Friday, October 10, 2008

Compatibility Issues

Megan over at Jezebel has a post on dating in different age brackets. She challenges the assumption that women should always date older men. The assumption is that women mature more quickly than men, so women are attracted to men that are more "mature" than the boys their age. But Megan has a litany of personal examples why this doesn't work:

From the 43-year-old guy that used his terminally-ill brother as an excuse to regularly stand me up (but instead went out on dates with women he met online) to the 45-year-old guy who tried to pressure me into anal sex by claiming he couldn't orgasm any other way, to the 46-year-old guy who spent the entire time we dated apologizing for not being cool enough, I didn't get maturity, stability or self-confidence. And let's not forget my 50-year-old married stalker or the 60-year-old Congressman that I couldn't shake off my trail — I can't say any married guy who's ever hit on me was my age or younger. My last relationship ended after 4 years (when he was rounding the bend of 35) because he just wasn't in a place in his life to commit, and the guy I dated for 3 years before that went online when he hit 30 (I was 25) because he wasn't sure he'd slept with enough women to commit to a lifetime together. Each of these guys dumped enough of their emotional baggage on me from years of dating the wrong people and fucking up other relationships and getting dicked over by other women that I started to feel like I was not only having to be the normal variety of thoughtful and kind that I think dating (and general human interaction) entails, but as though I was having to atone for what life and women had supposedly done to them.

I have to agree with Megan here. There's no reason to assume that with age comes emotional maturity. This just becomes something that women say after dating a series of assholes and then finding an older man who happens to not be. I've dated older guys (ok, one older guy) and younger guys, both successfully, but the common thread here is that they weren't jerks. Age does not necessarily correspond directly to emotional maturity, and it's not just for men. Women can be pretty goddamn immature too.

Let's call a spade a spade here. I've heard a lot of women say that guys just aren't "mature" enough for a relationship yet or that they aren't "ready for a commitment." What this really is is people who just aren't right for one another, most of the time because one of them doesn't treat the other one very well, and they break up because of that. Rather than looking for reasons of "maturity" we should just say, that guy was a jerk or he wasn't right for you. End of story.

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