It’s a fact of life: People get old. Some people afraid of aging — especially many of us in the gay community. But some men get more attractive as they age, and even increase their charm. Older men are getting more popular nowadays, whether in the gay or straight world. Some young people do prefer “silver foxes” to people their own age. But, because your new flame has more life experience and social standing than you, he may be set in his ways and not be the easiest person to get along with. So beware, young hunks, if you want to start dating older guys — here are some big don’ts to avoid.
1. “You look much younger than your age.”
It sounds like a compliment, but it’s really not. Just say: “You look great!” Everybody likes compliments, but it’s not necessary to bring up someone’s age.
2. “How come you don’t have a boyfriend?”
This question is as annoying as “Why don’t you have a girlfriend?” in the straight world. You need to realize that their life might be totally consumed by work or by caring for aging parents. Or maybe he’s gotten used to the single life. Anyway, there may be many complex reasons for someone to not have a beau. He probably never thinks about it or simply doesn’t care. So why ask?
3. “Mind if I reply to this message?”
When out with your new friend, it might be acceptable to reply to messages that appear on Line or Whatsapp. (But make it quick!) And responding to business or family-related posts is fine, of course, but skip those chats with friends. However, taking time to look at who’s on a dating app, and (especially) chatting with someone there, is definitely a big no-no.
4. “You’re too old for this bar/party/whatever.”
This is discrimination. If the older man feels he doesn’t fit in, he will find a dignified excuse for leaving. But if he’s told as much by someone much younger, it will come off as hurtful and mean. Everyone gets old and no one wants to be excluded just because of age.
5. “Oh! You’re picking up the tab. Great!”
Everybody likes it when someone else pays for your tab. But you’re not supposed to expect it as automatic. And why are older people always the ones to get stuck with it? Just because someone is generous doesn’t give you the right to expect it every time. Older people don’t necessarily make more money than you. If it’s your first date, treat him like your equal. If both of you feel like moving on to the next step — well, then you can discuss financial issues further.
6. “I bet you’re a Top, right?”
When the time comes, you’ll find out.
7. “Nice meeting you, Grandpa!”
Just because someone’s older doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily appreciate being reminded of their age — and he probably won’t like being called “Pop,” “Uncle” or “Auntie.” So please ask before you use these nicknames, especially not until you know him a little better. Believe me, it won’t shorten the distance between you two!
What older guys really want is to be treated like anyone else: with a little bit of respect. Just like you’d treat anyone else.