‘I’m turning 42 this month. My boyfriend is 17 years my junior.’

 

My dating experiences have been a little rocky of late. Since being on The Single Wives, I’ve dropped my expectations and wish list, and really been very open to dating a variety of men.

I’ve been through the peaks and troughs of relationships in the last year. I lived through the devastation of my marriage ending, then I was treated harshly by someone I thought I was in a relationship with but clearly, I was not. Add to that deciding to join the dating world again after several months of hiatus, and it’s been a ride. I haven’t dated since I met my children’s father when I was 21 years old – that’s almost 21 years of not being on a date!

So with my typical focused approach, I treated it like its own little business. One week I went on a date with a 55 year old, and the next a 28 year old… a variety of professions, hobbies, and lifestyles. It was all a little depressing as I didn’t have that jolt of excitement with anyone, that toe curling excited feeling you should experience when you make a connection. I then decided I was happy with being just me, creating my new life, moving into my new apartment and making it feel like ‘me’, settling the kids and going to bed with my beloved maltese shitzu, Max.

Then the jolt came. It was a little odd… I had no make up on, having a coffee early one morning and in he strolled. All 6ft 2inches of blonde, toned, white shiny teeth, blue eyes and looking like he’d just strolled off Baywatch.

A conversation started about something lame as you do early on a weekend morning when it’s just the walk-of-shamers hobbling home and mums out and about. Then he was gone.

A week later, we ran into each other again. A longer chat ensued, then “see you later”. A spark of interest was born at this point… but being very pragmatic, I also get excited when I discover coconut milk is being served at the local cafe, so I’m pretty easily pleased…

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Two weeks later we came across each other again, and this time I handed my number over. It was all very natural and to be honest, I thought he was just being very kind asking for it, to cover the awkwardness of yet again running into each other, so I was surprised when a text came a few days later for dinner.

I really had to get over myself at this point. All of the self doubt crept in like a hurricane – why on earth would he want dinner with me? What did he want? Maybe something is wrong with him? It must be for pity. And my inner mean girl swirled her venom for hours that day.

"Why on earth would he want dinner with me?" Image: Getty.

You see, I am turning 42 years of age this month. And he is 25. 17 years. 17 YEARS!!!!

Encouraged (well egged on) by my TV girlfriends, I accepted the date but was full of self doubt the day of said dinner.

It's now been quite a while since that day, and I wanted to write about why you should consider dating a younger man, why it's completely normal nowadays and why you should channel your inner Samantha Jones every once in a while:

Your experience is attractive

Younger men love that you've been there done that, and you're more than happy to show him the ropes. Having experience also gives an air of confidence, you don't doubt your opinions or where you've been, and there's nothing more attractive than a confident woman, secure in her own skin, to men.

They love the bits that some of us loathe

Ever wondered if you should order a salad on a date and limit to one wine purely to look classier? I have! I've literally gone home and eaten another meal so I don't look like a guts on a date!!

Younger guys LOVE that we eat. They love that we enjoy our food, and they also love the squishy bits we don't. Why? In the era of #fitspo and #thinspo, many 20-somethings have opted to eat like birds and take tonnes of selfies doing just that. It bores men... of all ages. I have never felt more body confident in all of my life, which adds to my own happiness, as well as his.

They're open-minded

With youth comes enthusiasm and risk taking, and this is one of the most attractive qualities for me.

Younger guys will try anything, they're non-judgemental and they haven't been burned yet like many older men. Planning a date can be spontaneous, carefree and range from dinner to laser tag, so make sure you're ready for some open-mindedness yourself.

They’re hot!

I have found that younger men are up for a stint between the sheets any time of the day or night. They care about impressing you and they're ready to explore with enthusiasm. So if you ever felt embarrassed with other partners or ex-husbands to try new things, this might be your chance to experience them.

Listen: Laura Brown talks openly about dating someone 16 years her junior.

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Their energy and optimism is infectious

The beautiful mix of energy, positivity and happiness is infectious. I'm now living more in the moment, more for myself and with a new attitude way more than I ever have before. I thrive off his enthusiasm and it really inspires me to let go of my own judgements and 'rules' I created in my own life.

There's little to no expectations

We never assume anything with each other. We spend time together when we are able to and actually WANT to. If I'm snowed under with work, I don't feel guilty saying I can't go out for a date. I used to put my own needs aside to keep everyone happy, but now I can be honest and not feel bad.

We discuss our days and what's happening with work, friends and family but that's only a very small slice of the conversation. I don't expect him to fix things in my life, and I am so vulnerable and open with him, more so that I have ever been before.

Dating a younger man has really opened my eyes to a whole new segment of the dating world. Sure there are some things that can be interesting and give you an eye-roll, but on the whole it's been a completely positive and empowering experience.

There's a few things that can put a dampener on dating a younger guy too. Although we haven't experienced this as yet, I'm sure it will happen... strange looks from people who can clearly see the age difference. A girlfriend of mine couldn't stop staring at him when we went out for drinks recently. When I asked, she said it was because she thought he was hot and couldn't absorb he was actually out with us, 'the mums' LOL. On the way home, he mentioned it was a 'great night' completely oblivious. He was just happy to be there, in the company of funny, intelligent women. The fact they were 'just mums' didn't even cross his mind.

I also don't think I'll be taking him to any of the kids school events anytime soon as I'm sure judgement will creep in... BUT this is for me to also get over.

Otherwise? Try it if you feel you're ready for a taste of something new. Be yourself, be aware of who you’re with, know what you want, know your deal breakers, and have a great time enjoying someones company you may never have considered!

You can follow Sheridan Buchanan-Sorensen on Instagram @sugarfreemum or on Facebook.

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