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"Now that I'm 31, I realize that I just liked WOMEN.
My current girlfriend is four years older than me, but I definitely see her as my equal.
When I was younger, I saw the girls (and the guys, for that matter) my age to be kids, which I was too.
Moreover, there's the human factor; it's much easier to reject someone arbitrarily than it is to make an exception.with anticipation; who encourage me to be a bit of a mush about Valentine's Day and , much to my surprise; who don't blink twice at comparing natal astrology charts; who inspire me to take classes and write more and wear red lipstick because it looks good on me.Some are delightful surprises because sometimes it's about being at the right place at the right time when you're the right age. There has been no shortage of men under 39 sending me messages and little "likes" through the ether.And while they're not all necessarily piquing my interest, they're also not the horrible fuckboys whose janky messages and blurry cock shots you see screenshotted on Tumblr and Instagram.Those exceptions take effort, and online dating is like Amazon Prime for sex.(And love, ideally.) If it weren't for the algorithms, I could meet all of these people IRL and they wouldn't know I was 40 unless I showed them my birth certificate — ah, the very idea made me irate.Dating in my twenties and thirties made me feel like Odysseus, trying to choose between dashing myself on the ego-bruising rocks of casual romps or a slow death from unrequited lust for garbage humans.There was the ex who brutally dumped me but wouldn't stop emailing me for months, whose presence at dorky work gatherings made me dizzy; the sociopathic film critic whose shoulder I virtually cried on; the go-nowhere first dates; and the great, wide swaths of time spent single, usually pining after some unavailable director or writer who'd relish my attention and nothing else. There were a few things that sent me into a panic about turning 40, but the biggest — looming larger than the golden ring of a book deal or a staff job or, like, finally going back to yoga — was what it meant for me to still be single and actively looking for a partner at that age. If you're not familiar with the exciting world of online dating, sites and apps let you set search parameters that range from location to body type to education and, yes, age range.(You might recognize him from being quoted at length in s "Tinder and the Dawn of the 'Dating Apocalypse'" story, which makes him an expert of sorts).Michael also prefers older women though I assume he wouldn't kick a younger woman out of his bed for eating crackers."Since I was about 17, I've always found something alluring about 'older' women," he wrote me.