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The next time we ran into each other was when I went to interview for a job in the ski resort's lift department, which he happened to be in charge of. I think he can't really find a woman to keep up with him, even in his own age group. The man I dated was essentially an 18-year-old himself when it came to maturity. Her older brother had invited a bunch of the people they worked with at the mountain over and I happened to be there. I think he was attracted to me because I asked him out, and I was able to banter with him off the bat.My eyes popped that night, but four years later, I've realized that this potential deal breaker is actually the biggest blessing of our relationship. After four decades of life, Alex is a walking encyclopedia.With past boyfriends my age, I knew all of their stories by month three. Woman A: I was working in retail at the time, and he was a customer. He looks younger than he is and is in very good shape.
Woman B: I rented a flat in the backyard of his then-girlfriend. But I knew he was probably 10 years older than me and that was a little bit of the attraction, because I thought that he would be older and more settled with none of the bullshit that you have in your 20s.
Two days before the potluck dinner that our mutual acquaintance planned with the express purpose of introducing us, I called her and said, "I'm not coming." "Janet," she replied, frustrated, "I'm inviting you here to meet a straight, available man who likes to cook and garden, who makes furniture and has two dogs. I'd find a nice divorced guy, maybe with kids; I'd be the world's best stepmom. And sure, five years younger relatively minor, but to many women that gap would be unacceptable. My husband washes bottles and does nighttime feedings without acting like he's a hero.
(At the time, I was 40 to his 35.) "He won't want to be with me when he finds out how old I am." Not so long before, a younger boyfriend had broken up with me by saying, "I think you're going to be too old to have my children." I decided then I'd only date older. We fell in love, got married and now have a baby girl.
That's a shame, because I think it's a major benefit. That's not just a younger guy you're dating; it's utopian values, in human form. When I first started dating Alex, I assumed he was my age.
Not just because of the fun you have teasing a younger guy ("Before you were born, Morrissey was in a band called The Smiths"), but because younger guys have been presoftened by a society that has evolved a lot in the past 30 years. He had a baby face, wore jeans with Converse shoes and knew every lyric by The Shins.