here.) (And no, there's no use asking me who this was or when this was, it's ancient history, bro.)
Now, of course, as we're all in our thirties, dating someone older is not so far-fetched. I like to think of maturity as a water level. It's rising through your teens and twenties, and in your thirties it reaches a plateau where things are stable and you're about as grown up as you're likely to be for the next few decades. Things like parenthood and living on your own and dealing with parents who are getting older all add to your pool of life experience. That, plus the fact that most women mature a lot faster than men leads to an almost ideal relationship when you're in your thirties and the man you're dating is older by a decade. It works.
They say that you choose partners based on your experiences with your opposite sex parent. Boys with mummy issues will choose someone who will remind them—even subconsciously—of their mothers. The same with girls with daddy issues. However, as time goes by, I'm finding this too simplistic an explanation. Perhaps this is a better one: we seek partners who repair a certain imbalance that we have within ourselves. If you are quick to fly off the handle and get stressed easily, you're drawn to the cool, calm energies of another. If you need stability and a routine, you like someone who also craves all those things. Most relationships don't work out only when those complementing energies are off.
Briefly, I went out with an older man myself. I enjoyed playing the “when you were so-and-so age, I was such-and-such” but of course, you can't build a whole relationship on that. I was sad when it ended, but somewhere in the back of my head, I knew it wasn't going to be a forever thing anyway. Not because he was older, but just that we weren't compatible. Maybe I always needed someone who was growing at the same rate I was, so we could have our life experiences together, rather than me relying on him to tell me what it was like.
The interesting thing comes when you begin to analyse your relationships. Do you have a type? And what draws you to these people? It's quite fascinating in the end.
(A version of this appeared as my relationship column on Asianet Newsable.)