When I was in my late 30s, I started to date women 15 years younger than me.
Even though people judged me, I found younger women more carefree and open to adventure.
I eventually married a woman eight years younger than me.
When I was in my late 30s, there were only two popular dating apps. I lived in the woods with my dog, and I seldom met women wandering around the forest, so I used apps off and on for a couple of years.
I wasn't one of those serial daters who always had to have a few dates lined up for the week. I was fine being alone, but if I was intrigued by a woman, I'd reached out.
Both of the dating apps allowed me to set age parameters. It didn't seem right to discount a woman simply because she was a few years younger or older, so I didn't push aside anything with potential based on age.
This led to some very interesting dates and relationships.
I found it was easier for me to connect with younger women
I was up to 15 years older than a few of the girls I went out on dates with. Honestly, I had more in common with them than women my age or older. Maybe they didn't get my references to the Fonz, Elvis, or old movies, but nothing's perfect.
For starters, the younger women kept in better shape. I worked out as well, so fitness and health were important to me.
Plus, they didn't seem too burdened or beaten down from previous relationships. For the most part, they were much easier to get along with. I wasn't being compared with first husbands or long-term boyfriends — simply because they had not experienced those yet.
I didn't have any children, and these ladies, for the most, didn't either. They still enjoyed going out to the movies, hiking, and even bowling. They were open to almost anything at the drop of a hat — unlike the older women I dated who were weighed down by baggage or children.
It was common to receive disapproving looks while I was out with these younger women
It was weird getting looks at first. I would never stare at a couple with a noticeable age gap between them, but I had strangers doing that to me all the time.
It wasn't like I was a grandfather out with someone who could be my granddaughter, but still, I got stares. There was this one instance when a group of ladies who were similar to my age made a few remarks at the piano bar we were at. It was one of those situations where you could hear their eyes roll back in their heads. I was so frustrated that I got up and confronted them.
Plus, a few of my close friends and their significant others seemed to have problems with me dating younger women. I would hear judgmental comments now and then. I tried to ignore everyone's remarks, but after a bit, it started to build up.
Since I was getting grief on my end, I wondered how much my dates were getting. If her parents and friends questioned us, too, then after a while, I'm sure it weighed heavily on her. Perhaps this is why the relationships never seemed to last.
Strangers, friends, and family didn't understand that I found many benefits to this type of relationship, and it was not entirely focused on appearances, either. There seemed to be less drama and more fun. However, I would often ask myself whether there was a future with any of them.
I eventually married a woman younger than me
My wife is eight years younger; she is a well-established doctor whom I met online. We now have two amazing toddlers on our hands.
Having only an eight-year age difference seemed like nothing on my end. Plus, we physically appeared to be about the same age.
Did I have more in common with her than some of the women who were 15 years younger? Not really. My wife is not into fitness and doesn't enjoy movies much, and her science talk often goes over my head. It just goes to show that just because someone is close in age to you doesn't mean that you will automatically have more in common.
Some people will say they hate the whole dating process, but I didn't mind it — I had fun, even. In the end, I realized that no matter whom I dated, the process could be frustrating, incredible, and everything in between. In my case, it all worked out.
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