Here’s yesterday’s Sunday Times column, just in case you missed it.
My friend Jason is exhausted. But that’s what happens when you’re a 35 year old guy dating a 20 year old girl. After a while it starts to catch up with you. All those 21sts and parties to celebrate when they pass their driver’s license on the fifth try. No wonder he keeps falling asleep at his desk. I remember a few years ago he emailed me photos from her Matric Dance. He said it wasn’t that bad. And he wasn’t the only older guy there; most of the teachers were between 35 and 45.
Imagine going to a Matric Dance now? I suppose it’s easier for guys, you get to wear a tux. Exactly the same thing you wore to your Matric Dance 20 years ago. I definitely couldn’t fit into my Matric Dance dress from 1991. And even if I could, nobody’s still wearing brown velvet skirt suits, with big shoulder pads and oversized gold buttons. They say all fashions come back around eventually, let’s all hold thumbs this one misses the rotation.
I’ve been trying to imagine what it would be like going on a date with a 19 to 25 year old guy. What on earth would we talk about? My knowledge of action figures, hawking a loogie, skateboarding and X-boxes isn’t all that vast. I could probably make it comfortably through the first ten minutes, if I told him I liked his Justin Beiber hair style. But after that I’d be screwed. And more importantly I’d be terribly worried that when I met his divorced parents I might discover I already know his father. In the biblical sense. Hey, it could happen, the nineties were crazy times.
I’ve been with a couple younger guys over the years, but I remember always feeling very aware of the fact that I was the responsible adult in the relationship. So I can say with experience that while younger men usually have more energy and always have better abs, their lack of experience, conversation skills, charm and disposable cash is more often than not their downfall. That and their texting grammar.
There’s a 15 year difference between these two.
Which is why I’ve been thinking more and more that perhaps these 20 year old girls dating older guys are onto something. Older men are generally more financially and emotionally secure. The sex may not be as acrobatic or exciting, but sometimes experience, compatibility, good conversation and stability make for better sex anyway. So once the decision to consider an older man has been made, the only question left is how old is too old? And how young is too young? I mean if you’re going to figure out how high the ceiling is, first you need to know how low the floor is.
After much research and debate amongst my girlfriends I can report back that opinions vary on how young we would go. There seems to be a big difference between shagging them and dating them. Some of the 35(ish) girls I know would quite happily shag a 24 or 25 year old guy, given half the chance. But the average lowest datability age sat somewhere around 30.
However when it comes to how old is too old, we all pretty much agreed that 49 or 50 is the average limit for a girl of around 35. Although a few girls clarified with an asterisk, saying that it’s less about the guy’s age, and more about his condition. Apparently there are the rare hot, eligible 50 or 60 year olds out there. They’re not unicorns, they do exist, but they’re seriously bumping their heads on the ceiling.
Unless you’re the kind of girl who’s specifically in the market for an 80-year-old man with a weak ticker, and a private jet. But that’s a whole other column.
For me any older than 50 and the gap just feels too wide, not to mention that over a certain age men start dealing with things like erectile dysfunction, hairy ears and dentures. And no amount of disposable cash, Viagra, sexy greying sideburns or worldly experience can make up for that.
So now we know what ages we’re after, the next trick is figuring out where to meet these guys. Hey, you could always go to a Matric Dance. If the students aren’t for you I’ve heard some of the teachers are kind of hot.