I’m Not a Cub, Not Yet a Daddy- Being Somewhere in the Middle

Credit: Ronê Ferreira/Pexels

I think gay men hit some type of wall in their lives that make them reexamine their past and essentially how they want to move forward with the next big step.  

This particular step for me lately is that I’m in my early 30’s and single at the moment. When it comes to terms and self-identification in the bear community, generally two big ones are “cub”, which is described as a younger type of bear, and “daddy”, which is designed for someone that is older. 

Yes, both can be a frame of mind, meaning not just your chronological age, but with that taken out, what happens when you’re trying to navigate the dating world being somewhere in the middle of a cub and a daddy? 

I’ve noticed that there are a great amount of positives when you are in the middle section of the age range in the dating world.  If you are open to dating younger or older, the midpoint to which you are at can generally check off many more dating boxes as opposed to when you were in your early 20’s and can only go upwards.  

You also start to realize that dating someone in their early 20’s has its benefits of them being energetic, full of life, green and a naive aspect that can be cute yet startling when you are aware that they haven’t gone through a lot of life experiences that you have.  

It’s very hard, however, to find someone that age with a great amount of maturity and focus when it comes to long-term dating and not just an FWB kind of deal. There’s also the financial aspect in things, which can get tricky when you reach a certain age and have established yourself in this area and they haven’t. You’re kind of expected to foot the bill each time you go out, unless you’re lucky enough to find someone who can pay their half anytime you’re at a bar or restaurant. 

I am someone, for the most part, who has always been into older men since my college days many years ago. I’m not sure if it was the guys that I would see on television (Chris Meloni, I’m looking at you here), but there was a physical aspect to them that I always enjoyed. When the dating part came in, I noticed that these guys had a ton of life experiences, were able to hold conversations that didn’t revolve around silly gossip and mindless chitchat, and had a very relaxed vibe about them.

I do wonder, however, if I’ll be more prone to dating men in their 20’s when I’m past this middle point or will I pick someone my own age with similar life experiences. 

Dating someone younger when we’re that much older raises issues for some of us. A good friend of mine, who recently turned 50, was interested in someone twenty years younger than him. His thought process about dating someone with that large of an age gap read as “If we are together for 15 years, and break up, then I’m 65 and he’s only 45, where does that lead me when it comes to finding a life partner at that age?”

You can also avoid the older/younger thing and get to a point where a guy around your age range really works. Many relationships I know in the gay community are two people who are only a handful of years apart and seem to have similar life goals achieved already. 

In some sense, the men you grew up with and avoided at at earlier age can actually work out for you now as their maturity (for most) has set in and you realize just how much you have in common with each other. 

Years ago, this whole midpoint aspect was something that i never really thought about but now that I’m in my mid 30’s it’s something that I have to really evaluate as my social networking pages have become overwhelmingly with “engaged/married/kids/moving in” type posts every single day.  

You may think this sort of a thing only affects women who are really wanting to get married, but it has just as much an effect on the single gay man who yearns for that type of relationship with just the right person.

Question is, with everything that has been said, is age really a factor when you are at this stage in your life? What has been your experience in this? Let us know below.


This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.

1 thought on “I’m Not a Cub, Not Yet a Daddy- Being Somewhere in the Middle”

  1. From the time I came out until the present day, I have ALWAYS been more attracted to “daddy” types. Now that I’m more the age of a “grandpa”, I still prefer men from their 40s to 60s. WHY? I enjoy the maturity of fully grown men. Being a bit thicker, grayer, and hairier indicates a man with experience in the bedroom that a younger man lacks. I don’t give a crap about abs or body-shaving (yuck)! I want a man who knows the secret pleasure zones of the adult male body.

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