If you start to date an older guy, take things slowly to find out if he is able to prove his sincerity before you let your guard down. Carole Lieberman, M.D., suggests establishing a friendship with the guy first. “It's best to start casually, such as going out in a group of friends or meeting for coffee in the middle of the day,” she says. “You don't want to start off with romantic dates or visiting either of your homes ... circumstances that could more quickly propel you into bed.” Get to know the guy in non-romantic settings first so you can start to judge your connection with him (and his motives!).
Collegiette™ Alex, 21, has been dating her 27-year-old boyfriend for two years. “We did not start out looking for a romantic relationship, but it grew into one as we got to know each other better,” she says. “We had already talked about our lives and had come to value each other's advice. He proved to me that he was sincere by caring about my day-to-day life, and he spent the time to get to know my friends.” By getting to know her guy, Alex could be sure that he had the right intentions before taking things further with him.
How to make it work with an older guy
Despite the obstacles that may arise if you start to date an older guy, there is definitely a way to make it work if you’re committed to doing so. As with all relationships, communication is essential.
Collegiette™ Krista explains how she made it work with her older guy: “I met him at a bar. He was more mature and seemed more on my level. I found it to be super exciting but frustrating at other times because he didn't always want to go out and party. He was over the college years, while I was right in the middle of mine. Luckily, we compromised, which really helped!”
If you find yourself in a similar situation, frustrated by the age difference, talk to your guy about how you can find a compromise. For example, if he’s not as interested in partying, strike a balance: agree to go out together some nights but stay in on others. Then, neither one of you will have to give up a part of your life completely.
“Communication really is KEY when dating older men,” Krista advises. If you’re honest with him from day one, there’s a much better chance that neither one of you will get hurt. Make sure you have the same expectations, and take things slowly!
And never give up hope: that older guy may turn out to be the love of your life. “What makes it work, as in any relationship, is meeting a genuinely wonderful person who truly complements you,” Stetson says. “Being able to make jokes about the age difference, as well as taking them, also helps!”
Patrick Wanis, Human Behavior and Relationship Expert
Dan Lier, Relationship Expert from AskDanAndMike.com [askdanandmike.com] and co-author of the book Dan and Mike’s Guide to Men
Carole Lieberman, M.D., psychiatrist and author of Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them & How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets.