Dating an older person

Even though this guy and I were 25 years apart, we had a lot in common. I didn't know then that our age gap would define the relationship. I got that; but even though I knew there was no future, I didn’t cut it off completely. After it ended, he talked to a lot of people about our relationship -- and what happened through the grapevine was unexpected. Women judged me as having an ulterior, economic motive: “She just dated him for his money,” or “She thought she could get ahead.” In our society people are so quick to judge a young, naïve woman -- never the older man who perhaps should’ve known better too.

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You're likely attracted to their maturity and wisdom. There's something very attractive about a person who's experienced life's ups and downs, since it often means they're full of good stories and sage advice.

As Klapow says, "You want someone who has experienced multiple life transitions.

If you feel like the person across the table is patronizing you — if, for example, he or she suggests you're wasting your life teaching school when the "real" money's in business — simply say, "Thanks for the coffee date" and head for the door.

A lack of respect is unacceptable under any circumstances.

"Older [partners] are typically past the point of game-playing because they've hopefully already been in a serious relationship and have learned how to be vulnerable," says author and life coach Kali Rogers. So if that doesn't bother you — or it seems like a positive thing — it may make for the perfect partnership.

Rogers warns situations like these can erupt in jealousy, though, so make sure you're cool with exes and whatnot before jumping in.[Someone who has] gone through tough times and figured out how to come out OK on the other side."Take a look at your friend group, as well as who you get along with best at work."You tend to connect with people who are older than you on a daily basis," Klapow says.much younger than you, it may be the perfect time to increase your dating age range to include someone who's a bit more established in life."If you aren't quite fitting in with your peers because of a difference in interests, you are probably meant to date someone from a different generation," Rogers says.But watch out for those jitters — they can make you feel so anxious that you project your own hopes on to this new person, rather than noticing his or her true nature. Ask questions about the issues that matter most to you. On a date not too long ago, I worried I'd been hit by lightning. That view discounts the possibility of magic — an undeniable resonance that a man and woman feel for each other, often right from the start.

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