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.

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About IdeaSmith

IdeaSmith is the digital doppelganger of Ramya Pandyan (intrepid train-traveller and frequent spouter of post-midnight rhymes and rants). As IdeaSmith she battles obscurity and slays boredom with her stories about men, books, digitalia and Mumbai. She performs live and also blogs, tweets, Instagrams, Facebooks, +G’s, Youtubes and Goodreads all as IdeaSmith. Ramya is a blogger, digital storyteller and spoken word performer. She also runs a forum for aspiring writers called Alphabet Sambar. Tweet-bomb her at @ideasmithy.

Posted on July 24, 2009, in Hormone hangover, Relationships, The Dating Game and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. and you were protesting on your leg being pulled during the tweetup “but he’s younger than me!”
    .-= Gautam Ghosh´s last blog ..10 Indians Twitter Users to Follow =-.

  2. This is such a coincidence!!! I have dated a guy 4 and half yrs younger to me too, and for a pretty long time. We have decided to part ways for the time being but there was something really special there…I had a great time and it was mutual. Glad to know that you walked the same path too… Rules be damned. 😛

  3. hmm I like the way you said “no related posts”..speaks a lot doesnt it
    .-= rambler´s last blog ..Counting blessings =-.

  4. @rambler – that “no related posts” is a auto generated message by a script 🙂
    .-= Gautam Ghosh´s last blog ..10 Indian Twitter Users to Follow =-.

  5. Does this mean that, in the future you would prefer a younger man??
    Or is it just the fact that you were more assured and confident???
    Hmm….. . may be a bit of both???

    • @Rakhi: It’s a soul-cleansing experience, not to mention a fun one! 😉

      @rambler: I didn’t make that happen on purpose, it’s a plug-in as Gautam explains. But I guess it is interesting that I haven’t written much that gets picked up as related to this topic. Probably because I’m not taking a moral high ground against men this time?

      @anand: A bit of both perhaps but I’m not making any firm declarations for the future. :mrgreen:

  6. interesting! i’ve dated (for a few months) someone who’s 3 years younger than me, and then someone who’s 5 years younger than me…and somehow, the 5-years-younger one was a much better match!

    i think it’s a mix of everything, yourself and the other person, but one thing i’ve noticed i can’t stand is someone who’s still in college and has never worked. it involves a lot of factors (maturity, responsibility, experience of commitment and sacrifice in non-relationship matters, etc etc), but i’ve found that one thing to be the simplest rule-of-thumb…but then again, a few years from now i’ll be too old to worry about women (can i even call them that?!) in college, and i’ll probably have to start thinking once again 😀

  7. @krist0ph3r: I hear you! The college to worklife jump seems to be a critical one in transitioning to being an adult. The conversation and the person themselves are so important even to attraction, that I guess some level of shared ground is important.

  8. Have dated both younger and older women before settling down with someone younger than me.

    At the end of the day, its the meeting of minds that matters more than the age. The problem does crop up at the “settling down” time

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