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Liking younger men

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by crazydog15, Jul 22, 2016.

  1. crazydog15

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    And it's irritating me. I'm trying to stick to a +/- 5 year rule for dating, but I can't help being attracted to the 22 year-olds... I know there's nothing wrong with that, but right now at least, I'm just not finding the men around my own age all that.... attractive. I know I can get emotionally closer to a man my own age, but physically, it's just different. Is that weird? When I try to focus on the task at hand, I keep thinking to myself, "But I want one of those....."

    Thoughts?
     
  2. CameOutSwinging

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    I don't think it's weird at all. Youth is attractive, for many reasons. I don't remember offhand how old you are, but I tell you I've met a few 24/25 year olds recently who can easily pass for younger and I've enjoyed that. I went on a date with one guy who was 24 and I really thought he was quite attractive. I don't think we'll go out again, there just seemed to be no romantic possibility, but I had fun with him if even for a night (and no, I don't mean sexually, we didn't even kiss! haha).

    Going out and having some fun is totally fine. You're clearly not malicious or looking to date somebody super young. Just go meet people and explore, and enjoy whoever your taste happens to draw you towards (as long as it's all legal, haha).

    Of course, I'm the guy on here with the roommates/FWBs who are a couple that are both 19, so my opinion is always going to be slanted a certain way.
     
  3. OnTheHighway

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    Several thoughts on this:

    First, living in the closet has implications on ones overal emotional development. Coming out of the closet enables ones emotional development to progress; however there might be a possibility the your physical age is not aligned with your emotional age. And so emotionally you might be seeking out guys where your emotional maturity is in alignment; hence younger guys.

    Another thought might be the "what did I miss out on" factor after coming out. This is where you feel you missed out on your younger years because you locked yourself up in the closet, and now you want to live vicariously through younger guys to replace what you feel you might have lost out on. Another way to call this is a missed adolescence.

    Both of these may be associated with the phenomenon where so many whom come out later in life feel as if they go through a second adolescence. In the first instance one might be making up for lost time and in a second instance your in need of allowing hour emotional age to catch up with your physical age.

    This obviously is by no means the clinical explanation, but it is my interpretation of the underlying issues causing you to experience attraction to younger guys.
     
    #3 OnTheHighway, Jul 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016
  4. Nickw

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    I have the same issue. Seems I developed my real attractions for fit guys 35 to 40...my age when I really started becoming comfortable with my sexuality. So, some guys I am drawn to are 20 years or more younger. Freaks me out a bit. Most guys my age look like the visual I get of my Dad and it doesn't work for me. Plus, I am into doing some sort of outdoor adventure first and most guys my age think that is golf.

    OK Sienna...you were right!

    It is not the same with women...I adore women my age. I think because my desires in women matured with me.

    If I could find another older fit guy I would be into it I suppose.
     
  5. greatwhale

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    Well, I'm 56 and dating a 48-year-old youngster...it's like robbing the cradle! :grin:
     
  6. crazydog15

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    OnTheHighway - okay, assuming you're hypotheses are correct, what would you say the best way for me to "fix" myself and catch things up would be? I sometimes feel like I'm showing up late to a multi-course dinner and everyone's already having dessert; I'd like to find a way to skip over all the previous courses and just sit down to the dessert like everyone else :slight_smile:

    Nickw - you're going to have to tell me how to get started climbing one of these days. It's interested me since the first time I lived out West, and I admit, I kind of have a thing for 20-something climbers...

    greatwhale - good for you!
     
  7. Nickw

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    I like your analogy. It does feel that I missed out but realize I didn't really. Chasing young climbers may be a good "dessert". I started just saying no to hanging out with younger guys. But, really, what is the harm?

    Actually, sort of rusty at rock climbing...still ice climb. But one if these younger guys wants me to teach him. So, seems like being around some youthful excitement may be really what I want.

    I wonder if that is part of your thing? It's not the age, it's that a younger guy may be more capable of rising to the level of excitement you feel? One of the guys I am befriending is quite a bit younger but just as inexperienced. I think for both of us it is the excitement of discovery and that age is not as important.
     
    #7 Nickw, Jul 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016
  8. SiennaFire

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    I agree with OTH's analysis, and I find it to be consistent with my own experience. The "fix" is to be open to dating younger guys until your emotional and chronological ages catch up.

    I've seen the following rules of thumb on EC. Date someone who is at least 27 with a +/- 10 year difference in age. I agree that dating someone who is at least 27 is a good rule because of the maturity factors cited by those who advance these rules of thumb. I'm a little more flexible on the rest. My boyfriend is more than 10 years younger than I am though he's been out more than 10 years longer than I have, so it works.

    Best,
    SF
     
    #8 SiennaFire, Jul 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016
  9. Chip

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    Crazydog, one of the best things I think to help you find more attraction to people around your age is to really explore what's important to you in a relationship.

    Of course, most everyone is attracted by eye candy. But when we move past the initial attraction, being in a meaningful, caring relationship means (or should mean) having a deep, emotionally vulnerable, heart-to-heart connection with your partner.

    For many gay men, and particularly those who are recently out, this is terrifying. It might seem great at first glance, and there's a part of us that knows it's what we want... but the wounds we experience while closeted, and while growing up teach us a lot that make it difficult to really be in touch with our vulnerable selves. We learn to push away disappointment, to numb down feelings, and to protect ourselves against the judgment. Even if we grow up in a perfect environment, there are still lots of external messages that affect us.

    So usually, as we start to explore our own self-judgments, shame, "not good enough", we realize that what we're seeking isn't coming from a place of authenticity and genuine connection, but either a desire for a shallow sexual connection, to vicariously relive what we never had, to have someone to "take care of" and give to them the things we never had, or some combination of those. Or any of a couple dozen other things.

    This usually isn't fun stuff to explore. But when we do, almost always, it leads us to a place of deeper self-awareness, and deeper connection to ourselves, and to what we really seek... which is generally connection, meaningful conversation, an equality and balance in the relationship (someone that can care for, emotionally support, and be present with us, while we do the same with them.) This is almost impossible to achieve when there's a significant age gap, and as we understand ourselves better, that usually becomes clear.

    If any of this resonates for you, I can suggest some resources that might be helpful.
     
  10. OnTheHighway

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    Crazydog, Chips comments are consistent with the approach I would have otherwise suggested. It comes down to finding someone you emotionally and intellectually connect with. And when you are focusing on guys that complement you, challenge you, support you, have shared values with, rather than specifically on age or looks, then you know your on the right track.
     
    #10 OnTheHighway, Jul 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016
  11. KnightAssassin

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    So i want to chime in on this , i am a younger guy who has had a 3 year relationship with a guy 12 years older and little over a year and a half relationship with someone 16 years older. I think that age isn't that important , what should factor who you date is sustenance in the relationship . Can you talk , can you get along , is it a one-sided relationship ( fiscal , mentally and emotionally) and look into what intrigues you about younger guys , is it more than physical ? Also though i want to caution that some people look for someone to take care of them ( i worked two jobs to support on of the relationships i was in for 6 months and also at one point i was unemployed for 2 months ) find someone who wants to work with you and not against and take , but that is a warning for all ages. As a whole we fought as a community to love who ever the hell we want ( within consent and state laws et cetera) with Stonewall , protests , marches , and even court rulings to give us marriage equality . Love is love find someone who you love and don't let things discriminate against it. Now dating younger guys also has other issues that arise but those should be figured out and discussed as with any relationship. I wish you the best and hope that you find someone to connect with of any age, i know a lot of married straight people who have 10 year age differences or more , as long as it's mutual who cares. Also just because you meet them doesn't mean it has to go farther than being good friends. things only happen as you want them too , if you have an interest look into , you never know if you don't explore. ( i want to say though that finding someone takes time and when it happens you should focus on connection between people not the small things* like age )

    *maturity and age are different keep that in mind. you can find an immature 50 year old and a mature 20 year old .
     
  12. Chip

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    Sorry, Matt, your single experience is hardly validating, and if we were to really explore what's going on for you (the background of which I know from our conversations), it would reinforce what I said above.

    A 13 or 16 year difference, if the relationship is supposed to be truly healthy, is insurmountable when the younger person is less than 27 or 29. What you find with these is a gross imbalance, caretaking, and one of the parties (often the younger person, but sometimes the older one) having extreme self-esteem issues.

    Love may be love, but healthy relationships are completely different from what some people call love. OP: You can continue down this path, but what you'll find will, 997 times out of 1000, not be healthy.
     
  13. Nickw

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    Chip

    I don't think that Crazydog indicated he is heading down any path just that he is concerned about his attractions and what it might mean.

    In my case, the guys 20 years younger have more in common with me than the ones my age. Especially the ones that still find exploration, in and out of the bedroom, exciting. Believe me, that is a rare commodity at my age. I asked my wife about my attraction to 35 year olds and her comment was "so you are looking for someone you can look up to?"

    Some of us are completely immature "gays" when we come out at older ages and find the younger guys more compatible and comfortable. That, and we can relate to the younger gay guy because that's how we feel. It's not, necessarily, a power play.

    I think what is important is to be respectful and aware of the risks of these relationships and to stay away from them if it looks like it is harmful to anybody. I think most of us later in lifers know when we are crossing that line.
     
  14. Morgana

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    Nothing to fix. You're not broken. As long as your attraction is to those old enough to decide for themselves if they want to reciprocate, what's the harm? There are many 20-25 year-olds out there with a great deal of maturity and wisdom to them, just as there are many people your age that don't have the maturity of a teenager. It's the person, not the age that matters.
     
  15. Chip

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    This is simply not true. The problem is, many, perhaps most people (including many later-in-lifers) don't recognize when they're crossing the line, because they don't even understand where the line is. In fact, most who engage in these behaviors refuse to acknowledge the immense harm they can cause to younger people in these situations. They convince themselves they're "helping' or "mentoring", blur boundaries, and often create a real mess.

    Often, the young guys who willingly seek out the relationships don't realize just how fucked up they (usually) are until sometimes several years later... and by then, even more damage to their self esteem and independence has happened.

    There's not much credible dispute on this issue... while there are rare exceptions, on the whole, these relationships with significant age gaps are not healthy and are often very harmful.
     
  16. Nickw

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    Chip

    Are you talking about 18 year olds or 28 year olds? I think the difference is vast, don't you? At 28, I had an advanced degree, had started a professional business, and been married for 6 years. I think I could have handled a 45 or 50 year old guy just fine.

    Maybe long term that isn't the smartest thing for either party. The practicality of the age difference at some point really does become an issue. But, causing "immense harm" because we're fooling around a bit?
     
    #16 Nickw, Jul 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016
  17. Chip

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    I'm talking about people under 28 (+/-), as I said earlier in the thread.