After years of shameless denial of my age, I am completely fine “admitting” my age of 32. Frankly, it’s not that damn old and I’m still kinda hot.
However, with 32 comes tremendous societal pressure to measure up assets to this age: Husband, child, mortgage. I have none of these items and frankly, I’m damn happy about it. Now, don’t get all antsy, your choices are your choices – don’t begrudge me mine. As I tend to go out with my more time-available single friends, this leads to typical single behaviour – which is clubbing like you’re 25 years old. Nothing wrong with that till you realise most of the men you meet are just that – 25 year olds.
In the beginning, I was shocked and near-repulsed at the idea of dating an exceedingly younger man. (Once you hit 30, anything under 30 is considered “exceedingly younger”). And one brilliant night, I simply thought, “Why the hell not?” And so I did. Between then and now, I’ve dated a mixture of both younger and older (read: 35 years old) men. And here are my meagre observations on why dating a younger guy just simply works out for me.
Sweet and simple – they’re fun. Not to say a 35 year old can’t be fun but it’s usually manufactured, almost forced and let’s face it, anyone in their 30’s is sleepy half the damn time (myself included). They have no qualms being goofs (which I am), they’re not always conscious of their surroundings, they laugh their asses off when I trip (which makes me feel better), they smoke (who needs to worry about lung cancer when you’re 25!) and just generally know how to have more fun. And unfair as this seems, a 30-something trying to act goofy usually comes off as immature.
- No Serious Conversations
On a first date with a 35 year old, it feels like a speed interview to get all the life details out as soon as possible to know what we’re dealing with and it’s usually always about relationships: Relationships with parents (good or bad?), when was the last relationship (when and how did it end?), do they date often now (track record?) and career plans (are they motivated?). It is literally, for me, the most dull 2 hours I can ever imagine spending, cocktails notwithstanding. And I automatically become like that too – once I’m on a date with a 30-something. I become the crazed information-seeking droid, where my brain is working double time to process the content to the ever-present question of “What does it all mean?”. Now, with a 20-something, all you do is Jagerbombs and laugh your ass off at the people sitting around you. Literally. That’s what happens. I don’t ask them about their life story, they don’t ask me mine. And none have ever asked for my age, till I bring it up. They don’t ask me if I like kids (I’m forced to admit I loathe them), if I ever want to get married (*choke*) or how to further my business plans.
- No Pressure
Oh, the pressure of dating a 30-something! It’s not just the 2 people who are involved that put the pressure on – it’s the peripheral people. Once my friends find out I’m dating a 30-something, hope fills their eyes and the common sentence of “Sounds promising!” is uttered. Why? Cos he’s the same age as I am? He could be a total asshole but that’s still “promising” simply because of the age factor. It’s like I have to assume he’s viable lifetime partnership material because we were born in the same decade. The pressure is palpable sometimes and I’m so focused on looking out for the “good signs” that I’m not even enjoying myself. Every move I make, or word I say has to be weighed and measured in case I give the wrong impression and blow it too soon. Who wants to live this this! Now, when you’re dating a 20-something, there’s no pressure – we both know it’s never going to work out and when you already know, what else is there to do but enjoy yourself?
- No Baggage
If you think the baggage women carry around is bad, trust me, man-bags are worse! I find women’s baggage (while more substantial) is usually open and out there. Men’s baggage is always shifty – you know it’s there but it’s dark – like those travel money pouches. You know the kind that fits in your pants and you have to surreptitiously lift it up to take out some cash… that’s male baggage. Most of the time, you have to dig for it and once you find it, you either wish you didn’t or wonder why you went looking for it in the first place. A 30-something would have had at least 2 serious relationships in his life and are almost always ready for the next one. No thank you, Sir… just this martini for me.
While I’m a child of the 90’s and all the good music from that era, I also love music from today. A shocking amount of 30-something men have no clue that music existed past Tears For Fears and I’m left alone with my enjoyment of today’s musical pleasures. And… this one is a whopping big point for me… no 20-something has ever told me that I watch too much tv. And 30-somethings do. To that, I give them a big “fuck you and fuck off”. Which leads me to the next point…
- No Judgement
The 30-something date will usually pass judgment upon me at some point during the evening. Either it’s about my choice to freelance, my right to watch a lot of tv, etc… There’s the inevitable “Don’t you…?” question. “Don’t you want to return to a full-time job?” “Don’t you ever want to get married?” “Don’t you think you watch too much TV?”. To the 20-something, I’m the coolest person around. I’ve made a big choice for my life and I’m living the 20-something dream.
Of course there are a plethora of points that don’t go in the 20-something’s favour, like money, experience, handling people etc… but I don’t fault them for these things. It comes with the 20-something territory. In the meantime, I just enjoy the ride. 🙂
(p.s. The photo of me featured in this post is courtesy of my 20-something youth)