Article by Maya Vukovska

Have you ever had a boyfriend 20, 25 оr even 30 years younger than you? Because I have. Оur friends used to jokingly call us “Mr. and Mrs. Macron”. What I remember from the time of our not-so-brief romance is that it was as much fun as it was hard work. Because age-gap relationships always come with pitfalls, downfalls, and all other types of falls one has to be prepared for. For one thing, when you are with him you forget your actual age, ergo your age limitations and that is never practical. Plus, you know things from books that he needs to check online, which irritates you and provokes you to call him stupid. And the music he listens to… it’s just shit!

If you are not seeing your younger boyfriend as a toy boy, and you really care about him, there are ways to bridge the age gap and make the relationship work.

Don’t let him feel intimidated by where you are in life

They say that age doesn’t matter when it comes to loving somebody, but age DOES matter in terms of power. It’s essential to make your 20-something-year-old boyfriend, who’s at the beginning of his life path, realize that you don’t have to share the same level of success and life accomplishments to be equal in this relationship. Couples, where the younger partner feels intimidated by the older one sooner or later, will fall into the “You’re not my dad” trap.

And with that being said…

Make sure he is not looking for dad 2.0
He may be saying that you’re the best boyfriend ever, but subconsciously (or not!), he sees you as a surrogate daddy. Or mommy, which is even worse. How to tell? Here are some signs:

His place is always a mess

He expects you to cook because the only thing he can prepare himself is microwave Chinese food
He constantly asks you to help him with things he’s perfectly capable to do himself.

If you’ve checked all the above boxes… well, I have bad news for you. You’ve got yourself a kid sucking on your tit - and I mean not in an erotic way.

Behave in a manner consistent with his level of comfort

Sure, he’s got a TikTok account. Sure, he listens to Kanye West, Billie Eilish, Playboi Carti, and many more artists you haven’t even heard about. And sure, he, like most of his peers, “is looking for truth and authenticity”, “avoids labels”, and “wants to save the planet from the bad corporations”. I'm not saying that you have to copy your young BF's behavior to get on better terms with him but it won’t harm you if you at least try to see the world through his eyes. The communication will get better, and you won’t feel awkward every time you go to a club and they play Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift instead of Cher and Gloria Gaynor.
And oh, I almost forgot - call him only if you’re dying or the house’s on fire! Statistics show that men in their thirties and younger have a higher inclination to texting vs. calling.

The Campsite Rule

Dan Savage, the popular gay sex columnist, has a very practical approach to age-gap relationships. He thinks that dating much younger men is OK… as long as the older partner leaves the younger one in a better shape than he found him. He calls it “The Campsite Rule”. The porn industry has done considerable damage to this type of relationship by portraying the older partner, the mythological father figure, as a predator who’s constantly on the hunt for a young piece of ass. That’s the reason why so many young gay men continue to view romances with 45+ men with suspicion. То dump that suspicion and gain his trust, just remember to stick to the Savage’s campsite rule.

Let me wrap it up by citing one of the first gay rights campaigners ever, Oscar Wilde, on the type of partnership in question: "There is nothing unnatural about it. It is intellectual, and it repeatedly exists between an elder and a younger man, when the elder man has intellect, and the younger man has all the joy, hope, and glamour of life before him. That it should be so, the world does not understand.”