Originally Posted by FeministInPink View Post
I know this thread is... really old... but I want to chime in anyway.
I am 36. Since my divorce, I've started the whole online dating thing, and I've received a number of messages from men in their late 40s and into their 50s. They seem like great guys, but I'm just not interested. At all. I'm interested in dating someone my own age, or within a few years.
There are a couple reasons for this. I'm looking for someone who is at the same stage of life that I am, so that we can have our experiences together. I don't want to be with somebody who's already "been there, done that."
I'm always thinking about the long-term. So I want someone near my age so we will retire around the same time, and so we can enjoy our retirement TOGETHER. The average male life expectancy in the US is 76; the average female life expectancy in the US is 81. So, if I marry a man 10-12 yrs my senior, how much of MY retirements will we get to enjoy? I'm going to guess not much. I don't want to spend my twilight years playing nursemaid, or not get to do any traveling because my partner's health is getting poor. Don't get me wrong--I have no problem with the sickness in the "in sickness and in health" part of the vows, and I will be there for my partner, no matter what happens. But I'm not going to set myself up in a situation that is almost guaranteed to compromise my quality of life in my early retirement. And it's a little unfair, isn't it, that he gets to enjoy having a younger wife during his retirement and fully experience those years, while MY retirement will likely be very limited due to my partner's health issues? I know that won't necessarily happen, but there's a good chance that it will. And if I marry someone who is 10 years my senior, that means that I will probably be widowed 10 years earlier than if I had married someone my own age.
So, what it comes down to is this: I want to maximize the amount of time and the QUALITY of time that I have with my partner. In order to do so, I need to be with someone my own age, or up to 5 years younger.
There are some other lesser things... I think I would better connect with someone my age. My XH was 6 years my senior; he was very clearly Gen X while I am not. We didn't always get one another's references; I want someone who gets my references.
FIP, I felt exactly as you do (I am 34), almost could have written your words myself,especially about wanting to share experiences with someone your age and not a man who has gone through it before. That was exactly my mindset post divorce and healing.
Then, I met my 16 year older SO (OKC), and I said the same to him when it was clear that there was more than a spark between us. He initially reached out to me. I would never have known about him otherwise.
You have to pursue what you know is best for you, so I'm not trying to convince you otherwise, but I reassessed my "rules" once I realized that my SO accepted me completely, loved me deeply, and had the experience and maturity that surpassed all the other dates I'd been on with men my age. I'm not saying that ready, younger men don't exist, but they're rare. I'd been in an 8 month relationship with a man exactly my age, same stage (only hadn't ever been married) and while on paper we seemed perfect, wanted the same things, LAUGHED like I hadn't in years, he wasn't at he level of maturity to practice what he liked to preach to me.
I made dating a fun and frequent activity, so I could really get out there and find my match, but honestly I found it in my SO much more completely than I had in men my age. The struggle was emotionally intense. I remember the inner conversation I had with myself when I was considering cutting contact and running away from him.
I am very, very glad I didn't. The reality is, I may not have found my ideal, but my ideal couldn't have chosen this man, who fits what I needed rather than what I wanted... If that makes sense...
I would say to anyone, never compromise on what you are sure you want (my SO knows there are non-negotiables by being in a relationship with me), but at the same time, be wary of closing yourself to opportunity because of those wants.