After being to the archery range four times in six days, I think I may actually like it. Just a hunch really. But I’m talking about shooting your shot in a different way this time around boys and girls. Yes, I’m talking about the phenomenon of being in a relationship with some one significantly older or younger. A situation that’s a lot more common than I thought in retrospect. I took to scouring a particular Reddit thread about this scenario and the stories had me intrigued to say the least.
The reception seemed fairly mixed: some with successful relationships despite a large age gap of 15+ years and others that didn’t last very long or were predicated on some shaky pretenses. Although the common notion that kept popping up was one of normalcy. It’s funny to think that 70+ years ago, an age gap was often times the norm. Go back even further and you’ll notice how normalized teenage marriages were with men that were upwards of 30 plus. I firmly believe it’s creepy in any context to be romantically and sexually involved with a developing teenage no matter the era. But I’m not going to get into that here.
The point of that brief aside was to illustrate a shift in opinion in modern times where around 20ish is the threshold for acceptable cougar and sugar-daddy behavior. If you’re prowling in the teens category, you’re definitely pushing it. Personally, my cut-off is five years above and three years below. Any deviation in that would warrant the person being an extremely fringe case. Basically, they’d have to be damn-near perfect in many respects. Beyond the obvious “that’s like dating my mom, gross” aversion to a 15+ relationship, it’s the generational disconnect that would bother me the most.
That’s not to say there are plenty of young hearted, young spirited older people out there that certainly do not look or act their age (that’s gonna be me). And then you have really old-ass young people that were probably born in the wrong era. I’m talking the bed at 9pm after binging Cheers type millennials. What a disgrace.
But those are certainly few and far between. I highly doubt most 45-year-old women are out here with wanderlust, trying to live their best life while figuring shit out along the way. If a woman is doing that at 45, there’s a reason she’s single. Same thing for a man. It’s definitely a case-by-case basis and requires a very intimate understanding of the stakes.
I’m not at the “This is who I am forever” stage just yet, but I’m damn near close hence why I’m trying to round myself out before it becomes infinitely harder post 30. On top of that, if I’m with someone that has 20+ years on me, I’m going to have to deal with their health issues as I’m settling into the middle-aged swag life. I don’t want to spend that time making sure my Gertrude is taking her medicine and not falling down the stairs.
I want to be old and decrepit with whoever I’m with. I want to be useless together. There’s no fun in the being a seasoned, middle-aged caretaker. Nothing sexy about changing diapers and mashing up food with supplements in it fam.
Jokes aside, it would be a cramp on the style. Another interesting aspect is being the step-child of someone that’s the same age as you or younger. Ironically enough, I wouldn’t trip about that. Unless it was an ex that decided to get revenge on me by becoming step-mom. Then we have a movie on our hands. That dynamic must be the weirdest because it’s hard to recognize a peer as an authority figure that commands respect. If my step-dad or step-mom were the same age as me, that would make for some really interesting conversation. Let’s sprinkle some Jerry Springer and create an affair with my same-aged step-mom. Yet another movie idea.
It would be a serious adjustment and from what I read, there were some choice stories about the power dynamics. I can’t say totally if I would be okay with such a series of events. I’d definitely be questioning the integrity and mental health of my parent. Although I see the appeal of having a significantly younger spouse, as an older man or woman. A sense of validation and pride is at the forefront in my mind. The feat of pulling a 20 something when you’re 40 something is an accomplishment I suppose.
For me I know such a disparity in age would forever be in the back of my mind, no matter how awesome they end up being or how well the relationship would work. Don’t get me wrong, I think older women are great because a large portion of them already know what they want. This is what it is, this is what it isn’t, and this is what it never will be. I’m down with such candidness.
Then again I know for a fact it would never work outside of the prior reasons because I’m not keen on children. I’m really not. And that’s another discussion all its own, but suffice to say, that biological clock is real. So anyone between 30 and 38 is going to be a hard-sell because of that alone. So maybe I am doomed and women on the road to menopause are my only real option. What a life.
Of course I don’t believe this; there are plenty women my age that are also not crazy about kids. To that end, I don’t envision myself at 40 plus lurking around for ripe college-aged and naive co-eds to whisk away to my middle-aged bachelor pad that’s perpetually stuck in the 90s. With the alarmingly low amount of patience I have now pre-30, I’d be surprised if I have any in ten years.
I’m actually banking on being a suave and single 50-year-old. Will I dabble in the 20-something pool of “please pay my student loans?” I doubt it. Will I be the first resource for advice when my other mid-life crisis friends start chasing undergrad tail? You bet your ass I will.