My friends and I love to complain about what it’s like to date after a certain age. We have a whole “slightly older than Bridget Jones” routine down cold. And we’re hilarious and should start writing that stuff down. But despite the humor of it, and the fact that Los Angeles’s social structure tries to throw missiles at you for trying it, I have come to appreciate the advantages of being older when starting over again.
I could point to the theoretically more sound financial situations of dating when the crush of student loans and first jobs aren’t making your options significantly more limited. And I do think that’s true for many. Alas, for those of us transitioning into new careers, our options are still limited. Still, for many, dating after 35 means having the financial security to play and pamper more.
Dating older often means having fewer roommates to navigate. There’s nothing like the joy of having to conduct an adult relationship in front of an audience. Of course, these days, the economy has forced many over 35 to reincorporate roommates into the picture, so it’s no longer a guarantee of privacy.
Honestly, the biggest advantage that I see, that is somewhat impervious to the fluctuations of an economy, is the sense of self that age brings. Now, I was never a push-over. Just go back and look at that picture of me from 1986, and you can tell that I wasn’t someone who was going to be led astray easily. But what I’m willing to accept in a partner has definitely solidified with age and experience. I know with absolute certainty what doesn’t work for me. I know what I can’t live with and where I am willing to be flexible.
Seriously, look back to relationships (romantic or otherwise) and ask yourself if you would still put up with some of those behaviors now. I know I wouldn’t. Does that make me rigid and “stuck in my ways?” Probably. But it also saves an enormous amount of time and heartache. I know what works because I’ve seen what doesn’t. And because I know that living single isn’t a curse, I don’t feel the pressure to forego what I really want just to have a partner.
So, if you find yourself dating again, and you are no longer a blooming 25-year old, don’t let it deter you. Recognize the wisdom you bring to the situation and date on!