Love in your forties is a whole other animal. It’s a time where we as men feel “we are old enough to know better, but young enough to still do it.” Sadly, for most of us, this is far from the truth. Instead, it’s more like “I’m set in my ways and can I find someone to put up with said ways. One could argue that the perfect mate for a man in his forties is a partner in their forties. However, I’m finding more and more that I’m attracting people 10+ years my junior.
I identify as a cisgender gay male, but even my straight friends in their 40’s tell me of stories where 20/30-year-old women are sneaking into their DM’s and approaching them when out. It would seem there is a growing trend where older men are being chased by a younger suitor (male or female). This is not necessarily a new occurrence overall, but the prevalence has increased.
Hence this is where love and/or dating younger can get a bit complicated. Our views tend to shift from set in my ways into more of “what role do I play in this relationship.” “Hey Daddy” always seems to be the running phrase I would tend to get before my current boyfriend, but it has never sat well with me. I know a number of men, both gay and straight who have latched onto the term, but it’s not something I’m particularly ready for. It triggers a feeling of uncomfortableness and insights a notion that I am the “caretaker” of this particular person. Yet, that brings me back to the “what’s my part in all this?”
My current boyfriend is 14 years younger than I am. I find myself at times bestowing tidbits of knowledge on what to do and what not to do as he ventures forward in his life. Even at times when he has not asked for or even desired my opinion. I just put my two cents in and expect him to just get it. That is both naïve and unfair on my part, it does come from a place of genuine love and wanting what’s best for him though. However, I come off as the pushy father figure if I don’t watch myself. Therein lies the dilemma. How in our 40’s do we rearrange our values and/or perceptions? In turn, setting the proper boundaries that this type of relationship deserves.
As with everything in life it’s about balance. First and foremost I want to be a supportive boyfriend, but also a mentor at times. If I can save him from even 1 incident where I fell flat on my face, but he can prevail. I’m going to! That’s what good partners do, regardless of age. They help build up the other and relish in their partner’s success as much as their own.
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