In praise of “old dudes”

old dude


Today is my husband’s birthday, he’s 48.  I’m 37 & I tease him about “being old” all the time — mostly because his terrible driving & his age are really the only areas where I can pick on him.  As I look at his dreamy eyes & juicy lips, I can’t stop thinking about how lucky I am.  He’s what you’d call a “silver fox” — showing signs of aging that mildly disguise his boyish nature. Look at his picture: he’s hot!  In fact, I’m frequently annoyed by women (& men) checking him out, when it’s clear that we’re married.  The most blatant eyes on my husband are those of women his age, they’ll flirt with him right in front of me & glare at me as if to say “screw you, b!tch.”  At the end of the day, he’s coming home with me: his “trophy wife.”

I never really thought about our age difference until I was recently talking to our friend Mike about his new girlfriend.  He gave me a few basic stats & then paused, took a deep breath & said “she’s 12 years younger than me.”  I swear he held his breath until I told him it was cool with me.  Which made me wonder: What does society think about an age difference in a relationship?  What’s it like from the man’s perspective?  What about women dating younger men — how does it work for them?  What about same sex couples — how does the landscape vary for gay men as opposed to gay women?

I’ve always preferred to date older men.  I imagine that when I was younger it was an unconscious manifestation of my “daddy issues” — later I came to realize that it just works for me.  Why?

  • I’m attracted by men who are “old school.”  I need a man to pursue me, to open doors, to take me on dates, to pull out chairs, to open doors, & to order for me.  In teaching men today that “men & women are equal” we seem to made the assumption that “men & women are the same” — when we’re not.  I was recently horrified when my daughters date came to pick her up, texted her that he was here, & expected me to let my daughter to go on a date with him without him coming to the door — not happening.  We’re raising our sons differently than men were raised years ago, which is why I must praise the old dudes & their mamas.
  • In the eyes of the man you’re a “younger woman” which makes you a trophy in some regards.  Any positive qualities you have are automatically “powered up” by the fact that you’re younger.  For the single gals, this means being more marketable in the dating world.  For married girls like me, this translates into men continuing to pursue & appreciate you — hopefully forever, but at a minimum for longer than they otherwise would.
  • You’ve heard it forever: women mature faster than men.  An older man knows who he is & what he wants — most younger men do not.  You’re wasting your time waiting for a guy “to be ready” for commitment, marriage, & a family.  From a biological standpoint women don’t have the time to screw around.  With juggling our eduction & careers it’s hard enough to date, much less find someone who is not intimidated by our success — the worst thing we can do is waste our time with someone who doesn’t know what they want.

I once dated a man 8 years younger than me.  Initially he seemed to have all the qualities that you typically see in older men.  In the end, I realized he was like the little boy trying on his daddy’s suit.  He wanted to be the kind of man I was looking for, but just wasn’t there chronologically.  I was horrified at the concept of being labeled “a cougar,” as if he were my prey.  I knew this wasn’t the route for me, but because he relentlessly pursued me — I gave him a chance.  HUGE mistake on my part.  In the end, I decided that dating a younger man was a novelty — not only for myself, but for women in general.  We talk about women dating older men as part of their “daddy issues,” I assure you that dating older women frequently has a lot to do with “mommy issues” — as it did in the case of the younger man I dated.  

The relationship dynamics in the gay community are something I can’t speak to from a first hand perspective.  My husband & I have a deal that: when he dies, I’ll become a lesbian — so I guess I’ll have to figure out when the old man finally kicks the bucket.  I’ll write about it one day, stay tuned.  I’d love to hear from people in same sex relationships about their experiences…  Fill me in, if not for the benefit of my readers, but for my own personal reference in the future!

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