Wednesday, July 24, 2013

dating diaries.

dating up, dating down.

as i have mentioned before, my entire senior year was dedicated to researching the cougar phenomenon at my university. it was just the thing to do. senior girls dated slash hooked up with sophomore boys... with no judgement. i was severely interested in the concept since the norm in society has always been that the male is older than the female, and i am assuming that is because women are just more mature than men, right!?

now that i am out of college, i have noticed that dating down isn't as big of a thing. women in their twenties want a MAN, not a BOY. we are thinking more long term now, not someone to keep us occupied during our four years of fake life...or what we like to call, a booty call. 

{via Free People}.

i go so back & forth about the pro's and con's of dating up vs. dating down. i have come to my own conclusion that it most certainly depends on the guy, and your mindset. you can find things wrong with both situations, but also just as many things can go right. what would you guys prefer? to be the older woman (cougz status) or to be the younger (we aren't talkin' hugh hefner older guy)....

i decided to ask two of my girlfriends their two cents...

meet alison. one of the coolest kids on the block. and she is rockin' the cougar status...

how did y'all meet?
connor and I started dating at the end of January... about six months ago. we awkwardly met as I handed him his package at the student post office where I work. from then on, he knew me at the "hot post office girl" and i knew him as the "sexy FRESHMEN baseball player." i say freshmen in all caps because although i couldn't stop thinking about him, he was indeed a freshmen and I was a junior... and while boys were allowed to date down, i had to keep reminding myself that girls shouldn't.

what is your favorite thing about dating someone younger?
honestly i never really realize connor is younger, but now that I think about it... my favorite part of dating someone younger is the respect he gives me in all aspects of our relationship. i'm not sure if it has to do with him being younger, or i just got lucky, but connor never blows off what i say... he actually thinks about it and gives it weight. in part i think maybe it's because I'm older.
what is your least favorite?
hopefully this will end soon... but since we are in college, my least favorite thing is that we are in total different stages of our life and although i can understand where he is, he can't understand where i am. while i'm worried about where i'm going to land post-graduation, he is still excited to get speakers for his new frat room. i totally get his excitment, but when i need to talk about my fears or stresses i can't talk to him, which plain and simple sucks. 

what are your thoughts on dating someone older?
i've never dated someone older, very much uncharted territory. people say girls date down because they want control. i don't think that's true in all cases. i grew up the oldest of three with two younger brothers, and i took care of them out of second nature... giving them advice and guiding them. in the same way i've only dated guys that are my age or younger and have taken care of them in similar ways becasue it's natural for me. it would be interesting to see what I would bring to the relationship being with someone who would guide me for a change.
for a twentysomething girl, what do you feel like the norm is for dating up vs down?
definitely i think the norm is dating up because the woman is socially considered to need someone to take care of them. as people grow older, i feel like this fades more and more. 

do you feel like you are more in control bc of your age?
in some ways, like advice about things i've been through that he hasn't, i would consider myself in control, but connor's a man and he dicates a lot of things we do and choices we make as a couple which is inherent in his gender and i let him. it's like if we were in a group project and the teacher asked us a question... we would discuss it and come up with the answer, but he would be the one to say it. it's all about balance... and both of you taking control in situations that you have more knowledge in. but when it come to new water, it's best to let the man lead regardless of age as long as he still gives your opinion the weight it deserves. as a woman, i try to empower connor to lead as he feels it's his job to protect and provide for me. you never want to cut off a man's legs so to speak.
advice to other girls dating down?
if he makes you laugh, makes you happy, and you have that feeling in your heart... go for it. just remember he knows you are older than him and it's intimidating, so remind him he is the man and empower him to be just that.

meet grace. my best friend from home, who is my sister from another mister. she is dating up.

how did y'all meet?
kyle is 27 (i am 23) and he lives in chicago... while i live in st. louis. he is friends with one of our best friends older brothers. so when we took a girls trip to go visit our friend's brother in chicago... i met this kid.

what is your favorite thing about dating someone older?
i love that he has a good start to his career and is independent. it's great to go out with a guy who can pick up the tab ;)

what is your least favorite?
he is more interested in settling down quicker (moving in together, marriage etc)

what are your thoughts on dating someone younger?
been there once... too clingy.

for a twentysomething girl, what do you feel like the norm is for dating up vs down?
i think it's normal to date up. girls are more mature so it balances out.

do you feel like he is more in control bc of his age?
no... he's got the maturity of a 17 year old. Haha but really i think career-wise and financially yes.

advice to other girls dating up?
go for it. if you love him then age doesn't matter!

bottom line. to each their own. and if you're in love, do ya even gotta put a number on it!? VERY cliche, but whatevs... age is JUST a number, ladies.

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