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Why you might want to date someone your age

Posted on Monday, May 23, 2011 in Aging, dating, Happiness, Honesty, Relationships, Self image

My friend Patty, a 61-year-old divorcee, has a dilemma — a younger person is lusting after her. Younger meaning 52. OK, it’s a dilemma many of us middle-aged divorcees might kill for, but she’s concerned. And so she’s said, “No!”

What’s wrong with this scene? Right – nothing! Well, nothing as far as you and I and maybe hundreds (thousands? millions?) of others can see; what can possibly be wrong with a 52-year-old wanting to be in a relationship — yes, it’s not just about casual sex — with a woman nine years older? 

Patty’s not a cougar; in fact, she’s not the one pursuing (although people throw the “C” word around quite casually nowadays. All you have to do to be called a cougar is be 35-plus and single; not fair!). She really does want to date in her age group, give r take five years either way.

Plus nine years at midlife isn’t such a big deal.

Or is it? As she says:

“I don’t want to date someone younger because when I’m all wrinkled and sagging, I’ll be dumped and then where will I be? I’ll be older and less attractive, and it will be too late for me to find someone new.”

She may have a point. As I get older and the wrinkles and sags make their presence known, I know all too well how the slide from “She’s hot” to “She’s not” sucks. But, that’s if you’re still single and in the dating world, when just getting a guy to notice you is harder, let alone having him want to actually talk to you and discover your irresistible charm and wit, and then want to see you naked and do lovely nasty things to you.

If you’re in a committed relationship with someone, wrinkles and sags shouldn’t even matter anymore — because your partner’s probably right there with you!

Unless, of course, your partner’s nine years younger. Then you have a huge jump on the aging thing.

I wouldn’t want to be with someone who’d start looking at me differently — or start looking at other, younger, women, differently! — as I started to wrinkle and sag. If you’re doing to be in a relationship with someone much older, wrinkles and sags are to be expected!

But, maybe that’s something to consider before you get into a relationship with someone older. You can be picky about who you’re with, but if you start to lose interest in someone older than you because he or she is aging, that does make you seem shallow.

So is Patty smart to reject her young suitor (who’s a woman, by the way)? Or is she denying herself the potential of a loving partner?



Bring on the comments

  1. Henway says:

    I think life is short, and love is always hard to find so you shouldn’t let things like age get in the way. If you’re worried about things like that, then that guy probably isn’t the right one for you.

  2. t says:

    Ah Jeez, why did you put the best part last? I’m not same sex expert but I’d think that another woman would truly understand the dynamic. The gettin’ old and wrinkly and stuff. And do I need to remind you that aged wine is considered precious? You want to see precious, look at Betty Dodson. That woman rocks! Urge your “elderly” friend to post her question up on the website for Betty to reply to.

    So lets sweep away the whole age issue. What seems to be valid is how this older woman feels about her younger suitor. I could see that if she has reservations about the relationship in general then suddenly age becomes a way out. What’s up with that? I could completely see their relationship working irregardless of age–as long as they can break the bonds of conventional thought. The last woman I was intimate with was born in 1944 and she was generous, warm, experienced, talented,caring, and sexual to a fault. I feel blessed to have been her lover.

    Kat, how much of this story is perhaps based on projection about your aging and changes? Please accept this 62 yr old dude’s assurances that age is NOT a barrier to love and relationship. Sex can be hot during the last quarter of our lives. Cheers!

  3. T
    Twitter: tsquest

    I would agree that a woman-woman relationship would be different. I would expect another woman to see beyond sags and wrinkles.

    Is it sad that I’m projecting the “shallow”-ness on men?

    But haven’t we heard for years that men are visual creatures?

    I dunno. I think love is love. I think letting someone in is frightening in general. Once they’re there, however, it only matters what their heart looks like.

  4. A dude says:

    wait- why is she assuming they will be together forever? She should have some fun dating a younger woman, and then decide what she wants to do later. I agree she might not want to stick with her- age isn’t “just a number,” it has real-life consequences and 10 years might in fact be to big a gap late in life. But come on- younger woman is “lusting” after her and she won’t even accept a date? That is not right.

  5. beachgrl says:

    I say “Go for it Patty!!”
    Two of my best friends are a Lesbian couple, one 65, one 75. Although they have been together for 20 years, they are aging the same. The elder one has beautiful skin, barely any wrinkles!!
    I always seem to attract younger men (I’m 50), and I’ve had a great time with them..nothing serious, just enjoying each other, and having fun. Why not? I don’t think of what’s down the road in 10 years, I’ll figure that out when I get there.
    Another gay couple I know had a long relationship, One 50, the other 32..the older one broke it off, so the younger one could move all worked out.
    So Go Patty, Go! don’t let life pass you by..Good Luck!

  6. William Belle
    Twitter: wqbelle

    Okay, this is an unusual story. Betty Dodson, feminist, author, sex educator, has been with the same man for ten years: he’s 47 years younger than her. Here’s the story from 2002
    Too sexy for her rocker By Michael Castleman I checked. They are still together today.

    The greatest thing in life is finding people that turn small moments into great moments, because nothing in life must be eternal, only unforgettable.

    Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. -Dr. Seuss

  7. Chopperpapa
    Twitter: chopperpapa

    First to reond to the dude, why would anyone want to still be dating in their 60’s, seriously?

    The queen is 4 years olde than I am and she seems concerned she works out harder and buts her butt to look her best, the age gap has never been a big deal for me.

    She should never feel that way and she shouldnt let those feelings affect her relationships

  8. bleu says:

    Regardless of gender, I just feel, the reasons are all fear based, on exterior apprearance. Same age dating, doesn’t guarantee that your partner will stay with you either. I just don’t hear any valid reason for not giving a try, other than fear. I can see being concerned about an age difference if the person was like 20 and 60. But 9 years past the age of 35, who cares?

    There is no guarantee in love. Gender, age difference or not. Nothing is written.

    If someone adores you for who you are, then why not?

    When you decide to be in a relationship, you are taking a risk, either way and pain is nothing you can avoid. If that’s the case, then stay single and safe.

    No matter the scenario, there is always a potential for rejection when you decide to share your life with someone in a relationship, and that is what my long winded post is trying to say 🙂

  9. Jane
    Twitter: MidLifeBloggers

    I deal with the whole issue by dating my dog. She loves me no matter how I look first thing in the morning (and her breath then isn’t so great either).

  10. Kat Wilder says:

    Henway — that’s very wise. The right person wouldn’t care.

    t — LOL. I put the “best part last” because everyone was probably building up a gender-based bias in their mind. This story is true; as for projecting on my own aging, of course I’m not oblivious to it. But I have come to accept what is and what will be. That said, I keep in shape!

    T — funny how we assume women would “get’ it. Ah, but women, gay or not, are vane! Yes, the letting someone in is the hard part and trusting that he/she is who and what we see for real. We make a lot of mistakes, as I know you know! 😉

    Dude — I think in her case, in a lot of people’s cases, the older we get the greater the “it’s getting too late for me to find someone new” mindset takes over. So, you kinda want to “lock someone in” by a certain age.

  11. Kat Wilder says:

    Beachgirl — it’s nice to have a good set of genes, and to take care of yourself so you “age well.” I agree, life is short — take a chance.

    William — I like this: The greatest thing in life is finding people that turn small moments into great moments, because nothing in life must be eternal, only unforgettable. thank you. BTW, Dodson and partner have an open relationship — that’s probably why it works!

    ChopperPapa — four years is nothing!! As for dating in your 60s, well, if you haven’t found someone yet, what’s the alternative? Gotta keep on keeping on …

    bleu — you are soooo right — there are no guarantees in anything. Still, we kind of hope for that. Accepting that all things are not permanent — including ourselves — takes away a lot of the fear and anxiety we live with.

    Jane — Ha!!! I hope she’s a good kisser at least!

  12. Anonymous says:

    u r 2 sexy