Dating an Older Guy Isn’t THAT Bad, Right? [Diary of the Undateable]

“Is anyone sitting here?” A caramel cutie asked me as he approached my usual table at Starbucks.

“No, not at all,” I answered with a huge, doofy smile.

It was a moment straight out of a romcom. The guy that I had a microcrush on had finally, finally approached me and initiated contact. His name was Jacob, a handsome math major who I’d had classes with before. We chatted about our undergrad experiences and post-grad plans over coffee and our open MacBooks ‘til the lights dimmed and the baristas were cleaning up. I was confident that he’d ask me out on a date. We had such an awesome conversation and spark…why wouldn’t he?

…Because he’s my former professor.

Don’t trip, y’all…he’s a grad student, so my crush isn’t forbidden or anything like that. I took Jacob’s class a few semesters ago. From day one, I was attracted to his positive energy and passion for teaching and learning. This, ladies and gents, is one class that I did NOT skip…and I absolutely abhor math. I’d sit at the front of the class and attend extra help sessions just to be around Jacob more. It wasn’t like stalking…but.

Naturally, my friends laughed at my arithmetical advances.

“Girl, he’s way too old!” one told me. “You’re trying to catch a case.”

And maybe Jacob doesn’t share the same sentiments as I do. And that’s fine…a girl can dream. But why is age such a big deal in dating? I’ve seen and heard about the debatable double standard – if a man is dating a woman that’s younger, he’s a player. If a woman is dating a man that’s younger, she’s a cougar.

My friend Tasia has been talking to this guy, Jared, for months now. It started with a mild summertime flirtation – they’d grab drinks after work, make dinner on his grill and take long bike rides around the District. She really started to like him after a few weeks, and it was obvious that he liked her too. She’d damn near throw herself at him (in the classiest way possible, natch) and as much as he wanted to take the bait, he wouldn’t out of respect. He’s always bringing up her age like an excuse for why things haven’t progressed. He’s 26. She’s 21. Five measly years.

My mom told me a really long time ago that women mature faster than men. That’s why a younger-older relationship works – there’s already this understood balance that just works. Generalization? Yes. True? Possibly.

I don’t see a problem with dating a guy that’s older. Age shouldn’t affect affection. Sure, there will be challenges – money, maturity and priorities. But if both parties are willing to make it work despite what everyone else says and thinks, why not try? I would.

CollegeCandy ladies, have you ever dated older guys? Was it a huge deal like some people make it out to be? Let me know!

When she’s not watching for Blue Ivy sightings or doing some serious Facebook creeping, Khalea moonlights as a print journalism major at the REAL HU, Howard University. Follow her on Twitter at @letsbeKHAlear, or feel free to Twatch. Whatever works for you.

[Lead image via Diego Cervo/Shutterstock]



  1. Laura says:

    I just turned 19 and my boyfriend is turning 22 in a month. We have been together for 16 months, and although it's only 3 years, it has been great! my parents love him and he is definitely more mature than guys my age

  2. I think it depends on you as a person, & how much you live in the 'now'. My partner is almost 15 years older than me (he's 35), & yet I get on with him much better than when I've tried to get together with guys my age. The reason being? Although I grew up in the 90s & what not, I never paid much attention to fleeting trends that define an era (eg- the music you listen to, the films you like etc). I like my current affairs as well as history, meaning we feel like we actually have something to talk about. Otherwise he'd feel like he's babysitting me (rather than dating me)! I mean, imagine if you were dating someone who only liked Justin Bieber/ High School Musical/ whatever-defines-them-as-being-born-in-the-noughties? Sure, you could get along with them, but do you feel like you're both really on the same level as one another?

    That's not to say I ONLY like things that happened more in his era (the 80s), but that we actually both have open minds about everything (& can discuss the bigger issues together, like philosophy and politics etc). It might sound boring to some, but being with an older guy is great if you're quite mature for your age (not just emotionally, which is what your mother was referencing when she says 'girls mature faster than boys', but in your interests & everything in between).

    Just my two cents :)

    1. Grady says:

      This is exactly how I feel about it! (My boyfriend is also about 15 years older)

  3. ReeseUKanna says:

    I think guys generally do mature slower, so dating a guy three years older than you is really more like you're dating someone your own age. Dating a guy your age is more like dating someone two or three years younger than you. I, too, was the type of girl who was always a little higher on the maturity scale than my peers. This was mostly because I had a rough family life and was an only child who spent a lot of time with adult relatives versus other children. In any case, it was really hard for me to relate to guys my age. Now, in my early 20s, I often feel like I'm really for an adult relationship, one where both partners are indepedent from their families and living in the adult world. However, most guys my age aren't quite there yet, and I end up feeling like I'm always sort of "one step ahead" emotionally, if that makes sense. I

    would say go for it with Jacob! If you have another great convo next time you see it, why don't you ask him out? Who knows, he may be interested but think that you wouldn't wanna date a guy his age. Try it.

  4. thepurrsofmyamorphousmind says:

    Hello :D

    I enjoyed reading your blog :)

    I’m Monica. :D

    I am 18 years old and currently on my third year in college.

    I am NBSB (No Boyfriend Since Birth) =))

    In my entire life, I only dated once and unfortunately, he broke my heart. (that was last summer)

    He’s my first love?

    Yes. We dated for 4 months. We were good friends but now, we’re like strangers. He’s 3 months older than me.

    I can say he’s mature already, on the way he thinks, but I guess were not compatible. I’m not bitter though. Now he has someone new. :)

    Actually, I read your blog because I decided that the next time I fall in love, I might as well look for someone older than me I guess. Someone who’s really more mature. Atleast 2-5 years older? :)

    I think few changes won’t hurt. :D

  5. Cleo says:

    I have been talking to a guy since the Summer that lives in my college town and we have been casually dating the last couple months. Im 19 and he is 23 and I feel like we are pretty much on the same maturity level, if anything I may be more mature than him… The biggest problem that I have ran into is that he likes to go out a lot which is fine with me, but I'm not 21 yet so I can never go out with him. I know this shouldn't be that big of a factor but it seems to be. Also, things seem to be moving pretty slow, yet he still keeps on showing interest. I'm not sure if I should keep seeing him and see if it goes anywhere or try to move on. Any advice would be appreciated !!

  6. Apz says:

    I am 21 years old and my fiance is 25 years old. He may have 4 years life experience over me but he still acts like a child sometimes! Age is not necessarily an indicator for maturity. Usually people are more mature when they've lived a little and experienced events that have made them more mature like having a child, getting married, the death of a close relation, etc. This isn't always the case though so I wouldn't purposely try and look for an older man/woman just for the maturity, security, money, etc. Date people younger, the same age, older, it doesn't matter. As long as it feels right, why look for flaws?

  7. Caroline says:

    I'm 19 and my boyfriend is 31, making it a 12 year age difference, and we've been together for over a year and eight months. Age shouldn't define a relationship. Some relationships with age differences might not work, depending on the maturity of each person. If the relationship does work, then why not? Some people make the argument that people of such different ages are at different points in their lives. That might be true, but if the partnership is meaningful enough to each person, they find a way to make it work.

  8. Grady says:

    My boyfriend is significantly older than me (about 15 years) but I have never have much luck with men my age, and we really do click well. Dating an older man was never something I expected myself to do, but ultimately, when Christopher and I got together, it had nothing to do with his age or my age and everything to do with the way we connected.

    I think you do need to be careful about making that choice (there is a lot to think about when the situation presents itself) but if you're intentional about it and make sure to do check-ins regarding how you're feeling about the situation, it just ends up being a normal relationship and not "a relationship with an older guy."

  9. […] still love to ask me for boo advice. Lately, I’ve been living vicariously through my homegirl Tasia. We’ll figure out clever-but-artfully-vague text message responses and date night outfit ideas, […]

  10. […] homegirl Tasia FINALLY hooked up with that hot older guy that I mentioned a few weeks ago. It was everything that she hoped for. She was worried about […]

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