Wednesday

So Who's the Old Guy? Personal Experience Dating Older Men

I was that relative showing up at the holiday event with the old guy, seen walking with the old guy, and at the club with the old guy years ago.  So, the family didn't like that too much.  "Why are you with that older man?  You are too young for him.  What do you see in him?  What does he see in you?  Oh, you got daddy issues!"  Wow!  Thanks so much fam, for the support! 

It wasn't that the old guy or guys (there was more than one) were seniors who were leaned over in walkers, farting, and scratching their rears!  They were in their 40s (one in his 50s), professionals, dressed well, and had all their senses about them.  I was in my 20s at the time and yes, a head-turner.  

I liked dating those guys, I liked their presence, the way they moved.  They were mature, kind, generous, and took their time about things.  They weren't in a rush to do everything under the sun, they weren't silly men, and they weren't ugly.  They were friendly and I liked friendly.  I talked to just about anyone at that time in my life.  I like good conversation, so hey, they were around, I was around and so let's get the party started!  But that was then....

What have I learned since then when one brings the old guy here there and everywhere?  Your family has a point.  You weren't expecting that, huh?  Do you really know the older guy and what exactly he wants with you?  Do you truly understand what might the future hold if you should get pregnant, get married, and how deep the rabbit hole goes with his past?  Can you handle all of what comes with him or many hims in your 20s?  Looking back, had those men not shielded me from their demons, the answer would be, "No!"  They gave me the g-rated version of themselves because simply put, they were involved with me for a good time.  I wasn't the future.  I was in the meantime.  Let me say that again, in the meantime!  

What I discovered in our talks was that there was a wife, a mistress, ex-girlfriends, and women who had been in their lives who had only wanted friendship and so those ladies got away without giving them a single kiss.  I would later discover for good reasons.  Those friendly, older men didn't want to be faithful, they didn't want to spend money, they didn't want children, they didn't want to be honest with themselves much less anyone else, they didn't want to be going places, all they really wanted was a "I want it now" experience!  

Well, I was in my 20s (young, dumb, and full of...) and I too just wanted an "in the meantime" experience, because the truth was, I really didn't know exactly what I wanted in a relationship.  It just seemed fun shrouding my mind with mystery about Bobby, Ronnie, Ricky, and Mike--lol and I didn’t think I was "Poison" at the time.  I mean that girl might be “poison,” because you couldn't get the upper hand on her and you and the crew couldn’t do her, but I digress.  

I just liked being in the moment and guessing what was behind door number 3 back in the 90s when issues with these "old fools" would arise as my family would put it.  Ignoring all red flag warning signs, operating on cruise control, I saw that their traffic was showing up in my life, uh oh, turn off cruise control to avoid a wreck!  My turning off cruise control was just not calling back, no longer accepting invites, declining gifts, and moving on to the next one who might be better than the last.

I wasn't interested in learning the answer to "why" I dated older in my youth, I just liked doing it until I didn't.  I started connecting the dots much later in life.  Since then, I wrote Say Goodbye to Dad, Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate, Socially Sweet Privately Cruel Abusive Men, and Laboring to Love Myself for good reasons. I began to connect with my spiritual self and realized the importance of having a faith and why it is crucial early on in life to maintain it so that one isn't here, there, and everywhere--no matter the age!

So, who really was the old guy or guys who were either invited or randomly showing up in my life?  They were extensions of an old me, who wanted to become a new me, but wasn't quite sure how to go about it between all the distractions.  

Upon closer inspection of these older men and what they had going on or not, they represented what I wanted for me!  I wanted a car back then, but I had no driver's license, so they were all-too willing to drive me.  But that's not what I needed--I needed a teacher.  I wanted money, lots of it, and they were willing to buy me a dinner here and a movie ticket there, but they weren't going to pay my bills.  What I needed was a career coach.  They were creative and some were handy.  Nice compliments to my lifestyle, but it didn't hurt to learn a trade or two so I could fix my own stuff.  

A couple of older men already had families that they were supposedly responsible for (so why be out in those streets)?  I didn't need to involve myself in their family dramas, I just needed to continue to read about marriage and family in the quiet of my place. 

You see, the dating older, at least for me, was much deeper than it appeared to be.  I hadn't put it altogether at that time in my life because I simply didn't know what was happening with me or them.  Then I also learned they were having a mid-life crisis even though they wouldn't dare say so.  They were still trying to figure out what they wanted at that time in their lives; oftentimes they weren't all that happy about where they were in life.  I was somehow a vision/fantasy/a goal of what they had yet to accomplish in life or in some cases they had not come to terms with their youthful passions were officially over. 

My youth was still very much alive and thriving and that’s what those older guys back then wanted for themselves again.  One said, "I made him feel alive again..."  Another one said, "I feel like I am back in high school again."  Another guy said, "I'll leave my wife for you!"  What!?  My energy was what they remembered from yesteryear.  My drive to win at whatever I was doing professionally made them feel like they could do some things differently in their lives including a few pursuing other careers and making more money based on my suggestions.  They lived vicariously through me when I performed (I had my own poetry group and I acted part-time).  I talked about what my next moves were back in college including moving out of state to pursue a career in journalism, and why I enjoyed what I did at the time.  So, I was not only "cute, beautiful, gorgeous, energetic, fun, cool to be around," they would say, but I had a lot going on in my young life.

So, the next time you or someone you know starts that conversation with, "Who's the old guy?" Just say, "He's a part of me in the meantime."  If they don't get it, no need to explain. Looking back at young me and giving her a bit of advice, I wouldn't say why are you dating these old guys, rather I would say, "Let's get this guy to either teach you how to drive or pay for lessons.  Let's get that other guy to hook you up with some names and numbers to help you get a better job.  And your other friend, well girlfriend, don't continue to befriend him, he already got what you are trying to get one day, marriage and family.  Don’t waste your time with people seeking vain pursuits!" 

When you discover that the old guy is you, it's time to rediscover who exactly you want to become by putting off the old guy and putting on the new you! 

Nicholl McGuire is the owner and contributor to this blog.  Learn more here.


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