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  1. #1
    Junior Member Rationista's Avatar
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    Default INFJs and Older Men

    So I was having a discussion with some friends of mine today about older men vs. younger men. I typically prefer older men over men who are my age or younger. I'm completely aware of the fact that there is variation in emotional development and overall maturity no matter how old one is. However, I do find that if a man possesses that certain masculine maturity that I quite admire, he's typically over 40. Now, I've met some 50 year olds that haven't developed that level of depth of complexity and probably never will. But there seems to be a point in a man's life where he really comes into his own and develops a more quiet, understated maturity. I don't know if you guys just get tired of puffing your chests out all the time and start to show your true self, or you just get to know and like yourself better (maybe a combo). Whatever it is, I find it wildly attractive. I can't quite pin point what it is, but I know it when I see it in a man. This is why I find myself almost invariably attracted to older men, or rather men who are not age appropriate for me...

    Also, it's men like this that just seem to get me. They appreciate me like my female friends do. I get along with my guy friends swimmingly, but most of them don't appreciate me the way my girlfriends do. I'm not trying to knock on younger men. I love you guys, and you always laugh at my retarded, warped sense of humor. However when it comes to romantic attraction, it's the older men for me. Anyone else identify?

  2. #2
    Senior Member ubiquitous1's Avatar
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    My husband is 12 years older than I am. So, yeah, I can relate.

  3. #3
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I dated someone 13 years older and the guy I nearly went out with before that was 14 years older. It's really not that I want to be with someone who is over a decade older than me. I can see how it may be comfortable now, but it is difficult when he retires or as his health fails - kind of like having two old ages. It also makes it unlikely that we would ever have kids. I'm not even sure if I am interested in having kids, but I would prefer for it not to be ruled out as an option and to do so in good conscience, I think both parents need to be there to see them through to young adulthood. One caution I've discovered is that while a man may have had more time to mature by then, he has also had more time to employ poor coping mechanisms or been in relationships that have broken his sense of trust. At the same time, he has often found more attractive ways of hiding/coping with his insecurities, so they are less apparent at the beginning. Seeing a person in a variety of settings over a period of time tends to help determine what a person is really like, but it's difficult for that to be determined before you become emotionally entangled.

    On the other hand, many men my age are either in the throes of dealing with raising children from past relationships, or they are not interested in growing up and taking on responsibilities - still deciding what they want to do one day, staying up half the night playing video games etc. Sometimes I've found that older guys may be more likely to pursue interests and hobbies that make them fascinating and fun people to be around because they did not grow up in the computer/video games/DVD/MP3 era. I like the skills that older men have had time to amass, they usually have had more time to figure themselves and others out and learn to communicate more effectively, and they also tend to have a somewhat different outlook on work and some values because they grew up in a different era. They tend not to have bought into the philosophy that debt is completely inevitable, coming with $60 000 worth of student loans, big car payments, furniture on credit etc. I have been careful to stay out of debt and have seen my siblings take on a crushing load of it because of their spouses. I'm not looking for someone who will just support me, but I would like someone who could be a real partner and offer resources similar to what I am able to so that we have a comparable amount of power in the relationship.

    In the final analysis, I am not sure. I certainly feel the appeal, and at the age I'm at (34) find that often men that are single are either significantly younger than me, they are single parents and I'm not sure I want to raise someone else's kids, or else they are significantly older than me. I like having men for friends, and that being the case, it primarily leaves the third option. My cousin married a guy 10 years older than her, but even at 45 and 55, I think she feels strongly that a decade would be the max anyone should consider. I've been close to people with quite a bit larger of an age gap - one person is now caring for her husband with Alzheimer's even though she's still young enough to want to travel etc and another ended up divorcing her husband because the age gap became a bigger and bigger issue (I think she was about 50 and he was 75 at the time). On the other hand, Woodwoman had a huge age gap with her husband and loved him right to the end. Who knows?

  4. #4
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
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  5. #5
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    'kay, not that much older!

  6. #6
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    In my early to mid 20's I dated men older than myself - by 8 yrs, 5 yrs, and then 11 yrs. After the 11-yr one, I decided that was too much - for me, at least. haha. So I started wanting to be with someone closer to my age. This also coincided with my being close to 30 by that point, and lifestyle-wise, being 30 and dating a 40 year-old is rather different from being 23 and dating a 31 year old. [I'll be 33 this summer]

    But yes, completely relate to, especially while in my 20's, relating more to men in their 30's than guys who were my own age.

    Now, however, I'm in a relationship with someone who is not only 4 years younger than I, but someone who is also incredibly responsible and mature. He's.. We're on the same wavelength mentally, and also physically/lifestyle/where we're at in life. So for me, the Older-Guy thing dissipated once I entered my 30's.
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  7. #7
    Junior Member Rationista's Avatar
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    One caution I've discovered is that while a man may have had more time to mature by then, he has also had more time to employ poor coping mechanisms or been in relationships that have broken his sense of trust. At the same time, he has often found more attractive ways of hiding/coping with his insecurities, so they are less apparent at the beginning. Seeing a person in a variety of settings over a period of time tends to help determine what a person is really like, but it's difficult for that to be determined before you become emotionally entangled.

    This is something I haven't considered thoroughly. We do learn to preen ourselves, so to speak, much more efficiently as we age do we not? At times I wish I could sequester my emotions in a safe spot before engaging them in a lost cause. On the other hand, I wouldn't trade all of the knowledge I've gained (mostly about myself) from past relationships and the difficulties they've caused.

    I like the skills that older men have had time to amass, they usually have had more time to figure themselves and others out and learn to communicate more effectively, and they also tend to have a somewhat different outlook on work and some values because they grew up in a different era.

    Yes. Older men certainly express themselves much better. I know too well what it's like to be with someone who was not only unable to express himself well, but he didn't know why he was angry half the time. It was maddening. And trying to explain myself was like talking to a wall. This is an extreme case as we are talking about someone who was BPD and didn't develop emotionally passed late adolescence. Anyway, I enjoy talking to people who were born in older generations. They generally express themselves well, and they often times place the same value on self-sufficiency as I do.

    I certainly feel the appeal, and at the age I'm at (34) find that often men that are single are either significantly younger than me, they are single parents and I'm not sure I want to raise someone else's kids, or else they are significantly older than me.

    I'm 30 years old now and find myself in a similar situation. Among the three categories you mentioned, the "significantly older than me" crowd are the most appealing. I'm actually finding myself developing feelings for someone possibly in their late 40s, early 50s. I know it can't possibly go anywhere. I quite agree with your cousin that dating someone even ten years older than me would be pushing it. Ugh, I don't know either. I'm still sussing things out and needed to vent a little.

    Thanks, Fidelia. Your insights are sobering yet comforting.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Rationista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    In my early to mid 20's I dated men older than myself - by 8 yrs, 5 yrs, and then 11 yrs. After the 11-yr one, I decided that was too much - for me, at least. haha. So I started wanting to be with someone closer to my age. This also coincided with my being close to 30 by that point, and lifestyle-wise, being 30 and dating a 40 year-old is rather different from being 23 and dating a 31 year old. [I'll be 33 this summer]

    But yes, completely relate to, especially while in my 20's, relating more to men in their 30's than guys who were my own age.

    Now, however, I'm in a relationship with someone who is not only 4 years younger than I, but someone who is also incredibly responsible and mature. He's.. We're on the same wavelength mentally, and also physically/lifestyle/where we're at in life. So for me, the Older-Guy thing dissipated once I entered my 30's.
    That's awesome. I'm glad you found someone so compatible and four years younger to boot! Once I entered my 30's (last year) I was kind of hoping my "older-guy thing" would dissipate as well. I'm still waiting on the leveling effect that my 30s are promising me.

  9. #9
    Senior Member tibby's Avatar
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    Well, yea, I can relate to that. Um. I don't really know what it is. Or has been. Age doesn't really matter to me. Emotional maturity does.

    I laughed out loud when I read the topic though... My INFJ girl friend is currently married to a guy 40 years older than her.

  10. #10
    Peaced Quay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    In my early to mid 20's I dated men older than myself - by 8 yrs, 5 yrs, and then 11 yrs. After the 11-yr one, I decided that was too much - for me, at least. haha. So I started wanting to be with someone closer to my age. This also coincided with my being close to 30 by that point, and lifestyle-wise, being 30 and dating a 40 year-old is rather different from being 23 and dating a 31 year old. [I'll be 33 this summer]

    But yes, completely relate to, especially while in my 20's, relating more to men in their 30's than guys who were my own age.

    Now, however, I'm in a relationship with someone who is not only 4 years younger than I, but someone who is also incredibly responsible and mature. He's.. We're on the same wavelength mentally, and also physically/lifestyle/where we're at in life. So for me, the Older-Guy thing dissipated once I entered my 30's.
    Exactly my story...well almost, except he's 3 years younger, and I find his energy level very refreshing..

    One caution I've discovered is that while a man may have had more time to mature by then, he has also had more time to employ poor coping mechanisms or been in relationships that have broken his sense of trust. At the same time, he has often found more attractive ways of hiding/coping with his insecurities, so they are less apparent at the beginning. Seeing a person in a variety of settings over a period of time tends to help determine what a person is really like, but it's difficult for that to be determined before you become emotionally entangled.
    Ugh so true.

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