In general, there’s a stigma that a younger woman dates an older man because he’s more powerful and can essentially take care of her.And while that may be true for some, a 2010 study by the University of Dundee in Scotland found that as women become more financially independent, their taste may skew toward older (and better-looking) men. As a woman becomes more confident in her own career and finances, she seeks a partner who matches that, which often is not a 25-year-old guy.Getting awkward questions (wait, do you know each other?! I find it difficult to explain to people how my relationship came to be.I’m often asked how we met—and not in a giddy kind of way (it’s more like concern).People are shocked when I respond “mutual friends.” How could a girl in her early 20s be friends with people in their late 30s?
When I first started dating my boyfriend, it threw me off when he didn’t text me, but—wait for it— instead.While you figure out the math, let me be clear that I’ve met several other women in their early- to mid-20s who also prefer to date from a much older pool for various reasons.And while cliché dictates that, sure, men are into it, there’s been some recent research done about younger females often gravitate toward mature men.If your family is fairly protective, especially your dad, it can be a pretty nerve-racking conversation.What helped me most was talking about how wonderful he is leading up to their meet and asking my older sister to talk to them too.Now, I’m not saying these are conscious reasons why dating a man quite a bit older—there have been several moments when I’ve thought that going out with someone closer to my age would be much simpler.I even tried it when my boyfriend and I took a short break, and I found it was painstakingly difficult and more complicated than my experience dating an older guy. The texting games (How long should I wait to text him back? It’s exhausting), the fear of commitment that plagues most twentysomethings, and the simple fact that most guys my age aren’t as emotionally mature as I am.I can recall numerous situations—work issues, arguments with people—that my boyfriend was able to help me with based on his own mistakes and victories.Plus, when it comes to things like taxes, real estate, and life hacks that you pick up over time, an older guy can be a goldmine of useful information. I dated a guy right before my boyfriend who was really … I’m the kind of girl who looks up to independent women, and I tend to put my girlfriends before dating.That said, there are not-so-little things that can cause friction too.Keeping in mind what I’ve learned from my own relationship and anecdotes I’ve picked up from women in similar situations, I’ve outlined the perks and challenges of dating an older man. I get asked a lot of questions about my boyfriend’s finances (why else would I date someone much older, right? It’s not actually anybody’s business, but I can tell you that I’ve never dated anyone because of money.