What? Yes, yes this is in fact an article in response to a post Jane wrote almost five months ago, and yes I know it’s a bit, as they say, late in the game. At the moment, any new topic I try to write about inevitably takes form as a sad unfinished draft in the back-end of this site  because I’m currently experiencing some weird combination of writer’s block and sudden on-set crippling writer’s insecurity (it’s kind of like restless leg syndrome of the mind, except Pfizer hasn’t made some bullshit pill for it yet). Also, fuck you who asked you. That being said, I’d like to now discuss why I love younger men.

Despite the fact that so far, of the several I’ve experienced, no dalliance (I said “dalliance” because I was born in the 1800s) with a man younger than me has actually worked out in any healthy or meaningful way, I still adore them. Why? Yes, because I’m a glutton for pain and yes, because subconsciously I’m probably not actually ready for a real relationship but ALSO because of other actually good reasons that I feel compelled to list here and also to wave in Jane’s face as she gloats from her throne of relationship security with her wonderful, committed, respectful older man (to be fair, Jane never really gloats about this, that bit is pretty much 100% in my head).

Now I’m not sure what the median age of the fourteen or so of you who read this site is, but if any of you are hovering somewhere around 30, you may be familiar with something that I’ve taken to calling a third-life crisis (as in 1/3, not as in your third time living or a newer version of the online virtual reality game). This phenomenon is something that I have witnessed occurring in a few thirty-somethings, especially those of us who spent the better chunk of our lives dutifully doing all of the SUPPOSED-TOs and SHOULD-DOs and following life as if it were a Candyland path with the assurance that THINGS WOULD ALL FALL INTO PLACE. But then one day, after the good grades and National Honor Society and college and maybe even grad school (and yes, sure some drugs and booze and bad decisions peppered in between, we’re not robots we’re over-achievers okay?), we looked around and realized that in fact, we were sold a lemon of a dream. One day, sitting at our desks at our soul-less jobs (complete with health AND dental insurance), after the third round of frustration-crying in the bathroom, and well after the third or fourth failed relationship (with older men, even), we broke. This was not the deal. We did ALL OF THE THINGS, and this fairly miserable existence built on the demands of other people (parents, teachers, society in general, et al) was what we got in return. (I’m using “we” here both because I have delusions of grandeur and also because it feels safer to pretend that others share my feelings, though judging by the ongoing existence of Kumon, I am most likely not alone).

What does this have to do with younger men? A lot (I’m getting there, okay?). Because after this break-down, after all the domestic dreams have been washed from your tired eyes (by the way, you should start using eye-cream now), after you realize you were weak to listen dutifully to whoever it was you listened to and to aim to please whoever it was you wanted to please, you now want to rise up and take back some of your misspent youth. You want to buck responsibility, damn the man, tell everyone to fuck off and die, and so on and so forth. If you are me, you will quit your awful job, you will start ignoring your parents’ phone calls, you will lay on the floor a lot, and you will probably start ending up in social occasions that are filled with lots of men younger than you. To be fair, this is not entirely an age thing. I use the term “younger men” here interchangeably with “less responsible men” and “less stable men” and sometimes “complete fucking messes”. Bonus points if they are some sort of artist, especially if your break-down is of the “I will never be creatively fulfilled because I sold my aspirations for a 401k” variety. These men are great for what I like to call “the year of magical recklessness”. Here’s why:

1) STUFF IN COMMON: They’re usually broke, directionless, and drunk, and in no position to be in any sort of committed relationship, but guess what! You are currently also all of these things! Twins!

2) NO JUDGEMENT: These men will not judge you if you sleep in until noon every day. They can’t, because they are still asleep then, and even when they finally wake up around 2pm, they still don’t give a fuck.

3) LAYING IN BED ALL DAY: Speaking of sleeping in, what is better than laying in bed with an attractive person you like, alternately cuddling and talking about life and fucking and napping all day? Nothing, that’s what, but you don’t know this because you were always busy doing stuff like studying and interning and stressing out about the next twenty years of your life to find out.

4) THEY’RE PRETTY FUN, AKA THE MOVIE MOMENTS THING: Younger guys are funner than older guys. They’re still down to do weird psychedelic drugs and have accidental adventures than end you up in hotels in San Francisco that look like they were designed by Tim Burton where the rooms are covered with the text from Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and you’re so fucked up you can hardly take it because are you serious and so you just laugh and laugh and laugh until you cry then make-out listening to Bjork, and other things that pretty much only happen in movies.

5) THEY DO WHAT THEY WANT ALMOST ALL OF THE TIME: Remember doing what you want? No, what YOU want, what you actually want not what your parents or your friends or the government or the law (tread lightly here) wants? These dudes are selfish and probably have no interest in compromising or answering to anyone, which is a pretty shitty quality in a boyfriend but a great quality for you to learn from.

If you’re thinking “Well, you have five short points but Jane had five long, GOOD points, so clearly you lose this argument”, then I should rethink my decision to ever again call myself a writer with a straight face, because while you’re right, you’ve also missed the point (or maybe I’ve yet to make it, bear with me). There are obviously innumerable downsides to dating younger/unstable men, not least of which being that when you emerge out the other end of your third-life crisis, you may have made the mistake of falling in love with one of them, and you will have to walk away (see point #1). But if you are very lucky, one of these men, an unemployed painter or a retail-working philosopher or a wayward musician, will have shaken you. You will have seen yourself through their eyes, and you will remember the buried yearnings you put aside a long time ago, the ones that were smothered by the SUPPOSED-TOs and the SHOULD-DOs, and you will unearth them, and slowly bring them back to life. You will start to learn what you actually want, and to want these things because YOU want them, without the manipulation and coloring of a thousand other voices. So you will come out of this period with a little less healthy liver tissue, and a bit of a broken heart, but you will also come out inspired and changed and at least 20% more yourself (and if you’re smart, Honor Roll, STD-free because you used condoms).

So if you’re reading this at your desk at your thankless job that you’re minutes away from quitting to throw your middle fingers up at the world, I suggest finding yourself a fucked up younger dude as soon as possible. You can thank me later (when you finally get up off the floor).


Yasi Salek

About Yasi Salek

likes parentheses.