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Age Difference

When I was 20-years-old, I dated a 28-year-old woman. She was an attorney with her own house and car, a living incarnate of who we say we want to be when we grow up. (Except for the fact that she was also a single mother, which was by no means a handicap on her part, just I’m sure, not part of any woman’s plans.)

We were together for a year-and-a-half, and when I say together, I mean, meet-the-parents, meet-the-child together. And yes, the arrangement was every bit as unusual as it sounds, with me playing the role of lightweight step-daddy at such a young age, and her, years removed from college, coming by to visit me in my dorm room every now and then. Though I think one of the reasons we were able to last for as long as we did was because we took our age difference in stride, and enjoyed the good parts of each other.

Of course, I also learned or rather, developed, an appreciation for older women.

To this day, even at 28-years-old, when dating an older woman means something a little different than it did at 20-years-old, I still find some appeal in talking to a woman who is 30+. This is not to say younger women who are 25-and-under are any less appreciated. The older I get, the younger the women get, and the more flexibility I have to allow myself to the point where now my rule isn’t based on some arbitrary number, but rather, where they are in school. If they’re still in undergrad, I don’t date them because I don’t date women who still have dreams.

I’m kidding.

But anyway, back to the appeal of an older woman, and what it is about them. It’s honestly a lot of things, but there is this one thing in particular.

With a 30-year-old woman, everything she did in her 20’s is completely wiped away from the record, unless it happened in the two weeks leading up to her 30th birthday, for which she will have to undergo a year of intense review. Rare exceptions can be extended as far back as 27-years-old, but no younger.

It took me years to grow out of my concern for a woman’s past. When I was younger, especially around my early 20s, I did everything I could to avoid a woman who had a long history or noted reputation. Even if there was no evidence of one, I was concerned she was just doing a good job of hiding it.

With my older woman, no such concerns were there. As I met more and more women in the 27-30+ years group, and became more involved with a few of them, I noticed how much I generally don’t care about the wild time they had back in college at Spring Break, mostly because it was years ago. So long as they’re not still going to the same destination at 30, we’re in a good place.

Meanwhile, over in the land of 25-year-old and under girls, whenever we get into a conversation about the things they used to do, I think to myself, “When was that, yesterday? Last week?” Their Spring Break stories are still fresh, they just happened. I can’t deal. I’m thinking not enough years have gone by and I could be totally wrong, maybe they got it in before they were I don’t know, 21, but still. A woman who is 25 and under is still living the life the woman 27 years and older wants to write about.

Of course, now some women who are under 25 are already taking offense. They probably think I’m implying they are a lot more loose than the women who are 27 and older. Hardly the case, youngsters!

Here’s the difference between a loose woman who is under 25 and a loose woman who is 27-30+ (to all my 26-year-old readers, consider it your year of transition): A loose woman under 25-years-old doesn’t believe she is who she is, whereas a loose woman 27-30+ owns her looseness. Both groups of women know where they’re from, only one group knows where they’re at.

Of course, let’s take loose women out of it,  so I can avoid the whole “Why we gotta be loose, Jozen” questions. Let’s just talk about both groups of women in general.

In my experience, a lot of women under 25-years-old don’t really embrace who they are, so much as they embrace the idea of who they are. Everything they do is a try-out to either see if they like doing it, and when I say everything, I mean everything from certain sexual-acts to their careers. Their journey is one of self-discovery, like driving through the residential neighborhoods, speeding up one minute, slowing down the next, all because they’re concerned others are watching.

A woman who is  27-30+ no longer has any ideas of who she wants to be. Everything she does is a reflection of who she is. Sure there may be some  insecurities all because they’re at this age where they thought certain things would come into fruition and they still haven’t, but at least they know where the insecurity stems from. There are no illusions of grandeur from them. They’re able to blend an appreciation for what they have with a strong desire for what they want.

As I’ve gotten older, and met more women who are younger than me and women who are older than me, I have generally learned age is only but a small factor in the equation. The other thing I’ve learned: No matter how old the woman is, she is probably going to disagree with everything I just wrote.

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  • Lena

    As a woman in my year of transition, as you put it, i can really appreciate this. I agree that college years (whether she’s in school or not) serve as a time for exploring one’s identity, and the years after can be a time of solidifying some aspects of this. I would venture to say that the same can be said for men. I am sometimes amazed an baffled how drastically some guys I knew in undergrad have change in the 4 years since graduating. Again, like you said, it’s really about how much a person acknowledges and embraces who they are in a given moment.

    Great post.

  • **inquiring mind**

    “Both groups of women know where they’re from, only one group knows where they’re at.”… yum

  • Alana

    Jozen I love this,and no honey I don’t disagree with everything u wrote! I will say this every woman comes into who she is at a different point in her life. Some at 22 some at 40;there are women whom at 37yrs old have’nt embraced who they are.Thats ok because we all mature differently.I think it maybe a bit of a generalization to say “A woman who is 27-30+ no longer has any ideas of who she wants to be. Everything she does is a reflection of who she is.” This is not always true because this all depends on the life experiences u have/not have had. My 23 yrs of life have been colorful and filled with things I didn’t think I would EVER have to deal with, so while I’ve not had any illusions of grandeur….in a while ; I know I still have “things to do”. I’ve learned to appreciate my growing pains.

  • mimi

    I don’t date them because I don’t date women who still have dreams.

    Funniest thing I’ve heard in a while. I can’t really comment because I’m still a “youngster” <<— smh at that label.

  • mimi

    HOWEVER! At 28 or 30… I’m never dating a young ass dude! Sorry. I’m already like “Im 25+ let another shorty mold him” I’m not into spoon feeding… having patience while he… or any of that developmental shit. AT ALL. LOL

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  • Maria

    A woman who is 27-30+ no longer has any ideas of who she wants to be. Everything she does is a reflection of who she is. <<< This is my age group and is so me and most of my friends. Great Post!

  • G

    22 year old woman: I appreciate your post and I understand what you are saying. At 22 I think I know who I am but I am still testing the waters. And I did just go to Miami last week. It was GRREAT, thanks for askin. I’ve been the same person, had the same attitude since I was in kindergarten, now I’m just trying to add the maturity level :). But good post!

  • shelbie

    Very good post!
    I agree with about 90% of it. Particularly, age 26 being the transitional age. My life is nothing right now if not transitional. I just find it a little odd when a successful, older woman is dating a guy almost a decade younger than she. I get the enjoying the good parts of each other thing, but to be serious to the point of meeting parents and children, I don’t know. It makes me wonder if she really was who she thought she was, or was she still dreaming?

  • Alisha

    As usual, I had no idea that’s where you were going, but that’s a good thing. Gotta disagree with a few things. while 27-30 may have a better, cleared vision of who they are, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are exempt from doing stipid ish. Unfortunately, maturity and sense of self comes with time and it differs in every woman. You can’t put a number on it. I know a ton of 27-30+ folks still stuck in undergrad mode. Sigh.

    On the other hand, I agree that age 26 is a transition age. Two weeks after my 26th, I became extremely depressed, and I even dated a younger guy. Bad move totally. I’ll be 29 nextweek and I wouldn’t dream of veing here I was then, now.

  • AJ

    When you get my age you will realize the the difference between a 25 yo and a 30 yo is really small, but I digress! You will look back and realize how much you really didn;t know

  • Ksoul13

    I am a 30+ woman and you said it beautifully. Wonderfully written as usual.

  • Lilie

    hmm interesting. you old asses! hhahaa ahh to be 20! it’s great! don’t you miss it!!

  • **inquiring mind**

    @Lilie Not even a little… and I don’t miss fake IDs, nagging professors/parents, living with other people(PERIOD), Ramen noodles, homework/classwork, worrying about BS (b!tches got real money now, and real problems), whack shady-young/dumb @ss friends, dudes that gotta borrow they momma/brother/sister/whoevadafuk car to go out and basically not being grown… nehhh can’t say I miss it at all- but you enjoy that.

  • Joy

    I thought this was interesting but I don’t know… I think most women still have ideas about who they want to be regardless of what age they are. It’s just when you pass 30 you don’t incorporate so many other people’s ideas about who you should be into your equation. I gotta say that you are right about the everything in the 20s is wiped away. That whole decade was a bunch of mess that I am glad is over.

  • Speldva

    I am a woman. I am 31. I agree with this 100%.

    Great post!

  • Dev

    I’m 20 and far from loose lol but you make a lot of valid points. Well said 🙂

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  • Thinking man

    Everything you wrote I have been thinking for nearly the last decade of my life and I am 31.

  • PYT

    I really enjoyed reading your article. It was interesting. At 21 I find myself doing some of the exact things I said I would never do when I was 18. I would say that everyone, regardless of age, matures at different times. I agree that those early 20’s are a great time to explore new things and define your adult identity but people explore differently. Depending on how one views it, the exploration can be conservative or extreme. We cannot assume that age means maturity. I do know of women in similar situations as Jozen and they get the best of both worlds; they are in a committed relationship with an older man and she still gets to do her self exploration because those are the boundaries they have set for their relationship. Not all relationships will be the same. Age should not be a factor that blinds you from making a connection with some one.