So, you’ve started dating an older man. You’re head over heels infatuated with each other and having the time of your life; that is until you get to the point where you have to introduce each other to your friends and family. And all of a sudden you find yourself bombarded by questions from different people wanting to know why you’re in this relationship, and it’s so daunting that you have no idea how to answer.
Or: you’re with a group of his (much older) friends and they’re making references to songs or films, or whatever was current in their era, and you start to feel a little bit lost because you’re not really sure what they’re talking about.
The important thing is not to panic — if you don’t want to feel caught out then you just need to do a little homework beforehand. Having always dated older men myself, I’ve gone through this more times than I can count. And over the years I’ve learned a thing or two that I can pass on to you guys here on my blog.
Basically, it all comes down to being prepared. By applying the following 12 techniques your relationship with him will be so much more rewarding. And they’ll most certainly make your life a hell of a lot easier.
01. DO SOME RESEARCH
Read about the era that your boyfriend grew up in. Google is great for this because there’s a wealth of information at your fingertips. You might even find that you enjoy some of the music or TV shows from those days, so it shouldn’t be that difficult.
02. BE PREPARED FOR AWKWARD QUESTIONS
Expect some seriously awkward questions and remarks when you first meet each other’s friends and family. You know the ones: ‘Are you after him for his money?’, ‘He’s old enough to be your father’, ‘Do you mind being a trophy girlfriend?’, ‘Have you thought about your future?’ Yadda Yadda Yadda. If you’re prepared for questions like that to come up, they won’t throw you off balance when they do.
03. STAY CALM WHEN YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS DISCUSSED
Let’s face it, you’re going to be the hot ‘gossip’ for a while. Until some other drama arises that will steal the focus away from you and your man. Try not to get too hurt by people’s comments. They are just trying to deal with it, and they’re doing it in the only way they know how to. Badly.
04. DEFINE WHAT YOU SEE IN HIM
Write a mission statement (yes I’m deadly serious!) and learn it off by heart, so you can keep repeating it to anyone who asks what it is you see in him. You could say something like you appreciate courtesy and good manners in a man and men of your age don’t seem to have them. Or that you crave the stability that an older man can emotionally offer you. Ha — that’ll stump them! Just don’t joke about only being with him for his money, as his nearest and dearest most definitely won’t see the funny side, and it’s a sure-fire way of rubbing them up the wrong way. And that’s something you most definitely don’t want to happen.
05. ACCEPT WHAT COMES AS A PACKAGE
It’s important to remember that he is not alone. He has an ex somewhere, children, perhaps, and most importantly a former life. Get to know his children and listen when he talks about his ex. Don’t try to steal all of his time. If you are prone to jealousy, this is definitely not the type of relationship for you.
06. DON’T STOP BEING YOU
Don’t feel like you have to suddenly change your personality to suit his. You guys are together for a reason, and he likes you just the way you are, even if you do feel a little immature at times. Make sure you don’t stop doing the things that you usually do. And be sure to include him in your activities. He’ll be over-the-moon if you do, and it will make him want to get to know you even more.
07. DON’T PLAY GAMES
Older men don’t know anything about the dating games that their younger counterparts seem to have diplomas in these days. It’s a phenomenon that is reserved for the less mature male, so there is no need to start playing games with your new date or expect him to start doing that. He knows what a landline is and he’s not afraid to use it.
08. PLAN EVERYTHING
Don’t get caught short not having all the essentials that you need for a romantic evening together. If there’s no contraception, there will not be any — and I mean, ANY — sexy time. This is especially true if your man has children already. Create a date night essentials pack, and have it to hand, ‘just in case’. In it, have all the indispensables that you would ever need just in case of things turning — you know — serious. In it, keep stuff like condoms, lubricant, throat spray, etc. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did!
09. ACKNOWLEDGE HIS EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE
The older the man, the more experiences, relationship problems and arguments he’s most likely had. He’ll have been through lots of breakups and falling outs. In fact, he’s probably had enough experiences to write a book about. Talk about emotional baggage! He probably has a chest or two filled with it. Remember this important information. Why? Well, you know that old saying ‘don’t make the same mistake twice’? This is where he has all of his mistakes stored. Along with all the broken promises, rants, moaning, forgotten dates, lies and cockiness etc. But don’t worry. They are in there safely stored away, never to be used in new relationships.
10. DON’T GET IN THE WAY OF HIS RESPONSIBILITIES
Being mature, your new man may hold a managerial post, or have his own business. Either way, he has more responsibility at work, and therefore works above and beyond what is normally necessary. Be sure to make allowances for this. Schedule your dates, but don’t fly off the handle if he occasionally has to cancel at the last minute.
11. DON’T HARP ON ABOUT THE AGE GAP
Depending on his sense of humour, don’t go on about how wide the age gap is. You can marvel at it from time to time — that’s fine. But if you’re constantly mentioning it, it conveys a message that you think it sucks. It doesn’t matter how much you try to sugar coat it, if you’re repeatedly saying he is an old fogey, he’ll eventually develop a hang-up over it. And, in turn, cause the relationship to go into decline.
12. LEARN FROM HIS EXPERIENCES
Hopefully being mature means he’ll have learnt a thing or two about life and love along the way. This is great as it means that you can learn a lot from him too. And — believe it or not — this works both ways. You’ll be able to teach him a thing or two by looking at problems from a younger perspective.
With so much conspiring against you, you’re probably wondering what makes you so alluring to him? What on earth did he see in you? Well, one of the most obvious answers is youth. Yep — you remind him or his younger, carefree days. But don’t be fooled into thinking that this is the only reason why you guys are dating. He clearly saw something in your personality that drew him to you. Something maybe his friends and family just can’t fathom. They’ll soon come around when they see just how happy you make him. I promise.