Dating with an age difference

What are your viewpoints on younger men seeking to date older women? I’m a 24-year-old black male and I’ve been frustrated these past years with dating girls my age. They either lack maturity or consciousness or are constantly glued to their phones while on a date. I’ve been on multiple dates with mature women 10–20 years older than me, and more often than with younger women, I feel a connection and chemistry. However, many I meet are either married or divorced and looking to just have physical fun. Others take the free meal or drinks and use my age as an excuse to not commit. How can a man who feels intellectually deprived find his queen when he’s only attracted to women much older than himself? 

Some might call you a “cub” or a “cougar tamer,” with cougar being the name for older women seeking younger men. Slang aside, my opinion is that there is nothing wrong with exploring what interests you. I support anyone choosing to be in less traditional relationships if that’s what appeals to them.

It sounds like you want an older woman because you crave your emotional and intellectual equal (and you feel advanced for your age). You want a woman not glued to her phone, who can be present. Perhaps you want a woman who is established professionally, has financial stability and knows herself well. You want a woman like me. But seriously, there’s nothing wrong with desiring a person in a different demographic than your own.

The heart wants what the heart wants. The same can be said for attraction, before love even kicks in. These are drives, and they shouldn’t be ignored because they are part of being human.

Age is a number, but we’ve turned it into a construct. While there are scientific certainties connected to age — for example, the area of the brain responsible for impulse control, risk management and logical thinking, among other things, is not fully developed until age 26 — there is wide variance in people’s level of maturity relative to their age.

Age is not necessarily a reflection of a person’s intellect or emotional wisdom; there can be older individuals who are foolish just as there can be youngsters who are old souls.

Often we date someone our age because of convenience. This is called the proximity effect. It refers to the idea that physical and psychological nearness to others tends to increase interpersonal liking.

In other words, it is common for people to connect more with others — as friends or lovers — who are physically near, because it is most accessible. What this all means is you will probably need to go out of your way and work a little harder to find the women you are drawn to because they are less likely to be at the same events and activities as you.

Where are you trying to meet women? Are you looking for sophistication, so it can be mirrored back to you, allowing you to feel more worldly or refined in your life?

Are you looking for a maternal figure? Keep in mind that if you want children, those women 15-plus years older may already be past that stage.

Are you choosing women who are unavailable because you like the chase? It’s not surprising that older women are cautious about committing to you because of your age, so prepare yourself to be patient as they build trust and see the ways you break the mold.

Dating can always be an enterprise. Don’t assume the dating scenarios you’ve bumped up against will continue to happen; most likely you’ll continue to have a wide array of intriguing and random encounters if you continue to put yourself out there!

Don’t be in such a hurry to be pinned-down. You’ve got plenty of time to find your queen. Keep riding the wave, stay true to yourself and notice what comes up for you to understand yourself better throughout this process.