Pillow Talk with Diana: Should I Date an Older Guy?

Q: Is it taboo to date a guy 6 years older in college?
A: I honestly laughed out loud when I saw this question in my inbox. As anyone who knows me can tell you, I have a soft spot for the older men. When I was 19, I found myself newly single after a two-year relationship. After about a week of crying in bed and eating ice cream, I decided it was time to date–and I had eyes only for older men. For two years, I dated men that were anywhere from five to eighteen (that’s not a typo!) years older than me.
What did I learn? From 18 to 38, men don’t mature all that much. Relationship angst is relationship angst, no matter the age difference. Of course, maturity level of both parties is a huge factor. Without fail, every man I dated in that two-year period would marvel at how mature I was for my age. It’s true–I’m a bit of an old woman trapped in a 20-something’s body. Dating older men worked for me because even though I was still in school, I wasn’t living on campus and was no way involved in the college social scene. And I much preferred being taken out to a nice restaurant and enjoying a glass of (illegal) wine with dinner than doing a keg stand with my significant other.
In your case, six years can be a total non-issue; he’s only a few years out of college and may very well be on the same wavelength as you in terms of relationships and lifestyle. You’re also less likely to run into the Peter Pan complex that was present in many of the older guys I dated, especially the 30-something-musician-still-waiting-for-his-big-break type.
So, taboo? I’d say definitely not. Go for it. It’s a cliche for a reason: you’ll never know unless you try. Despite all of the bad apples I found in those two years, I also found myself a good one: a well-read, smart, interesting 34-year old that I’ve been dating for eight months. You’re both adults, so see what happens and don’t rule out the older men all together if it doesn’t work out; age difference is insignificant compared to maturity, compatibility, similar values, and, most importantly, how happy he makes you. Have fun and let us know how it goes!
Got a relationship or sex question? Email [email protected] and we’ll tackle it next time!

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