Dating Older Guys Can Be Great, But Be Prepared For These 13 Issues

“Age ain’t nothing but a number”? Maybe, but there are definitely some obstacles to dating a much older man. When the age gap between you and your partner is enough to raise eyebrows, be prepared to deal with these drawbacks.

  1. He’s achieved different relationship milestonesHe’s been married, perhaps he’s fathered kids, maybe he’s gone through a divorce. When chatting about previous relationships, his experience level leaves you in the dust. You feel like such a love amateur.
  2. He might have different relationship goals. It’s not just what he’s already experienced in his life that can make you feel you don’t have much in common, but also his ideas for the future. He might have already been married and/or had kids, causing him not to want these things from here on out. You, on the other hand, might be open to them.
  3. He doesn’t get your life phase. Since he’s quite a bit older than you, it’s not always easy for him to understand what you’re going through, such as if you’re trying to turn your job into a career or buy a house. He’s been there, done that. It kinda sucks not to be with someone who always understands the problems you’re going through and can experience them for the first time with you.
  4. He can feel like a parent sometimes. Since he’s got so much more life experience, he might turn into a bit of a dad while trying to help you out. In the worst cases, this can turn him into Mr. Know It All. Ugh.
  5. He’s set in his ways. He’s done the whole trial-and-error thing of his youth and has experimented a lot. He knows what he wants and doesn’t want from life and might be stuck on those ideas. You, on the other hand, might still be in that phase of wanting to try new things instead of knowing exactly who you are.
  6. You get judgedSome people might not get why you’re with someone much older. They might throw shade, assuming you’re just having a fling or dating the guy because you’re a gold digger. It really sucks, especially when you have genuine feelings for the guy.
  7. Your parents have more in common with him than you do. When you and your boyfriend hang out with your folks, it sometimes feels like they get along so much better than you do with any of them. Yeah, it’s a little weird.
  8. He wants to slow down. He might not be one of those older guys who like to club-hop in jeans that look like they belong to his son. It’s possible he’ll want to stay in on most Saturday nights or give you an alarmed look when you suggest going to a rave with your best friends. Compromise can be tougher because you want such different things.
  9. His exes aren’t just phantoms. Of course he’ll probably have more exes than you do, but it’s not so much the quantity, but the quality of them. Chances are he’s got an ex he was engaged or married to, maybe even an ex who’s the mother of his kids. It’s also possible that some of his exes with whom he was in long-term relationships are still his good friends. This means that these women might be a part of his life  — and therefore yours, too.
  10. You expect emotional maturity but don’t always get it. You might think that since he’s so much older than you, he’s going to be loads more mature and emotionally intelligent than other guys your age. But age is no guarantee of this. You might find he still acts like a teenage boy sometimes or tries to joke when you want to be serious.
  11. As you get older, the age gap shows more. You might have more things in common as you age, but bigger differences will crop up. If he’s 20 years older than you, that means when you’re 40 and in the prime of your sexual life and career, he’ll be 60 — perhaps considering Viagra and getting ready to retire.
  12. Even if there’s chemistry, your sex lives aren’t always compatible. Sure, there’s load of sparks between you, but you don’t always want the same things in bed or have the same sexual desires or even the same energy levels. You might have to try to meet each other halfway a bit more so you both get the level of pleasure you need, which puts a slight damper on spontaneous sex.
  13. He might be the one rushing towards something more serious. An older guy might tend to be more reliable and committed than a much younger one — bonus! — but that could prove to be problematic if he’s keen to rush into a serious relationship and you’re stalling. Clearly when dating a much older guy, it’s much more important to be on the same page than be the same age.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.