Woe Is Me! “My Friends Won’t Stop Mocking Me For Dating Younger Men”
Woe Is Me! is a series in which The Swaddle team indulges your pity party with advice you’ll probably ignore.
“I prefer dating younger men — mostly a few years younger than me. This is because we just get along better, and I’m quite happy with sticking to my choice. However, my choice comes with its share of crude jokes from friends, which I hate. I don’t want to be called someone’s ‘mommy’ because they’re younger than I am. Plus, the friends who make these jokes simply aren’t close enough to merit a conversation or explanation from my end. How do I shut this behavior down?”
— Not His Mommy
RD: You seem pretty confident and comfortable with your choice in men. Usually, when I’m faced with people making fun of my choices and I know they’re 100% wrong or out of place, I prepare a killer monologue, practice in front of the mirror and try out different types of scathing deliveries. If and when you do stand up to your “friends,” I’m sure they will make fun of you for being defensive — sorry, they kind of seem like the asshole type. So I suggest preparing an air-tight elevator pitch-esque defense and a condescending delivery every time you’re faced with their jokes. Oh, or if you don’t mind falling to their level, you can also take one aspect of their dating lives and murder them with words. Or if you want to take the high ground, I suggest ghosting on them frequently. You can do with better friends, to be honest.
SM: I hate these ‘friends’ so much. Ughhh!!! I don’t know if this is helpful, but I am ranting on your behalf. This is so so annoying, and also super sexist, because men date younger women ALL THE TIME, and people rarely make ‘daddy’ jokes. I can’t believe that people will make mommy jokes, even for someone who’s only 24 (though making these jokes is annoying and unacceptable for women of all ages)! I completely agree with Rajvi’s suggestion, and I’d take that a notch further to make weird mommy jokes that make them extremely uncomfortable, like ‘yeah, he’s into suckling.’ I think you need to deliver some life-altering zingers to these truly awful friends, before moving away. The only way to shut this down is to shut them out. You yourself said that they aren’t close enough to merit a conversation. That tells me that they’re not worth so much headspace either. Sending you lots of love, and good juju to keep away bad friends.
ADT: Everyone thinks younger men are dumb until they actually hang out with younger men — the few I’ve gone on dates with have always been sweet, considerate and intelligent! I think you’ve also felt the same and that’s amazing! I’m glad you’re the sort to know what you like and have it! As for your friends, honestly, I wouldn’t try too hard — a mixture of ‘lol, whatever loser’ or ‘oh, honey, how backward of you’ mixed in with plenty of ghosting whenever you can. Who cares to make time for such boring people anyway?
LG: First, I agree with everyone else — your broader circle of friends sounds 100% awful; try some new ones on. But I’m going to ask the same question I’d ask Leo DiCaprio, given the chance: Why is it you get along better with partners who are younger than you? It makes me wonder what power dynamics are at play — does it mean they challenge you less? Or have fewer needs within the relationship? Or do you really just have more in common with younger people? There’s no right or wrong answer, of course. But as with any dating preference, it might be worth introspecting a little about what drives it — because that ultimately reveals what you’re looking for in a partner and a relationship. Regardless, date whomever you choose! And consider a friends’ trip to Delhi where coronavirus might help to naturally cull the ranks of your so-called friends. (‘Accidentally’ push them in the way of anyone who coughs. Oops. Oh, you don’t feel well? Who wants a mommy now, asshat!)