Is it Hard for Older Gay Guys to Date Men Their Own Age?

You can’t help who you fall in love with. That’s a lesson I learned the hard way, but now that I’m getting older I’m starting to find love in unexpected avenues.

As gay guys get older we tend to never give up our obsession with youth and beauty. Why should we? It’s everywhere we turn. And for the most part, when we’re young and beautiful we know we’re young and beautiful. So we spread our wings as far as we can while we still can… and everyone notices. We want that power back.

Whether you’re an older man dating a younger guy or a younger guy dating an older man, many of us start questioning ourselves: is it smart to date someone half my age? But trust me when I say if you really love him, you wouldn’t be asking yourself this question — at all.

Maturation among gay men is a slow process. Our culture stints us in a way. We’ve turned youth and beauty into currency and value, so of course when we see an old/young couple we label them as “sugar daddy” or “gold digger.”

I’ve spoken with countless of older men who were shocked to discover a new breed of young guys hitting on them when they hit 50. The very people they chased at 20-years-old were begging for their attention. Can you blame them for wanting to bite the fresh meat? I certainly don’t.

I remember a time I thought 29 was old. Now that I’m 29 I know it isn’t old at all. The sad part is that, unsurprisingly, I’m still attracted to 20-year-olds. For a while I wondered why, but I’ve come to the conclusion that because I hadn’t allowed myself to mature past the age of 20, my mind still exists in that constructed realm: I never allowed myself to “be” older than 20, therefore I’m only attracted to 20-year-olds.

Of course not all attraction is that deep, but many of us think it is, which is why we close ourselves off to dating someone older or younger. We’re scared to become another statistic. We don’t want to date older men when there are plenty of young guys to pluck. It’s a consistent theme in the gay community, and with so many willing participants to choose from, who in their right mind will say no?

But where does that leave other single gay men over 50 who want to date men their own age? When all their peers are either married, forever single or wanting to find a trophy boyfriend, what the hell are they to do.

Age is a number, but it’s a number that creates psychological compatibility. While compatibility knows no age, it thrives in truth, honesty and chemistry that radiates from connection. So if you’re over 50 it doesn’t mean you’re more or less mature than someone who’s 25, and vice versa, however the generational gap might be an issue (it always is).

Young men know the power they have. As we get older we tend to lose that power so we surround ourselves with youth and beauty to feed our self-esteem. That goes across the board — gay, straight, male or female. No one wants to get tossed aside.

But here’s the bottom line: if you think youth and beauty are essential to finding love, there’s a reason why you’re single. In order to make a true connection, you need to look beyond the numbers on their birth certificate. So if you meet someone who happens to have a decade (or two) on you, who cares so long as the connection is real!

Never should anyone close themselves off to the possibilities of dating someone older or younger, but keep in mind that as your relationship matures you will have a lot less room to grow. As someone who’s witnessed it first hand, trust me when I say to judge a man by his intentions and how he makes you feel — not by the age on his drivers license.

David Artavia

Writer

David lives in New York City, where he acts, writes and lives vicariously through his friends.

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