For this week’s Tea I couldn’t help but write about one of my favorite topics, love and dating! Now that just about everyone is hip to online dating and dating apps, dating pools that wouldn’t normally mix are finding each other. So whether you’re interested in someone 5 years your senior or someone who graduated from college while you were still being potty trained, this article is for you.
- He has some long-term exes. I think it is natural to want to see yourself as the pinnacle of your SO’s love and affection, especially if they are the pinnacle of yours. Achieving that isn’t too hard dating a 22 or 23 year old whose longest relationship probably caps out at 3 years. It gets a little more complicated comparing yourself to a long term live-in partner… or fiancée… or wife. So while this isn’t necessarily bad, it definitely takes some getting used to.
- He can’t drop his life for you. While stability is undoubtedly a positive, it also likely means that you are going to have to fit into his plan rather than the opposite. The odds of you getting him to pack up his stuff and move with you while you chase your passions are pretty low. So if you’re serious about a future with him, you might have to pass up an attractive opportunity to stay in the same city, or be the one to move out of your place and into his.
- Building a future together looks a little different. Unfortunately, he probably won’t be able to join you on that 2 month Europe backpacking trip. The ability for you two to “freestyle” together is a bit lower to nonexistent. Late night pillow talk looks a little less attractive with a 6:30 a.m. wakeup. Additionally, you have to remember that this person is on a tighter timeframe and may expect a serious commitment faster than someone in their early 20’s. A common sentiment is that your life feels expedited- the big decisions and life events come at you fast.
- Timing isn’t ideal. This ties in directly with #3. Maybe you want to move and your partner still has 3 years left in a graduate program. Or the opposite! Maybe you didn’t see yourself getting married and having kids until ~30. As with all relationships, compromise is essential and you shouldn’t be expected to rewrite your entire life for this person without them making some changes on their own end. But with that being said, some things simply have to change to accommodate certain life choices. Often the burden can fall on the younger person.
- Your friends don’t mesh. While the 7+ year difference between you two may be trivial in the grand scheme of your relationship, it may not be between your social circles. And if you aren’t used to spending time with people his age, there may be an adjustment period. Pro: having conversations you’re not used to means you will probably learn a lot. But don’t get sucked into trying to prove your worth- no one expects you to be able to share with expertise on experiences you have never had! Saying I don’t know and taking a back seat in conversations sometimes is perfectly ok!
- He has wisdom. It can be quite nice having someone to walk you through or help you with the little life things you have never done before. Setting up your first 401(k)? Networking and going into your first big interviews? You have some experience on your side from a loving person who knows you better than most! In addition, he likely knows more people from just being around longer! And in the professional world, that can be a game changer.
- Modern games don’t apply. Obviously your mileage may vary, but this has been something I have experienced across the board. If you find a good one, the “counting the minutes before responding” BS and hot-and-cold games don’t exist. Relish in the fact that you have a partner who is upfront about their feelings and wise enough not to seek validation playing petty games with your heart.
- He is emotionally stable. And with that comes confidence! Plus, men who are emotionally stable don’t erratically break up with you and start the “on again, off again” relationship pattern. They don’t storm out of the house mid argument to “cool off”. He knows how to handle conflict maturely and with love and kindness.
- He is financially secure. Never underestimate how nice it is to be with someone who is truly independent. No waiting for mommy and daddy to deposit the rent money into his account, or eating ramen the last couple days before payday. Even if he is not rolling in cash, he has spent quite some time taking care of himself and knows how to manage his finances appropriately. At a time when you are still getting on your feet and planning out your future, this is invaluable.
- He knows how to make a relationship work. One of the most amazing things about dating someone older is that they have put in serious work into relationships before, and generally have a better idea about what works and what doesn’t. The most important difference being communication. Someone doesn’t stay in a 5 year relationship on accident. He also has a better idea of who he is in a relationship- what he has to offer, what he needs, and where he will draw a line in the sand. At times being “taught” can feel frustrating, but you can learn so much about how to be a good partner so quickly simply because your SO has experience in that realm.
Is this your area of expertise? Have any additions? Just want to throw in your two cents?Comment below!
Until next time,