What About Me?

I have a friend.  She’s rolling into the “later half” of her twenties and starting to worry that she won’t find a man to share her life with, to produce button-nose offspring with, to spend chilly evenings with, heck, to make love with!

She realizes she might not be cut out for the competition – it’s a dog-eat-dog world.  For one, she’s not very competitive and would traipse around a social event making 10 new guy friends rather than aim for a single lover.  Secondly, she’s observing a trend that has all the odds stacked up against her: not only are young people dating other young people, but single, older men are also dipping their hands into that same pool.  What should be her pool of date-able, accessible guys, are men eyeing your just-legal coeds.  Where does that leave her?

The whole nubile skin and youthful beauty, she understands completely.  Of course, most men can’t resist being star-struck by a set of gorgeous, eh hem, eyes.  But almost just as ironically, men who date much younger women, versions who would otherwise be my friend’s younger sister, complain that their significant other is not “mature enough” or “they are not at their prime yet…but soon” or even that “they get so flustered and dramatic over inconsequential things.”  And here my friend is listening to these complaints bug-eyed and ready to pull out her hair.

Initially, I want to spew out: Men, where are you at?  And who hit y’all with a stupid stick?  If you want to hold a half-decent conversation, live fuller more meaningful lives with a loving partner and avoid unnecessary tirades, please find my friend and let the world be known that you are somewhat intelligent.  If you’re looking for long-term, patience and drama-repellant, she’s it!

Realistically and with some un-scientific research, I’ve been able to discover instead: Men continue to be drawn to young women not only for their beauty, but for the “fun factor” and for “short-term expectations.”  I’m compelled to clear my throat when listing these reasons (for all you older women), but explain I will.

Firstly, “fun factor.”  As many years as a man may accumulate, he is still looking for experiences, people and places that make him feel young and competent.  Although older women might hold some appeal, he’s easily seduced by the younger ones because they’re generally spunky, adventurous and oftentimes spontaneous.  Having lived life corralled by Mom and Dad’s mostly-strict rules, these young women are now free to explore and experiment.  Every experience is one that brings forth fresh feelings – they’re genuine and in that genuineness is an attractive force all on its own.

When a man is able to give his younger counterpart these “firsts,” you wouldn’t believe how accomplished he feels.  There’s a spring to his step each time he surprises her with these bursts of newfound happiness and discovery. That high oftentimes makes him believe he’ll be able to keep her for the long run.  This is not to say that older women are dowdy and not fit for fun but with several more years of life, spontaneity and spunkiness seem to come at a premium.  Many men assume that a date with an older woman might be more of an interrogation to determine if he is fit for “long-term,” while a date with the younger beauty will be one with a lesser and much more attainable goal.

On to “short-term expectations:” If the younger girlfriend is expecting to just have fun, men don’t feel the need to prove he is long-term material, which is repetitive because I just stated that above!  A-ha, connection!  These two factors easily overlap and are sometimes one in the same.  Older women who are looking for a long-term commitment have much more cutthroat criteria: they can meet a man and within hours, know he is not “the one” and will leave him alone thereafter.  This is equivalent to flipping him the bird…kindly.  Young women will, for the most part, seek that their date is not only HOT, in their eyes, but that the guy can ease up and have fun.  If he should be able to do that, he’s passed the hardest test of all.  Which obstacle course would you, being a single-and-looking bachelor, want to go through?

And there is where you have spaghetti junction or the tangled mess from all this. It would seem everyone gets the shorter end of the stick: Men, at some point, long for their younger girlfriends to develop a maturity level similar to that of peers his age.  Older women struggle to prove to their counterparts that they can still “keep up” and that they still have a tireless inner child.  Young women are drawn to new experiences and could easily stray from their older boyfriend once the relationship loses its luster.

It would seem that the only solution is to find the exception and, thank God, those exceptions are plenty.  But you won’t find them moping about at home cursing your luck.  Get out there – live life!  Meet people just to meet people.  The exceptions are many: He might just run into the 22 year-old college grad who has a soul of a nearly-thirty.  They’ll marry and run off into the sunset.  Heck, you older women might find yourselves salivating over a younger man who’s got his act together.  There are older men looking for older women (and every other combination imaginable) but there’s a time and a place for everything! I hate using clichés but this one is a must.

Exceptions walk beside us every day of our lives, pulsating with momentum and dreams.  It takes but one moment for them to collide with you and make an ordinary moment into a momentous one (and maybe even into a “forever” one).  Don’t wait around for it; just carry on as usual so that when the time is right, you’re simply, ecstatically blown away.

So what about older women like my friend?  Don’t give up.  Don’t mope.  Don’t dwell on it like it’s your life calling.  There’s so much of life to live, to laugh at, to curse at.  I’m not attracted to women myself but I notice that my single, female friends are at their most sexy when they are just enjoying themselves, many times where “men” are the furthest thoughts from their minds.

To my friend: when you do meet the man of your dreams (and I don’t care how long it takes), the fireworks are going to singe the hair right off your scalp and it’s going to be this wonderful revelation and you’re going to be so glad you took your time and I’m going to be so glad to be a witness, so glad to feel uncomfortable when you two connect eyes in the same room, so glad that it’ll inspire me to write ridiculous run-on sentences. I’ll be there to spend a reckless, tipsy celebratory night with you as we toast great sex, romantic men (no matter what their age) and your suddenly higher chances for button-nose offspring, chilly evenings in and years upon years of love-making.

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