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My first job at 15 was working at this hippie shop. But it wasn’t until two years later that I found out that my female boss (and owner of the shop) used to call me “Jailbait” behind my back. I’m not going to lie, I love getting attention for my looks, but, even at that young age, I felt like calling me “Jailbait” was pretty inappropriate workplace behavior. I’m very conservative when it comes to professional relationships. I’m weird like that.
But my point is that once I hit puberty at 14, I began to garner quite a bit of attention -– especially from older men. Well they were actually in their 20s, but when I was 15, 23 is like older –- like he has a car and he doesn’t live with his parents anymore. Anyway, I’d get approached a lot by older guys because they thought I was older, too. (To be fair, when they found out I was still in high school, a lot of them scattered.)
My life continued like that through my teenage years. I was dating guys 4+ years my age until I met my college sweetheart. He was 18 and I was 20. I didn’t know he was 18 when we first met because he looked older. I thought he was my age. It didn’t really matter to me because he was totally hot. Like model hot. He was a ballet dancer for 10 years of his life. He was like a beautiful graceful Viking. We got along great, too. Our relationship lasted 4-5 years and we still speak on a regular basis.
Since I’ve entered my late 20s, I’ve realized a strange pattern in my love life: I attract younger dudes like whoa. And not like 6 months to 2 years younger. I mean 25 years old and under. Funny how 23 seemed old before, and now I view 23-year-olds as babies.
Aside from Scott, and more on him next week, it’s been boy scouts for almost this whole past year. I was at a bar a few nights ago and a guy who looked like he snuck in offered to buy me a drink. Um … can I see some ID, mister, because I’m pretty sure it’s illegal for you to be in here.
I think it started sometime when I hit 26. I rarely delete numbers from my phone, but I definitely have a “Geoff Too Young” in there. I actually remember him pretty accurately. We met playing pool at a bar. He was totally baby-faced, about 22, and I gave him my number because he was visiting and I told him if he needed ideas on where to go, he could reach out to me.
Of course, that just opened the floodgates and he didn’t stop texting me for like a full week. No good deed goes unpunished.
I feel like everywhere I go, the youngest guy there will find a way to shimmy up to me. My first time at the xoJane office I immediately gained an admirer. He was cute but I was pretty convinced he was an intern. When Marci told me he wanted to ask me out, my first reaction was “Where? Chuck e Cheese? Can he even get into bars?”
As for guys my own age or older: nada. I don’t know if it’s my astrology, but older guys are just not that into me. All my girlfriends talk about is how they are going out with guys in their 30s.
“Oh yeah? Well this 23-year-old rugby player was all up in my business. Jealous?”
My best friend Brian said it was because I looked young, myself. Apparently I must get this from my momma. She said that she always looked much older while in school, but then something happened in her 20s and suddenly everyone assumed she was much younger than she actually was. In fact, I had no idea how old my mother really was for years.
My father is actually quite a bit younger than she is, yet even now he looks older than her.
Maybe it’s my fault, too. I do like a fresh-faced young man. Beards do nothing for me.
But before you write this all off as me bragging again, I’d like to voice why I find the attention of younger men to be annoying. Believe it or not, I’m actually looking to be in a mature relationship and I don’t think that’s what younger guys really want -– and rightfully so. It’s taken me a very long time to let go of being single and actually want to have someone to share my life with. In fact, I still struggle with that notion.
Don’t get me wrong, there are serious benefits to dating younger. First of all, once he finds out you are older, for some reason it’s actually a turn-on. He becomes so eager to please he’s practically tripping over himself -– and that’s inside and outside of the bedroom. Also, I’ve found that younger guys are way more into using protection than older guys. In my experience, guys my own age or older are always trying to slip it in. I’ve never had that issue with a younger guy. Condoms are awesome, boy and girls. Let’s all use them.
To be fair, I do have fun with guys in their early to mid-20s. They are usually a lot more relaxed and they don’t try to control me. We usually always have a great time. It’s easy fun. They are very generous with the compliments, too. As an attention whore, I approve.
But as a woman who wants to be with someone who she can count on for love and stability, sorry, I just can’t get behind this. I know what it’s like to just want to be free and I would never want to stifle someone’s freedom myself. I just don’t believe a young guy in New York City is ready to make a commitment and I wouldn’t want him to.
So what should I do? Wear more make up? Wear less makeup? Accept my cougar (ew, I hate that term) destiny?