Monday, June 20, 2011

Sorry, I'm Not a Cougar - I envy that you still look young enough to use current pictures in your online dating profile

I've been having some strange run-ins with younger guys, which, to appreciate, you will need to have a few pieces of background information about me:

1) I look really young for my age. This is partly because I am an Asian female with great genetics (my parents both still look decades younger than they actually are). And yes, people tell me all the time that I should be happy about it and I'll be thankful for it in about ten years. But for now, I absolutely hate it. My parents regularly get asked when I'm going to graduate high school, to which they respond that I graduated high school over a decade ago and soon I will be teaching high school. Speaking of teaching, it's hard to gain your students' respect when you look young enough to be their peer. The other day I was talking to one of my middle school students and her mom, and the mother confessed ten minutes into the conversation that when she'd met me, she hadn't known if I was a student or a teacher. So basically, despite the fact that I am 28, I still get mistaken for a 14 year old. Not good.

2) Since I had no social life to speak of last semester, when my friend S sent me an experimental dating site for our school, I decided to try it out. The site was like, but specifically for university students, who you could filter by school, so hypothetically you could meet someone at your school. I only went out with one guy that I met from the site, Blah Boy, and as much as I hated him, that turned out to be one of the better experiences.

Finally, 3) I have no interest in dating younger guys. When I was growing up, I always dated guys my own age or older. In my early twenties, I had a long-term relationship with someone two years younger and it raised a bevy of issues. He wasn't mature enough for me; he was at a different point in his life than I was; his mom still called to ask him about his bowel movements (ok that one may have had nothing to do with his age and more to do with the fact that he was a douchebag and a mama's boy). However, since then, I have never dated another younger guy. I have friends who like younger guys and their naivete, but I have no tolerance for it whatsoever.

Ok, now that you have all that information, I can finally proceed with my story.

When I signed up for that college dating site, even though I specified in my profile that I was only interested in guys my own age or older, I started getting e-mails and instant messages from neophytes right away. Apparently, since I look young, they decided to ignore my age restrictions.

The first time, it was a 19 year old sophomore at Columbia University, who wrote me and we had the following conversation:

Idiot Sophomore: So do you want to grab a drink sometime?

Me: Can you even go to bars?

Idiot Sophomore: Yeah, of course.

Me: No, I mean legally.

Idiot Sophomore: Oh. No.

Me: Yeah that's what I thought. I think I'm a little too old for you. (This was my tactful way of telling him that he was far too young for me, hoping he would get the hint.)

Idiot Sophomore: Don't worry. I've had older.

Me: Um. Lovely.

Idiot Sophomore: Well then why don't we just skip the bar and go straight to my bed?

Me: Ha. That's cute. Really. Classy too. Sorry, I'm not remotely interested.

At that point, I blocked him.

A few weeks later, another 19 year old, this time one from NYU started messaging me.

Idiot Freshman: Hey, how's it going?

Me: Good. Look, sorry, I don't mean to be blunt, but you're way too young for me.

Idiot Freshman: What do you mean?

Me: Honestly, you're only slightly older than the kids that I teach and quite frankly, that grosses me out.

Idiot Freshman: Well, what I lack in age, I make up for in life experience and maturity.

Me: Yeah, no offense, but I probably thought the same thing when I was your age, a decade ago. And no amount of "life experience" at 19 would be enough for me to consider going out with you.

Idiot Freshman: Well what do you like to do for fun?

Me: Seriously, I don't know any other way to say this. I am not interested. This is a no go. To me, you are as datable as a baby in the womb.

After that, he got the message and I never heard from him again.

Maybe it's because I'm getting older. Maybe it's because I'm teaching now. Maybe it's because I have a younger sister and have never been able to reconcile dating someone her age. Whatever it is, I cannot wrap my mind around dating, or even hooking up with, someone even a few years younger than I am. I've been tempted, especially since my cousin who is five years my junior has some especially adorable friends. Literally every time I hang out with him one of his friends ends up hooking up with one of my friends, who later bemoan having hooked up with such young'uns.

The other night I went to a friend of a friend's house party and when I was there I met an incredibly attractive guy, who I was talking to for a little while before I found out that he was a senior in college who is interning in New York City for the summer. He had just turned 21. And despite the fact that he was really cute with very blue eyes and a sexy accent, the second I found out how young he was, I instantly lost my lady hard on. After that, I wasn't remotely interested in him any more, which was a real shame.

So yes, this is apparently what my future looks like. I will have to decide between staying home and knitting socks for my cats every night or I will just have to accept becoming a cougar and start accepting the advances of guys a decade younger.

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