Wednesday, May 6, 2009

You Say It Like It's A Bad Thing...

Something changed. Maybe it's my new perfume. Maybe it's the way I curl my hair. Or maybe, just maybe, it's my attitude. I can't seem to put my finger on it. It's just that I seemed to wake up a few weeks ago, and suddenly, the men asking me out were younger. Twentysomethings. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

The last time I went out with someone who was in their mid-20s was when I was in my early 20s…which seems like just a few days ago. But in the last month or so, I've gotten more requests for "hanging out" from men in this age bracket than in the last ten years combined. Not that I accept many of these offers, but it is quite flattering, none the less.

Now, normally, I love the ruggedness of an older man, love how they are often careful and quick-witted and are already on the path they want their life to take. But there is a certain charm to the younger man that makes them hard to resist. When I was a younger woman, guys that age paid me little mind, and honestly, their charm made me nervous. Now, seated perfectly in the middle of my 30s, it amuses me. So, in honor of the 20somethings who entertain and delight me, I've composed a list with a few of my friends that highlight the best things about men from ages 24-29.

5. Their language. I'm a word geek, as you all have figured out by now. And sometimes, I heard words and phrases that crack me up. And other times, I hear things that I have to go look up to understand. For example, I heard the word "puma" when discussing older woman/younger man relationships with a 20something man. When asked what this meant, he sent me a link to a definition that read, "a hot girl between the age of 25-35, 35-45 is a cougar, 45 and above is a saber tooth." I learned something new, which also just happened to make me laugh.

4. They want to know what you have to say. My one girlfriend said that the younger man she dated asked her opinion on lots of things and looked for her guidance. But she's a smarty, anyway…and I think they were wise to look to her.

3. Less baggage. They have been in fewer relationships, which means fewer FAILED relationships. They haven't yet started carrying that with them, and it is nice to not have to tote ashes of ex-girlfriends on your dates.

2. Things are still new to them. There are foods they haven't tasted, places they haven't been, and experiences they haven't yet had. That is exciting. And to be the woman who introduces those things to them is special.

1. They get the you out of your comfort zone. Ok. So admit it. There are times when you feel stuck in a rut. But date a younger guy—one who is impulsive and high energy—and who knows where your evening could head? You could end up dropping everything to hit a club or take a road trip. And even if you did this stuff when you were in your 20s, there is something delicious about trying those spontaneous things again.

You will notice, of course, that I left out an obvious benefit most women stated when asked about dating a man in his 20s, but I'm sure you can figure it out if you use your imagination a little bit. An entire blog could be written about that alone. Or so I've heard.

So, until Mr. Right-for-Me sweeps me off my feet, I think I'm going to just relax and enjoy these men who make me laugh and make me crazy, regardless of their age. And if they just happen to be a 24-year-old with perfect skin who doesn't understand when I am being sarcastic, then so be it. Checking my sarcasm at the door might be a good thing. At least for a few dates, anyway.

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Pocket Muse said...

I don't judge people on age. One of my daughter's best friends was my friend first. =) She's 19 now. My good friends--people I can call up at any time & go out with on a social basis--range from age 19 to 80-something. I genuinely like these people, I want to spend time with them and generally they share my views on age.

I dated someone 8 years younger than me when he was just 18 & I was 26. If he hadn't been college-bound, I could have gotten serious with him. I enjoyed his company, he holds the record of "best kisser ever" and I could have fallen in love with him--plus he was way more mature--than the 30-something guys I was dating around the same time.

My current husband is 16 years older than me. We've been together for 13 years (I actually dated him & Mr. Almost-Jailbait on a platonic basis at the same time) and we will be celebrating our 11th anniversary.

Age? Eh...just a number. How do you feel when you are with younger men? Shouldn't how you feel be a stronger factor than how old (or young) they are?

Go for it! =)

Pocket Muse said...

I guess I should add two more things. I'm 39. And my ex-husband who is my daughter's biological (not legal) father is almost 2 years younger than me. We were both too young to be married...he had just turned 18 and I was almost 20. (And no...this wasn't a shotgun wedding! ;o))

That...and my husband & I actually met 16 years ago & became a good friend. I was 24 then & he was 40. I was going through a divorce, so I kept things even more than platonic with him at first.

Goose said...

It has more to do (for me) with things in common and life experience than age. I've met men my age who I'd have nothing to say to, and men in their 20's who I could talk to for hours....
Go for it seconded!

Mina Gorey said...

I loved and totally agreed with these two points especially:

"3. Less baggage. They have been in fewer relationships, which means fewer FAILED relationships. They haven't yet started carrying that with them, and it is nice to not have to tote ashes of ex-girlfriends on your dates."

I have had relationships when I was sure I'd simply snap if I had to either hear about or (worse) MEET and make nice with one more frickin' ex-girlfriend and the thought of building a relationship with someone NOT based on their past baggage is a valid point. There are those who just can't let go but beyond the whole "need to know" issue of disclosure of certain facts you each have a right to know, these are very rarely details that do the current relationship any good. Most often, too much info about (or exposure to) the ex's do frank harm.

"2. Things are still new to them. There are foods they haven't tasted, places they haven't been, and experiences they haven't yet had. That is exciting. And to be the woman who introduces those things to them is special."

There are also those who become simply jaded as they get older and seem less able to see and enjoy things with a fresh, enthusiastic eye. I would imagine the spontaneity of youth (not to mention energy levels....) would also be very attractive.

Back to energy levels for a I the only one who's noticed how TIRED men our age are (I'm 37)? These are our prime earning years, so of course (as do we) men our age are working their asses off. But complicating things (in my experience, anyway) is that they don't handle stress well at all. They don't know how to relax, and they don't multi-task well, whereas we women seem to take the juggling of home, work, family, and personal time into stride a bit more -- it's a given to us; it's just life. But one bad day, and they're toast all week. So the thought of someone with the energy levels to keep up with us....hmmm;-)

I'd see no reason to discount a suitor simply because of age. If you feel the right connection with someone, "go for it" 3rd'd:-)

(My apologies for the length of my response, btw, but this is an interesting topic.)

Dhympna said...

I try not to judge by age...I just have found I do well with someone who is older.

I do, however, have the not more than ten years rule (two disastrous relationships in my very early 20's with guys who were 20+ my senior).

I have tried to date guys who are younger or my age...maybe I am a curmudgeon or overly cranky but they tend to annoy the crap out of me...not sure why.

Lisa Logan said...

There's pros and cons to older and younger mates, but here's to focusing on the positive!!


softngentle said...

I have always had a problem with the idea of dating anyone more than 10yrs older or younger than me even though when I was 18 I dated at guy 18 yrs older than me because we just clicked. I was in a poly relationship with a married couple and he is 10yrs older and for a minute when I was 23 I dated a guy 30 yrs older.

Now I am getting IM's from guys 26- 36 and I'm a 45yr old BBW. At first I was shocked and most of them I had no common interests with, but there is a HOT 29yr old who makes me laugh and tells me all the time my body is a huge turn-on because BIGGER is better according to him. I've decided to meet him and see if we click face to face. So, I guess that makes me on the cusp of being a cougar/sabretooth