Several years ago I had five younger men ask my age, all in the same week. Three were direct questions that seemingly came out of nowhere, as they approached me on the street. The other two, occurred in my gym. All five men used it as their opening line, fused with flirtation and curiosity. And to all of them, I told my exact age. It’s nothing I can hide. It’s all over the Internet, as well as numerous newspapers and magazines. However, by the end of this particular week, I was losing my patience. Why? Because I knew they were only window shopping.

“Window Shopping” is a term I use to describe a younger man who’s “just looking.” How can one tell immediately? It’s the first question out of his mouth. In rare cases, it’s the second question which quickly follows, “Wow. You look great.” There’s a different mentality at work when window shopping. Driven by curiosity rather than hopeful acquisition, the question is asked only as a point of reference. The item— whether a car, piece of jewelry, or outfit, is visibly beyond the askers normal choice selection. It’s a specialty piece… not needed, but desired.

Without fail, every young man who became my boyfriend NEVER asked my age. They knew I was older. They didn’t care. They didn’t need to know. Age didn’t matter. They were buyers. If a man needs to know, age matters. When you meet a window shopper, understand the perspective. It’s not an insult. Actually, it’s a compliment. You’re a luxury item; tantalizing and greatly desired, but way outside his budget.