When it comes to dating, I’ve always gone for older guys. That’s why I completely surprised myself a few years ago when I dated a guy who was almost 10 years younger than me. Before you call the authorities, it should be noted that I was in my early 30s and he was in his early 20s. Although I never thought I’d date someone that much younger than me, it was one of the best dating experiences I’ve had.
Here’s a few things I learned while dating a guy who was 10 years my junior:
His maturity wasn’t an issue.
Part of the reason I’ve always shied away from dating younger guys us that I just assumed they would be immature. However, when it came to communication and just how he treated me in general, this guy was years ahead of some of his 30-something male counterparts. Dating him was remarkably easy.
He was the first feminist guy I dated.
I don’t really think this has anything to do with age, but it was awesome. He was sensitive, aware, and incredibly thoughtful.
It was such a relief to date someone who wasn’t jaded.
After dating a divorced dad of three and an angry finance guy with a drinking problem, spending time with someone who didn’t have a lot of emotional baggage or a negative view of the world was such a welcome relief.
Lack of emotional baggage is a good thing.
Although my younger guy had been in relationships and had his heart broken, he hadn’t let these experiences harden him like some of his older counterparts.
We had very different relationship experiences.
With almost a decade on my side, I definitely had way more dating experience. For example, I’d co-habitated with my ex for 5+ years. He had yet to experience this kind of relationship. With that said, he never judged me for my experiences. He understood and listened with thoughtful curiosity.
I discovered what it’s like to have completely different cultural points of reference.
This became abundantly clear whenever I’d mention something from the ’90s — for example, the time I brought up MC Hammer and he had no idea who I was talking about. All the older music that I still liked listening to, his friends were into “ironically.”
His friends were young, too.
Although my guy was very mature, his age was made apparent when I visited his home and met his friends. How they lived and the things they were into totally brought me back to the days of being a college student — and not necessarily in a good way.
We were in completely different life phases.
Age might only be a number, but life phases are a very real thing. He was still in college student mode and I wasn’t. Because of this, we had different income levels and expectations for social activities. Although we managed to meet in the middle most of the time, our age gap showed when it came to differences in lifestyle.
He treated me like a queen.
Despite our obvious differences (which became increasingly clear as the weeks went on), one of the main reasons I’ll never regret dating my younger guy was because he treated me like a queen. He always made me feel respected and wanted, and never let me feel “old.”
Our breakup was mature.
Maybe this is more a testament to who he is as a person than age, but this was one of the easiest, most mature breakups I’ve ever been through. When it became clear that we’d probably not work out, we talked about it and decided to stay friends. No drama. No tears. Although I now can see how mismatched we were, the experience has taught me not to judge a book by it’s freshly minted cover.
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