Woman B: I was 23 when we started dating and he was 39. We got back in contact and I realized how much I missed having him in my life. Woman A: Looking back, I think he needed a partner who would tolerate his bullshit if he was to be in a relationship at all.
Woman A: The longest lasting of these relationships started when I was 18 and he was 40. However, we didn't start dating until I was 18 and he was 36. They split up around 2009 and I didn't hear from him for 18 months. Do you think your age was part of the attraction for him?
Did/does it impact sex at all, for better or for worse? This was one of the many ways the relationship was emotionally abusive — sex was always ostensibly on the table, but no matter how much I threw myself at him, I was always rejected. The fact that this man didn't want to have sex with me in spite of claiming to love me, in spite of the fact that men allegedly always want sex, in spite of the fact that they allegedly especially want sex with much younger women — all of this made the continual rejection especially painful. We have different tastes sexually — I'm more adventurous — but that has nothing to do with age.
I've had crushes and done the odd online date, but I'd never dated seriously before. We started dating and it developed into a relationship shortly after. Woman D: We met initially at a mutual friend's house. Selecting a much younger partner increased the odds of him finding such a person. He has had three other serious relationships and they were all age-appropriate.However, after the relationship with the significantly older man ended I vowed to only date close to my age again.I think that there is definitely some truth to the "age is just a number" mentality, but having the experience I did, I don't buy it completely.I’m young and I want to have fun, out in the world, not be tied down to someone’s living room while her kid sleeps in the bedroom. I admire my friend for being a stand-up guy and taking care of his son, so my opinion of a woman doing the same … Also, her ex had issues with me being around his daughter because he was threatened by the relationship that was forming.Also, my friend’s ex had a kid that always wanted to sleep in his mom’s bed and that would be a problem for me. I want all the perks that come with a grown-up relationship.” “A lot of my friends are divorced and one guy even has a kid after a one-night stand. I think it felt good for him that an 18-year-old was choosing to spend time with him. Because he had a reluctance to grow up, he wanted to stay young in as many ways as possible. Woman B: Twenty-seven and he recently turned 42 (we're still together). We discovered we had a lot of interests in common and became good friends. Most of the men I dated more casually at the time were in their 30s. It also made me feel special — this man seemed so much more worldly than the men my age, and the fact that he was interested in me seemed too good to be true. Woman D: Originally I think I was flattered that somebody who had experienced so much of life was interested in me. 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.As a 30-year-old woman, I understand their hesitations now.As an 18-year-old, I thought they were close-minded.