I have reached an age where it seems that men in their 60’s and above, think it’s okay to openly hit on me. This has begun to happen with more frequency than I am comfortable with.
I am in my mid-forties and I look my age. Which is fine. But it appears I have opened a secret door I was unaware of, and I have stepped into a land which I don’t really want to be in.
Now dear reader, you may wish to accuse me of being ageist, and perhaps I am. Let she among us who has not gazed with wistful speculation upon a very much younger man cast the first stone. Those Hemsworth brothers are so ridiculously handsome that it is difficult to look away sometimes. But look away I do, and I would never, ever come on to a much younger man. It’s just not something I want to do. I’d feel as though I was committing a crime or something.
The same sense of decency does not seem to apply when it’s a much older man and a younger woman it seems. I’ve been subject to the gaze of a few older men of late and they’ve not held back in being overt in their interest.
Just this morning I was followed in the supermarket for no less than four aisles by a man who looked very much into his sixties (or, if he was younger, having lead such a hideously cruel life that every blow was etched deeply into his face). There was, as there often is, a bit of congestion in the supermarket. I smiled politely to all of those blocking my way and edged my way through. This chap openly appraised me then said “you’ll have to watch me, I don’t have a licence to drive this thing” then chuckled at his own sparkling wit. So lame. I smiled and kept going. Next aisle, there he was again, stopping where I was stopping. Now this could be a coincidence of course but he smiled broadly and said “here we are again”. Indeed.
When he was right there in the next aisle I stopped and waited, pretending to peruse the shelves. He stood for ages then eventually moved on, whilst obviously trying to catch my eye. Fourth aisle’s the charm apparently because there he was waiting for me again. This time I made sure I didn’t make any eye contact at all then raced through the rest of my shopping. It’s creepy. It was never going to happen yet he kept it up.
I’ve also had a very much older man with the worst dye job I’ve ever seen, called me Angel the other day. I almost gagged. Not only at the gross inappropriateness of it but his creepiness and apparent inability to look anywhere but my chest.
These two chaps were particularly icky and have probably been that way their entire lives. If they’d been my age I would have been no more interested in them, because their behaviour was repellant.
But in the online dating world I am regularly contacted my men at least 20 years my senior. A friend of my mother’s so blatantly came on to me that I had to remove myself from the room and I’ve been very careful about being around him ever since. He didn’t do it in the gross way those other chaps did, but why a man who is older than my mother thought he had any chance with me is completely beyond me. A relative (who should know better), suggested I could look past his age because he was clearly interested in me and has money. I find this to be unspeakably insulting.
I realise that men have been interested in very young women since the beginning of time. But that doesn’t make it okay. I don’t care how much money you have or how handsome you think you are, or how “young at heart” you claim to be. I am not interested in someone old enough to be my father. And just because “feel like” you’re in your forties, doesn’t mean that you should be dating women in their forties.
There are times that I forget how old I am. There are times when I wish I could slow down the clock. But the fact remains that I am too old to date a man in his 20’s. Yes I am. And that is okay. I want to date a man my own age, or at least within a few years of it.
Each to their own of course. But perhaps, if you are very much older than the person you find yourself suddenly attracted to, ask yourself whether you’re really getting the green light from them, or whether you feel so entitled to your desire for them that you are ignoring the fact that they are shrinking away from you in discomfort. Because if it’s the latter (and it often is), then you need to simply admire discreetly, enjoy a brief private thought, then go on your way. Anything else is unacceptable.