Let’s say you are being relentlessly pursued by a gorgeous and sweet guy who ticks most of your boxes. The only problem is that he is 10 years younger than you. Will you go ahead with the relationship or is dating a younger man a huge problem for you?
I have been there…compulsively searching google for any signs of hope that dating a younger man will work, finding lots of arguments both for and against it and wishing I could be one of the success stories. If you are confused about whether to date a younger man let me share with you what I believe is the best way to handle the situation.
Is It Ever A Good Idea To Date A Younger Man?
First of all, let us address the question of whether or not it’s okay to date a younger man. Well, legally as long as the guy is over the age of 18 then it is okay. What about ethically? Psychology.com gives a formula for calculating this. Divide your age by two and add 7; that is the minimum age for someone you can ethically date. For example, if you are 40 then the man needs to be 27 years or older.
Other than the legality and morality of it, is it worth risking your heart, time and energy to date a younger man? Well, I believe that life is short and when you find someone you have a deep connection with you should pursue the relationship. However, you need to get into it wisely, after having considered the points I bring up below.
Factors To Consider Before Dating A Younger Man
First of all, for you to successfully navigate a relationship with a younger man you need a great deal of self-awareness. Know who you are, what you want out of a relationship, where you are in life and where you are going. Additionally, take the time to know who your potential boyfriend is, where he is in life, where he is going and what he wants out of a relationship with you.
Being clear about these questions will eliminate 99% of the problems that come up with dating a younger man. Most of the time you will discover that your values and goals aren’t aligned. In that case, you will end the relationship before any significant investment of time and effort. A 40-year-old woman that is desperate to settle down and have children should not waste time dating a 25-year-old man that is living his best life without thoughts of being a father. The same man though would be the perfect partner for a 40-year-old woman that is seeking a fun experience with no strings attached.
Why Is Dating A Younger Man Better?
Dating a younger man can add fun, joy, and excitement to your life. Growing up in a different era gives him a different viewpoint of life to yours and opens you up to aspects of his generation that you and your agemates do not know about. While dating my younger guy I always knew which songs were hot and what the latest slang words meant, to the surprise of my friends.
You will also enjoy great and frequent sex with your man which can only be good for your physical and emotional health. Finally, you do get an ego boost from being in a relationship with a young man who finds you physically attractive and you find yourself doing your best to look great at all times.
Why Dating A Younger Man Is Hard Work
On the other hand, dating a younger man is hard work. First of all, relationships between older women and younger men are still not as socially accepted as older men dating younger women. Expect to get some resistance from his as well as your family and friends.
For this reason, one or both of you may keep the relationship a secret and neglect to introduce each other to your friends and relatives. Additionally, due to judgment, you may be shy to publicly display your affection which puts a damper on your relationship. Relationships are hard enough by nature but the lack of support of those closest to you won’t help matters.
Secondly, if the woman earns much more than the man there will likely be a strain in the relationship. Most men enjoy being the provider in a relationship and will find it hard if their woman is the breadwinner. Due to being further advanced in their careers most women in relationships with younger men end up being the financial provider.
Financial And Goal Disparity Create Problems When Dating A Younger Man
Another problem is that there is a greater chance of there being a disparity in your interests due to the generation gap. While you many enjoy evenings at home or quiet restaurants and lounges, he may like dive bars and loud clubs. Staying home on a weekend may be a slow death for him. You will probably hate hanging out with his wild group of friends and he won’t like your stuffy buddies either. The separate interests may lead you two to grow apart.
Finally, younger men and older women generally have different priorities and goals in life. Older women have goals like setting up their nest egg for retirement, some may be done with childbearing while others are seeking to have a child before their time runs out.
Younger men, on the other hand, want to sow their wild oats and squeeze as much fun as possible into their lives while some may desire to start a family. Compromises would have to be made for a relationship between two people with different priorities to work.
Unfortunately, for the above reasons, most relationships with significantly younger men do not work in the long term.
How to Date A Younger Man – Tips For Success
One of my favorite quotes is from Oprah – If you are in doubt then the answer is no. If you are already doubting the viability of your relationship, chances are high that it won’t work out. However, if you want to pursue a relationship with your younger beau below are some tips to make it as pain-free as possible.
1. Cut Your Losses Early
If one or both of you know that the situation-ship you are in is not your dream relationship its best to break up and continue the search for your dream partners. Staying together wastes both your time and keeps you away from your best life. Staying together also breed resentment which could unnecessarily turn you into enemies
Is the age difference your only compromise? Are you a perfect fit in all other areas? If from the get-go you are making too many compromises then its best to give up and move on.
2. Be Laid Back And Flexible If You Want To Date A Younger Man
While I find it impossible to lower my standards for such things as restaurants and hotels, you will need to be flexible and try out your guy’s suggestions for dates. He may want to do things outside your comfort zone like camping, hiking, clubbing or backpacking (eek).
To have a successful relationship you will need to be flexible and open to his suggestions. They will also have a lot of energy and want to take part in activities that you may not be interested in so don’t be overly possessive or jealous but give him the freedom to have these experiences by himself
3. Be Self-confident And Shameless If You Want To Date A Younger Man
A lot of people will question your relationship and want to make you feel small for dating a younger man. To succeed in such a relationship, you, therefore, need to be thick faced and not care about what others think of you.
You also have to be self-confident and know that you are worthy of a great relationship with whoever you choose. At the end of the day be shameless about what you want. Are you going to pursue your happiness or the approval of people that may not even care about you?
4. Be Yourself If You Want To Date A Younger Man
You may be tempted to change yourself to keep your younger man, for example by undergoing plastic surgery to look younger, changing your hobbies to fit more with his and so on. It is important not to lose yourself for the sake of a relationship. Stay true to who you are and those that love you will stay, it’s not worth it to sell yourself out just to keep a man and also it never works.
5. Have Clarity Around Your Dating And Relationship Goals
The two of you should have an honest discussion at the beginning of the relationship and frequently as the relationship progresses on what your goals and priorities in life are and if you are aligned or working towards different directions. Not being clear about your relationship goals may lead to resentment whereby one party or both parties feel used as their needs aren’t being met.
6. Seek Therapy 😊
I don’t want to be rude but there may be an underlying reason why a younger man is attracted to you and you need to dig deep and uncover any pathologies you may have. For me, it was that I felt not good enough and so I settled for less than I wanted because I felt that was all I could get. I am now working through that. Uncovering and addressing deep-seated issues that you have around relationships will make all your relationships better, including the one with your younger man.