Friday, November 17, 2006

Lock Up Your Fathers

I have a weakness for older men. Not, you know, old enough to be my grandfather old, but certainly up to and including old enough to be my father old. When I ws single, one of my friends used to say, "Lock up your fathers, Emily's coming through!"

And of course I know that, in some respects, this weakness should have a huge signpost on it:


At the same time, there are just certain qualities that I find attractive in a man that are mainly, although not exclusively, found in older men:

Self-knowledge: I like intimacy. I like to know what is going on with my man - his feelings, his thoughts, his view of the world.

A younger man tends to be much more outward-focused. He is oriented towards thrusting himself out into the world, into his career, into his interests. But as a man gets older, he usually has more capacity for self-reflection. He is more likely to have learned a few things, including about himself.

I found dating younger men a bit puzzling. Sometimes they seemed to have very little inner life or understanding of themselves. It is hard for a man to share himself with you, and especially to resolve any conflicts, if he doesn't really know himself and what he wants, yet.

Experience: An older man usually has a wider view of the world. He is more patient, with himself and with others. He accepts that life is messier and more contradictory than we want it to be. And this is mainly because of his greater experience of life.

An older man's opinions are usually grounded at least in part in his own experiences, and so they are more authentically his own. A younger man may well have opinions, but they are mostly from books or the internet. He hasn't made them his own, yet.

And yes, experience includes experience of women. I think it takes most of us some time to understand the opposite sex better. To appreciate the differences in perspective and learn to work with them, or around them, rather than just being annoyed by them. An older man, I find, appreciates a woman more.

And this applies to sex as well. I do not underrate qualities such as the usually greater physical beauty, energy and enthusiasm of the younger man. But a younger man, in that context, is generally thinking mostly about himself. He is usually thoughtful enough to at least try to get you off, but is often hampered by some quite unrealistic ideas about female sexuality. An older man has more experience with just how individual women are sexually, and has the patience to figure out your particular likes and dislikes. In addition, he tends to be a stayer rather than a sprinter, which is definitely an advantage in satisfying a woman.

Confidence: An older man, I find, is usually more confident. He has fought a few batttles and won, and so is less easily intimidated than a younger man. He knows his strengths as well as his limitations.

I do not mind some shyness or insecurity in a man. It is more that a less confident man tends to be intimidated by a woman like me. He is more comfortable with a woman who looks up to him because she is just a little bit dumber, a little bit less educated, a little bit less confident than himself. Or, worse - much worse - he is attracted to me because he is a weaker personality who enjoys being bossed around by a woman. I am never attracted to these men. To me, equality is a turn-on.

An older man is more likely to enjoy the challenge of a woman like me. He appreciates a conversation with a women who has her own thoughts and opinions. He has usually laboured wearily to figure out what a less direct woman wants from him, and finds clear communication from a confident woman who knows what she wants kind of a relief.

Wisdom: An older man has just had more time to learn some wisdom. This is partly because he has usually known at least some suffering and failure. He has had some experiences that have refined his character. He is more likely to have learned how to make a woman happy, precisely because he has usually made at least one other woman unhappy.

An older man knows that he is looking for something more than a woman who is just sexy and fun, although he is usually looking for that, too. He has learned that life can be very tough, and wants a woman who has his back and can fight his corner.

An older man knows that life is finite. He knows that we should love each other now, as well as we can, because time is fleeting.

So, these are some of the reason why I am attracted to older men. I am rarely attracted to anyone under the age of about 35 and am quite open to being attracted to men much older, well into their sixties.

Fortunately, this leaves me with a pretty wide scope. Because the sad fact is that I am hardly ever seriously attracted to anyone. I would be lucky to meet someone that I could truly love and desire once every few years.

Because I'm fussy.


Blogger Rob said...

"Because I'm fussy."

Emily, I'm glad that there are women like yourself out there as it makes us older guys feel more appreciated. And btw, everything that you wrote about us is true! (evil grin)

1:22 AM  
Blogger Satan said...

Obviously, you've taken the words directly out of my mouth. There's loads to love about older men.

You've given me a hankering to go find mine so I can bask in the amazingness that is The Older Man.

2:38 AM  
Blogger C-Marie said...

Ooooo... I so agree with you! I have discoverd that I also have that same weak spot for older men.

3:18 AM  
Blogger freebird said...

Well if that's what it says on the tin I'm bringing mine back for a refund! (Or exchange maybe!) LOL

7:35 AM  
Blogger trueself said...

Yeah, I'm with Freebird on this one!

8:44 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

I had a feeling I'd be hearing from you two!

Well, as I said, I'm fussy. The majority of even older men don't interest me, either!

1:48 PM  
Blogger LePhare said...

The trouble with older men is that they still feel 24 inside but their knee and backs let them down. I should know!

5:09 PM  
Blogger F2 said...

When I was in high school, I had a thing for Patrick Stewart. (Captain Picard, Star Trek, TNG) And hey, he was old enough to be my grandfather. A very powerful, intellectual, sexy grandfather.

I think it was just an isolated incident as the Older Man Vibe(TM)
has somewhat eluded me since, but I do think that what you surmise is spot on.

Not only do younger men not know who they are, they don't know who women are, either. The greatest representations of women they've experienced in their life are their mothers and the thousands of airbrushed, vapid bimbos that wear the "woman" label on TV, mag covers, porn, etc. And, frankly, a Real Woman meets neither of those expectations.

*steps off soapbox*

Good post, Emily.

2:59 PM  
Blogger Fiona said...

In my 20s I had a thing for men in their 40s. And that seemed to be a constant for me for a while.

I once had an online thing with a man in his late which my sister said...."oh my god Fion, he's the same age as daaaaaad", eeewww LOL

Then I discovered the joys of 'the younger man' and oh my I think I'm a convert.

My amor is younger than I am. Not by a significant number, i.e. less than 10 years...but younger nonetheless.

I think it just depends on the man. It seems to be that there are an awful lot of 'older men' interested only in the 'younger woman' and as I'm only that to an OAP (old age pensioner)...I think I have to stick to the younger ones ;)

5:13 PM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...


I'm flattered, Em; I really am.

But honestly, while I can acknowledge that I've learned a LOT since I was in my 20s, the view from behind these eyeballs hasn't changed all THAT much. . .

6:23 AM  
Blogger Lickety Split said...

A friend of mine once said that a "geek" was a fellow who was dealing with a female populace that "was too immature to appreciate him".

If a geek in high school were to be ten years older...say 28 years old, women would say "he's intellectual and accomplished and has a lot going for him.".

The point is that you are looking for an older man that exhibits maturity and confidence that comes with that. It takes men a long time to get there and it takes young women a long time to appreciate it.

Where do I sign up? ;P

4:34 PM  
Blogger FTN said...

I'm a few days late getting here, but I feel the need to defend us younger men of the world.

There are plenty that fit all of the attributes you mentioned, and plenty of older men that don't.

So many women get to be 40-50 and criticize men for only going after young women half their age. Yet women obviously perpetuate this. So is it really wrong for a 55 year old guy to prefer 25 year old girls, if a 25 year old girl really prefers 55 year old guys?

All of this makes me wonder what happens when the girls that prefer "older men" get to be older themselves. The "older men" obviously prefer younger women, right? So what happens when you aren't young anymore?

Nothing wrong with being fussy, but in this whole ideal, I'm just wondering if there is a bit of a double-standard here.

7:25 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Yes, I agree with you, FTN.

There ARE young men who fit my description to at least some extent and there ARE older men who don't. Plenty.

I think my post is about probabilities. An older man has just had more time to develop those qualities. It doesn't mean that he will. And a younger man who is intelligent and self-reflective and willing to do what it takes to grow emotionally and address flaws (you, for instance) may have them, too.

Actually, I'm not so sure its an ideal to be into older men. Because for one thing, as you say, what happens when the woman gets older? I can tell you: many of us end up alone.

Unfortunately, I think the people we are attracted to is only partially under our voluntary control. Sexual attraction is a reflection of things like our relationship with our parents, our past experiences even as an adult, our secret wishes and fantasies.

We can try to avoid men who we know are bad for us in some way. But what we can't do is generate from sheer will power an attraction to men who we think will be good for us. Or those nice women who have married men they weren't really attracted to but thought would make good husbands wouldn't have the problems that they do!

3:49 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

ps I hate to tell you this, FTN, but I wasn't really including a man of your age (mid-30s, right?) in my references to "younger" men!

Actually, you are kinda entering my niche market! :-)

3:53 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

Good points, Emily. I guess most women that might prefer older men don't necessarily completely rule out other ages. And we can't always choose who we are attracted to, but I can't imagine ruling out someone with the characteristics I love solely based on them NOT being at least 10 years older than me. And my main point was what you mentioned -- what do these women do when they have grown "too old" for their men?

Oh, and I guess I'm not really a "younger man" anymore, you are right. I still feel like I'm in my 20s... But I actually just turned 30.

7:33 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

I can't imagine that many people would rule out someone with the characteristics they love solely based on age, whether older or younger. I wouldn't, anyway.

I'm sure there are women whose husbands are fixated on the under-30s and might get discarded, but that seems more like a "trophy wife" scenario to me.

Although of course, we do joke around here that one day the Big Dude will realize how old I'm getting and start cruising the primary schools :-)

The main reason women who like older men sometimes end up alone is that the man they love dies before them in the natural course of events, which is almost certainly something I am going to have face some day. And it is not always easy for an older women to find a man later in life - unless of course, like Fion and my mum, she decides to find herself a young hottie!:-)

12:15 PM  

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