I realize that this blog post will make me sound like a huge bitch. I can’t help it anymore.
A lot of women talk about the pains of dating younger men. There are, to be sure, pitfalls a-plenty when you delve into the world of dating ‘younger men’. Younger men are typically less mature, less stable in their careers, more likely to flit from flower to flower, and need a GPS device to a lady’s nether regions.
The problem I face has little to do, in my opinion, with the fact that men are younger than I am. I am contacted by men in the age range from 25-35, and I’d say most often I am contacted by men that are between the ages of 28 and 30. One would assume that these are the most ‘put together’ men with the most experience in relationships. But, one would assume wrong.
While I am not attempting to make generalizations about all men, or all men in my state or city, I am here to say that almost every man who contacts me via Match.com or OKCupid has never been in a serious relationship. Now, I am not saying that men who contact me are the playa-playa type that are, as we discussed earlier, flitting from flower to flower. Nay, the men who are contacting ME are men who have very little experience with relationships, serious or otherwise.
It concerns me. I worry that they are fragile boys, coming into this world of dating with wide eyes and excitement. They’re eager to get into the dating scene. Everything is new to them. And they have these dreams of what relationships are like. Clips are played in their minds, sort of like movie previews. Fields of flowers, skipping hand in hand, laughing. It’s all so picturesque.
You remember being like this right?
I vaguely do. I. Okay, maybe I’m being slightly over-dramatic. Maybe they’re not dreaming of skipping in fields. But I don’t think they know that, in the scheme of things, relationships can be sort of…emotional roller coasters. In addition to the extreme high, emotionally exhilarating moments that come with being in a relationship, there are the…not-so high moments. Dare I say it? I do dare. There are low, low emotional valleys that come with some relationships that make you forget that there are even these things called happy moments. It’s very real.
I feel like, when it comes to relationships, I’ve been road-tested in a way. I know what to expect. I began a serious relationship way too young. I don’t have these images in my mind of how great and new and wonderful things will always be. I feel more…realistic than that. I know what it is like to face disappointments. To bounce back from an argument. I know what it feels like to have my feelings hurt. To argue the first time. The make up after the first argument. I know what it feels like when you reach a point and know a relationship can’t go any further. I know the disappointment of seeing a long-term relationship end, of realizing that you’ve spent a long time with someone who you just can’t keep seeing.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being in love. In short, I guess I just know that, as absolutely freakin’ awesome it is to have a relationship, it’s not all fairy tale. It’s work. And it’s all worth it, but sometimes, in the moment, it’s hard to remember that it is worth it.
I feel like I am going to crush the spirit of these men. I’m afraid that I’m going to take these men, and just be myself, and ruin everything for them. I guess the at the end of the day, I’m afraid that I will see the opportunity for power and…abuse it?
I’ve done it before. I’ve seen the power and control that can occur when someone cares for you deeply. You reach a point with a person that they just find you…so amazing?…that you can pretty much get what you need with little effort. I feel like, sometimes, I crushed the spirit of The Boyfriend because I abused my power. Don’t get me wrong, he’s probably no worse for the ware and he’s got a lovely second-half now (and here I sit blogging about my regrets!). But I do see where I just squeezed everything I could out of my power sometimes. And I don’t want to be that way. But I don’t know if I trust myself!
The boys I’ve met so far on OKCupid and Match seem so…eager and naive. I’ll be honest, the entire reason I bring this up is Bachelor Number 5. I know that we’ve yet to actually go somewhere, but I can tell by our conversation that I could hold the entire upper hand in this relationship, should it progress to a relationship. He says things like “You’re the funniest person I know.” and “You are so smart.” And my first thought is? “I think I could crush you…”
Well, that wasn’t my first thought. My first thought was “He’s Cameron”. He is Cameron from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I think my favorite part of the movie is when Ferris watches Cameron and Sloan in the pool and talks about them, and what they need. Ferris says about Cameron:
Cameron’s never been in love. At least no one’s ever been in love with him. He’s gonna marry the first girl he lays. And she’s gonna treat him like shit because he’s gonna kiss her ass for giving him what he’s built-up in his mind as the end-all, be-all of human existence. She won’t respect him because you can’t respect someone who kisses your ass. It just doesn’t work.
I think this resonates with me because…it’s true in some ways. You can’t respect someone who kisses your ass. I feel better in a relationship when I feel a little vulnerable. As much as I bemoaned never having an upper hand with The Friend, it was more exciting and intriguing for me, and probably safer for The Friend. When left to my own devices, I can do some pretty bad things. I ask too much. I can be demanding, controlling. My own power scares me. And I look at these men, especially Bachelor Number 5, and they have no idea women can be this way. It almost makes me sad.
So, as much as I have complained that I don’t want a ‘damaged’ man, maybe it’s better to get one that is at least realistic and knows the ways of women. Someone who will take an upper hand, who won’t be distracted by the fact that I am a woman who is interested in him. Someone who’s had a dose of reality without me having to administer it.