The Younger Man
So I’ve done the ‘date a younger guy’ thing too. Don’t I sound deliciously cold about it?
A once young nineteen-year-old me, on hearing about a friend’s new boyfriend exclaimed,
But he’s younger than you!
to which I got a succint, if somewhat stiff, “So?”
Well, I don’t know. I guess I was just one of those people who followed the rules so to speak. Used to be, anyway.
The truth is I’m surprised how painless it was. It was a refreshing change to not have to think about how I sounded and how sure I was about something. I mean, I was older and by corollary, wiser!! But it was also surprising in equal measure, how good he gave back, not just in verbal volleying but in terms of his own experience and impression of the world.
We had several intelligent conversations, we made each other laugh and we had fun. It was nice. For all purposes I might not even have remembered the age difference except when he decided an appropriate serenade would be,
And here’s to you, Mrs.Robinson….
Hmph very funny, I don’t think a five-year age gap is all THAT big a deal. Okay, now I don’t think it is anymore. The friend mentioned above was dating a guy 7 months younger than her so you can see why this is such a sea-change from where I was a decade ago.
To come back, for the experience itself. As we spoke, I was also becoming aware of my own age. It wasn’t that his opinions were not intelligent or that he was shallow. I could understand where he was coming from but in a lot of cases, I realised that I didn’t want to react that strongly anymore. Not that I had stopped caring but just that my emotions were less fiery and more thoughtful now. I don’t think this has to do with personality differences because I was exactly the same when I was 25 – jaded yet curious, excited and cynical in equal measure. In an odd way it was like seeing a then-and-now of myself.
And finally I was left with the sense that this is how dating and relationships should be. It’s not about the place or how or where the two of you met or how the future looks. It’s got nothing to do with age or similar backgrounds or shared interests. It is and always will be about the person himself.
Well of all the people to have a lesson from, a younger man? A child shall lead the way, they say.
Of note, if you’re wondering where things go from here…well, they don’t. He’s going his way and I’m going mine, both of us in agreement that it was an excellent experience. I never thought I’d say this but it is a good feeling to be able to feel that way.