Rules of dating an older man
Until now, I hadn’t thought to consider how my personal actions, however small, extended to a larger web of oppression.Our stories are personal and potent, yet they are also connected.You didn't want to be with that guy who wanted an "outdoorsy girl" anyway. And he knows that vulvas don't usually look like two unused Pink Pearl erasers and smell like Bath and Body Works vanilla bean. Either way, older guys are more likely to be the most comfortable snuggle you've ever had.12. Have you ever seen an early-twentysomething guy get handed a baby?Having seen more than two vulvas, he knows each is a beautiful and unique orchid and he won't hesitate to compliment yours.10. He holds it out from his body like he has stiff little Tyrannosaurus arms and the baby hangs there like, "Who the fuck handed me to this beer-breathed sociopath in cargo shorts?It was an unspoken transaction, a power dynamic that discreetly entitled him to my compliance and affection, an undercurrent that I don’t think either of us perceived at the time.In defying social norms, I’d actually just been reinforcing them. It’s far more acceptable and common for older men to date younger women in our culture.But, until recently, nothing really got to the heart of it. It’s all of us.” Something about the way she said it made me stop short.I was on the phone with a friend, musing about my relationship patterns, when the proverbial light bulb went off. It had never occurred to me that the forces behind my May-December romances weren’t all that unique. My relationships had happened in a social vacuum, one in which the rules of engagement had patriarchy written all over them.
Looking back, I realized he’d claimed a subtle ownership over me by being my boss and paying for everything.
“I don’t know why I always get approached by much older men,” I said to her, genuinely unsure. And I had participated in them, albeit unknowingly.
I took inventory of all the explanations I had adopted around the story I’d long told myself about why I had romances with older men.
All of my theories about why I was drawn to older men were partially true, but I never owned—or wanted to own—the most obvious: I was a product and a perpetuator of society’s collective messaging and conditioning that implies a man is valued in his older age and a woman is not.
An unspoken implication in the older man, younger woman dynamic, whether it’s fully understood or even conscious, is that men get better with age: They get more emotionally mature and financially stable; women, on the other hand, slip out of the realm of desirability, lose their sense of adventure and potency, and, as the years roll on, accumulate cumbersome emotional baggage.