The Older Woman
A lot of men admit to having been attracted to an older woman at some point of time in their lives. Whether it was the adolescent yearnings towards the teacher/neighbor’s wife/friend’s mother or the preference in the later years for mature women (whether it is actualized or not), there definitely is something interesting here. Something very different from the conventional model of younger female-older male pairing. People have been experimenting with different sorts of relationships for years but recently I’m noticing a noticeable shift towards flipping the age equation.
Two of my friends are happily married to their longtime-and-older girlfriends. Both these men are extremely intelligent, confident to the point of being cocky (like a lot of people who are intelligent and know it). Both of them have an ever so-slightly condescending attitude towards women their age and younger. But both of them worship the ground their lady loves walk on. This fact is also true of several other men I know (similarly intelligent and confident) who have older girlfriends or some sort of romantic/sexual attachment to an older woman.
In this increasingly confusing world, all of us are looking for some kind of direction and I guess ‘older and wiser’ sounds just as appealing to a man as it has to a woman all these years. In some weird holistic way of balancing, it seems as though a person who normally does not respect most other people will invest all his respect (to the point of making it awe and devotion) in the one person he/she thinks deserves it.
Does anyone ever wonder what the woman feels about it?
For a long time I was conventional (for lack of a better word) to accept this state. But I’ve been re-thinking. Maybe it is because I’m older…old enough now to be considered ‘the older woman’ for some. Recently I’ve been noticing quite a few guys ‘checking me out’. Nothing new there I suppose….men routinely check out women. But these guys I’m talking about have been college students, youngsters, my juniors, younger siblings of friends. It was weird, you know why? So far, the attention from the opposite sex has come from men my age or older. Older men were more polished and suave and I was too young to sense the hidden moves. Men my age were also discovering the opposite sex at the same time and pace as I was and as I got wiser to their moves, they got subtler too. Now there is this entirely different kind of male that stops mid-step and gapes open-mouthed. I catch him sneaking glances every time I look his way and bless my stars…he blushes when I catch him at it.
I was at a restaurant the other day when this very young kid sat down at the next table with his parents. He was probably still in school but adolescent enough to very obviously cringe at the idea of being seen with his parents. I glanced at him to find him staring straight at me. The minute he caught my eye, he abruptly turned his head upward, then to his right, away from me and then straight down at his shoes. So obvious, it was funny. A few minutes later, I look for the waiter and our young lad does a repeat performance. And every single time I looked in his direction. So much angst and painful embarassment and guilty awe was exuding from him, I could feel it. I wanted to pat him on the head and tell him not to worry so much…that it wasn’t such a big deal. But I have a feeling he might have fainted if I spoke to him. So I ignored him for the rest of the evening. The only trouble with this is, if the guy is someone you see frequently (like a neighbor) chances are your indifference will make you all the more attractive to him…tch tch, what havoc hormones will play!
I know for a fact that one of my good friends in college had a huge crush on me that carried on for several years. I liked him, he was smart, witty and a great guy. And he was also younger than me. It doesn’t seem like a great deal today but then again the gap between 26 and 23 seems a lot less than the gap between 18 and 15. At that time I didn’t know how to handle it too well and I ended up being cutting and flippant each time he tried to talk about it. He bore it well, I must say and we still are very good friends. But then, he was a whole world more patient with my aloofness than he was with the enamoured attention of girls his age. And he really listened to what I had to say, placed a great deal of importance on my opinion. As opposed to a lot of men older than him who treat me like a Barbie doll that (unfortunately) talks too.
There definitely is something to being the older woman. If it gets me the respect that men my age and older refuse to grant, I’m all for it.