Even the most non-judgmental friend might offer up some judgment the second they learn that you’re dating an older man. There are a lot of stereotypes around an age gap. If it’s a man in his 30s while you’re in your mid-20s, people will assume he’ll never want to settle down. If he’s even older, family might pull you aside and ask if you’re being taken advantage of—all out of love, of course. Even if the guy seems wonderful, it’s often a red flag that many people can’t get past.
The sad part is that sometimes these stereotypes are true. Some men might only date younger women since they feel like they might get a pass on their immature behavior. Other times, they do it to gain control. But, not every relationship with an older man is predatory. If you’re well-aware of who you’re with and see no issues, you may end up finding true love. But with the hurdle of trying to explain or even apologize for the age gap, that connection may be tricky to maintain. And that’s why the perceived notions of dating an older man need to change.
There are a lot of benefits to dating someone older, here are just a few reasons why we need to break the stigma.
Love comes in all shapes and sizes.
Sometimes, we can’t help who we love. If the relationship is legal—which is very important, for the record—and both people are happy, excited, and feeling a real connection then, chances are, it’s worth giving a shot. No matter what, an age gap will make this relationship like no other. And if you’ve had bad luck dating in your age range, perhaps it’s time to see what an older man can offer. If you’re in your 30s and can’t help but attract guys who don’t know what they want in life, a relationship with an older man may be something that works for you.
Just because someone isn’t married doesn’t mean something’s wrong with them.
These days, relationships end for many reasons. Perhaps he’s an early widow, or he caught his last wife cheating. Being single and dating someone slightly younger doesn’t necessarily mean they’re broken. Perhaps they’re drawn to a younger crowd since they’re at that same stage in their life. Or, maybe they typically date in their age range but just see something extra special in you.
People should be judged by actions, not age.
It doesn’t necessarily matter how old they are. The most important thing is how they treat you. The best relationships include individuals who have equal respect for each other and make sure to keep things balanced. If he treats you right, listens to you, laughs with you, and isn’t threatening, overbearing, or simply too needy, he has plenty of the markings of a good partner. Remember, you can learn everything you need to know about someone by the actions they take.
After some time, ages blend together.
There’s a big (and slightly worrisome) difference between 20 and 40—while you’re out having fun with friends and studying, he’s likely focused on his career. But, 40 and 50 or 60? Not as much. Yes, you may never be able to really understand each other’s cultural references, and may have different taste in movies or music. But as far as life milestones, you probably have a lot more in common than others may think.
Older men will often give you a more stable relationship.
When a guy is older, he’s usually over the games that many other relationships oddly seem to thrive on. He’s less about drama and social media hangups, and more about spending memorable moments with people he enjoys the presence of. He’s a bit more confident and proud of who he is as a person, and doesn’t want to waste time.
Because liking older guys doesn’t mean you have “daddy issues”.
Yes, there’s a stereotype about you, as well. Which is kind of unfair, if you think about it. Even if you have a wonderful relationship with both of your parents, people may start raising eyebrows if you date a man who’s older than they’d expect. It’s important for people to know that there are plenty of reasons why you’re attracted to your partner that have nothing to do with the connection you have with your father.
Going into any relationship, you need to be smart and listen to your senses. If you start dating an older guy and feel like you’re becoming an emotional crutch for him, that’s a red flag that the relationship isn’t very healthy. But, if things seem to be equal, and you feel a true connection with him, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give the relationship a chance.