Advice on Dating an Older Man

“As a young 20 something year old (who is confident enough to know what she wants when she sees it) how to handle a relation with a man 15 years my senior?” — 20-something question

Dating a man 15 years your senior you will need to ask yourself a lot of questions. Some 40-somethings recommend dating older men but caution that with too great an age difference there could be an imbalance of power. So if you are confident, make sure you hold on to that.  Those that recommend dating older guys say they’re more interesting and are more likely to know what they want than a guy in his 20s. And there in lies the conundrum. Is he a guy looking to settle down? Are you ready to settle down? I had a guy friend who married a woman in her young 20s when he was 36. I think there was some joke about how young a woman you can date  — something like half your age plus 7 years. I don’t think he made the cut on that. But he was in love. Problem was  he was ready to settle down. He had done his going out and party years and was ready for something different. Visions of cozy nights a deux and dinner parties at their new home. A year or two into the marriage she realized she wasn’t done with that. She hadn’t even started in fact.  It became a constant push and pull of negotiating going out vs. going home vs. staying home. So make sure as you get more serious that you talk about what you want your life to be like. What do you each envision?

That brings me to the second big question… does he want children? Does he have children? By the time you are ready to become a parent will he want to be a parent?  A lot of relationships between older men and younger women run into trouble over the baby factor. Some guys are hesitant to become older fathers especially if they already have children.

And my third point would be to make sure he is not still a child. There are some guys that hit their stride in their mid 30s in terms of earning power and a certain confidence follows. A few of these guys may not have dated a lot in their 20s as they were either working too hard or they did lack the confidence. Suddenly they start dating younger girls and in essence going through delayed adolescence. So make sure he is dating you for you…not as part of some rite of passage that he never went through in his 20s. And of course, make sure you are interested in him for his intellect rather than his wallet.

But I open this up to 40-something readers…what other advice do you have for dating an older man?

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