Teens tips on dating older men
Teens tips on dating older men
My husband, Tim’s father, died three years ago, and I think Tim is looking for a father figure. What could a 40-year-old man have in common with a teenager? Should I keep quiet and pray it ends soon or speak up?Tim starts college this fall, and I am hoping he’ll find a more appropriate boyfriend there. — Name withheld I completely understand your angst about this — who would want her son in the arms of a “predator”?
I stayed married to my husband for seven years, and by the time our relationship ended, I saw our age difference in a completely different way.Even the White House witnessed an intergenerational first family: President Grover Cleveland was 49 when he married Frances Folsom, then 21.(Cleveland had been friends with Folsom’s father, who had been killed when she was only 10 — talk about a father figure!Certainly a 50-year-old man dating a 22-year-old woman is better than a 58-year-old-man marrying an 8-year-old girl, but how much better exactly?According to Hugo Schwyzer, this age dynamic is sexist and hurts men and women alike.Christopher Ryan of Psychology Today argues – in direct response to Schwyzer – that there’s an “innate biological desire men hold for women in their most fertile years,” and that such a desire is perfectly natural.
We’ve all heard this idea before: men are designed to want to spread their seed, so in spite of their age and inability with age to care for children, they remain attracted to women who can propagate their DNA.Interestingly, the same survey showed that “One in three people think a bit of immaturity helps in bonding well with children,” and I concur.Rather than allow that to make a case for older men being great fathers to infants, that should make the case for young women of childbearing age to mate with young men their own age. Young men are encouraged to be a bit more mature, but remain goofy enough to be playful dads, and young women will hopefully be able to retain a life-long partner instead of an aging and eternal player willing to discard her as soon as she turns 40, or one she wants to ditch as soon as she’s old enough to realize what she’s gotten herself into.“Ask women in their teens and 20s who are in relationships with older men about guys their own age, and you’ll invariably hear laments about young men’s immaturity,” Schwyzer says.“That callowness is often oversold by too many aging Lotharios wanting to emphasize the difference between their own supposed expertise and young men’s clumsiness.” Mmm-hmm. According to Schwyzer, many young women end up with older men who are “deeply unsafe.” For his part, Schwyzer urges older men to mentor younger men instead of taking advantage of the younger women those young men should be dating.He says, “If there’s one tangible thing that men can do to help end sexism—and create a healthier culture in which young people come of age—it’s to stop chasing after women young enough to be their biological daughters.” Schwyzer goes on to say, “As hyperbolic as it may sound, there are few more powerful actions that men can take to transform the culture than to date, mate, and stay with their approximate chronological peers.