Dating always has a sneaky way of exposing both the strengths and weaknesses of one’s character. At 25 I thought I had it all figured out, knew who I was, what I wanted, and what I would and would not stand for… until I met bae, who is over 10 years my senior and divorced with 2 children. Now, although I’m not sure where this current adventure will lead, and right now that’s something I’m okay with, I am definitely grateful for what I’ve learned thus far. So to share the wisdom, here are 5 things that dating an older man has taught me:
1. Communication is important… and not nearly as difficult as the men my age have made it seem. I know all men are different and there are probably 20-something’s out there with excellent communication skills, I just personally have yet to meet one. It’s so refreshing to be able to talk about something without the fear of coming across a certain way, and I feel like his life experiences have made him more patient and receptive to whatever I have to say.
2. I am beautiful AND sexy, and although I already know that, we all need a little reassuring sometimes. But it goes beyond just hearing it all the time, it’s also about not having to deal with social media drama and #WCW posts of women I know I’ll never look like, even if I avoid carbohydrates like Chris Brown avoids Drake.
3. Remain individual within your relationship. It’s so important and it’s also acceptable. Being with someone wiser and more secure with themselves has allowed me to have a healthy amount of space. Which means we have something to talk about when we’re together other than my whereabouts and who I was with.
4. You probably won’t be his first. First love, first wife, nor will you share many traditional first time experiences like getting married, buying a house, or having a baby. This is a real eye opener and for some this may not be a big deal, but you have to be truly honest with yourself and be honest from the beginning about what you want and need, and what you can handle. There is nothing worse than investing time into someone only to realize things won’t work due to something that is out of both of your control.
5. You probably won’t have it all figured out in 10 years and that’s okay. I sometimes find myself worrying about where I’ll be in 10 years, what my career will look like, and what will be the best choice for my investments. With that being said, I’ve learned that it’s okay to live a little now and to loosen up a bit, because chances are in 10 years I’ll be worrying about something else. Plus, I’m strong enough to make it through whatever life throws my way.
Dating someone older or younger than you is not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s understandable. Once the initial lust and honeymoon stage has cleared, you need to be honest with each other. Communication is key and it is important to ask yourself what you want to grow from the relationship and where you see yourselves in the next 1/5/10/15 years, as well as how you will deal with life’s many areas of turbulence.