Yes, you read the title of this article correctly. When I was 22, I dated a man that was 37. Here’s how we met. After graduating college, I move back home to Memphis. I had two part-time jobs at the time, one at the University of Memphis Bookstore and the other at JCPenney’s. He too, had two jobs. A full-time job and a part-time job at JCPenney’s. I worked in the shoe department and he worked in the children’s department which was right by each other. Now when I first saw this man, I thought he was a cool 27 (that’s that black don’t crack, baby). But to try to make a long story short, we started “talking” two months after I had started. One night after work, it was raining and I let him walk with me under my umbrella to our cars and as a thank you, he bought me a $25 (yes, my guy spent a cool $25 on me without even knowing me) Starbucks gift card. Maybe a week later, we went on a lunch date. After our date and as we were on our way back to work, I asked him how old he was and he told me to guess. I guessed, “Late 20’s or early 30’s.” and that’s when he hit with the, “No, I’m 37.” As you can imagine, I was shooketh, but I was interested.
There’s nothing I regret about dating him and I actually learned a couple of things from dating him.
It’s better to start off as friends. One thing he kept saying to me was, “We’re friends right.” I remember being so offended by the fact that he called us friends and not, I’m not sure what the proper term would have been because we weren’t official. But by him calling me his “friend,” I realized in order to be successful in a relationship, you must first start off as friends. You get to know each other better
I liked going on dates. Before him, I don’t think I’d really been out on a date. Most of the guys I entertained, we’d only see the four walls of my bedroom or theirs or each other’s living room. Rarely did we do something fun like dinner, movies, or something in the local area. However with this guy, we went on multiple dates. The first two dates were a little awk (he would sit next to me as opposed to on the opposite side of me in which I later realized I liked) but after that I started to open up to him a lot and I enjoyed sitting down, talking to him and getting to know and vice versa.
Communication is Key. I definitely learned how to communicate and to communicate effectively. I was never and still am not a big phone talker, however he would call me EVERY night to talk on the phone. Along with communication, I learned how to reach out to him via phone first. Granted I didn’t do it a lot, I had definitely stepped out my comfort zone and did. Whenever we had a problem or issue, he would want to talk about it to resolve. We had a couple yelling matches and a couple of sit downs in the car on different issues we had.
Ask questions. One of our date nights, that went so well, ended badly. We were at a Mexican restaurant and I shit y’all not, his ex-wife just so happened to be at the same restaurant at the same time on the same night. WILD right? Come to find out, he had an ex-wife who he’d been with for a long time and married to for a long time. He had two kids, one with the ex-wife and well, one not with the ex-wife, hence the divorce. Now, I knew beforehand that he had one son and that was only because I had heard him talking to a customer before we even started talking about his son. He basically told me, that he never told me he had kids because I never asked…
It was difficult dating an older man while living with my parents. Pretty much sums this up. There would be time where he’d want me to stay the night with him, but I was about 99.9% positive that wouldn’t have be cool with my father. I remember, I had to tell my parents I was doing one thing when I was really hanging out with him at 1 in the morning (sorry Dad/Mom if you’re reading this). But it was very frustrating for him, because that night he actually wanted me to stay with him, especially since it was his birthday and he felt like I was too grown to be lying to my parents.
He was very confident in himself. It wasn’t the arrogant, cocky type of confident, but the I’ve been here, done that and I know what I’m doing, sexy type of confident. He knew I was attracted to him and he knew what to do to make me want him more than what I already did so effortless.
Jealousy didn’t exist. When I tell y’all this man never got jealous, he never got jealous. It was like he knew I was his (even though not officially) and that he was not worried about any other man. I remember we were out eating and another guy kept staring at me, but he didn’t make a big deal about it. Not an insecure bone in his body.
Obviously, he and I did not last, which ultimately brings me to my last point. Ghosting exist no matter what age you are. He basically ghosted me for about a month before calling me and trying to have a “conversation” about where our relationship was going. We talked for about 10 minutes and he hung up on me. Called me back about 30 minutes, I missed it and when I called back he didn’t answer. I hadn’t heard from him again until 4 months later. Typical fuck guy shit. I don’t regret talking and pursuing him. I learned a lot about older men. Would I ever date someone that much older than me again? Possibly, I mean if Chadwick Boseman ever gave me a chance…you better your ass I would, but for now I think I’ll stick to someone who is 10 years or less older than myself.