The fictional May-December tryst firing up the internet: Angel Aquino and Tony Labrusca in Glorious.
Culture Spotlight

Younger men vs. older men: what I learned from dating cubs and foxes

Age is less than a number, writes Celine Lopez, turning the old adage on its head to mean, perhaps, that one should always feel younger than the candles on her birthday cake. Or made to feel younger by the person she’s with.
Celine Lopez | Nov 16 2018

I like anything old. I buy clothes in vintage stores. I collect antiques. I listen to loads of Sinatra. I sure like my older men.

It’s my lolo issues. My grandfather Fernando raised me to become the train wreck that I am today. I still haven’t found a person who loved me the way he did. We would eat dinner holding hands while staring at each other. He cleared every Monday for a decade so we could go to both McDonald’s and Jollibee.  He devoted all his time to making sure I grew up being a woman for whom nothing was good enough. He basically ruined men for me.

In college I dated my first older man. I was 19 and he was 34. Everyone wanted to date him and for a short moment he was mine. It was so hot. Of course I told him I was 21 to avert any creepy feelings on his side. When it came to booze and men I had no qualms about lying about my age.

It was then followed by a string of men who were at minimum eight years older than I was. Sometime in my mid-20s I started dating a guy my age. It was fun and we stayed together for four years or so. It was lovely. It was pleasant. Of course, I wasn’t lovely nor pleasant after. I loved being with a man I could learn from. A man with whom I could listen to Sinatra. A man who was more than pleasant and lovely.

It was the endless search for Fernando 2.0.

When I moved to Europe, I found myself one chilly night at The Palace in Gstaad with some friends. I was a freelance writer and absolutely had no business being there sipping 40 euro cocktails. Then I started hearing house music. I went inside GreenGo, The Palace’s club, to check out the promising situation. It was the Le Rosey alumni party in full swing. Le Rosey is one of the most exclusive boarding schools in the world. It’s not really known for its superiority in academics, but rather for its impressive line-up of students who mostly became socialites, dubious royalty and club owners. The best part: An open bar! Goodbye 40 euro drinks, hello insanity.

After a few hours I’d lost my friends and found myself in the company of a handsome stranger. We talked all night and at the end of the evening, we kissed. In mid-kiss I suddenly had a panic attack.

“Are you a student or teacher?”

Please be a teacher, please be a teacher.

“I was a student.”

Whew.

“I just graduated.”

Sh*t.

And just like that, I became Mrs. Robinson.

The most surprising thing about this was that in the following days we actually got along. He showed me Gstaad through his youthful eyes and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. We moved our little thing to London where we were both based. We spent time in his place and everything about this fling was shiny and new. One day he went out for an errand and when he came back he gave me a big hug. “You’re wonderful,” he said “Most of the girls I spend time with here at home usually steal food when I’m away.”

And the other shoe dropped.

The entire house was clothed in cameras. This was an actual issue for him, raiding the refrigerator. He still dated girls who stole food.

Younger men and their dorm room habits are simply just not for me.  Older men had moves. They knew what to do. They knew what to say. It wasn’t original for sure, but at least it never made me feel like a potential cookie thief. It was a sweet goodbye with the cub, but that was my one and only whirl with a younger man. I never found innocence and naiveté intriguing. 

Older men were world-weary, jaded, suave and a tad bit controlling. Most of all they could spare a cookie. A personality profile salad which I found intoxicating and sexy. Then of course you get those double takes from strangers: Are they of the same DNA or do they just share a bed? It gives even the busiest of strangers a moment to think about what they just saw. That’s the thing with May- December romances, it’s interesting and slightly uncomfortable.

The movie that every person is talking about is Glorious. Headlined by Angel Aquino and Tony Labrusca, the movie is about a 50 year-old woman having an affair with a much younger man.

In two minutes I noted three things:

  1. Angel Aquino looks like she’s 30 not 50. Seeing the pair together onscreen seemed normal. If anything the dude was lucky. There was no ick but hot factor like in Call Me By Your Name. So that completely defeated any groundbreaking effort the movie tried to accomplish.
  2. It plays on clichés. The girl’s tita friends chatting about the cub, the guy feeling inadequate and the woman feeling insecure. What really froze my brain was the pottery scene. Really?
  3. That kiss. That kiss that led millions, yes millions, to You Tube to watch the trailer. From what I can gather is that he looked like he was either giving her a facial or flossing her teeth with his tongue. Big bloody deal.

I’m certainly hoping I’m mistaken from what I saw on the trailer and I’m looking forward to a refreshing and original story.

From what I could gather, the film explores the inconvenience of a May-December romance. It also shows the rewards of being in such an affair. The grounding effect an older person can have on a flippant cub. The levity the cub gives to the world-weary cougar.

In the end, age is really less than a number. I’ll be turning 40 next year. As my friend pointed out: I’ll finally be the silver fox in the room. When I was younger, I thought being 40 was being a dinosaur. As I make that turn into mid-life single, childless and still watching Riverdale while missing the real Archie comics—I’ve never felt more like a kid in my life.

I’m more stupid now than I was at 21. Anyone worth dating is basically younger, since older men now mean stents and Viagra. As I’m suddenly becoming the older party, it doesn’t affect anything. I’m still having the time of my life. Game changed. Roles reversed.