I’ve never really thought I had a type. For example, on Tuesday morning I stumbled upon the most magnificent looking man I’ve ever seen and he was roughly 5 foot 6 (at a stretch!).
I’ve got a date next week with a bloke who is 6 foot 3! I don’t care what ethnicity they are, what colour their eyes are, or even if they’re a tradie or a banker. As long as they’re nice, have good manners and treat me well, I’m a happy chappy.
So imagine my surprise as I took a walk down memory lane over the Summer holidays and discovered I do, in fact, have a type!
If I take a look at my dating track record, it would appear that my ‘type’ is older men. Turns out I quite adore dating a bloke outside my age bracket. In fact, preferably a good 10 years older.
It all started at the tender age of 25 when I first stepped out of my dating age bracket and dated a 45 year old man. At the time it felt rather scandalous and it took me a long time to reconcile with.
He was someone I had worked with for a couple of years. He had met one of my boyfriends (a very immature ‘lad’), we had travelled together, partied together, and very successfully worked together.
It wasn’t until the show I was working on got cancelled and we had farewell drinks that anything happened. I mean sure, over the years there was flirting but now we could actually act on it.
Our first kiss was in the Ivy changerooms, which still gives me a chuckle when I think about it, and I remember waking up the next morning calling my best friend and going: “Oh my god I kissed an old bloke!” Oh bless you younger Jana, you thought 45 was old. So naive.
Over the next couple of months, much to my surprise he really pursued me. Having had a bad run with bad blokes, it was nice to be wined and dined the old fashioned way. So before I knew it we were choofing off to Bali for a heavenly coupled up holiday.
Now here’s something they don’t tell you about dating someone who looks older then you: You will find yourself in some pretty darn awkward situations.
As we sauntered down the main streets of Seminyak on our way to lunch, we had street sellers showing us their wears and shouting out to my older gent, “You buy your daughter something nice?” Oh cringe. Literally every local thought he was my dad. I should probably point out here that I had quite a young face in my 20s.
The next awkward situation came a few weeks later when we went to a fancy dinner party and the women looked at me like I was their worst enemy. Ergggh I was the younger chick stealing one of the only good blokes still left in their age bracket. I get it, trust me, I get it.
Anyway, now in my 30s, I seem to date men in their mid 40s to early 50s. So it’s safe to say I’ve grown fairly comfortable dating outside the norm. And thankfully, my baby face looks kinda disappeared, so it doesn’t look or seem that scandalous anymore.
I’ve pondered why I keep finding myself attracted to older blokes, and I, happily, can assure you it’s not a sugar daddy thing.
Nope, I’m proud of the money I make from hard work, and I’m not fussed on dipping into their bank account. In fact, most of them have been through the war-zone known as divorce, so they’re not exactly raining money.
I believe there are three simple reasons for my attraction.
Oh, the benefits of dating someone who has grown out of their ‘man-child’ phase! I can’t speak highly enough of it. By their 40s, they’ve had enough experience with women to know how to emotionally connect (and react) to them.
They no longer squirm when you tell them you’ve got your period. They’re well equipped at handling tears, and they’ve learnt how to navigate PMS.
They’re well established in their career and home life
These aren’t guys who are working long hours on small wages to secure their first house. They’ve set themselves up in their career, they’ve navigated the rental or housing market, they’ve learnt how to use a washing machine and iron their own clothes.
They’re perfectly capable of looking after themselves. This shouldn’t be a blessing, but let’s face it, it is.
They know what they want from life
They’re usually divorced, or have at least been in a long-term relationship before. So they’ve figured out who they can viably have a relationship with, and who they most definitely cannot. They’ve also proven that they are capable of sustaining a long(ish)-term relationship, and are no stranger to commitment.
So if you’re pondering who to date in the new year, may I suggest you move you give someone outside your age bracket a go? OK, maybe don’t go hanging around the local retirement village, but why not up your preferences by ten years? They come highly recommended from me.
Jana Hocking is a columnist and collector of kind-of-boyfriends | @jana_hocking
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