8 Things to Expect When Dating an Older Man
I dated a guy eleven years older several years back and while I can’t say if this would classify as dating an older man, I know that has been my best relationship so far.
He fit the stereotype of an older man perfectly, even though he was only in his early forties then.
Dating an older man is one topic that continues to bring mixed opinions. On one hand, some women are open to the idea of dating an older guy and even welcome it, while others would never consider it.
However, as society continues to evolve, the stigma surrounding these age-gap relationships is slowly reducing, and more couples are choosing to date outside of their age range.
If you are considering dating an older man, here are some of the advantages and challenges you can expect to encounter as well as some tips on how to navigate this type of relationship.
Benefits of Dating an Older Man
Here are some of the benefits of dating an older man:
Life Experience and Wisdom
First off (and this is by far the best advantage you will get from this type of relationship, an older guy comes with a depth of life experience and wisdom that comes with age. The typical older man comes with a ton of this. We’re talking experience in every facet of life.
As people get older, they amass an extensive amount of knowledge and experience that can be valuable in a relationship. Older men have more life experiences, including relationships, careers, and personal life challenges, which come in handy in navigating life’s vicissitudes with more ease and grace.
Another advantage of dating an older man is financial stability. The typical older man is established in his career seeing as he’s had more time to accumulate wealth than younger men. This can prove beneficial especially if you are looking to start a family or buy a home. Dating an older man means being with someone who would likely be in a better financial position to provide for you and your future together.
Dating an older man can also be advantageous in terms of emotional maturity. Older men are typically more emotionally stable and have a stronger grasp of their own emotions and how to communicate them effectively. This can help create a more stable and fulfilling relationship since both of you are better equipped to navigate your own emotions and understand each other’s needs.
Another benefit to dating an older man is the likelihood of intellectual stimulation. Older men are often more well-read and well-traveled, and this could mean more interesting and engaging conversations. Also, older men may have different views and understandings of the world which can be enlightening.
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Challenges of Dating an Older Man
Like all things, dating an older man also comes with its challenges. It’s not all rosy this side of the relationship spectrum and these are some of the challenges you can expect to see with this kind of relationship.
One of the main challenges of dating an older man is the generational differences between partners. Five years is considered a generation and most women do fine dating a man 1 – 10 years older.
The older your partner is, the more different you both will be. Older men may have grown up in a different time and place, with different values, beliefs, and expectations. If your man has up to 15 years on you (that’s considered three generations) you can be sure your views and beliefs are going to be as different as night and day. This can sometimes create a disconnect between you both, especially if you both have considerably different life experiences and worldviews.
Possible Health Complications
Another challenge of dating an older man is the fact there could be some health issues or these could crop up sooner than you expect. As we age, our health ceases to be what it was in our hay days, leaving us more susceptible to health complications and challenges, which can affect our quality of life and our ability to participate in certain activities.
Additionally, if there is a significant age difference between partners, the older man may pass away before his partner, leaving them to face the challenges of aging alone.
Although the stigma surrounding age-gap relationships is on the decrease, you can still expect to get some raised eyebrows dating an older man. Some people may view the relationship as predatory or exploitative, especially if the age difference between you both is quite large or if one party is quite well-off. If you aren’t built strong enough, all those side talks can start to get to you both, creating a strain and some discomfort.
Different Stages of Life
Finally, one of the most noticeable challenges of dating an older man is the fact you both could be at different stages of life. Your man may be at a different stage of life than younger men, with different priorities and goals.
This will definitely show in his lifestyle; you will find things you find interesting and hold dear likely hold little lure for him and vice versa.
This can create tension in the relationship if both of you don’t get on the same page regarding your opinions as well as future plans and aspirations.
Tips for Successfully Dating an Older Man
Seeing as the benefits of dating an older man far outweigh the few challenges, if you find love in such a gentleman here are some tips that will help you navigate this relationship successfully
1) Manage Your Expectations
An older man can be a knight in shining armor – any man can be – but he definitely won’t be a young prince that will come with all the pomp and pageantry of one.
If going into this relationship, you want to manage your expectations as best as possible.
2) Respect His Experience
His life experiences will be a benefit to the relationship. He’s likely to be more knowledgeable in relationships, careers, and other aspects. This will give you speed, as I came to discover from dating an older man. You would be avoiding mistakes you otherwise would have made, since he’s towed that path and knows the likely outcome.
You want to respect his experience and be open to learning from him. However, this doesn’t in any way undermine your own experiences; they are valid and will bring a unique perspective to the relationship.
Read Also: 16 Interesting Dating Tips for Women
3) Be Confident in Yourself
Dating an older man can be intimidating, especially if you’re younger and less experienced in life. His advice can seem controlling over time – more like he is undermining your own views and ways of doing things. However, it’s important to remember that you bring a unique perspective and set of skills to the relationship. Be confident in yourself and your abilities, and don’t be afraid to speak up and share your thoughts and opinions. You want to strike a balance between his wealth of experience and your knowledge of things. Your partner will appreciate your confidence and maturity for this.
4) Communicate Clearly
Good communication is the life force of any relationship and is just as important as love. Clear communication is particularly important when dating an older man. Ensure sure that you both communicate freely and honestly about your feelings, desires, and needs at all times. And while as women we always assume our partner should know what we’re thinking or feeling, you should instead, express yourself clearly and respectfully.
5) Be Flexible
He clearly will have different interests or preferences sometimes, ones you might have very little desire to explore. He also may have more responsibilities and obligations and not being understanding here could hurt your relationship.
Be flexible and willing to compromise when necessary. While you don’t have to share all of the same interests or do everything together all the time. You should find ways to support each other’s interests and also make time for each other despite your tight schedules.
6) Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself is essential in any relationship, and especially so when dating an older man. Ensure you’re taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional health, and don’t neglect your own interests and hobbies. Your partner will appreciate you more if you’re happy and fulfilled in your own life.
7) Be Prepared for Judgment
This goes without saying. There will still be those who will judge your choice of a partner and some uncouth enough to make snide comments when you are both about. People may make assumptions about your individual intentions or question the validity of your relationship. Be prepared for these reactions, but don’t let them get to you. Remember that your relationship is between you and your partner and that your happiness is what matters most.
8) Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries is important in any relationship, but it’s particularly so when you are with an older man. Be clear about your expectations and boundaries from the start, and don’t be afraid to voice or enforce them. If your partner crosses a boundary, have a mature and respectful conversation about why it’s important to you and how you can work together to maintain healthy boundaries.
9) Have Fun
Ultimately, dating an older man should be fun and you want to focus on this, not on what the world thinks is right for you.
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Frequently Asked Questions on Dating an Older Guy
- What to expect from an older man when dating?
While a relationship with an older man does come with its benefits, one challenge you can expect to face is that of him being set in his ways.
This might prove challenging, especially if he is rigid and unbending. You should have no troubles if he loves you and is willing to compromise as you would also be doing.
- What an older man wants in a relationship?
An older man wants what every other guy wants; stability, support, loyalty, faithfulness, and respect. Give him these and he will gravitate towards you.
- At what point is an age gap too big?
Any age gap should work if both hands are on deck to see it do so. However, experts point out that you are likely to have the best relationship experience with a 1 – 3 years and no more than 10 years between you both.
- What attracts an older man to a younger woman?
There are a few things including emotional maturity, similar life views, and a strong physical attraction.
- What are some red flags when dating an older man?
One of the red flags when dating an older man includes being rigid in his ways. Being with such a man would leave you frustrated and unhappy most of the time.
Others include a lack of respect for boundaries, being resistant to change, and being unapologetic when he errs.
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