Is There Anything Wrong with Getting Close to a Man Who’s 32 Years Older?

QUESTION: I am 35 and he is a healthy 67. We both look good and get along well, so is there any­thing wrong with get­ting close?

CHELSEA SAYS: From the sounds of it, there isn’t any­thing wrong with get­ting close to this older man. But since we don’t exactly have all of the infor­ma­tion, there are a few things to con­sider here.

Are you both sin­gle? And do you know if he’s inter­ested in much younger women; is it some­thing you’ve talked about? May-December rela­tion­ships aren’t for every­one, so you don’t want to just assume that he will be all for it. But if he isn’t mar­ried or already com­mit­ted to some­one, and he’s gen­uinely inter­ested in explor­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of a rela­tion­ship with you, then by all means, give it a shot!

Have you ever been in a rela­tion­ship with a much older man? If not, I can tell you that it won’t be the same as dat­ing some­one who’s closer to you in age. There’s a sig­nif­i­cant age dif­fer­ence between the two of you and you’re essen­tially from two dif­fer­ent generations—that can pose some chal­lenges when it comes to things like your views on mar­riage and kids. If this does progress into a rela­tion­ship, it’s impor­tant to get these issues out in the open from the very begin­ning. Talk about where you both stand and what your expec­ta­tions are—you and your older man both need to be on the same page and in agree­ment about your relationship.

You should prob­a­bly also fig­ure out what exactly you’re hes­i­tant about. Is it the age dif­fer­ence? Is it what other peo­ple will think of you dat­ing an older man? Is it that you’re unsure how he feels? That’s the issue you have to deal with before start­ing a rela­tion­ship with this older man.

The bot­tom line here is that, despite the stark age dif­fer­ence, there’s noth­ing wrong with get­ting close to an older man if it’s some­thing you both want. If he makes you happy, you’re attracted to him, and you can see your­self in a rela­tion­ship with him, and vice versa, don’t let the age dif­fer­ence get in the way. Of course, you should broach the sub­ject with him before you dive in—new rela­tion­ships aren’t easy even when there isn’t an age difference—but when there’s a con­nec­tion, there’s a connection.

TRENT SAYS: I might be totally biased, but there’s noth­ing wrong with get­ting close to some­one older than you, emo­tion­ally or phys­i­cally. You just need to be aware of any issues that may come up. Come to think of it, that goes for any rela­tion­ship really.

Whether you’re in a rela­tion­ship with a large age dif­fer­ence, or a more so-called tra­di­tional rela­tion­ship, you need to find some­one you are com­pat­i­ble with. There’s more to a suc­cess­ful rela­tion­ship than find­ing some­one you’re phys­i­cally attracted to. Strong rela­tion­ships are forged when like-minded peo­ple (per­son­al­ity, val­ues, and beliefs) find each other. Some men like the idea of being with a beau­ti­ful, smart, younger woman who keeps them young at heart. Some younger women are attracted to suc­cess­ful, pas­sion­ate, ambi­tious men. We are, when it comes right down to it, attracted to those we are com­pat­i­ble with, regard­less of age.

At the same time, when it comes to phys­i­cal inti­macy, age is more than just a num­ber. But it doesn’t have to be; you just have to be aware of the dif­fer­ences. Sex is about com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and cou­ples rarely com­mu­ni­cate openly. So, to make it work, you need to talk about your expectations.

As for the idea of being with an older man, what’s more attrac­tive: an eager, younger guy who is more con­cerned about get­ting ahead, or an out­go­ing, mature, and suc­cess­ful man who wants noth­ing more than to make sure both happy?

What’s wrong with get­ting close to an older man? Noth­ing! And, like any rela­tion­ship, if you want it to suc­ceed, it needs to be based on more than just phys­i­cal attrac­tion or finances.