Dating a guy a year younger than you

At 65, my date (I’ll call him Jerry) was a few years older than me.

We’d been introduced by a mutual friend who thought we would be a good match.

Still, there were times when the idea of a permanent partner seemed appealing. Did I really want to know about that classic 1966 Mercedes SL he’d restored, or where his children went to school?

Thankfully, I learned enough about him on the phone to decide not to go for a drink with him.

He was a champion whinger whose bitterness could have melted the phone line.

I would have liked to remain platonic friends with him.

But it came down to that old When Harry Met Sally thing.

Shuffling self-consciously in his seat beside me at the cinema, I sensed that my date was about to make his move.

I wasn’t sure whether he’d do the awkward arm-stretch-behind-my-chair manoeuvre, or ‘accidentally’ brush his thigh against mine.

I’ve crossed paths with other older men, too, in the past year or so: some I merely corresponded with; some I met in person.

I’ve discovered how world-weary and bitter they can be, desperate to offload their emotional baggage on any female who will listen.

Many told me to grow up and date someone from my own age group.

While I could easily disregard the vitriolic views of strangers, many of whom I suspected were merely jealous or prudish, I did feel it would be sensible to put my experiences in perspective by dating some older men. Yet, as the conversation steered predictably down the safe avenues of favourite films and actors he’d worked with, my mind wandered back to those playful exchanges I’d enjoyed with one of my favourite younger chaps, during our wonderful sexy afternoons. Had my flings with younger guys led to me to set the bar unrealistically high?

So why on earth should I settle for an out-of-condition old codger like him just because society deems it appropriate for me?