Is there an Age Gap for LOVE?
It’s no secret that gay guys are visual creatures. We love youth, vitality, beauty and strength—it’s in advertisements, our dating habits and in our very culture. Rarely do we realize how toxic it can be until one night we turn a corner and realize that we missed our chance.
Last week it hit me—I’m 28-years old, have never had a boyfriend and am constantly telling friends, “Psh… I don’t care. I love being single.” I usually turn silent and try to let awkward turtle waddle away, but this time it sunk faster than a barbell.
The last four guys I could have been serious with were at least five years younger than I was (a sensible number, but still a big difference). It wasn’t until a friend pointed it out that I began to see I wasn’t the only one.
I know countless of gay guys in their 50s who are single because guys their age choose not to date them (I asked), and young guys today aren’t helping—many of them love dating up. In fact, they prefer it.
I’m all for not putting a number on love. At the end of the day we all know age doesn’t matter, but are we getting into the habit of not even giving guys our age a chance? Have we gotten used to only considering guys in their early twenties as dateable?
I’m only 28 and am starting to see a pattern here. I can only imagine what might happen when I get into my 30s, 40s and 50s. Even Graham Norton, a totally dateable hilarious funny all-round attractive gay guys agrees:
“Well, I’m 52,” Norton said in an interview with The Mail, “and I’m single and on some level, I feel like I’ve failed because by the time you’re my age, you really should be settled. But then I look at the relationships people around me have and I find myself asking, ‘Really? That doesn’t look like winning to me.’ I’ve reached the point that when people ask [if I’m] single at the moment, I say ‘Come on, you can drop the ‘at the moment’.’ I’m single forever. That’s the weird thing. Gay men my age don’t want to date someone their age.”
Are we desperately trying to turn our fantasies into reality?
For years I was able to differentiate between eye-candy and the real world. I was able to look at a 20-year old and say, “Wow. He’s really hot. Too young for me, though.” Now I’m willing to be more negotiable—am I trying to relive my youth, am I trying to bring a fantasy to life, or am I placing myself on an unrealistic standard?
The truth is I don’t know why.
Our culture is so strange—beautiful, but strange. While we strive for perfection, rarely do we take a step back and ask ourselves what that means. Youth and beauty have nothing to do with perfection, but somehow I can’t help but wonder if the thirst for it has affected our search for love.
You can find love at any age and there are an infinite number of gaps, but is ageism affecting us more than we think? Has it gone from targeting men of a certain to targeting anyone who isn’t in their early twenties?