I can’t be the only woman who has had that ‘fifty shades of grey’ moment. When I was in my teens, older men seemed to offer everything that boys of my own age couldn’t; confidence, maturity experience and so on. Years later, however, I am questioning whether a relationship with an older man is feasible during my twenties.
I initially discovered my interest in older men when I was sixteen. I had just started my first ever job when I was approached by a colleague who (unknowingly to him) was twelve years my senior. We got talking, and shortly after he asked me out for drinks. Concluding that my Dad would probably kill any man over twenty pursuing his daughter and opting to avoid the awkward confession that I couldn’t legally drink, I politely declined my colleague’s offer. Nevertheless, this encounter left me intrigued. I had never really taken an interest in boys my own age at school, but had always put this down to the fact that my friends had hit maturity before me. Whilst they were going out drinking from the age of sixteen, I was always too scared to venture into the adult world. I had never really considered that I might be subconsciously waiting for a maturer man to sweep me off my feet.
Now, from the age of eighteen, I have never pursued a relationship with someone less than five years my senior. This is not a conscious choice, I am simply always attracted to men who happen to be older than me. In a way, I like the stability that these men have to offer. They always seem to know their place in the world which, for a girl who is still finding her way in life, is intrinsically reassuring. There is something undoubtedly appealing about a man with a bit of self confidence and life knowledge.
However, in recent times I have come to doubt my relationship choices. Whilst I am still attracted to older men, I have begun to question whether a relationship of this kind is feasible for a girl in her twenties. I don’t plan on making any permanent life choices any time soon, but I am finding that my attraction to older men is forcing me to grow up before my time. In reality, I want the best of both worlds; I want the security of being with someone who knows what they want without having to think about my own intentions for the future. Whilst I have been happy in past relationships, my catch-22 has always led me to give up on men for fear of wasting their time. Perhaps I do need to be more selfish in life and love. Like a lot of women out there, I Do want my happily ever after, I just don’t know whether I want it right now. The problem is, Mr Right might not always be willing to wait for me to make that decision.