The Biggest Challenge a Younger Woman Would Never Expect When Dating an Older Man

My older man was cer­tainly hand­some, and always knew how to treat a lady. But as the years pro­gressed, he became some­thing else—tired. There was a 22-year age dif­fer­ence between us, and while his energy was good when he was in his late 40s, it had declined sig­nif­i­cantly by the time he was in his late 50s. At the time, I was in my mid 30s, and still rar­ing to go. Our dif­fer­ence in vital­ity caused con­tention between us.

After we started liv­ing together—eight years into our May-December relationship—his energy began wan­ing so much that it was get­ting hard to deal with. His idea of a good Sun­day was turn­ing on the tele­vi­sion and falling asleep to a ball game. Sun­day was my house­work and laun­dry day, so I would move between the bed­rooms upstairs to the liv­ing room down­stairs with bas­kets full of laun­dry, each time pass­ing this loud, snor­ing lump on the couch. As I’d look at him lying there, I’d get more infu­ri­ated every time. I tried to explain to myself that he was tired after a long week, but so was I.

When I had had enough of watch­ing him sleep, I’d wake him up and sug­gest that we go for a walk, out for a quick din­ner, or to the store—anything to get him to move. He’d admit that he didn’t have the energy, and would (some­times) do what I asked, but I would just end up hav­ing to deal with his cranky atti­tude the entire time.

I real­ize that this sce­nario could also very well take place in a rela­tion­ship with two similar-aged peo­ple, but the truth was that I could see his age was slow­ing him down—he was start­ing to act like an old man. We had been together almost 10 years, and although at first it didn’t bother me, our 22-year age dif­fer­ence now seemed to be blink­ing at me like a big, neon sign.

I decided that I wanted to join a fit­ness club, and thought it would be fun if we joined together. I also had an ulte­rior motive. He had just done his yearly phys­i­cal and was diag­nosed with high blood pres­sure and high cho­les­terol, but he did not seem to be as con­cerned about improv­ing his health as I was. He was “too tired after work” to go to any sort of gym—and he cer­tainly did his best to dis­cour­age me from going on my own. I’d always hear, “Why would you want to go with­out me? Are you going shop­ping for a younger man who’s full of mus­cles? Is that what you want now?”

Always keep in mind that if your man is at least 20 years older than you are, there’s a good chance he will develop some health prob­lems long before you ever do. The health issues may be minor, but they could poten­tially change the entire rela­tion­ship game plan. He was tired, and I was nag­ging him. He put in a heavy work week, but I worked 40 hours a week, too. He wanted the couch, and I just wanted him to be with me.

We love our older men, but chances are you’ll find they get tired faster and sooner than you’ll want them to. So, you either have to start join­ing him on the couch, or real­ize that you have a lot more liv­ing to do, and it may just have to be with­out your couch potato of a man.