Dating Older Men: Can Older Feel Plain Old?

Posted by Delaine - February 10, 2011 - Concerns & Fears, Dating & Sex - 7 Comments

I”m writing this entry in a delicate tone today - after all, any topic that deals with age can be a sensitive one.  But I’m curious if others have a preference - or perhaps even ‘rules’ –  around what age of men (or women) they’ll date now that they’re divorced.  More specifically, is there a point where dating older feels too old?

During the first two years of my divorce, I dated men of up to 12 years younger or older than me. And I’ll admit that I veered more on the younger side than the older (smile).  A lot of this simply had to do with me reacclimatizing to the single trenches and giving myself to explore what’s out there (whew, things sure had changed!)

But since then, my age paramenters HAVE tightened up.  I usually look to date men who are within a few years of me on either side.  Why? Cause I hope/assume we’ll have more in common in terms of life experience.  And phsyically, I must say I find men my age who have taken care of themselves, very attractive.

Still, a divorced girlfriend of mine recently mentioned she could never date a man more than six years older than her. Nor could she date a man if he looked six years older.  Her reason?  “I have really young parents.  They’re both in their late fifties.  So if I date older I feel like I’m sitting across from my dad.”

Driven by curiosity, I then asked a few other girlfriends for their thoughts on dating older.  One expressed her keen adoration of men who are bald or greying, not to mention their wisdom, their stability, their sexual experience…

But two of them agreed that dating older would somehow remind them of their own mortality;  like suddenly they’d be socializing with a room of grey-haired people and feel like they’d skipped a generation of their lives.  “Getting divorced in my late thirties has already triggered many of my own insecurities,” one confided.  “And I don’t want to feel old or any older than I already am!”

Hmmm.  So it appears one’s choice NOT to date older can have less to do with him and everything to do with her own fears…

So I’m putting it out to you:  Do you have an age cap when it comes to dating?  Does a fear of aging factor into your choices?  It may be a sensitive topic, but it’s one that stares us in the face as we date in our thirties to sixties after divorce.  There again, maybe you don’t think about it at all…