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The Overrated Value of Older Men

Since I turned 29 on Sunday, I have been taken aback as to how much the age change has affected my psyche. So far, 29 has been one of those ages I actually feel, sort of like 16, 18 and 21 and 25 were. When I was 16 I could drive. When I was 18 I could legitimately say I was the legal age before entering an adult website. When I was 21 I could drink and when I was 25 I signed a lease on my first one-bedroom apartment in New York City. All of these were small accomplishments, but I felt myself growing up, and now that I’m 29, I feel less like I’m in my last year of my 20’s and more like I’m about to be 30, even though I’m not even 29 and a quarter. I feel like I’m at that age when a woman who is under 25 tells her girls she’s dating an older man and her friends ask how old, when she says 29, her girls say, “Oh yeah, he is older.”

So now that I’m that age, one of the things I have realized is how overrated people who are younger perceive it to be. If there are any men under 25 who keep on losing women their age to men my age, pass this onto those girls. I got your back.

When I was in high school, I really hated those girls who put some high value on older men, especially freshmen who thought the senior guys had their acts together. To me, this never made sense. When I saw the senior guys and heard them talking about girls, they were worse than my boys were as freshman. While the knock on younger guys was all we wanted was one thing, senior guys were only doing one thing and they were doing that one thing to a lot of different girls, not just one.

If anything, the younger I was, the more idealistic I was. Like I said last week, when I was 18 and 19 years old, I could have sworn 29 was going to be the age when I had a wife and a little Jozen or two running around the house. But it hasn’t turned out that way and it’s all because as I’ve gotten older, I’ve seen more and learned more about women.

Ask women who are my age about men who are my age and they’ll tell you not much changes about us, or rather, a lot changes about us, but it’s not the kind of change they were hoping for. I always tell women they should have met me when I was younger and I didn’t know any better. Now I do know better and therefore it’s harder for me to just walk right into a relationship with my head in the clouds.

There are times when I miss my old self (no pun intended). The Jozen who was 22 thought he knew exactly what he wanted and one of those things was a committed relationship. Even when I was 27, I actually thought there was nothing to letting a woman move in with me, and when she finally did, well…we all know how that turned out.

All my experiences throughout my 20s have made me more hesitant to just hop into a situation. Women like to say because I’m not settled down by now there’s some lack of maturity, when really, the mature thing to do is to move slowly into a situation. One thing I never did when I was younger was think about the consequences of my actions. When I first moved to New York City, if a girl wanted to come and visit me for the weekend, I was all for it and relished the company. I thought, this is no big deal, we’re adults, she can sleep over. But looking back on those days, I realize my mentality was just like the mentality of a kid whose parents were out of town for the weekend.

Nowadays when a girl wants to spend the weekend over at my place, she must go through an extensive screening process and I have to really, really, really like her. As a matter of fact, I think the last time I did let a girl who wasn’t my girlfriend just sleep over my place for the weekend like it was nothing was when I was 24.

And here is when people tell me I’m only 29 or they want to tell me this is not the case for all men who are my age and maybe my real issue is maturity. But neither arguments couldn’t be more off base.

I now know exactly what I’m doing every time I’m doing it. No longer am I surprised when I hurt a woman. It doesn’t mean I’m less sorry for doing it, it just means sometimes I can see it’s an unfortunate but unavoidable consequence and if getting older has taught me anything it’s that feelings pass and people move on. As for 29 not being that old, well, that’s relative. I know it’s not 35, but trust me when I say, it’s a far cry from 25, or at least, that’s what it feels like.

The one thing I’m more than happy about in turning a year older is I now see exactly what the hype is about being an older man, as I’m living that hype everyday. To all the young women who ever thought the older the better, take it from a man my age, until we meet the right one, we are all running around like a kid whose parents are out of town for the weekend.

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  • http://www.my28cents.com my28cents

    “until we meet the right one, we are all running around like a kid whose parents are out of town for the weekend.”

    Good way of putting that and very true for some, not all.

  • http://yesijukebox.blogspot.com Yesi Jukebox

    Well I think you are pretty mature from what i’m reading..and honestly I never bought into that “older man” thing, it always bothered me that teenage girls wanted to date a guy in his 20’s. And i’ve made the mistake myself. When I was 21 (i’m 23 now) I dated a guy who was 29 because I thought he was mature, he knew what he wanted to do, he was working on his own business..needless to say, he is more immature than many guys I know younger than him. Actually thinking that he is turning 31 this year is icky to me o_O

  • http://www.falliblesage.com Fallible Sage

    When it comes to men, older is definitely better. The twenties is when all of the mistakes are made and the lessons learned to prepare us (some of us) in the ways of compromise, and to value what’s important in a woman.

    Now at 32, although I’m still learning too, I KNOW I have a good foundation. Most twenty something year olds just THINK they do.

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  • http://bubblyblackgirl.wordpress.com Renae

    @Fallible Sage. I agree with you. Older men are better. But, like most cliche’s it can’t be said about all older man. But the likelihood of finding a man who knows exactly what he wants not only in his life, but within a relationship, is higher when they’re past the threshhold of 30. I’m in my 20s, and have dated men who were way in their 30’s and 40’s. But the men I dated weren’t the immature bachelor-to-the-day-I-die kind of guys. Instead they were more settled and secure with themselves, which is why they were able to offer a more substantial relationship than the 20-somethings I’ve dated.

  • http://reformedsoutherngal.blogspot.com KitKatCuty84

    I’ve dated a few older guys, from 2 years older to 17 years older. I tend not to like being patronized, which I feel like happens a lot with older guys. It also seems like older men are set in their ways. And that they have less energy. Maybe not less energy but definitely less enthusiasm about things, because they’ve “been there, done that”. It’s never really felt like a good fit but I’m currently talking to a guy who’s probably 10 years older (I say probably because often older men don’t like to just shout out their age to someone MY age), so we’ll see what happens. :)

  • AlongCameStacey

    To me, it seems as though men that are happy about their positions in life tend to make better partners. When a man is happy about his living situation, his job, his friends, etc., he’s usually happier overall and is able to give more to his relationships. Men who are bummed out about living at home (or with roommates or in a tiny studio), still struggling in their careers, and are so/so about their personal lives, tend to make poor partners.

    Age means absolutely nothing, unless their underage.

  • Jackie

    I was thinking about this today and yesterday. Actually right before reading this post I had a conversation with my 24 y/o coworker about how i’m probably too old to hang with her at the club. When I was in my early 20’s 27+ was old to me bc it was so close to 30. Now I’m 28 and 30 is around the corner, I notice that the 28 y/o me would never do the stuff i did when I was 25 and under. Life was care free then. I never really worried about the consequences of my actions and had a good time. Now I look at younger ppl and shake my head sometimes, lol

  • Miss Get Right

    I used to think that dating older men was the way to go, but now I’m not so sure. I’m almost 27, and I have dated 3 older been in the past 3 years (older as in 35-38). I wouldn’t say that my relationships with them have been totally unsuccessful because I have established some meaningful friendships with them that continue to this day even after the romance went awry. However while I was dating them I didn’t experience any less drama with them than my friends did who were dating men in their 20s. The main advantage of the older man is that he is usually more financially stable and will therefore always pick up the tab. Sometimes the fact that they have been on this earth a little longer makes them more discerning to a fault and even more fearful of getting into relationships due to bad experiences from their pasts or horror stories from their peers. Basically age doesn’t make a man’s character. You just have to look at the individual. I continue to attract older men (I guess it’s my classy lady swag), and I’m fine with that. I’m just remaining positive that the right older man will come along to be my ‘ole man.

  • http://musicmakesmehigh.wordpress.com Reecie

    I never bought into the older man thing either, despite that I do think women mature faster than men. I’ve always dated guys my age–no older than a year or two.

    I’m about your age and I do like how this late 20s feels, its less drama than 22 to me personally, but I think that’s because I’ve been lucky to deal with mature, laid back men–I know that is not dependent on age all the time though.

  • **inquiring mind**

    I can appreciate older men(speaking from experience)… I actually kinda feel bad for the younger coming-up in that regard. No offense to you late-20-early-30-something men, but the men that I dated that were “older” were AMAZING and fun with less vanity and foolish vices weighing them down that ultimately make you all arses. Don’t get me wrong, they were arses and still are, but the kind of arses you find enchanting but dangerous. These dudes these days have all this Facebook and Gchat and whateverdafuk that the older men from my past never had to distract them… they were more creative and less narcissistic… so blessed I was and I didn’t even know it. I’d personally like to shout out all the now 38+ men in the c-section who taught younger women like me (back in the day) a lil something… yum *raises glass*

  • **inquiring mind**

    @**inquiring mind**
    I actually kinda feel bad for the younger *women*… that is

  • Miss. Riss

    At 27, I’m seeing an ” older guy ” who is 32. However, when I tell people his age, its really not a big deal. I’m an only child and have always related better to older people, so its natural for me.

    Plus folks always say it takes men longer to grow up, so that would mean we’re about the same age. lol

  • http://liferequiresmorechocolate.com Tiffany

    I think about that everyday. Each year that creeps up on me I know that my chances are slipping away.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate
    Tiffany

  • ericka

    Every year we turn older, we should be getting better. I would NEVER want to be in my 20s again. I was STUPID and impetuous and, honestly, just downright foolish. With each passing year, I learn something about myself and I gain some teeny tiny bit of wisdom about some aspect of my life or another. An older man to me, now, is someone who’s 40 to my 34. And, that’s cool. Hopefully, he’s gained wisdom and is grown enough to know exactly who he is — just like I’m trying to do. When I was in high school (all-girls, by the way), I promise you grown (GROWN) men would come to school and pick up girls. There was something a little unsettling about that. As the French say, Chacun ses gouts. (Very loosely translated = Whatever floats your boat)

  • **inquiring mind**

    @ericka I like the way you think and concur… however dis “(GROWN) men would come to school and pick up girls”… that’s just gross- and disturbed me a bit… for the record my grown men were 31-33 and I was 23-24… Ion’t think I would be able to sleep tonight if I didn’t clarify that. *deep exhale* :)

  • sideeye

    @ AlongCameS.. you are speaking the damn truth ….OMgness..I find no matter their age if a man is not comfortable with his position in life, he’s not able to give his best in a relationship, period, he has to much discontent with himself to focus on you..at least from my experience and I’ve dated the gamut..

    Age definitely does not bring maturity (for all), I believe life experiences brings out more maturity than each calendar birthday..

  • Ondrea

    Well, I am 41 and from what I see the men at 40+ are no more mature than the ones at 30+. They aren’t always settled and wise, etc. simply because they are older. Men grow older but that does not necessarily mean they grow up!

  • http://thecandyshoppe.wordpress.com Ronnie6676

    I’m 34 and I’ve always dated men who were older than me. Not intentional just happened that way. Usually stuck to like 3-4 years my senior. But my current is 8 years older. I have dated men my own age as well but just less frequent (an anomaly you might say) and what I have found that older does not mean you get more mature or settled or anything else. It just means older.

  • http://natashasjourney-natasha.blogspot.com Natasha

    @**inquiring mind**
    I agree. I LOVE men, but it is older men I am most attracted to. A man who knows who he is and what he wants is so attractive. Some younger men figure things out early and they are special.

    “Women like to say because I’m not settled down by now there’s some lack of maturity, when really, the mature thing to do is to move slowly into a situation.”

    You are so on point with this! Oddly enough women friends tell me the same thing. Not so much of maturity, but standards being too high. Or I am not getting out enough*roll eyes*

  • E-Dub

    At the risk of sounding patronizing, you describing 29 as an “older man” is just downright cute! I have always thought of an “older man” as being someone with a little salt and pepper. What my Dad describes as the man who’s been there, done it all, and now wants to do “the right” thing. From my experience, most men don’t get there ’til they’re at least 40.

    As far as the 20’s; I remember them being like dog years. Each year felt like I crammed in 7 years of lessons. So you’re right, a 25 year old is MUCH different than a 29 year old. But even when I was 25 I didn’t think of a 29 year old man as “older”…. 😉

  • http://natashasjourney-natasha.blogspot.com Natasha

    @Ondrea
    That’s a good point too. Older does not equal wiser or mature. I believe that is Jozen’s point as well and that is true.

  • Danni

    @AlongCameStacey

    You hit the nail on the head with this one! It has nothing to do with a guy’s age at all. Or at least it doesn’t seem like it to me. From my experience, when men are happy with their lives, when they feel like they are mentally and financially prepared to take care of a woman, THAT is when they do it.

    But, I do have to say, the percentage of older men who are content in their lives is much higher than these young cats. Just sayin :).

  • BoomShots

    I guess I would qualify as the official old man here and the one real test of maturity is introspection. Not looking back at what happened and pointing out how everyone else in your relationships fucked up but understanding that you had a part to play in the fuck up.

    I have dated women my age and as much as 10 years younger in the last 5 years and the one thing I can say is that the younger the woman the more she gets the benefit of the doubt. Because after you get to a certain age, say 35 man or woman if you not where you want to be at that point in your life, you ought to at least have a plan at how to get there.

    I think that is the attraction of being older is that the older person has a clue about where they are heading. Women have always been attracted to a sense of purpose. A man can have that sense of purpose at an early age too but for most of us it takes time to get that sense of purpose.

    The most shocking thing about being an aging bachelor is how many more women of all ages i attract today. If you had told me that when I was in my 20’s I would have saved some of everything for now. But what you gonna do.

  • citygirl22

    @AlongCameStacey

    Best comment on this thread!

    That is all.

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