Recently, I was out to dinner with my friend Colin. Over dinner, Colin and I chatted about everything under the sun … politics, family, diet, and of course, dating.
He’s single like me, but 10 years younger and gay. As we were leaving a French bistro in Soho, having eaten our weight in their yummy crack fries, the conversation turned to dating. He’s not dating anyone seriously and I’m not dating anyone at all. Colin has a rotation of very handsome men who he sees casually or as I teasingly call them “the squad”.
The JV squad would be a better term for them because they’re all younger than him by as much as 10 years. The JV squad dating scenario has been ideal for Colin, since hasn’t been ready to settle down because he’s been too focused on his career for the last 10 or so years. I marveled at his ability to juggle a roster of men; I’ve never been able to do that mainly because my memory is so bad. I can’t remember important details like parents’ names, birthdays, etc.
I told Colin that the only single men I’ve met recently have been up to 20 years my junior. I have a self-imposed ban on dating men who are more than 5 years younger than me, but it wasn’t always this way. In fact, I have a pretty strong track record of dating younger men. I was never really self-conscious about the age difference in my 30s, but after dating a couple of younger men in my 40s it started to bother me.
Women get labeled as cougars, but older men who date much younger women get high-fived. Was 66 year old Billy Joel worried about marrying someone half his age when he met his now wife, Alexis Roderick? I doubt it. No shade or judgment, just asking.
I told Colin that I was so afraid of looking like a “cougar” dating men half my age with unrealistic expectations about the nature of the relationship. Basically, I was afraid of looking like an old fool. But, Colin told me that I should just be open until I meet the “right guy”. He dismissed all my concerns saying to think Jennifer Lopez dating Casper Smart, meaning you better look good if you’re going to do it, have fun and don’t be crazy.
I left Colin that night resolving to stop putting any age restrictions on my dating life again. After all, my Mom and Step-Dad have been married for 36 years and he’s 4 years younger than her. Now as far, as juggling a squad of men, I’m not so sure I have any interest in that, but going forward I won’t rule out any single man that I feel a connection too…unless of course, he is younger than my baby sister Alexis – she’s 20! Ya gotta draw the line somewhere, right?
Tell us what you think. Do you date younger? If so, do you have an age limit?
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