Older Men, Younger Men: Dating Across the Generations

I like men and I like dating and I have an equal opportunity policy in place, in most cases. In other words, I date guys of different ethnicities, religions, political persuasions, and ages. In so many ways, a guy is a guy is a guy and some of the details that I thought would matter often don’t.

I was asked recently, to comment on the differences between dating an older man and a younger man. I date guys within about a 25-year range, say, 40-65, and I have observed some differences.  None of them matter a whole lot, but still it’s fun to point them out.

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If I want to really generalize about the younger man/older man thing, I’d say, loosely, images-3that the older guy is “old school”,  and has less flexible thinking about the role of men and women and the way they should behave in a relationship, so I, from time to time, “let him be the man”, I.e., letting him do things for me that I’m perfectly capable of doing myself…and being really grateful for it!  Older guys like that.

images-4For the younger guy?  I try really hard not to slip into a mother:son dynamic. Just because I’ve seen more doesn’t mean I should always tell him what to do. That will be the kiss of death for any healthy relationship.

Of course, these are all generalizations, so there’s no need to write me to point that out. What you can point out, though, is what you’ve observed in the younger man vs older man dynamic that I’ve missed. That could be fun.

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8 Responses to Older Men, Younger Men: Dating Across the Generations

  1. Ray says:

    Im 65 and prefer to date dudes 20-30. But my reasoning is unusual and unique. I don’t have the characteristics listed that comprise 95% of older men. My mode of thinking is exactly like the younger guy. I still go out with 20somethings and think exactly like they do. So for example instead of being the older “caring” guy who does something fo the younger guy. My situation is reversed. I like a younger dude who thinks like I do but who does things for me as if he is a much older guy. There’s more to it but time and space isof course limited here.

  2. Kris says:

    I felt compelled to leave a response on this topic as I recently broke up with a man 21 years my senior a few months ago after a 8 1/2 year relationship. In my situation, it was great (in the beginning) having someone that was established, life-experienced, chivalrous, stable and had few interesting things going on (he was a biker, a great cook and super fun in the bedroom). However, as the relationship progressed, I started to realize just how truly different we were, exclusive of age. Older men typically aren’t really open to change and considering things from a different perspective, especially when the words are coming from someone they deem as young and lacking life experience. Just my 2 cents…

  3. Melinda says:

    I am now 34 and have been divorced twice. Goes to show that I should probably remain single, at least for awhile, which is what I’m digging right now so excellent!

    I got married and divorced in the same year, when I was 21. He was my age and we were similar in many ways. My second marriage was when I was 29-34 (just got divorced). He is 7 1/2 years older. While many romantic partners during that period in between husbands were anywhere between 20-25 years older, and all of them loved me for my enthusiasm and independence, they had no room for me in their future plans. Maybe it was our age differences; they were interested in a fun diversion. This is fine sometimes, and sometimes not.

    The biggest age difference I’ve ever had with a younger man was when I was 28 and my partner was 22. It’s of course impossible to have a much younger partner at that age, because he wouldn’t be legal, and the maturity difference at that age is very pronounced.

    The bottom line: While remaining open-minded to all possible partners, I think I am going to avoid huge age differences. I want a partner who is flexible, however who doesn’t need either me to be a mother or to run to his mother over everything.

  4. Nissa says:

    I agree with your assessments. I dated younger once and said, never again. I have to have more maturity. I think also that some (not all, but some) older men have realized that life is not about money or stuff. Younger people sometimes still think they will be happy with more. I have also seen older men be ready to ‘take the plunge’ to make real change in their lives, because they have already had the chance to try all the traditional stuff that didn’t work. Interestingly, sometimes they are willing to make huge change in some areas but not others – go figure.

  5. Dana FKA Smokie says:

    When I was 32 I dated a 21 year old. Hated it. He was super cute, but I found myself talking to him like I was his mother. I didn’t understand his taste in music, clothes, friends, etc.

    The man I would later married is only a little older than I am. Fits much better. A younger man is fine to play with but not for anything serious. Now, if I were 80 years old I probably wouldn’t have ANY problem with a 60 year old mate.

  6. Cheri says:

    I’m 38 and my bf of almost 4 1/2 years is 11 years my junior. I was very hesitant in the beginning to date someone so much younger, but it was kind of refreshing also, after having been pursued ever since I was 17 by guys at least 5 years my senior. The 40-somethings have ALWAYS loved me, for some reason, which would be fine, if they had better senses of humor and no kids, which after my divorce from a guy that never put me #1 (his mother was), I wanted to be someone’s #1 for a change. Guys with kids can’t do that, rightly so. I also wanted absolutely no drama and guys with ex-wives and/or kids, usually have some amount of it.

    I have found the younger guys to have much better senses of humor and they are much easier to find without children attached, which is very important to me.

    I also believe it’s easier to find a younger guy who is more willing to never get married and in my case, also not have children.

    My particular guy doesn’t really focus on the age issue as much as I do, but that’s probably because he doesn’t have to worry about trying to look younger than his age. Dating younger can make you a little more self conscience, for sure, but the peace and happiness he’s brought into my life is well worth all the work to stay in shape and look good.

  7. Michael Ann says:

    Everything you just said is spot on. I love the freedom younger men feel to communicate more freely about emotional things, but I also love the chivalry and real Woman/Man dynamic that older men offer. 🙂

  8. Judy from Las Vegas says:

    The older man has figured out how his life is going to be, and he isn’t interested in wasting time with someone who isn’t going to fit in with his plans. He is also looking for that woman who will care for him. The young guy, he is just trying women out like sneakers at Big 5…he may dig being with an older women, right now, but his future plans don’t include her. The older guy is in awe of your independence and the young guy is kinda annoyed by your achievements. The youngster will complain about his mom; the older guy might mention how many years she’s be gone.

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