Dating across the ages – don’t mind the gap

woman hugging man

Some things we tend not to talk about. It’s not that they’re taboo or anything, and it’s certainly not that we’re up tight or old-fashioned. It’s just that we tend not to discuss some issues as often as others.

So, just to prove all of the above, let’s talk about one of them.

Dealing with an age difference in a dating context is one of those things that everyone acknowledges, but that no-one really knows how to talk about; at least not without resorting to some sort of ironic innuendo. It doesn’t really matter which partner is older; whichever way it stacks up the default response involves a nudge, a wink and a knowing reference to the fact that someone is doing well for themselves.

But the bottom line is that quite often people do find themselves attracted to a person whose age is more than an arm’s length from their own. Of course, sometimes this is a matter of general preference: some women do prefer older men (irrespective of their bank balances and their status), just as some men prefer a more mature woman (insert your own rider here).

We could discuss the merits of either, but the key point concerns those couplings that bridge across the generations. And here’s the beef.

The thing is, picking someone up is tricky enough at the best of times. That’s the reality that all those ‘how to pick up women’ articles are tapping into. But if you’re into dating someone who is outside your own age range – let’s give it five years either way – then it’s doubly difficult. Not only have you got all the usual obstacles to overcome, you also have to avoid coming across as some sort of a weirdo.

‘Weirdo’ is only attractive to a very specific and probably quite tiny group of women, and it’s probably not a good idea to even think about going there!

So here’s the key piece of advice in this scenario. Young or old, whoever you’re keen to get involved with you’ve got to show that you are 100% sincere in your personal interest in that individual. As soon as you come across as someone who is simply after a ‘type’ you are dead in the water. Nobody just wants to be a type (especially since the suspicion that you might be some sort of a freak is likely to be in play).

But it’s not all bad. The distance in age does have its plus points. The trick is to use these to your advantage.
Whichever way round we arrange this, the age gap means there is scope for a bit of old fashioned charm. You can lay it on with a dumpster. Older women will appreciate the sensitivity, younger women will think it cute, something that younger guys just don’t have in their locker. Whichever side of the age divide you’re on, that gap in years gives you licence to woo in an old fashioned way that women just go crazy for.

And along with that there is the benefit of flattery. Being told you look beautiful by someone 15 years your junior counts double what it does from someone the same age. Say that to someone from your own graduation year and the odds are that it’ll get interpreted along the lines of ‘let’s hit the sack’. Throw those words across an age gap and all of a sudden it carries either the weight of wisdom and experience (looking down the age scale) or it is so flattering it’s almost impossible not to be blown away (they’ll be telling you to hit the sack before you know it).

You do have to pick you moment of course.

And that draws on a final piece of advice in this little-discussed corner of the dating world. It’s the sort of advice that is a bit out of fashion, but we’re working on the basis that at least one of the people involved may not be entirely fashion-conscious: the advice is be sensitive, be patient and be sincere.

Do that, and all you’ll have to worry about is what everyone else is nudging and winking about.