How Old Is Too “Old” In Choosing a Partner When There’s An Age Gap?

Furthermore, where does gender play into those choices in heterosexual relationships and is there a double-standard for women? We know that women are being bombarded by conflicting messages of how we’re single hear us roar, that we can have sex like men or to not be burdened by being forced on a pedestal.  Someone even once suggested that men and women were like fish and bicycles.

The downside of this freedom is women getting caught without a rain jacket in a downpour — being saddled with the burden of child-rearing solo or coerced into sex earlier than many want, hurt feelings, exposure to infections, street harassment or other violence and an increasing dis-ease with our bodies and being more wary of men than ever before. Freedom always costs and the suggested choices made by some women may not be of any benefit to others.

If men are the “prize” let’s face it, some are part of a constantly devaluing currency. Certain men have gotten incredibly lazy – if they haven’t dropped the ball completely! Many have a huge sense of entitlement, roving eyes and have abandoned values that suit the advancement of certain groups to thrive and possibly dominate. Watch any random episode of The Bachelor or Millionaire Matchmaker to see men who can’t spell the word, let alone make a commitment to anyone.

I like to refer to this as distraction by shiny objects.   There was a post at Tim Ferriss’ blog a few months ago about having infinite dating choices. It offended quite a few women in the process who saw it as males taking full advantage of all of our “liberation” by enjoying what can amount to the lack of sustained boundaries by other women. I can understand where they were coming from, except I have to ask the proverbial question, did the chicken or the egg come first?

I want to be a woman and a lady in the best sense of the word. Not a beast of burden. Not unsupported. Not unnecessarily burdened. It’s still a patriarchal society at the end of the day. It would be foolish to insist on being an island unto ourselves when it isn’t necessary. We can still have strength of character without taking on the role of functioning males. Why can’t we have equal pay and not have to split the check?

This is where I decided to get off the train. Knowing there’s some loser who gets to string 25 women along on national television 4 times a year or 50++ year-old men who refuse to date anyone older than 25 is enough to make you want to slap them. The agenda from the Black Church to Steve Harvey at pushing old geezers staring the second half of their lives in the eye onto the unsuspecting love-starved never-married, much younger women who populate them is equally as infuriating.

Yet, women have biological clocks that are ticking away even if we’ve chosen to shut off the alarm. Youth is a fleeting thing but there’s no price that can measure wisdom. We want someone worthy who can appreciate us. Some wines are best served after being stored for a long period of time. Others are meant to be enjoyed immediately. How do we know which is the right choice for us? Is it right for us to be eliminated by some males (if it’s in good faith)? What role does medicine play in extending our abilities at having children past our fifth decade if we so desire? Can we have certain expectations in our partners and still have it all?

15 comments to How Old Is Too “Old” In Choosing a Partner When There’s An Age Gap?

  • null

    I would find it troubling if someone took sentiments such as, “Many [men] have a huge sense of entitlement” and “Knowing there’s some loser who gets to string 25 women along on national television … is enough to make you want to slap them” and then answered, “Why can’t we have equal pay and not have to split the check? … Can we have certain expectations in our partners and still have it all?” in the affirmative. As far as I understood it, ‘female liberation’ was to bring equality to the sexes, not to usurp the inequalities of the patriarchy.

    • Faith

      Since you failed to read for comprehension by charging that I've made blanket statements I don't see a useful dialog here. I haven't defined "female liberation" nor have I taken it upon myself to usurp patriarchy. I've always advocated making patriarchy work for women by using their femininity to their advantage versus discarding it entirely. I'm also specifically addressing methods for black women. If you bring your assumptions and sole outlook into a conversation it will be very easy to get sidetracked into your own issues which isn't the focus of this blog.

  • Eugenia

    Cont.
    But we did have to have a serious conversation about having children, when I met him I was 37 and not wanting to have children and didn't have any and him being a bit younger I didn't want to obstruct any chances he had if he really wanted to be a father. My desire not to have children and my age were factors in both of these. If you're older that's an important conversation to have especially if you're dating someone younger or dating/mating or thinking of marrying at all. But really whatever suits you but we have to be honest about how age effects perception because it certainly does. I am not the 20 year old girl I used to be in any way.

  • Eugenia

    My personal decision when I began dating again after my divorce was put limit on age of a man that was no more than 10 years older than me or 10 years younger than me. It worked great, I tried my hand at dating someone almost 14 years younger than me and it was just uncomfortable, we also had different goals in life, someone 23 was just on a different level than I was at 37 years old. In many ways I had 'been there, done that' and I didn't feel like teaching. My ex-husband had been 7 years older than me but he wasn't has youthful and adventurous as I was. I met my now fiancee who's 3 years younger than me and we're perfect, we're both youthful in our attitudes, outlook and very adventurous, he's established in his career as an engineer and I'm beginning a new career after years of being a paralegal.

    • Faith

      TWelcome and thank you for stopping by. Your insight and experiences will be very helpful to others reading these posts.

      • Eugenia

        Thank you Faith, I'm glad to share the knowledge I've gleaned over the years of dating/mating IR. Your blog is is extremely informative.

  • Marle

    I'm a woman but I've always dated younger men. I just never have any chemistry with older men. My husband is a year and a half younger than me. People are all different.

  • WaNetta

    I think MEN became the PRIZE today because we women LET IT. Where women thought they could make a living as good as a man, the man has naturally let her have it, and now most men today dont know how to take care of THEMSELVES properly,(because of fatherlessness) AND WOMEN ARE PUTTING UP WITH IT…..IMO this(feminist scam) could be one of the worst scams in history. I think we could change this, but it will take a little time; girls have got to get out of their t-shirts and jeans as standard wear, and start dressing and acting like LADIES again, and not to settle for anything less…my mom and my aunts said a man would get by with what a women will let them get by WITH

  • Pamela

    I would say that maybe the only issue I would have with a fellow too old is if a woman wants children. HOWEVER there are no guarantees about what may happen in the future. BUT this should be looked at.

    For me it boiled down to chemistry in every area of life. I tend to be pretty youthful in my outlook on life, that is, I have great anticipation for my future regardless of the status in life. When I got to my 40s I thought that I would marry younger because the men my age and younger acted like they had one foot in the grave. They were so old acting to me. I never dreamed that my knight in shining armor would be more than 10 years older than me (less than 20). This is pretty sad but he has more anticipation for his future than most younger people we are around. That was such a draw for me. I absolutely found that irresistible. He is also in great shape physically and watches what he eats. This may not be romantic but good health for both people is a great stress reducer. I also mention health because the argument against marrying older is that you might become a nursemaid. I have known young people that got sick and died. I have known older people (like my Mom) that are in better shape that the medical people treating her the rare times she goes to the doctor.

    The main thing that someone should look for in a relationship is chemistry in every area of life aka having a lot of things in common. That may be harder for a really young person marrying someone with too huge an age gap., mainly because of lack of living experience. At the same time he needs to be able to add something to your life AND have the initiative and ability to function well in whatever state they find themselves in. Everyone does well when things are going good. If you live more than 30 years you will probably run into at least one hard season in life. How the man functions there will determine if you have someone that will stick things out through time.

  • foreverloyal

    I used to always say 10 years was my limit. I ended up marrying a man about the same age, though.
    I'll be back later to discuss some of your other points in more detail.

  • “If men are the prize let’s face it…”

    This is part of the problem, we’ve turned men into the prize. It used to be the other way around.

    • FaithatAOFB

      Good point! That's what happens with women's "liberation" though as some things got lost in the translation.

  • Faith, I think this is just one of the many VERY important issues that bw need to discuss because some bw will rule out QLL men for often frivolous reasons. Don't get me wrong. When I was 18, I did the same thing. LOL! But more mature, sensible women look more at a man's EFFECTIVENESS as a man. On a day by day basis, an effective man is worth his weight in gold because he can be counted on to "deliver the goods." By the time I was 23 or 24, I realized that.

    This is just my opinion, but I would say that a man should be no more than 10 -- 15 years older (depending on the age of the woman), for best results. If she's 25 and he's 40, that may be a stretch, but if he's 35, that really shouldn't be an issue if everything else is in place. However, if she's 20 and he's 30 or 35, that's not a good combo due to her youth and most likely, immaturity. However, throughout recorded history, many women have traded youth and beauty for security and safety. Asian women, Eastern European women and certain others are rampantly doing that these days. And these days, many Aw are trading their exotic-ness and ww are also trading their skin shade for wealth, security, or for just being able to live better or live well.

    AA women and similar bw really need to zero in on what they have that they can trade and they then need to face reality and DO it. Everything else is just hot air and a waste of time because the world is not going to change for bw. I think we've established that the world does not care whether bw are alone, angry, depressed, abused, unhealthy, etc.

    I've read online where some young bw turn up their noses at older guys, but let's look at this. An older guy is almost always more level headed and emotionally mature. To use an extreme example, even an older thug is virtually always more mature than a young thug. This is the case across the board.

    And if we're talking about wm or really any type of non-bm, an older non-bm doesn't usually need parental or peer approval to date/marry a bw because he's more mature and more independent minded and is not nearly as easily influenced by or dependent on others for food, clothing, shelter, social approval, etc. the way a younger man may be. An older man is usually more established in all kinds of ways than a younger man. An older non-racist, non-colorist QLL non-bm is much more in tune with what's really important in life. He's MUCH more likely to be able to recognize a Quality bw and show his interest in the right way.

    I have to admit that I'm no longer sure who it is exactly that some younger bw are looking for, aside from George and Brad or the various Asian or Hispanic "hunks" or their lookalikes. The men who control most communities, companies, governments,etc,. in the world rarely resemble Brad and George. They look more like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.

    • FaithatAOFB

      That's why I wrote this post Evia. For women over 30 a 10 year gap isn't necessarily a bad thing with all other factors in consideration. It comes down to whether some women want to chase after the pretty young things who can't sustain a long-term relationship just for the thrill of catching an "impossible" man that everyone wants OR looking for a more grounded mate and approach. But that could be just me…