When it comes to dating, everyone has their preferences.
We prefer older, younger, blondes, brunettes, redheads, tattoos, and piercings; the list can go on and on as far as preferences go.
Are you alone in this or are there others out there that understand your preferences and your reasons for why?
Take me for example. I love, Love, LOVE "older" women. My life partner and I have a twelve-year age gap. Before that, there was a 27-year age gap, and even before that, a seven-year age gap.
Now, don't get me wrong, I have tried dating younger, same age, and a year or so older. It always ended up the same...it ended. Overall, age had nothing to do with the reasons for terminated relationships, but it had all to do with maturity, and in some instances, the fact I was not out yet.
I did discover that I preferred being with older women. As I have gotten older, my preferences and reasons for my preferences have changed and settled. But let me tell you—at times, dating older women has been intimidating for me.
Experience. I mean like, hello! I spent over half my life playing the hetero card and my life partner is a Gold Star Lesbian (someone who has never in their entire life slept with a man)—talk about intimidating. What if I don't do things right? What if I just suck at everything? Are her expectations outlandishly high?
The answer to this is going to be dependent on the person, and that, my friends, is a true story. Yes, the expectations can be higher; however, if this is a person who honestly cares about you, then they will be patient and they will guide you. Then there is the no crowd. Some people want someone with more experience. It all varies.
Age is just a number. To most this is so accurate, and to others, there is a line that has been drawn that will not be crossed.
Remember me mentioning how dating an older lesbian can be intimidating because of their experience? Did you know that older lesbians also find us younguns intimidating? I kid you not! One of the most common phrases I have heard is, "You may decide to trade in for a newer model."
"Like, hello! Obviously, that won't happen," is what runs through my mind, and then it cycles back to, "Maybe they say that because they want someone more experienced."
The cycle continues.
Remember when. This is the part that really gets me going, and not in a bad way. One thing that I really love about dating an older woman is when she really stops and thinks about some of the comments she makes. For example, she says, "I graduated in 1996," so at that point, you figure that this person would be 17 or 18 and you may respond, "Oh, I was only 8 then." At that point they will generally tell you to shut up and not talk about it any more. I always giggle in those situations. Or when they act surprised when you've never heard of their favorite band that was popular in the early 80's.
These three points make up my cycle of dating someone who is older, whether you are in a same-sex relationship, heterosexual relationship, polyamorous, and so on, there are always going to be a variety of concerns from each party.
Each of these concerns are what makes the relationships flow. Together you work together as a team to make things work.
Let me let you in on my personal secret.
When you start worrying about your lack of experience, be confident. Don't let on that you are inexperienced, own it!
Don't let them be intimidated; show your confidence in them and let them know they have nothing to worry about.
As for the difference in years, give them Hell for it. In the end you will both be laughing and that is key for a healthy relationship.
Keep in mind, I am no relationship expert. This is all based on my personal experience and it isn't the same for everyone.
"Every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favorite." — Unknown