Hello good folks of blogsville. How's it hanging?
Today, I have a question. Not that I really want to do anything with the answer; it's simply to satisfy my poke-nosing curiosity.
Last year, my friends and I were in a car headed some place and as it often is with girls, we found ourselves discussing dating particularly age as it relates to dating. We shared some of our personal preferences. I revealed that until very recently, my personal preference was a guy who was two or three years older than I was, max. I only recently began to open myself up to the possibility of dating up to ten years older. It was such a big deal for me back in the days that I rebuffed the advances of a guy who wanted to marry me when he was 29 when I was 19. I guess it stemmed from my dad being a mere three years older than my mum and that has been my reference point. The conversation then veered off into 'well can you date someone younger?'
Yesterday, I attended a church service with one of my girlfriends; we peeped a cutie directing the flow of traffic and the topic once again went to dating a younger man because he was clearly younger than both of us. I said to my friend that I was not completely averse to dating a younger man and that as a matter of fact, perhaps what I needed in my life at this time was some 'young blood' . My friend remarked that I could get away with dating someone younger because of my stature but she couldn't imagine herself dating a younger man. Her thing was she won't be able to take any crap from him and would go to great lengths to remind him she was not his mate. I promptly informed her that she would be the one embarrassed by such a statement.
To be honest, one of the greatest loves of my life was a guy that was a year younger than I am...well he was 10 months younger really (his words...not mine. I insist on a year! Lol) I dated him off and on for like 4-5 years and we started dating when I was 18 and he was 17. In that relationship, I really made a mountain out of a molehill on the age difference. We were family friends and at the time, I thought my parents would have a problem with me dating and going on to marry a younger guy. So every time he would say just ask your mum, hear what she thinks, I would look at him like he had lost his marbles and counters. So I should open my mouth to tell my mother that I was dating my 'aburo'????Dude, where they do that at???? With the benefit of hindsight, it wouldn't have been so bad. My mum would obviously have questions about my cougar ways but now, I don't see it completely disqualifying someone from marrying me.
I guess the issue most people have with dating younger men is the ability to submit to someone who is younger than you are and take/follow their lead and instruction. But is the ability to be a man and lead a function of age? 'YES!' I hear most of you say. As women, we have been conditioned to believe that men our age are actually 2-5 years behind us in emotional intelligence which is why we date guys that are older, because then, they would be on our level emotionally or just slightly above. As such, a younger guy must be light years away from where we're at emotionally. Well...this is true...but not always true. I'm a 30 year old woman and I've dated some guys who are 5-6 years older than I am. Trust me when I say a lot of these older men are emotionally retarded...in fact...emotionally crippled! Asides that, follwership and submission is not age induced. It is love induced. If you truly love a man, his age would be a non-factor. We are just so conditioned to respect age in Nigeria so much so that we would be physically unable to give a younger man the time of day were he to approach us with talks of a romantic liaison. As my boss says, if age was such a big deal, the oldest man in Nigeria would be the president. When I dated the younger guy, we fought a lot, yes, but make no mistakes, I knew who wore the pants in that relationship. He let me have my way a lot BUT when he stood his ground on something, I knew where I was and who I was with.
In relationships, for most of us women, there is the issue of making the man you want out of the man you see. Teachers would tell you that it is easier to form a young mind than an old one. The same goes for men. Gentlemen...take a knee. You see, the way you see yourselves is not the way we see you. You see, in a man's eyes, if he were a house, he would be a mansion. One with a sweeping driveway, spiral staircase, chandeliers, in-door and out-door swimming pools, a heli-pad and basket ball court. Men view themselves with what is known as 'rose-tinted glasses'. They think they are perfect and any woman would be lucky...lucky as hell...to have them as they are. And that's great. We are lucky to have you and blah...blah...blahhh...BUT...we always know that there is room for improvement in your lives. When a young lady meets a man who in his mind is a Spanish-style mansion, she surveys him with a gimlet eye and what she sees is a dilapidated building...doors hanging off the hinges, animal poop in the middle of the living room, not a single working light, cabinet doors ripped off and rats running rampant around the property. He is a run down building BUT, he is a fixer-upper. Women LOVEEEE a project so, she rolls up her sleeves and dives right in. What is the essence of the analogy? When we meet you men, in your minds you are perfect: you dress well, you have a good job, you have a place of your own etc therefore you must be a catch. To a woman, you dress like Awilo Logomba, you have an advanced degree in Economics yet you are a bank teller and you share a flat with six of your boys. You are a mess BUT you are a mess with potential. We want to work with that potential and get the optimum prize out of it. This is why you hear women saying things like "after all the work I put in, some heux will just swoop in and try to take over...I DON'T THINK SO!" and you guys are perplexed and wondering what work??? This is also why you become more attractive to heaux when you are in a relationship. I for one believe you can work with the potential of a younger guy better than you can with an older man. Older men, eight times out of ten are more set in their ways than younger men. If a system has worked for him in the past, you have a snowball's chance in hell to ask him to try something else. Younger men on the other hand tend to be more open to your thoughts and suggestions. Because like it or not, you are older and you may know stuff. So if a younger guy is a dilapidated building, he's a dilapidated building on a nice street with easy access. An older guy is a dilapidated building surrounded by thorns and a moat...you will get to him eventually but not without a few battle scars.Obviously, it sounds like I am saying younger guys are weak-willed and will just kowtow to whatever your cougar-ass says. Eh...no. A man is a man. You don't bully men. Your old ass needs to respect yourself before you lose out to a hotter more age appropriate chick.
I've seen people date and marry all ways: older, younger, same age. They all have varying stories. Dating and marriage does not come with a handbook, so your relationship is what you make of it. I know a lady who married a guy three years younger and she swears it was the best decision of her life; he's mature, caring and responsible. My cousin married a guy the same age as her and they have one of the most balanced and healthy marriages I have ever seen. I heard of someone yesterday who married a man 12 years older than she was. They had an argument and he left the house... 2 months ago and went to Vegas. She has not seen or heard from him since. I guess really...NO BE BY AGE.
Long story short, I think a lot of Nigerian women have hang-ups about dating younger men. The oft touted adage "age is nothing but a number" not only applies to when you are dating Father Abraham and trying to justify your aristo ways. While dating younger is not everyone's cup of tea, I think we tend to shut out a crop of eligible guys when we decide we can't see beyond the age. People believe dating a younger man is fraught with pitfalls such as immaturity, communication breakdowns occasioned by a generational gap etc. But those things exists in relationships with older men too. I guess the taste of the pudding is in the eating and you will never know till you try. At this point, let me just add that this is not a call to paedophilia o. I'm talking about dating younger within reason but then I guess that in itself is subjective sha. To each their own.
So over to you good people...what do you think about the post? Can you date a younger man? Have you dated a younger man? If so...what was your experience?