6 February 2017

In defence of younger men

There is nothing you can say about dating younger men that I haven't heard.

The topic has come up again because (our) Kylie's relationship with her fiance has hit the skids and everybody but everybody is citing the age difference as the reason.  There have been more articles dedicated to this subject over the last week or so then mentions of Beyonce's pregnancy which is pretty impressive.

Now, personally, I suspect the allegation that said fiance was shagging other women had more to do with their break up then his age. And cheating is not something only young men do. Or only men for that matter.

I not only dated a younger man. I married him.

And dear readers, almost 13 years after we drunkenly snogged on a warm summer's evening in a backyard in South-East London, we are still together.

When I first kissed him, I didn't know how old he was. Just that he had the most incredible blue eyes, was hot with a capital H, had the most grab-able butt ever, loved music, played Scrabble and was good for hours and hours of conversation.

We weren't in love when we first snogged but very few are. I liked him though and clearly fancied him because I've never played tonsil hockey with anybody I didn't fancy. I'm classy like that.

A long long time ago... 
We started dating and pretty much every single person we knew had something to say on the matter. Women married to older men were particularly vehement on how it was not going to work. Our friends on the whole doomed the relationship it before it began. Our mothers made the kind of parental remarks they think are subtle and even the two of us spent quite some time talking about it. We endured endless examples of 'a friend of a friend who dated a younger man and.....' or a 'friend of a friend dated an older woman and.....'.

I am willing to bet money nobody had the same conversations with Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones when they hooked up. It would have been all "You lucky bastard" and "Well done Cath darling - older men know where it's at don't they?"

You know something? Our age has never mattered.

Sure we have different musical, movie and television references but we would have had those anyway because he's British and I'm Australian. Sure I was in school when he was born but I wasn't dating him then so it's irrelevant.  Sometimes we laugh at different things but that's because his side of the family have the most genetically flawed sense of humour known to mankind.

He's a good man. A kind one. A funny one. A supportive one. A loyal one. And yes,sometimes he is the most intensely irritating man on the planet.  That's not his age.... that's long term relationships. You can love somebody and they can still drive you bonkers on occasion.

Though he swears I never annoy him.  So yes, sometimes he lies. That's not his age though. That's because he can be a complete sweetheart when he wants to be. Or needs to be. You choose. We are interested in some of the same things but not all the same things. We have congruent values and ethics.  We parent similarly. We are different personality types but our arms fit perfectly around each other.

He's clearly comfortable with dinosaurs! 
Nobody ever fell in love with somebody because of their age.  Not once has anybody spotted a person and screeched "Ooh! Look! He was born the same year as me - HOW SEXY!"

You fall in love with people because you like them generally. You're attracted to them physically. You have common interests, shared dreams, whatever it might be.  You take a punt when you decide to live with them for ever after that you know them as well as you need to know them. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't - but age isn't the reason people work or don't work.

And if women were sensible, they'd all date men at least seven years younger. We all know men die younger than women so if you hook up with a younger chap, you will (statistically speaking) die about the same time. This will save your children a fortune in aged care fees so they can throw you both a decent wake and still have some money left over to fly to a tropical island for a holiday to scatter your ashes.

There are examples out there of solid lasting and loving relationships where 'she' is older than 'he'. Hugh Jackman and Deborah Lee Furness are one of my favourite examples. They're smart, sassy and funny. But these kind of successful relationships don't enable people to pull on their judgey-pants and carnivorously snuffle around the corpse of a relationship, shouting incoherently about patriarchal stereotypes and age in a manner that will generate clickbait headlines for the masses.

I don't deny that I sometimes look at Nick and wonder what he sees in me. But it's not my age I doubt. It's just that I am a flawed, temperamental, periodically hormonal, opinionated pain in the arse most days and the fact that he loves me just as I am is pretty mind-blowing.

But then I remember that his life would be as boring as batshit without me in it and I generously take the time to remind him how lucky he is that I moved into that same share house back in 2004.

Yep. He is younger than me. He's definitely better looking. But you know what?

He's perfect for me.

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