If one of your 2017 resolutions is saying no to f*ckboys, I am with you. So, dating older guys is the obvious solution to this problem, right? Wrong. Dating older guys might seem like the pinnacle of maturity to you, but honestly? They aren’t always worth it. In fact, most of the time, dating an older guy is actually the worst. To be clear, when I say “older guy,” I mean a much older guy. So, for example, it would be like a high school freshman dating a college sophomore, or an 18-year-old dating a 29-year-old. Basically, I mean dating someone who is significantly older and in a completely different place in life than you are.
We all know that age doesn’t always make someone who they are. But we also have to admit that girls are often romanticizing older guys. We assume that they’re more mature, more worldly, more sexually experienced, serious about relationships, ready for commitment, and super cool and suave. We think they have their lives together and that they’re much more grown up than any of the dudes we see on a regular basis.
And sometimes, we would be right – except, uh, the older guys who are stable in that way have their lives together enough to stay away from girls who are a lot younger than them. Sorry, but it’s true! If someone is hanging around with people in a much younger state of life, it’s because they’re falling behind – and sometimes it’s even totally illegal. Age is just a number, and true love wins, but sometimes those two things can’t necessarily go hand in hand, you know? As someone who’s been there, these are 14 reasons dating an older guy actually sucks the most.
1) Everyone’s going to question why you two are together.
“Is he immature? Is he using you? What’s his deal anyway?” To be fair, your family may have a good point, but that doesn’t stop these questions from being annoying af. In no other situation do people feel so open and okay to question the validity and worth of your relationship. Older boyfriend? Get ready for these questions and all of the judgement that comes with them. Fun times.
2) You might have to lie or hide to appease your family and their concerns.
If you’re still in high school and you’re dating someone in college or even older than that, have fun telling your family members the truth! You’ll probably end up lying, and honestly, that’s just exhausting.
3) Mansplaining takes on a whole new form with this exact flavor of, “Well, I’m older, so I just know better” condescension.
No matter what, they feel like they can drop this card at any time. No matter what you’re talking about, fighting about, what’s going on, if they aren’t getting their way, they can always simply state that they’ve been alive for longer than you and then BAM! Suddenly, your point disintegrates. Awesome, dude. You’re doing a good job.
4) The never ending “how old were you when THIS THING happened” game sucks.
No, I wasn’t old enough to see that movie in theaters and I am too young for those pop culture references to be funny, but please keep quoting that movie, it thrills me.
5) They’re legal way before you are.
Whatever it means to you, whether 18 or 21 is the benchmark age separating you, one person crossing that threshold years and years ahead of the other person totally sucks AND THERE’S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. For one person, they’ve been waiting forever to finally reap all of the privileges of being 18 or 21, so now that they have to lag behind to keep you included totally sucks, I’m not going to lie about it. They shouldn’t resent you for it, but it miiiiiight happen.
6) Your age gap means more at different ages.
When you’re 30, they’ll be 36 and that’s not that big of an age difference, right? Okay, fair point… but for now your’e 16 and they’re 22, which is a bigger deal. Sorry! They’re just starting their career and you’re still in high school – those are two totally different life levels. We all know in the future it won’t be a huge deal, but for right now, for your life currently in this moment, on paper, it’s might not be a good idea. And that sucks.
7) You have different ideas of what fun is.
Honestly, they might not come to prom with you if they are out of high school. People develop at different speeds and reach milestones at different times and that totally affects what you value and what you think is fun. Having fun together is supposed to be something that comes naturally in a relationship, but for some reason (um, we know the reason) it’s hard to find something you both love with equal enthusiasm.
8) You want different things out of life or you want them at different times.
Maybe one of you wants to make it serious and one is only into being casual. Is your timeline for marriage different? I know that might seem like a major leap for most of you, but I said older guy. Older people get married. Don’t be surprised if your older boyfriend brings it up in a chill way because that’s the next logical step for them. Just a heads up, if they’re into this and you’re main stressor in life is where you’re going to college, don’t date this person.
9) Having mutual friends is tough.
Chances are, this older dude hangs out with other older people. Do you think they want to have a young person around? Uh, probably not, especially if you’re under legal age and they’re all over it. And bringing him around your friends? He probably won’t be that into the idea of that.
10) Intimacy may be illegal for longer than you’d like.
If being together is illegal, cut it out. Up and end this relationship because it’s not worth sending them to jail. If one of you turns 18 and the other one is still 13, you might have to sit and wait or just call it quits. There are laws against this to protect against pedophiles – and with good reason – so take that into account when you come to terms with the actual legality of your relationship.
11) They assume that they’re right all the time.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that older people tend to do this thing where we assume you don’t know something because you’re younger. It is annoying to say the least. Imagine that in a romantic relationship!
12) You’re less likely to give them pushback because of this.
From when you’re little, you’re raised to trust authority figures, so it’s easier to go along with something this person asserts as fact without challenging them. You’ll give up trying to persuade them easier or take their point of view at face value rather than pushing back. Which totally sucks.
13) Other than the age gap, there’s the wisdom and experience gap.
They’ve simply lived more life than you. They have more of life to draw from and that gap will never close. Eventually you’ll be on more equal footing, but in the mean time they’ve literally been there and done that. Oh well.
14) What I’m trying to say in a roundabout way is the level of experience that comes with living more of life includes having a longer string of relationships and a more nuanced understanding and level of skill when it comes to manipulation.
This is the main reason people tell you to stay away from older guys. It’s this. People are worried about you getting hurt, wasting your time, or getting involved in something way outside of what’s appropriate for you or that you feel comfortable with. Not to sound like your mom, but this is definitely a real thing. Of course, date who you want and live your life, but keep your wits about you. Some people are great, but not every older guy is genuine.
Have you dated an older guy? Did you love it or hate it? Did they live up to the hype? Let us know in the comments!
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.