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The Tao of Relationships: Facing the inevitable
Dating an older man
Considering dating an older man? Some points to consider before you get involved...

You’ve recently become acquainted with a charming man, and over the last few weeks, the two of you have exchanged emails daily, called each other, and he has even asked you out to coffee. You enjoy each other’s company and find you have common values and beliefs.

It is clear he is attracted to you and he reveals his feelings verbally and implicitly. There is just one small glitch…he was head boy at his high school in the same year you were born...

Is such a significant age gap something to be concerned about, or is age merely a number?

Here are four points to consider before you decide to get involved with an older man:

1. Experience and maturity

An older man has been around for longer, has had more life experience and generally knows what he wants, which gives him an edge on his younger counterpart. He has had time to see what is on the menu and knows what he is looking to order.

Because he appreciates and values time more, he is less likely to waste yours by playing games, and more likely to choose settling down in a serious relationship over a meaningless fling.

The extra years have largely taught him patience and made him more comfortable in his skin.

Also, a woman tends to mature faster than a man, so you may find your match in maturity with an older man more readily.

2. Motives for dating you

While there are older men who date younger women and are genuine in their interactions with them, some may have ulterior motives. These men have purely physical and selfish intentions. Having a younger woman on their arm is an ego boost and makes them feel young, and they often “upgrade” or “trade in” their partners after a few years for a younger model.

A man with these kinds of motives will be less interested in conversation, place more focus on the physical side of the relationship, and seek to flaunt you like a trophy in public places or at social functions.

In such cases, you should remind him that, although you love jewellery, you yourself are not a trinket or ornament, and then promptly ditch him.

3. Baggage and children

With the extra years, it’s likely an older man will have a past, and may be lugging around heavy baggage in the form of one or more ex-wives, children and perhaps even grandchildren.

He may have his hands full with his children if they are younger, and not spend as much time with you as you'd like. If he has older children, they, along with the rest of his family, may disapprove of your relationship and may think you are only dating him for financial gain.

You must also consider that if he already has children, he may not want more with you.

4. Caring for him in his old age

The wider the gap, the more likely it is that you will be your partner’s caretaker when he grows old and is ill. You have to face the possibility that you may be widowed sooner than other women your age.

That being said, life is full of uncertainties and surprises, with illnesses and tragedies claiming children and youth.

Divorce also often tears couples apart long before they have the opportunity to reach old age together. Who knows? Your older guy might even outlive you!

Each and every romantic relationship is a leap of faith and has its issues, whether it be same-sex relationships, heterosexual relationships, relationships where couples are from different religions and cultures, or intergenerational ones. Yet, there are many examples of successful relationships where what was seen to be an obstacle was overcome.

To find someone with whom you share the same values, have chemistry, connect with, feel comfortable around and are compatible with, is a rare thing. If you find these qualities in an older man and see he is open to compromise with you, it is worth taking the chance.

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