Women who like younger men get typecast as ‘cougars’ looking for their ‘toyboy playmate’ while men who like younger women are seen as ‘legends’ who can get ‘young attractive women’ with their suave, silver fox looks. The paradox between the two genders shows that women who are attracted to younger guys are seen in a negative light, whereas men are praised for doing the same, because for some bullshit reason ‘women should date men their own age’. And don’t even get me started on the attitudes towards women or men who are attracted to ‘someone older’ , who are categorized as ‘just in it for money’, ‘golddiggers’ or in some cases to ‘boost their status and position in society’. Age shouldn’t matter when it comes to relationships, but unfortunately in our society we are conditioned into believing that ‘dating’ , specifically ‘online dating’ has a ‘cut off point’ , where anyone over a certain age i.e. 40’s – 50’s does not deserve a chance to find love. And for women it’s even sooner; imagine my incredulous reaction when I read a tweet about Laura a ‘current Love Island Contestant’ who is 29, dating ‘Wes’ a 20 year old man. The tweet simply said ‘Why is this old lady on the show. If she wants to find a ‘husband’ there are plenty of old men online’. Isn’t it ludicrous that people think ’29’ is a cut off point for women, because lord forbid they be allowed to be single at that age. I mean come on, why aren’t you married and having kids already? Boy bye.
Even my own experiences as a 24 year old woman has been marred by societal expectations. I have always been attracted to guys that are older than me- and have only dated someone younger than me once- and the average age gap is usually 9 years. To me an age gap, whether the guy is 28 or 40, is no big deal as ‘age shouldn’t matter’ when you meet someone you connect with, but to others who make comparisons to me ‘dating’ or being ‘attracted’ to ‘old men’ (dude since when is a guy who is 32 or 34 old?) , I find it pretty disrespectful. You shouldn’t assume that women who are attracted to older men are ‘in it for the money’ just as you shouldn’t make faces at men who like older women, because at the end of the day, we are all entitled to finding love, regardless of whether you are 20 or 50. It’s like I always say, I will never settle for anything less than true ‘chemistry’ in a relationship and am quite happy to wait until I find the right person, just as much as I applaud anyone who finds the one they want to call their beau, regardless of how old that person that might be. I remember a reader asking me a question in regards to ‘online dating’ that struck me so vividly… they asked me how ‘old was too old’ and what they meant by that is what age would I consider someone to be too old for me to date, and the truth is, we should never put an age limit on dating, because your perfect soulmate could be someone that you find at 50 and that is the God’s honest truth.
I remember when I worked as a community nurse and one particular scene touched my heart; a lady of 70 years old who had suffered a stroke, was being hoisted into bed, by me and another nurse, and despite the pain she was clearly in, when her husband, a 55 year old man came into the room, you could almost read the emotion and love in her eyes, even when the rest of her body was frozen. And when her partner came and squeezed her hand, it took all my strength to not tear up, because they were a prime example of why age shouldn’t matter, because unconditional love triumphs all. Which leads me to my next point; it’s time that we created a positive discourse around ‘online dating’ and de-stigmatized the notion that an ‘age gap’ is ‘disgusting’ or ‘dis-genuine’ because I know plenty of couples and partners-same sex and opposite sex- who still fancy each other just as much as they did when they first met, so we are wrong to follow our ‘pre-conceived notions’ when they are so clearly contrived. After all, let us look at online dating sites like ‘Tinder’ and ‘Bumble’ which seem so clearly catered to a ‘younger generation’, when dating should not be so ‘exclusive’, whereas even ‘dating events’ that claim to move beyond the ‘swipe right and swipe left ‘ concept, still ‘pigeonhole dating’ in age groups, without taking into account A. the older generation i.e. 40’s and overs and B. the fact that many singletons are attracted to people that are younger or older than them, and that’s ok.
I want to reinforce the idea of a positive dating experience for older singletons- whether it be because of divorce or simply dipping their toes into the dating pool at an older age- I can honestly, hand on my heart say that it is never too late to find love. The saying goes that there is a soulmate out there for all of us, but in my mind, we might all have more than one soulmate, so even after a divorce, or a separation from your partner, don’t be discouraged to date again. Just remember to take your time and don’t settle for someone who is not worth your attention. Even if you go on a dating site and do not find love, meeting a wide variety of people- whether that be older or younger than you- can also allow you to make friendships, which in a world that is conditioned by loneliness and isolation, can be a gratifying mercy indeed. Let us break down that wall and leap over that barrier, because when it comes to online dating, age shouldn’t matter and that is a fact. There are dating sites to suit all tastes; whether you are looking for dating sites for over 50’s, ‘sugar mummy dating sites (Although I don’t really like that term, some women do define themselves as open to ‘sugar baby’ relationships ) or anything else, never feel ashamed of being attracted to someone who might be outside of the supposed societal rules and guidelines. After all we have our own free will, so if you are a divorced Dad of 60, looking for a younger woman that is ok, just as it is ok for a younger guy to be looking for an older woman to have a relationship with. We all have our kinks.
I should also point out why we shouldn’t be so quick to judge those who are older, from going on dating sites, because why shouldn’t they be able to access ‘love or lust’, why should someone’s age be a hindrance for them finding the one? I mentioned earlier that I am usually attracted to guys who are older than me, but I have a friend who is in her 30’s and attracted to men who are younger and I completely support her in all her dating choices, because as she quite rightly said ‘ age is just a number. But chemistry is everything’. And she is completely right, while I might date older guys because I find them more attractive, less likely to play the field (which is a myth they can be total players too) and more mature, my friend will often meet guys on nights out, and she likes that she is able to have fun and have a laugh, even though she is just as frustrated as me that we keep being attracted to the wrong people, who are definitely not worth our time (AKA Fuckboys) . What I am trying to say is that often we feel like we have to ‘do things by a certain age’ because the people around us are all happily married and having children, when that is not the case. Whether it be going to university at a later age, chasing your dream job when you are older or even joining online dating sites, age shouldn’t matter regardless of the circumstances. Because you are worthy of love, never forget that.
What Are Your Thoughts On Online Dating At An Older Age?
Please note this is a collaborative post but all thoughts are my own and are not affected by monetary compensation.
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