One of things I've really been enjoying since I started the Manbbatical project is that I've had more time to nourish my friendships.
Out on wine or coffee dates, there's one subject that has come up more than once: dating older men compared to dating younger men.
I'm no ageist, but there is definitely something to be said for maturity.
One thing that many of my girlfriends struggle with while dating men in their 20's & early 30's, is their fear of commitment.
While it's fine for men to take their time, deciding whether or not to tie themselves down, giving up their bachelor lifestyles, we women have an expiry date. If we want children, we can't take our sweet-ass time.
Men in their 20s and 30s often have pre-mid-life crises, wondering if they're doing what really makes them happy, getting tired of partying every night, yet still not wanting to let it go.
Many of them have that ferocious ambition (in terms of their career) and often feel as though a woman might blur the field of their vision for success.
Beyond the struggles of the Peter Pan syndrome, younger men often lack something that older men don't: chivalry. The general consensus is that older men really know how to treat women. Things like opening doors, offering their coat if she's chilly and holding it up for her to put on, picking up the check at dinner, letting her order first, buying random gifts just because, sending flowers, etc...
It should be noted that I'm a feminist (obviously) and therefore stand for equality among us. However, I'd be lying if I said that these little gestures didn't mean something to me. I'm obviously capable, self-sufficient, and am not looking for a man to pull me out of the fire.
Gifts and holding doors don't replace or represent respect and love. It is lovely, however, to be put first, to be admired, and cherished.
It should also be stated that much of what I've said is a generalization. Some old farts are assholes, and some young studs are generous and valiant. I just feel that (again, generally speaking) something's been lost, along the way to men and women being equal.
Maybe just among the dudes that I have dated? They haven't all been douchey in that regard. But usually I date dudes who need to bum a couple bucks from me to pay for their beer...
When did men stop being courteous and honorable? When did they stop working to keep their relationship spicy, loving, or romantic? Some men out there will do it. Work at it. I know a lot of men do - my sister's husband, for example. And my dad. But both of those men are well over 40. Maybe older men is where I should direct my attention, once I can start dating, again.
Saggy-old-man-bum scares the shit out of me, but it might be worth it for a man to romance me off my dry feet, from him laying his cloak over the puddle for me to step on.
(Also, don't worry: I would never really date a dude who wore a cloak. Unless it was The Phantom Of The Opera. I doubt I could resist his spell.)