December 6, 2012

"I'm a 21-year-old female who is becoming increasingly fearful of aging."

"Since I was 18, I've tended to date men who were in their mid-20s to 30s which I figured that was about my attraction to the intelligence and maturity that comes with age. But I'm starting to realize that a large factor in my choice of mates is that I enjoy being cherished for my youth. I'm terrified of losing what I see as my most desirable trait. I am surrounded by beautiful women who are decades older than I am. But in my mind, youth precedes even physical attractiveness when it comes to sexual desirability. This sentiment has been echoed by the men I've dated. I've started exercising and using anti-aging skin products, but is there anything I can do to ease my apprehension?"

A letter to Dear Prudence.

47 comments:

Big Mike said...

The only known alternative to growing old is dying young.

madAsHell said...

Name and address withheld by request.

Seeing Red said...

Please don't breed, you'll get stretch marks.

Darrell said...

We didn't like you young, either.

Now grow up and call us when you're done.

Shouting Thomas said...

A subject covered in putrid detail by the pick up artist site, Heartiste, formerly known as Roissy in DC!

Yes, a woman's "market value" in the dating scene is calculated by some formula of beauty, youth and other indications of ability to produce healthy offspring!

Imagine that! Nature should be illegal!

Heartiste has some great suggestions lately about how to analyze the electorate, and push them toward the Republican Party, by employing the tactics of the pick up artist! How to manipulate the legions of Julias?

MadisonMan said...

I read Dear Prudence and enjoy it. Man, she gets some wacko letters.

Kit said...

Oh, honey - let go of this idea or be dragged.

Michael Haz said...

I can't identify with the woman who wrote that letter to Dear Prudence. She is ten years younger than my youngest daughter, and in any event, far younger than me.

While I don't fret about my looks (wouldn't do any good if I did) I still have enough of an ego to want to look as good as I can for my wife, and because I am of an age where age becomes a subtle issue in the workplace.

So I understand the letter writer in some regard, I think.

I also understand the feeling of looking in the mirror every morning and having my (seemingly) thirty-five year old brain see my sixty year old face and wonder what the hell happened.

This answer won't do the letter writer any good because she's trying to cash in on being youthful: Accept yourself for who you are and what you are, and fall in love with someone who does the same. Your life is far more likely to be happy that way than any way else.

Patrick said...

The response to a person who is afraid they are desirable for their youth an beauty alone is quite easy: Make yourself appear less attractive. That way you will force yourself to develop other, lasting qualities, and you will weed out those interested only in superficial qualities.

That is what I did, although I candidly admit the "make yourself appear less attractive" part pretty much came uh...naturally.

lemondog said...

...but is there anything I can do to ease my apprehension?"

Yes, rather than internal obsessing, focus on the world beyond yourself. Put your life in motion before 50 years passes and you look back wondering where it all went.

Shouting Thomas said...

Heartiste would call this young woman's letter a "shit test."

I suggest reading the PUA (pick up artist) site for a full understanding of this term.

Peter said...

Guys in their 20s are competing with guys in their 20s, 30s, sometimes even 40s for women their own age. It's tough to stand out.

But it mostly gets easier for guys as they get older. And much, much harder (relative to how things were when they were still under 30) for women.

It ain't fair. There aughta be a law (to repeal nature).

Or something.

chickelit said...

The most beautiful youthfulness is the youth of the mind when one is no longer young. ~Paul Léautaud

TMink said...

What a wonderful juxtaposition of this internally impoverished young lady with the equally impoverished pick up community. She understands their mentality and what about her they value, but thinks that is the only value system men have.

Sad, but beautifully coherent.

Trey

smarty said...

She is smart in a way, marry an older man and he will always appreciate your youth, you will usually compare favorably to his friend's wives, and you would probably be less likely to be a mid-life casualty, because what is he going to do, trade you for a teenager?

Jay said...

Since I was 18, I've tended to date men who were in their mid-20s to 30s

Who in their 30's is interested in an 18 or 19 year old girl?

Bryan C said...

There's always bathing in the still-warm blood of beautiful female virgins. Liz Bathory was on Letterman the other day and she looks great.

Renee said...

She should take the advice, why waste youth on older men.

My husband and I are the same age, we're getting ugly together.

And yes natural beauty goes down hill after 23 or so...

Pogo said...

This how Logan's Run got started.

sydney said...

She has an awful long road ahead of her if she's worried about aging at 21.

DADvocate said...

I've had the same problem for the past 40 years.

Pretty soon, this young lady will be old and worn out. Her skin will dry and wrinkled. She will crackle when she walks.

Mitchell the Bat said...

To a 21-year-old female, who is becoming increasingly fearful of aging, my advice would be, starting today, starting this very minute, make it your life's duty to fuck as many guys as you possibly can.

Pogo said...

I understand formaldehyde is a pretty good preservative.

EDH said...

Lately I've noticed more young men try to flaunt their youth in anger as a sword as much as a shield, especially in mixed company.

Maybe it's become noticeable only because I'm getting older myself, but maybe it's because for so many young people today, especially for young men, all they really have to offer a young nubile is their own youth and feel at a disadvantage otherwise.

Seeing Red said...

ohhh, puffing their feathers?

No job, massive debt, living in the basement and they voted for it.

Ann Althouse said...

There's an amazing paradox here, which is that the one who possesses youth is terrorized by age, while the person who actually possesses advanced age is probably adapted to it and feeling fine.

The young person is both free of and burdened by age.

ricpic said...

Womens' attractiveness drops off markedly as they leave their early to mid-twenties behind for the simple reason that they are far more likely to reproduce healthily (far fewer birth defects) in those years. That's what nature cares about, not the anguish of the individual as she loses sexual marketplace value.

Pogo said...

I see many patients who continue to fear aging at all stages of life.

If they could, they would obtain a PET scan once per moth to rule out cancer.

Aging is dying, slowly. I see my deterioration even now. But it's like worrying about the weather.

Jaske said...

She's a future Edina Monsoon.

Darrell said...

The truly beautiful women reach maximum beauty in their late-30s or thereabouts.

Sorun said...

I had much more aging angst in my twenties than in later decades. A part of maturity is accepting maturity.

Tim said...

Obama voter.

Shallow, stupid, vain.

Not correctable.

Her life will careen from one wreck to another.

Smart men will avoid her.

cubanbob said...

The French have a theory that a man should marry a woman half his age plus seven years. In this woman's case she should a thirty five year old guy. She will always be as young as he could hope to find.

Darrell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wisco Gal said...

wow girly....stop feeding your vanity and start feeding your soul! Stop watching TV and reading crap...start reading novels and philosophy. Feed your mind and feel sexy. Get over yourself!

Darrell said...

CBob,

She's 21. So with your premise, 28/2+7=21(her age) The answer is a 28 yo guy. A 35yo needs a 35/2+7=24yo woman.

chrisnavin.com said...

Hey Darrell, can you lay off the formulas? They're hurting my self-esteem.

edutcher said...

A woman isn't worth knowing until she's past 40.

smarty said...

She is smart in a way, marry an older man and he will always appreciate your youth, you will usually compare favorably to his friend's wives, and you would probably be less likely to be a mid-life casualty, because what is he going to do, trade you for a teenager?

It certainly worked for the wives of Kit Carson and Peter Paul Rubens.

mccullough said...

Fear of death. Get over it.

fivewheels said...

How absolutely shocking that after reading a letter from a stupid, shallow, neurotic girl with bad judgment, Prudie found a way to blame men for her problems.

mojavehicular said...

I think Grace Kelly was most beautiful when she was around 50. I realize she was exceptional, but still . . .

ambienisevil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

With wisdom comes peace-of-mind. Some people enjoy this when they are young; while others enjoy it later; and others yet suffer until their mortal end.

Col Mustard said...

I think a lot of people are missing the woman's point. She's not equating youth with physical perfection. She even concedes many older women are more beautiful.

She's all about youth for youth's sake, alone. I believe she's largely correct.

Very young women bring a lot more than beauty to a relationship with an older man. There's energy, spontaneity, optimism, discovery and the fact she's not yet acting like she knows every fucking thing in the world.





Col Mustard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paco Wové said...

EDH, if you're still around, could you please explain what

"young men try to flaunt their youth in anger"

means? I've been trying to parse it out, and it just isn't working. Thks.

Kirk Parker said...

Col Mustard,

"... the fact she's not yet acting like she knows every fucking thing in the world."

I see you haven't known many 21-year-olds...