Why I’m Wary of Older Men in Bars

What do you do when your older man’s friends want a shot with you, too? I was 24 and my older boyfriend, Sam, was 46. I had a good job at the large com­pany we both worked for, and could afford to buy myself nice clothes and acces­sories. Look­ing good for Sam was always impor­tant to me—he enjoyed me look­ing my best, as long as I didn’t pay any atten­tion to the admir­ing eyes of his friends.

When Sam first started intro­duc­ing me to his friends, they were all very gra­cious, and seemed accept­ing of our May-December rela­tion­ship. What I didn’t know, how­ever, was that sev­eral of them were also form­ing cer­tain opin­ions of me. They fig­ured that if Sam was 22 years older than I was, I must be into all older men, or I was into sex and would prob­a­bly be will­ing to give it up to another older man too. I real­ize that there is a cer­tain stigma about younger women who are in rela­tion­ships with older men—usually it’s that she is after his sta­tus, money, or prowess in the bed­room. And if that’s the case, why wouldn’t this younger woman be will­ing to hook up with another older man?

Sam and I had a favorite bar that we fre­quented. Most of his friends went there too, so I was around them a lot. I had always felt com­fort­able going there alone to meet Sam if he was going to be delayed, as all these “nice guys” would be there to have my back—until one of them crossed the line. Sam had a late after­noon meet­ing that was expected to go past 5 o’clock, so I went on ahead to the bar and sat with one of his friends, George, while I waited for him.

George bought me a drink, and we talked. Dur­ing the course of our con­ver­sa­tion, and another drink, he started mov­ing closer and closer to me, until he was talk­ing right in my ear. He also kept touch­ing my hands and arms. Being quite young and naïve at the time, I didn’t have any idea about how to get him out of my space. I didn’t want to offend the man, espe­cially because it was one of Sam’s friends. I knew that George was mar­ried, and he knew that I lived in the same town as him. He sug­gested that since Sam was going to be late, maybe he could help out by dri­ving me home. He also sug­gested that per­haps I would be nice enough to offer him a night­cap before he went home.

It was at just about this time when Sam walked through the door. George spot­ted him first, over my shoul­der, and could not move away from me fast enough. Every­one knew about Sam’s no-tolerance pol­icy for hit­ting on his younger lady, so George was smart to move away as fast as he did.

George was not the only one of Sam’s bud­dies will­ing to “help out.” Another one of his friends, Bill, actu­ally asked me once how often Sam and I had sex. He also inquired about whether or not I was sat­is­fied in the bed­room. After that, I stopped going to our bar alone. And even when I was there with Sam, I stuck to his side like glue.