships came shortly after I lost my father. When I was 24, again I found myself with an older man, this time 36.

Looking back, I know I was aware of why I was with these men at the time that we dated. They all were there to replace my father in one form or another, to give me some kind of stability where I had lost it, to give me guidance, to love me ... I soon came to realize that these dynamics were troublesome and that these relationships -- despite the wisdom that I'd acquired from the first one, and taken into the second one -- wouldn't work for me. I recognized long after the fact what it entailed to date and build what is supposed to be a lifelong commitment with someone who's got two decades of experience on you, but the signs were there in their demonstrations of intractability and what was basically inconsideration of me because of my young age (how ironic).  

PatientRapunzel PatientRapunzel 31-35, F 12 Responses Aug 26, 2006

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I respect your self examination... it's our loss however!

A young woman in a relationship with an older man is seldom going to have the self awareness or honesty to admit she might be playing out a unhealthy dynamic. <br />
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The relationships I had with older men in my twenties definitely had the daddy issue thing going on. I would never have admitted that at the time. The relationships were unhealthy outside just the age context, though.<br />
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I am now with an older man again (in my forties, he's in his fifties). The age difference thing becomes less dramatic the older the younger partner in the relationship. I actually would prefer he was my age, not because we are struggling with large incompatibilities from the age discrepancy. More, because I want to be with him as long as possible! <br />
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I actually am with him despite the age at this point rather then because of it. He looks and acts like a 40 year old, and has the physical endurance due from his long term athleticism closer to a man in his twenties. He outraces 20 somethings. Plus, he's a vegetarian and has genetics of longevity in his family. If it wasn't for all these factors of his youthfulness, I don't think a man this much older would much appeal to me anymore. <br />
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I do miss having a contemporary that is a little more wild, but that is small loss compared to all the other wonderful things we share.<br />
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In any case, he is who I love from the core of my heart. I wouldn't seek it out on purpose anymore.

I am 66 and my wife is 36 we have been married for 16 wonderful years, age is just a number, love is in the heart.

All I have to say is not every younger woman that's attracted to older men has daddy issues. I'm 23 and the man I like is 41. I've always liked older men (since I was a small child... my first crush was Robin Williams when I was 3) I went to therapy for a few years and just came to the conclusion that that's just the type of guy I'm attracted to. My dad has always been a large part of my life and very supportive of me. He's given me guidance and been a good parent. I understand this person's experience. I don't think it's a good idea to go seeking out your father in other men, if that is the case, but there is certainly nothing wrong in liking older men if that's who you're truly attracted to.

I too commend pizzagirl (even though I think this particular posting was written by her husband or b/f). I commend because you cared enough about the girl to put her best interests ahead of your own pleasure, which is hard to do when you are aroused. I would probably have done the same. I think I have always "not noticed" when younger women have been interested in me. I sometimes wonder what my limits mght be.

Bhudda wannabe and pizzagirl, my hat is off to both of you. PateintRapunzel, you have done a wise thing and posting it was very decent of you. Like most middle age men, I too was approached by a 15 year old who's father had a sickness that for years made him somewhat unable to be a father much less a husband or functioning man. She lacked a father image. She was a friend as was her family.I could have taken advantage of this but would never be able to look myself in the face again. I sat down and had a chat with her and many more after that. She went to college after graduating HS and is now a Doctor. Her father passed 5 years ago and 2 years ago I gave her away at her wedding with another Doc. She's happy, in love, and ...pregnant! I am married to a fine lady..my age and the mirror has never looked better!!!

I believe that partners are more compatible if they share the same life stage, i.e. if one is starting to learn about life is better with someone doing the same thing rather than him thinking about retirement. It is hard to share activities as well. I know I won't be snowboarding.

Age doesn't always dictate that though....

I am 41, and my guy is 54. My son is older then his daughter (he's 25....yes, I was a young mom but that is a whole other story). He's divorced. I'm divorced. Both been in long term sexless marriages. He is an athlete, and in this way is stronger and in better shape then me, though I am no slouch. We both have our own homes, both have our own career paths...

Of course, there is a big difference when two people are middle aged (early and late) rather then two completely different spectrums.

No, you weren't stupid. You were wonderful.<br />
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That has to be the most wise, kind, generous, noble, selfless thing I have ever heard for a situation like this.<br />
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You are worthy of Knighthood. no, better, you're a Prince!<br />
(or Princess, can't tell by your user name)

I once went to lunch with a young lady who was 20 and i was 40. i asked her ,once she told me how distressingly young she was( she was also distressingly pretty) that even though she was fine with my age that I had to venture a guess as to why this was ok. I asked her if she knew her father. This shocked attractive nymph replied how did I know that her father abandoned her whaen she was young and that she had recently contacted him and was thinking of moving in with him in San Diego. The voice in my head screaming for me to shut up, nevertheless was beaten back by my conscience in that this sexually open and beautiful young thing was looking for daddy. I said" I think it is better you go to San Diego and get to know your father instead of dating him.<br />
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Was I stupid or what?

Stupid?

No, very wise. You acted from the best place in yourself.

And, you might have saved yourself from a complicated situation. Sure, you might have had great sex, but she also could have latched on like a vice grip. The emotional neediness of a young woman without a father figure can act out in some very unhealthy ways in romantic relationships.

Good for you!

I have a question. How do you know if you are in love and is it possible to be in love at a young age like 14? 13? cuz as i like type this i am crying over a guy. Why? well that is something that I don't know. I met him on a cmping. trip like 4 days ago and we just came back. We talk for hours and hours we can just sit in the grass by the lake at night and talk but the problem is that he is older. like hes around my age but just a little bit older. People think It's just a crush but I've had lots of those and I've never been upset over a guy so much that everytime i think about him i cry. it sounds stupid but this means like so much to me

At 13, 14 and even a bit higher than that, it is highly likely that you would experience "puppy love" - which is that initial feeling you have with the first person you think you love. It's a young love, but often not a real or lasting one.
You experience"love" the most you can at your age and with your limited experience and understanding of what it really is and means.

But, considering that you said you met him only 4 days ago, I do not think you have even puppy love. You are more...infatuated/obsessed.
4 days is not a realistic amount of time for anyone to fall in love, especially teenagers.

Maybe these older guys kind of took advantage of the situation aswel but at least you had the experience

OUCH! I'm 44, my wife is now 33, we've been together for eleven years (do the math). I complain she is always tired or never around, set in her ways, throws her dirty clothes on the floor, etc. This really depends on the person, not the age. But lets face it, if anyone is single in thier middle-age then probably there is a reason.........