Have you thought about—or actually are—dating out of your age group?
Well, the term for it is intergenerational dating. Generally, it’s at least a 10-year difference between couples.
Keep in mind that intergenerational dating and relationships have always existed. However, according to “Are Intergenerational Gay Couples a New Trend in Dating,” a Bilerico.com article from last year, these relationships “…do seem to be more common these days. One reason might be the shift towards more conservative, traditional views of couplehood. Now that we can get married in so many states, now that we can adopt children, now that we can bear children on our own, gay males are without question settling into more stable ways of dating, expressing our love, and getting into relationships.”
The media outlet added, “There is a great hunger on the part of many gay men to be in stable, loving relationships and this just might be a driving force behind the possible rise in intergenerational couples.”
As Star Trek’s Mr. Spock would say, I found Queerty.com’s recent article on this subject “fascinating.” And in spots, amusing! The piece is entitled, “Six Pro Tips for Being the Best Daddy for Your Boy.”
Before I share these “pointers” with y’all, allow me to provide some commentary.
Firstly, I found the tone and feel of these tips somewhat quaint, “hokey,” and (out)dated. For example, I take umbrage to the use of the word “boy.” Younger partner/guy/man is more appropriate.
As well, too much subservience and neediness are ascribed to the younger partner for my taste. For instance, I know a few intergenerational couples in which the younger man is the more emotionally evolved/secure. The more dominant. The more financially secure.
In conclusion, I find some of the advice on the “questionable tip”–and not as relevant as it could and should be. But you be the judge.
Now, here are those tips on “being the best daddy for your boy”—right outta Queerty’s mouth! Listen: if you don’t like the info, don’t shoot me. (LOL!) I’m simply the messenger. However, do feel free to give Yours Truly feedback.
(To Note: the accompanying photo is of actor-screenwriter Gerald McCullouch and college B-Baller Derrick Gordon—an openly gay intergenerational.)
- Let him trust you. Be real. Show your boy that you’re a steady, stable rock that he can count on. That’s what young guys love about older men, after all. Sometimes, that requires patience, since guys in their 20s are puppyish bundles of energy. If he doesn’t call you back right away, don’t take it personally—he’s still learning how to be a man. Don’t nag, don’t fly off the handle. Instead, put yourself in his shoes, and remember how flakey you were when you were a kid. Be an even-keeled presence that he can look up to. And teach him how to be a better man by example.
- You don’t own him. A daddy is different from a dom. Your boy may be young and silly, but that doesn’t mean you should start running his life. At the start of the relationship, talk openly about just how much you want to be calling the shots. Ask him how much he’s willing to defer to you.
- Laugh at your differences. No matter what, he’s going to make you feel old sometimes. So you have a choice: either feel sad about it, or laugh about it. Yeah, maybe he doesn’t know who Bette Davis is, and maybe he doesn’t understand why you have a telephone attached to the wall of your house with a wire. But who cares? If he’s truly interested in you, it’s because your life is different from his life. (I doubled “ovah” in laughter reading this!)
- Find common ground. You may have your differences, but now and then you’ll be surprised to discover that the two of you actually see eye-to-eye on something. Look for places where your hobbies and interests overlap, whether it’s knitting or hiking or watching The Muppet Show. The stuff that makes relationships strong—no matter what your ages are—are when you both find something that you like to do together.
- Trust him. There’s always a risk that he’s a gold digger, just after you for your cash or stability. So keep an eye out for those boys on social networks, but when you feel a real rapport, give him the benefit of the doubt. Chances are, if you get along well, he’s interested in the real you. If you think your boy is just in it for the cash, ask him if he’d mind paying for lunch one day. If he looks aghast, something might be up.
- Make mistakes. Even though gay men are great at intergenerational relationships, there are some issues that we still haven’t quite figured out. Among them: health issues. It’s hard for young gays to understand the medical problems that older gays face, whether it’s HIV or just simple arthritis. Accept that some issues are going to challenge you as a couple, and resolve to be there for each other and forgive when someone makes a misstep.