Why Guys Over 40 Make Such Lousy Dates

guys over 40
Written by Gina Smith

Guys over 40 have a lot of bad habits that really annoy women, says Nancy Imperiale. Are you making any of these mistakes? There’s time to change your ways …

Julianne Moore and Writer-Director Joseph Gordon-Levitt star in Relativity Media's Don Jon. Photo credit:  Daniel McFadden ©2013 Relativity Media, LLC.  All Rights Reserved. aNewDomain — Younger men are more fun to date than old ones. Sorry if that wounds your ego or anything. It hasn’t been easy for me, knowing that you’ve earned about a dollar for every 50 to 79 cents I’ve earned over the years, but I don’t mean this to sound harsh.

I’m trying to help. And the truth is, you’ve made yourselves undateable.

Fraternizing with guys in their 20s and 30s wasn’t my original intent. After divorce I was set on finding someone in the over-40 range, someone like me. But then I ran into the painful truth: Older guys like you just have a lot of issues when it comes to dating women like me. 

Maybe if you realize what you’re doing you will change. I don’t know. But here’s what you do that I hate:

You patronize me.

Here in the South, older guys call me sweetie or darlin’. They say things like, “Don’t worry your pretty head about that.” They act like it’s still 1952, even if they weren’t even born in 1952, and they act like I’m just itching to mate up with them so I can walk around topless cooking beef stroganoff.

Guys in their 20s and 30s don’t do this. They treat me like an equal. They even allow me to know more than them without shrinking away. And I do know a lot about things.

You keep trying to call me.  

You want to talk. On the telephone. Why? You get piffy if I don’t return your phone calls. You actually MAKE  phone calls. Stop that. Younger guys use Kik and Snapchat and Instagram. That’s more my speed. Younger guys aren’t so into interrupting the flow of my life. They get that social media was made for grooving on someone without having to get on the horn.

You blame your ED on me.

No judgments here. But this is why Viagra was invented. If you act like your flaccidity is my problem — we’ve both got a problem. Sometimes it seems like you think you’d be a sex stud if only my push-up bra were working better or I wasn’t so damn bitchy on Mondays. I’ve had an old guy make marriage noises at me until the day he couldn’t get it up in the bedroom. Then he dumped me like dirty laundry. Nice. This is something you don’t have to worry about with younger guys. And you don’t have to worry that having sex with them could end the relationship.

You have a “bipolar” ex that I am nothing like.

You don’t have a psychiatry degree or other mental health credentials, so why have you diagnosed your old girlfriend. “That crazy witch was nuts!” you say, and then, “I’m so glad you’re not like that.”

This is not praise; it is a warning. It’s a warning from a man to not say or do anything unpleasant, lest I lose my exalted status as a sane person and join the ranks of crazy witches and bitches. Younger guys may end up doing this later, but so far they haven’t been in the game long enough to label anyone crazy.

You slut-shame.

More than one older guy has said it outright: Women are whores if they sleep around. What? But guys who don’t sleep around aren’t real guys, right? Come on.

I am pretty sure younger guys think things like this, too, but they’re either too scared or too horny to say it. Which is almost as good as not thinking it at all.

You judge me. And you don’t know me.

Within five seconds of meeting an older guy, there he is, telling me all about myself.

Here’s an excerpt from an actual conversation I recently had on OKCupid with a 58-year-old male. I had refused to meet him for coffee in the middle of the day because I don’t do coffee dates. (Not only is it cheap, but I live in Florida and it’s not worth having my makeup slide off my face in my car with wretched AC just to meet for coffee.) So, rather than ask me on a normal date, here was his stupid response:

You wear that paint to impress other women, Darlin’. Gentlemen dislike having their attire smudged with clay. And it is only sailors, on leave, that favor painted women.”

I don’t just wake up looking like this, you know. Younger guys get that. 

You might carry a gun.

I don’t know if this is a Floriduh thing, or maybe it represents old men’s vulnerability in their declining years, but when you reach out to give me a goodnight kiss and I can feel your pistol, it is not a turn on.

If you need to be packing heat, perhaps you should take me to a higher-quality establishment. Guys in their 20s and 30s aren’t so afraid of the world. Also, unfortunately, many have served in a foreign war. They know what’s dangerous and what isn’t. A suburban movie theatre just isn’t.

You hesitate.

They’ve been burned by life and are twice-shy. Hey, I get it. Life does that to all of us. But this is dating we’re talking about, not something important. He who hesitates is lost, and that’s all many older guys do, hem and haw and want to chat some more on the phone, and they never get around to the simple phrase: “Want to go on a date?” Young guys seem to get the distinction between meeting online and IRL.

You try to impress me with dumb stuff.

Don’t tell me about your big job, the big salary, big toys, big travel resume. Don’t show me a topless selfie you shot, where you’re holding up a giant dead fish or some other kind of corpse. I know you want me to think that if I only pick you, you’ll treat me like a PRINCESS and you’ll hold the door open for me always and I’ll never have to worry my pretty head about a thing. But don’t complain, at the same time, about how women are only in it for the money. This same old man will complain about how women are only after one thing, and it’s not his crotch. Younger men have less, usually, and they don’t publicly declare their personal worth and then start bad mouthing gold diggers.

You’re too conservative.

Outside of San Francisco, New York and Boston, men my age are likely to be right-wing religious conservatives. Fine. You’re entitled to your beliefs and whatever. But when I state definitely that I’m a leftist progressive Buddhist tree-hugging vegan, don’t insist that Jesus will save me anyway. Or that I’d like your church. Or that it’s okay, I just haven’t matured enough to vote Republican. Also, don’t tell me that if I just tried Outback Steakhouse I would like it. Younger men aren’t trying to convert me, get me pregnant and put me in the kitchen with lots of meat in it. They just aren’t.  

You still haven’t gotten over your mommy issues.

Believe it or not, some men can get to their 50s and 60s and beyond and still answer to their mother in the nursing home. I had a Cuban fella who was crazy for me until I met his mother, who didn’t approve of me at all. Then it was “Hasta la vista, baby.” You know what’s cool about younger men?

They work out their mommy issues. With me.

For aNewDomain, I’m Nancy Imperiale.

Image 1: Julianne Moore and Writer-Director Joseph Gordon-Levitt star in Relativity Media’s Don Jon.
Photo credit: Daniel McFadden ©2013 Relativity Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

1 Comment

  • Ah, the men could say similar things about favoring younger women over older ones.