Saturday, July 2, 2011

Grow the Hell Up!: Intergenerational Dating

Pet Peeve: a young person who is romantically involved with a much older person. When I see Hugh Hefner with a 20 something year old (60 year difference) I must be the only prude here cause it turns my stomach and makes me angry. Besides the grossness of it, what do they have in common? What do they talk about? How do they look past the decades of life lived?

I am keenly aware of my own aging in reference to my son. I don't intellectually feel older but physically, I know the difference. I can't go out without taking a nap. I can't eat without consequences. I can't drink without compromising my ability to think coherently the next day. Small changes but enough so, I know they are there.

As someone who was younger who dated older men, I know. Don't get me wrong these men were incredible: successful, cute, smart, caring, and adored me. I just never felt right. I didn't feel like we had enough in common. I felt like they wanted to parent me. Believe me, I had a father and mother so those jobs were filled.

It took me awhile to discern my understanding of what was going on. I had to unravel lust and fantasies from what was really occurring. I listened to that voice that kept saying, “this ain't right”.

I look at those couples now and I realize my own stuff I still carry. I project my young self into their relationship and I think I know what is really going on but here is the reality, I don't. I don't know what is going on. I don't know what their love is. I don't know they can't survive past it.

There is a time and place for people of similar ages to date. That's what I know. I know, I should have dated someone my own age. 20 somethings date 20 somethings. There is a process in understanding yourself that comes with that. Both of you are finding your voice at the same time, figuring out what you value, healing old wounds, and can speak in a language that both of you know.

I've given myself a 10 year age limit on both sides of how old I am (39) on who I am willing to date. If someone is below (29<) then I encourage them to keep dating and we'll talk in a few years, if I am single. Finish growing up.

If they are over 10 years above my age (49>) which will put them resoundingly in their 50's then I'd consider it. I'd first want to make sure what they are looking for and what I want are in line. The age of raising kids is dawning and I know it. I'm at the age where I'd like to travel more and see the world. I'm interested in slower activities, movies, theater, comedy shows, jazz/blues concerts...

Don't get me wrong, I know there are mature people who believe they can date mature individuals. I'm just advocating to be self-aware enough to allow a young person their time to be young. Make all the mistakes they can. They have free reign in figuring themselves out. I hate it when it is obscured by someones ideas and viewpoints of life.

Needless to say, Grown folks need to date Grown folks. Allow people their time to mature at their own rate. Don't circumvent their life. Don't short circuit life so you can have the latest and youngest model. Reliving that time is not worth it. If your ass is left because you weren't aware of it then blame yourself. You believed you were enough. Here is reality: it's not about you.

That's what I know about dating someone decades younger/older than me. Proceed with caution. I'm interested in someone who is mature enough to know right from wrong. I'm learning to grow old gracefully. I'm looking for that someone to do it with. XOXO, Nick

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