Even as a child I was enamoured by the maturer man. From my obsession with Elijah Wood to Simon Cowell, I have always looked up to older men. Of course, this is no particular anomaly. Young girls, and even boys, fantasise over their celebrity crushes; the actors and actresses that prance on our screens. In this instance, it is not particularly odd. From watching Johnny Depp act as a drunken pirate or Robert Redford perform the role of Gatsby, the performativity these actors engage with mean they represent fictional characters that children can ‘fall in love with.’ Not necessarily the actors themselves.
So, why is it then that some young women remain entranced by the older man?
The first port of call is : ‘she’s a gold digger!’
That, of course, is completely and utterly ridiculous.
In my personal experience, being in a relationship with a man twenty years my senior, I would not choose to fake love for the sake of a nice dress. To add on to that, there is no truth that older men or women are wealthier than younger men or women. In fact, the burdens of older adults are far greater; rent, taxes, mortgages, you name it. There isn’t as much disposable income as there is with a twenty eight year old banker who can splash his cash on drinks and dinners and holidays away.
Second: ‘she’s got daddy issues!’
Firstly, does anyone not have daddy issues? And I’m not saying that it should only be reserved for the father, doesn’t everyone also have mummy issues?
Even if your parents are the greatest parents that ever walked this Earth (which I believe my parents have been), we all have ‘issues’ with our parents. Perhaps we felt we had to compete for their affection with our other siblings, that they weren’t proud of us, that they didn’t hug us much or show us attention. Even the most minute failures of parents can explode in the mind of a child who is utterly dependent on their parents for guidance. This is the norm.
Daddy issues, therefore, does not exist.
For the sake of argument, however, no. Young women don’t have daddy issues when they date older men. There are a plethora of reasons why. One of the main ones being, you guessed it, they might actually love them.
Age does not matter when you have fallen madly in love with someone. In fact, for someone like myself, the only dread and sadness I feel is the thought of losing him. The fact that my time with him is, statistically, shorter than if I were dating a younger man.
One cannot make generic comments regarding the young or old. I do believe, however, that for a lot of younger women, older men are far more emotionally mature, interesting and well-grounded. Younger men (and again forgive me for stereotyping in this hypothetical case), tend to be more naive, unsure of themselves and generally less committed to monogamy. In the digital era younger men (and women too!) want to try out all the options, get themselves out their as far and fast as they can. There is no problem with this sentiment. But it does mean that, for a lot of younger women who feel more mature for their age, they look for an older man to fill that void that some younger men in society just do not fill anymore.
The thought of my partner dying before me and leaving me alone is a reality I will have to face one day.
Do you really think people chose to put such misery upon themselves for the sake of pretty dresses and nice holidays? Be real. It would merely be a waste of bloody time. For any women who does engage in such behaviour, fine. It isn’t the man that will suffer though, it will be you.
You can get the nice jewellery and clothes, visit Los Angeles and amble around like you’re Audrey Hepburn. Yet, if you know you are using someone, it is you who is actually being used. As each new morning peeps its head above the horizon, another day of your life will be over. Any chance of finding your true love will vanquish, and as you become older and your expiry date comes to a close, it will be you who had been used. Wasted moments and precious memories with someone you didn’t care for a jot, for what, Dom Perignon?
I will round this blog up with a part of my novel that, in one paragraph, highlights how strongly I feel about the love for my older partner and the fear of my loneliness when, and if, he leaves me in death:
I turned to him as a film of tears shaded my eyes. I would die, yes. As would all that I loved. But Alex, Alex would die first. He was older, twenty whole years – I mean, a fifth of a fucking century older. My minds ability to conjure fantasies suddenly pictured us in the future. I would be sixty-odd, dressed in dark long dresses holding his hand and weeping as the last flickers of life stole him from me. He would touch my face lightly and smile:
‘I will see you in God’s kingdom, my dearest Francesca. I-I love y….’ The final word would be lost in his final breath and his soul would ascend into the heavenly spheres as I, widowed and alone, would traverse the Earth waiting to be with him again.