smiling well dressed black manEver feel like there just aren’t enough good men available?  Maybe the pickings seem slim because you’re only considering men your age.  Raise your age limit a little—or a lot—and your dating candidates will multiply instantly.

The real question: Is age, by itself, the determining factor, or is age just a number, and your other values matter more?

Many smart single women now see dating an older man, not as a drawback, but an advantage.  Maybe you’re one of them.

Only you can decide how much is too much of an age gap for your taste?  There are no one-size-fits-all age limits.  But, studies show that, emotionally and psychologically, women mature faster than men.  So he being older might make him an even better fit, than younger guys you’re accustomed to.

As with any great idea, there are pluses and minuses/pros and cons.

Consider these:

The Potential Benefits:

  • Maturity (about life and love).
  • Commitment (seen it, done it, and now ready to settle down)
  • Financial stability
  • Self-confidence (not intimidated by you)
  • Communication (Experienced communication skills)
  • Wise (his experiences contributes to your growth)
  • Decisive (knows what he wants in a mate)
  • Uncomplicated (already worked out his “issues”)
  • Attentive (endlessly pampers you)

The Potential Baggage:

  • Obligations (ex-wife, or kids, business demands)
  • Controlling (acts like he’s your father)
  • Inflexible (set in his ways)
  • Controversial (looking mismatched to friends, family)
  • Crazy (in mid-life crisis and wants to feel younger again)
  • Looks (less attractive or fit now)
  • Pace: (wants too much commitment, too fast)
  • History: (why is he still single?)
  • Energy (will he be able to keep up with you?)
  • Possessive (Jealous, suspicious you’ll cheat)

Don’t automatically assume that all the positives or the negatives apply, just because a man is older.  Age alone doesn’t guarantee he’s mature, youth doesn’t always mean he immature.  You still have to use smart strategies.  Do your homework to know for sure.

If you’ve decide to stretch your limits and be open/give older men a chance, I want you to do it right.

Know Your Motives

First, determine exactly what’s driving your decision to date older men.  You’ll only be able to experience the ultimate fulfillment of following through to a successful connection and a great relationship, when the result matches what was the true intention of your heart

For instance, is it because you’d enjoy having a experienced, mature, well-established man to be your mate?  Or could it be, you just be hoping for a Sugar Daddy’s perks?  Is it to build a healthy rich romance, or to avoid the risk of any more rejection by the younger men you really want?

Especially check for any motivation that’s really a hunger for a father/daughter relationship.  Some younger women’s attraction to older men is to fill an emotional void from childhood.  If this is the case, you’ll be amazed at how addressing it in counseling could help you, transforming you from need-based dating to healthy desire-based relationships.  You deserve it.

Let Him Lead

Men dating younger women prefer taking the lead.  Why not let him; you might like it?  Allow him to be the initiator when it comes to minor things like picking the restaurant for a special date or planning your romantic daytrip together.  And be very sure you do, with major ones like taking the relationship to “the next level.”

It’s NOT his attempt to dominate and control.  It’s his built-in desire to show you he’s a man who already knows how to treat you like a lady.  For him leading is the very definition of responsible manhood.  With younger men you may’ve had to take most of the responsibility for keeping the relationship on course.  It’s a lot of work.  Wouldn’t it feel deeply satisfying to have someone else assume that burden now?  Isn’t a responsible man exactly the kind you’ve always wanted?

Let Yourself Be Treasured/Adored

Get comfortable with the over-the-top ways he’ll want to pamper you.  At first you may feel uncomfortable (or even suspicious) because of his gestures. Unless he confirms that he’s doing it all to get something from you, do not stop him.

Younger men naturally tend to be more focused on fulfilling their own desires. By the time they have reached middle-age, they are far more attentive to what their woman wants and needs. Regularly express your appreciation for his efforts to go the extra mile for you, when he opens doors for you, fixes what’s broken, solves a problem that you didn’t ask him to, or treats you to a gourmet meal that he prepared himself.

Act Like a Woman, Not a Girl

Never forget that you are equals, so avoid putting him on a pedestal.  Typically more  men beyond age 40 find your independence and self-sufficiency attractive.  It’s not that they want to see signs that you could care less about them.  However, they admire women who seem to have a life of their own, with passionate interests that don’t require him to initiate or sustain them for you.

The wisdom and experience of his years need not intimidate you.  When an older man expresses an interest in you, remind yourself that, though you are younger, you are a grown woman and his equal in every way.  Act as if you believe it, even if you don’t feel it.

Note: the larger the age gap the more challenging that may be.  Remind yourself, no matter his age, he’s your boyfriend, not an authority figure in your life. Interact with him as you would with your peers.  Relax, and confidently be yourself without trying to sound like him.  Remember, he’s attracted to you is not based on how similar you two are, but on the super-appealing/exciting differences.

 

References

Kristen Lane – “Advice on Dating Older Guys” – for Ehow.com
Mike Masters – “The Age Difference: Are Older Men and Younger Women Better Suited?” – in AboutMen
Bostonsass.com – “Dating an Older Man- Asking for Trouble?”
Alan Bentley – “Should I Try Dating Older Guys?
Nicholl McGuire, “Should You Date an Older Man or Woman?”
Ashleigh Daniel – “Dating Younger vs. Older Men: The Pros and Cons of Both”
Dating-Site-Advisor.com “Tips for Dating Older Men”

 

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  1. Dolphinsun2733 April 15, 2011 at 6:28 am · · Reply

    Older men are nicer, to a point. Yet, that means I will be changing his diaper AND the babys diaper. NOT a good look.

  2. I think that this article does offer some really good insight for singles to consider!! As you mentioned in the beginning of the article only “you” can decide how much of an age gap is too much. I have found that dating a man even 3 years older can be a much more rewarding experience. With that little age difference comes experience through a greater commitment level and stability as far as finances, employment and family values. I have also experienced the “cons” that you mentioned with the man being stubborn and more set in his ways.

    In the end we have the choice to figure out which characteristics are “deal breakers” and which can actually lead us into a great relationship…not perfect but still GREAT!

    Thank you Dr. Elmore!

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