All people date differently but when you’re dating someone who fits a certain group there are things they may have in common. For example, if you’re a young guy dating an older woman for the first time, or interested in dating older women, you should be prepared for the fact that it’s nothing like dating a woman your own age or younger. And if you want your relationship to last, there are some important things to keep mind.
Here are 8 expert-approved dating tips on dating older women:
1. They don’t expect to be your mother.
You may be younger, but older women still want their man, regardless of age, to act like a man. They expect chivalry, says Dr. Wyatt Fisher, a licensed psychologist and marriage counselor. “Many older women appreciate the man making the first move by taking initiative.”
2. Have your life together.
Many older women prefer a guy who’s stable. That means, they’re financially stable and can take her out for nice dinners, has a solid career track, and isn’t in the middle of trying to figure stuff out.
3. Be energetic and eager to do things.
“Many older women appreciate a man who has a variety of cultural interests to give them things to do together and talk about,” says Fisher. In other words, she is going to want to take trips, try new things, and in general, have fun. Don’t expect an older woman to be happy with doing the “Netflix and Chill” thing every weekend.
4. Don’t call them ‘older women’.
Probably the first thing young men should know about dating older women is don’t call them that. “Do not call that hot 40-something an ‘older woman’ because all she heard was ‘old’. She feels young again with you! It may be exciting that you’re with someone old enough to be your mother’s bridge partner, but play it cool,” says Billy Procida, a stand-up comedian and host of The Manwhore Podcast: A Sex-Positive Quest for Love.
5. They’re not putting up with any drama
“Most older women with a career, confidence, ample dating experience, and maybe even a family will not be shy about saying what they want from you,” says Procida. “Don’t waste a woman’s time with wishy-washy answers. They don’t have time for dudes who flake. They don’t have time for another child to take care of. If you want to sign up for the big boy ride, be prepared to be treated like a big boy.”
6. Actions will always get you further than words.
This is true for all relationships but especially with older women, who may expect less texting and talking and more doing. “Older women appreciate consistency. Sure, honesty does go a long way when you have the lines of communication open. But even if you’re saying all the right things you’ll still fall short if your actions don’t match up to your words,” says Boe McCrimmon Jr, a relationship expert and host of the “I say that to say this” podcast.
7. With moms, the kids come first.
If you’re dating a mother—especially if the kids are under 18—they are always going to put their kids before you. “That may seem like a given, but there are still a lot of man-babies who do not understand this and allow themselves to get jealous of a 12-year-old,” says Procida.
8. You can’t be scared to commit.
If you’re a younger guy looking to date older women, know that most older women appreciate a man who isn’t scared of commitment and cultivating a serious relationship, says Fisher. It’s not like when we are young and we seem to go through relationships as often as the seasons change.
An older woman has a lot to bring to a relationship, but with that comes different expectations. We’re all shaped by our experiences, and one of the key things to remember about dating older women is that they’ve had more of them. Be ready for a different style of dating and be ready to appreciate the differences.