Why do you think that it is almost a norm that men date women younger than them? Because unlike men, who mature if at all, do it slow and steady, women mature early and grow up. “The older they get, the more messed up they become,” says a friend.
Most girls have their first relationship much earlier than boys have theirs (that’s again because boys date girls younger than them). So while they start off believing in true love, they get jaded and turn cynical and disillusioned pretty soon, most of them finding it hard to let go of their excess baggage.
Boys learn the ropes; take their own time to figure out how relationships work. Every relationship gives them new strength and encouragement. At the end of the fifth one, they know what lines work and what don’t. At the end of the tenth, they know how to make the girl pay on dates. At the end of the twentieth, they have mastered the art of making the girl dump them, so that they don’t have to bear the burden of guilt and the mantle of being the “bad guy”. Therefore, they travel light. The most they need is a hanky to pick up a wreck.
So women, after five relationships, are sick of mushy lines. After ten, they lose faith. After twenty… come on, how often do you hear girls have 20 relationships?
Due to their differing behaviour and attitudes towards relationships, older guys can only date a younger woman. Because what a guy needs is a believer and not a cynic. Which is why most men roam around with puppy dog looks and women have to contend with being labelled the female of the species.
As much as I hate to burst his bubble, I have simply got to point this out. Women don’t date older men because they are “sick of mushy lines.” When was the last time you saw a nubile 20 something being flaunted on the red carpet by a bespectacled, toothless eighty-year-old, and thought “Ah, she must be tired of mushy lines!”
It’s not too difficult to figure out why he’s going out with her. As an accessory, she makes a much better impact than his walking stick, for starters. And, I suppose — for a while at least — she’ll make him feel young again. Until the punishing schedule of dragging his arthritic limbs onto the dance floor every other day begins to get to him. And his therapist.
On her part, it’s probably interesting to date an older man.
He will take her to an exotic restaurant, and order champagne. While a boy her age will take her to greasy dive and order Coke, which he will probably try to spurt out of his nose for entertainment. An older man will impress her by talking about world politics, while the Boy will attempt to do the same by arm wrestling with the waiter. And, yes, the older will deal with excess baggage much more gracefully, making peace with ex-girl friends and wives. While the Boy will seriously consider throwing rotten eggs at an ex-girlfriend’s car, to `get even’.
Maybe, one day, the older man will discover he can’t keep up and needs to be tucked up with his hot water bottle around the same time she gets started clubbing. And she’ll realise she can’t be seen with a man who dances like the Bee Gees, and thinks the salsa is some kind of condiment.
Or maybe not.
Fortunately there are no absolutes in life. Younger women will date older men. Older women will date younger men. People who are exactly the same age will fall madly in love with each other.
In the end, after all, age is just a number.
(A fortnightly column on the battle of the sexes)