Dating a guy ten years younger

I felt like I was racking up new life milestones every day, and couldn't imagine relating to anyone younger than me — and so I became fixated on dating older guys, because I thought it was the only way I could find someone who would be mature enough to make me happy.

But this kind of thinking conflates practical responsibility with emotional maturity — which isn't really accurate.

Actor Mel Gibson and partner Rosalind Ross pose at the American Film Institute Awards in Los Angeles, California, on Jan. Gibson, who is 61, is 35 years older than his partner Rosalind Ross, who is 26.

Many men and women are seemingly rejecting those cougar and sugar-daddy stereotypes, as some experts are seeing that a substantial portion of middle-age and older singles are willing to choose partners who are younger than themselves.

In your twenties, especially in the years immediately after college, an age difference of just a year or two can make you feel like you're a world apart from someone.

Which makes sense — in the course of 24 months, I transformed from a college senior who'd never lived on my own and subsisted primarily on bagels stolen from the school cafeteria to a financially independent adult who worked a serious job and subsisted primarily on bagels stolen from work.

Data seem to support that idea: A 2003 AARP survey of about 3,500 single men and women ages 40 to 69 found about 66 percent of men want to date younger women and 34 percent of women want to date younger men.

And sometimes, they do; sometimes someone who is older really is more emotionally intelligent. Hell, we've even developed a terminology to describe people who look like adults on the outside, but are basically middle schoolers on the inside — that'd be that scourge of the dating world, the "man-child" or "woman-child."In my own mid-twenties, I dated a 30-year-old, expecting to find someone ready to get serious sheerly based on his age and professional accomplishments; instead, I found an immature trainwreck who made rude comments about my weight and cheated on me basically every time I was out of earshot.Oath will also provide relevant ads to you on our partners' products.To give you a better overall experience, we want to provide relevant ads that are more useful to you.But the experience has made me think about how women are discouraged from dating younger men — especially women in their twenties.Although the idea of a "cougar" who dates much younger men has a certain cultural cachet, being a woman in your twenties who simply chooses a partner who's a bit younger is often viewed as weird, desperate, or deluded — basically, anything besides what it is, which is totally normal.

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