Younger Men: I’m Not DTF

Dear Younger Men,

Yes, I’m talking to you, 26-year-old guy I met volunteering, and 26-year-old guy I met having lunch, and 27-year-old guy who contacted me on a dating app even though you’re way younger than my parameters. (I’m not talking to you 35-year-old guy I met on the app. Yeah, you’re younger than me, but you’re not that much younger.) This goes out to all the guys in their 20s who home in on me like pigeons to a poop spot.


Younger guys have always liked me. Full disclosure: I used to find it flattering. There was even a time a few years back when I thought, “This is my last chance to be with a young, hot guy,” a thought which now makes me laugh at the irony. I not only used that untrue thought to justify a bad choice, fate continually throws it in my face. Since then, practically everywhere I go, a younger guy approaches me. Even when he has a big ol’ hipster beard that camouflages his age, I know that under there he’s 26. For some reason that’s the magic number.

Younger Guys, I want to make a few things clear:

  • I am not DTF.

I don’t know why you assume that I am DTF just because you find it hot that I’m so much older than you. (If you don’t know what DTF means, here’s a hint: DT = Down to.)

I got this text from the guy I met at lunch after giving him my business card:

I am curious on your interest levels of entertaining a casual encounter with a younger boy . . . Maybe me specifically.

The question for you, younger boy, is why? Why would I want to entertain a casual encounter with you? What would the benefit for me be?

Which brings me to point two:

  • Just because you’re excited that I’m older than you doesn’t mean I’m excited that you’re younger than me.

To you, I’m a novelty item. But while you’re trying to fetishize me and act out whatever fantasy you have about your teacher/mother/babysitter, I’m down in the treacherous trenches of dating searching for a Full-Package Man, which you certainly are not.

And to me you’re not a novelty item, because I’ve already been there, done that and moved on. You’re like any shiny, cheap new toy that stops being interesting after the first time you play with it.

Why do you get boring so fast? Not only are you young and inexperienced, but once you’ve gotten my attention, you have no idea what to do with it.

Which brings me to point three:

  • You need to learn some manners.

Time and again, what I’ve discovered about you, younger men, is that while you can be charming upon first meeting, spending time with you quickly grows tiresome because you have no manners. Yes, you may still be a baby (at least compared to me), but four or more years out of college you should have enough life experience to know how to act.

The aforementioned 26-year-old I met volunteering asked if I was going to ask for his number. I laughed. But he managed to man up and get my number, follow up and make plans for the next weekend. His follow up was actually better than a lot of men who are my age.

Why did I give him a chance when he was so young and would inevitably be a waste of my time?

He was tall, cute, had an MBA and a good job, and the day we met he picked me up and lifted me high off the ground; unfortunately, this had the effect of overpowering my good judgment. I’m a total sucker for tall guys who can pick me up. (I used to have a Korean friend who was 4’8” and told people she was 4’11”. When guys picked her up, she hated it, which makes me think a woman’s receptivity to that kind of treatment is in inverse proportion to her size. Growing up, I was always the tallest girl in my class.)

He made plans with me for Friday night, which he then cancelled not long before we were supposed to meet. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that his canceling involved a series of texts, interrupted calls and finally FaceTime, at which point I was in my nightie on the couch watching TV and discovered that his friend was in the car with him and also getting a good view of me in said nightie.

I agreed to have breakfast with him the next morning instead. That was a mistake. Not my first mistake – that had been giving this man-child my number – but a significant mistake.

That breakfast was probably the most annoying meal of my life. Okay, not including some childhood family dinners and Jewish holidays, but it may have been the most annoying meal I ever had alone with a man, and that’s saying something.

The baby-man showed up at my apartment with less than 30 minutes notice on a Saturday morning, parked in one of my neighbor’s parking places when I’d specifically directed him to my spot, which I’d thoughtfully left open for him, then drove the wrong way up my one-way street and pretended he was leaving. He showed up at my door with chocolate or some other brown substance smeared all over his shirt, asked if he could use my bathroom to freshen up, then proceeded to take a shower while simultaneously denying he was in the shower. I could hear the water running through the door, and when he finally emerged from my bathroom, the mirror was fogged up and the air was hot and steamy.

What had he used to dry himself with? That was my first question. Not my robe, I hoped.

I opened my linen closet and showed him the giant pile of clean towels.

“You could have asked to take a shower and I would have given you a towel,” I said.

At this point I would have been wise to cut my losses and tell him I would no longer be joining him for breakfast. Considering that he would not stop complaining that I was taking too long to get ready despite the fact that he’d just helped himself to a shower (and perhaps my robe), that would have saved me more aggravation. But instead I left my apartment with him and walked across the street to the beach café on the sand. Did I mention before that he could pick me up like I was a petite flower?

This was the closest place to eat breakfast, and baby-man was in a rush because he had a meeting at noon with a former professor. While we were in line, he said we should get our food to go.

“I’m not getting mine to go,” I said. “How am I supposed to eat an omelet to go?”

I’d actually never eaten at the beach café in over four years of living across the street and I wanted to enjoy the experience. The whole point was to be down on the sand with a view of the water.

After I ordered my omelet and bottle of water, he said, and I quote, “Damn, you’re expensive.”

Baby-man was supposed to take me to dinner the night before, and now he was complaining about the cost of breakfast at a tourist spot?

When we sat down at a table, he seemed incapable of having a normal, intelligent conversation. We’d talked on the phone twice for about half an hour each time, yet in person he was now awkward and, far worse, rude. It was like he was trying to be inflammatory.

“You think you’re funny,” I said, “but you’re actually annoying.”

Maybe it would have been better to get my food to go and go away from him.

When our order finally came, he wolfed down half of his breakfast sandwich then said he had to leave for his meeting.

“Let’s get the rest to go,” he said.

“You gotta be kidding me,” I said. “I’m not getting this to go. I’m in the middle of eating.”

“You took too long to get ready,” he said.

So he had come over with almost no notice wearing dirty clothes, hopped into my shower without asking then denied he was in it, rushed me, insulted me and was now telling me to leave halfway through breakfast?

I didn’t think so.

Enough was enough.

“You get yours to go,” I said. “I’m going to stay here and finish eating. And give me my shirt back.”

Did I neglect to mention that I’d loaned him a t-shirt, which instead of just wearing alone he put his dirty button-down shirt on over?

At that moment I knew I would never see him again and I wanted my t-shirt, which had sentimental value.

Baby-man went to the bathroom and came back carrying my t-shirt, which he handed to me before bending over and kissing my check.

“I’ll see you later,” he said. “I’ll text you after my meeting.”

That was one text that I didn’t want to get.

Next time a guy under 30 hits on me, I’m going to tell the baby-man to stay in the kiddie pool where he belongs.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me! Aren’t you?”

    Much younger men seem to lust after older women for a variety of reasons. I have heard the desire for “sexual education” cited (much as that young man who texted you seemed to want), and I have heard young men say that older women are easy lays because they are “desperate” (enormously insulting — does anyone ever say this about older men and younger women?).

    Some older women seem to think they get a better sexual deal with young men, who are not yet popping Viagra or sporting sagging testicles. But, on the other hand, very young men are also often sexually and emotionally inept. And who the hell wants to be a kindergarten teacher at a certain point? That’s the opposite of sexy.

    Once in a while, a pairing like this will actually work, but the guy has to be unusually mature for his age.

  2. This guy sounds like a total lunatic. Good riddance to him. That being said, I do think some of your actions may have led him to believe that his behavior was acceptable, even though you told him you were displeased. If a guy you’ve just met cancels his plans with you then shows up the next morning with less than 30 minutes notice, don’t let him into your house! If you do let him in and he sketchily showers without asking if he can (sorry to say, I’m almost 100% sure he used your robe to dry off), don’t give him a t-shirt that has sentimental value (or any t-shirt, for that matter). Let him go shirtless if he didn’t bring anything to wear.

    I hope this doesn’t sound like personal criticism because I certainly don’t mean it that way. This type of forbearance seems very common among women in general, and in my opinion, that’s a problem. Unfortunately there are only two solutions: 1) make it clear to the guy what is and isn’t acceptable behavior through both your words AND actions (i.e. when he calls to say he’s coming over with no advance warning, tell him he can wait outside until you’re ready or bugger off) or 2) cut your losses and don’t bother with this kind of idiot at all. When you tell him his behavior is problematic but still allow him to get away with it, his takeaway message is going to be that what he did was ok. In this instance, actions speak louder than words.

    One final thing that relates not only to this post but to earlier ones as well: the bill. I’m a little… uncomfortable with taking for granted that the man always pays the bill. It’s just so antiquated. If you’re looking for a sugar daddy then that’s one thing, but if you’re looking for an equal partner it might be worth rethinking this attitude. To me it seems that a guy who is interested in fulfilling this 1950s-style gender role of the breadwinner/protector might also have some other problematic attitudes about gender equality (that era wasn’t exactly famous for women being treated with proper respect). While of course it can be nice from time to time for one or the other partner to pay for dinner, I think there is a benefit in establishing early that this is an equal partnership, not one where the woman is dependent on the man financially. While I certainly don’t mean to knock anyone who feels differently about this (to each her own, of course), I do think it’s worth considering what various actions are communicating to the other person.

    1. This seems to be a bit of a cultural battleground right now… the old “who pays for dinner?” question. While some, like M, think this is an antiquated notion from gender roles that we are trying to phase out, others expect tradition to be upheld.

      Personally, I always go into a date (A) expecting to pay, and (B) offering to pay. I will generally offer two times, and if both are turned down, I will politely accept. I will say that my favorite dates in the last 2 years have either been with women that either insisted on each of us paying for our own stuff, or doing an exchange (“I’ll get dinner, you get the museum tickets.”)

  3. There must be plenty of mature, worthwhile men in their 20s, but they’re probably not the types who are out there actively fetishizing older women. Red flag… avoid, avoid!

  4. You are right, younger men have no manners, and then they grow up to be older men with no manners, so there’s a good chance that you will find yourself feeling annoyed either way, that’s why everyone should have their own woman/man/lgbtq-cave. As a 44 year old male here’s a few improprieties that I remain guilty of… farting inappropriately and blaming it on the nearest dog, granting myself honorary fourth-wave feminist status just because I think Vladimir Putin should free Pussy Riot, and spouting corny quips like “spank you very much” or “at your cervix ma’am”.

    Inherent goofiness can be beneficial when first cultivating a romance, but it doesn’t take long before the pressure to transform into a Prince Charming commences. A healthy relationship requires endless compromise and reciprocity for many reasons, not the least to avoid feelings of resentment when one person thinks that they are sacrificing more than the other. We want to feel proud to be next to our sweethearts in public, not ashamed, and that’s why we make deals… “If you stop farting inappropriately and blaming it on dogs, then I’ll stop complaining when you listen to your Macklemore CD in the car”.

    A mature relationship like the one I’m describing doesn’t happen on the first few dates, so be patient and before diving in make sure that you are physically attracted, that there’s no halitosis, no skid marks on the tighty whities, they need a job, and these days you might want to do a background check, booyah! You are welcome 😉

  5. Holy shit that was an annoying experience! So many bizarre tidbits. I think we in the trenches should get better at realizing turning points when they happen, IN REAL TIME.
    That little moment when some schmuck does something to cause you to cock your head to the side (I Love it when dogs do it, you know what I’m talking about!?) and you say to yourself: did he REALLY just take a shower in my bathroom without asking and deny it the whole time?! Because that is not NORMAL. (It also seems extremely incriminating to me.)
    THAT MOMENT, that should set off alarm bells in our heads, and that is when we END THE DATE.

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