Dating a man four years younger

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When I met my boyfriend Jesse, I was 28 and he was 24 — not too much of a dating age difference in the grand scheme of things, but to hear some of my friends at the time tell it, you'd think we were Harold and Maude — or at the very least, Ashton and Demi.In the early days of our relationship, I got a lot of a lot of exasperated eyerolls, "you go, girl"s, and questions about whether I was technically old enough to be a cougar.And she knows she won’t fall into a million pieces if she doesn’t have a boyfriend. And whereas younger women are putting you through the paces to see if you can provide her with a life, an identity, and a future, an older woman already knows who she is and what she wants to do—she’d just love someone to share it with.A friend of mine dated a 40-year-old woman when he was 22 and new to New York.Now he’s in his mid 40s, and married with a kid, and remembers that relationship as critical to making him the man he is now.“As a dude, I’m told that I’m supposed to date girls my own age and take care of them, pay for dinner, and so on.(This is code for, “I dread clingy girls who abandon their own ships the moment we have sex, and set up camp on my shore.”) Also, the fact that an older woman has her own money means she likely worked hard to get it. You may buy into the idea that all older women are “desperate.” Granted, some are. This doesn’t mean she doesn’t want marriage/kids, because she might—but if so, she’ll be pretty clear about it up front.

But the experience has made me think about how women are discouraged from dating younger men — especially women in their twenties.

She’s been to enough of these things on her own to manage just fine while you’re talking to someone else. Most of the single women I know over 35 just want a good man, period.

And, unlike the 23-year-old who gets tanked and throws shade at your ex, she’s got class. I once went out with a young man from Queens who only dated older women because younger ladies, he found, couldn’t do a thing without checking in with 15 of their friends.

So if you're thinking about getting together with someone younger, don't listen to anyone who uses words like "cougar," "cradle robber," or "Samantha Jones;" instead, consider the five points below.

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