Published in Nov 2018 / Updated in Aug 2021
There have been many times I have sat either talking to friends or even a psychologist or two and they have told me that my attraction to an older man or dating older men has something to do with “Daddy Issues.” Anyone who has been or is currently going through this would have heard this line before themselves. I can say in my experience. It’s not true.
For men, they tend to date younger women for a variety of reasons. They want to feel younger (the old saying, you’re only as young and the woman you’re feeling is one I have heard a few times), they want to feel more in control and the wisdom is something that makes them feel that way, age and wisdom don’t always correlate, sorry to say it, boys! Or any other number of reasons.
When it comes to women, though, there are a number of reasons that are open to interpretation. Some are looking for a strong father-type figure in dating an older male. They are dating someone for money. Some are looking to date someone who is intellectually stimulating and can’t find that in their age bracket. Some like the idea of dating a George Clooney-style person and others just find more distinguished men attractive. There are obviously more reasons, but these are the most common.
Talking to my doctor, who has also become a fill-in psychologist who loves the adventures and situations I find myself in and is always astounded as to how my life has been so chaotic at the age I am, he explained that the social acceptance of dating someone for a female is half your age +9, “Well I’m screwed then” I told him one day during our appointment.
For me, dating an older man (and when I say older, I have usually found myself in relationships with men in their mid to late 40’s or early 50’s) has not been about “Daddy Issues” or any of the stereotypical reasons. I have found myself attracted to the strong male figure who is intellectually stimulating, passionate, driven, and successful, and of course, distinguished. No one in my age bracket has actually met that criteria ever, and I have found myself bored VERY quickly or just not attracted at all.
The longest relationship I have been in was with a man who was extremely successful, highly intellectually stimulating, distinguished, passionate, and driven, and in control of his life. Albeit he was married and I really had no idea that they were still together but six years with him taught me that I wanted someone who was successful within their own right because I am passionate and driven myself, I am a smart cookie and I know how to do things that many people my own age can’t. So what drove me to look for this in a partner?
Well, growing up, my mother had me at 16, my grandmother had her at 17 and I chose not to continue the cycle. As a result of having such a young family, the people that were around me growing up and my family’s friends were quite young and there weren’t a lot of children around that were my age. I began forming friendships with my parent’s friends, and those that did have children or were much older were few and far between. Yes, I had friends my own age, but the people around me growing up were my parent’s age, so therefore I related better to them as I was involved in a lot of those conversations sitting around.
My family was social butterflies in my developing years, so I was able to learn a lot more about the world at age 9 than most kids my own age. I gained knowledge and intelligence much quicker because I was growing up a lot faster. In return, as I did grow up and start dating, I found people my own age quite boring.
So by my age, as it stands, I feel as though I have been through so much already that dating someone in their 40’s or 50’s is really where I am mentally but definitely not physically. To me, the stigma that is attached to my choice of dating is definitely not something that I really care about. However, not everyone is as carefree about that as I am.
I have dated men in these age brackets who have been concerned about what my parents would think as they are either the same age as them or older. This seems to be a common issue with men of this age. Luckily my parents don’t care as long as I am happy. If I have ever dated someone in their 30’s my father has often made the joke, “Well, that’s a bit young for you, isn’t it!” I take it with a grain of salt and laugh as he means nothing by it, but at the end of the day, I, like many of you out there, can’t help who you fall for and if they are fat, old, skinny, blonde, or mixed-race who cares, as long as it’s legal then do what you want.
All I can say is that at the end of the day, if you are happy and GENUINELY happy and interested, then why let someone tell you who you should and shouldn’t date?