I have just discovered Blokely. An online magazine, it contains various stuff within its pages, all aimed - unsurprisingly, given its name - at the boys.
Obviously, I’m not entirely what they’re after in terms of target audience, but for me that’s what makes it a good read. Just as I’m sure Murray watches endless tapes of Federer’s moves before a match, I find it fascinating to get into the mind of if not the enemy, then at least the sparring partner.
A recent Blokely piece gave men all sorts of useful hints and tips for those chaps out there who’ve taken it upon themselves to date a gal much younger than they. Given that it’s an arena in which I have some (not oodles, before anyone says it, but some) experience, I read the piece with interest.
Generally, I had some sympathy with most of the things on the list: for example, “Accept that you aren’t going to match up to the 22yr old rugby playing stud she used to date… make the most of the experience that is on your side.” Fair play, and a good shout.
Of course, it’s a piece clearly written for the boys by the boys so, in the spirit of sharing any wisdom in the hope that it might make life for someone, somewhere, just a fraction easier, I thought I’d add my short guide to dating a younger model – from the other side of the lines.
1. She’s not necessarily with you for your money. Paying for absolutely everything will make her feel like she’s dating her dad. By all means, treat her to dinner at Claridge’s, but when you grab late Sunday morning coffee, let her pick up the tab.
2. Sure, introduce her to your friends, but do some prep work beforehand: do ask them to keep their glares of unbridled jealousy under wraps. It’s not her fault that they have to be back for bathtime whilst you’re still plotting which bars tonight holds.
3. There’s an age gap. You know it, she knows it. Leave it at that. Don’t reinforce the issue by dismissing all her pop culture references with unfavourable comparisons to how things were when you were young. It doesn’t make you look older and wiser. It makes you look patronising and ancient. Ditto any pair of trainers you think makes you look cool.
4. Act your age. An awful lot of behaviour befitting a twentysomething doesn’t flatter most twentysomethings. It definitely won’t flatter you. You won’t look young and carefree. You’ll look pathetic.
5. If you’ve still not learnt to cook, and your fridge holds only booze, San Pellegrino and chocolate, don’t advertise it. See 4.
6. Don’t expect to meet the parents. Don’t even ask to. Daddy’s Little Girl has enough trouble introducing boys to her father. Inducing parental strokes isn’t something she wants to be held responsible for.
7. Don’t perve on her friends. Even when you think she can’t see you. Especially when you think she can’t see you. She can.
8. She knows the shelf life on the relationship is limited, and it hits its sell-by date with the advent of the first tiny crow’s foot. Do her a favour: don’t be brutal, and don’t flaunt the new model too widely. After all, she’s going to trade up to someone with more hair, a deeper wallet and a larger penis. And you wouldn’t want that advertised, would you?