In my early 20s, I met an older guy who stole a piece of my heart.
His sea-green eyes mirrored mine. His brilliant smile, and carefree ways inspired me.
I loved his stories about Guatemala—where he volunteered for a Catholic Relief project, and traveled on top of the colorful buses through roads with hairpin curves.
His poetry fueled my poet’s heart. He sent eloquently written letters to me after our first road trip across the States. He massaged my back with his Italian hands that had carved sculptures out of pieces of marble.
Later he showed me the brightly colored pages of his travel journal, which made my smile widen for a couple reasons. One, that he kept a journal, and two, that he trusted me with his thoughts.
At the time, I didn’t think much of our age difference of 13 years, knowing he was still childless and had never been married. I hadn’t planned on falling in love, as I had just finished a five-year relationship with my college boyfriend. I only wanted to have some fun.
Yet love doesn’t always follow the plan—or the age—of what we have in mind for relationships.
Honestly, there wasn’t much at first.
His good clearly outweighed any bad. In fact, the problems that most people imagine about older guys turned out not to be true. He could outrun me on any day. He was old-school, so he didn’t give a crap about all the insta-updates. I’d never have to worry about whether or not he was trying to hook up with other women.
He stayed in the moment, finding the beauty in poetry, or playfully humming popular tunes or older ones like 99 Red Balloons.
The bad came from me, as I had a naive expectation.
I made the most ridiculous mistake in believing one silly thing: that he had it all figured out because he was older than me. But he didn’t. Out of respect for him, I won’t elaborate on some of those unfortunate events. He can’t undo them, but I’ve learned from his surprisingly impulsive decisions that directly affected me.
Older guys are like us younger women, and the reverse could be said for older women and younger guys, too: all of us are still figuring out this whole thing called life.
Older guys don’t have all the answers, and they’ll make some pretty rookie mistakes. Sure, they’ll have some dazzling experiences tucked under their belts, but—as younger women—we can’t depend on older men to know all the answers when the difficult questions appear in our lives.
I’d thought about keeping this part simple, like saying it’s the laughter lines along his eyes, but I won’t lie: it’s the love-making.
Older guys know how to do things that younger guys are just figuring out. They’ve perfected the whole dance of foreplay from the playful looks to the moment of climax, so an orgasm is more than an orgasm.
There is absolutely nothing more beautiful than being with a person who meets you on that sexual level, and sometimes, that’s why we—younger women—date an older guy.
How an Exchange with a Guy from Tinder Helped Me Uncover My Limiting Beliefs about Men and Love.
Author: Jessie Wright
Editor: Travis May
Image: Flickr/JK Califf
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