Some of you may be familiar with India Love. She’s a BET reality TV star, an insta-famous model and she’s well-known for dating the rapper, The Game. A while ago, pictures were leaked of the Game and India, in a public park, with the rapper’s pants down her pants. In one of the photos, The Game actually looked directly at the paparazzi, with a smirk on his face and his fingers in India’s private area.
Obviously, social media trolls didn’t waste this opportunity to call India a whore and other names outside of her name. However, on seeing these photos, my heart went out to her. My heart went out to her because I and so many other women, have been in India’s position, and here is how.
At the time these pictures were revealed, India was an impressionable 18 year old girl – who just gained instagram acclaim because of her beauty – dating a 35 year old, well established rapper. On her BET reality show, she spoke briefly about the incident, stating that she was in love with someone (The Game), who went on to betray her trust. She was a young girl dating a much older man, who took advantage of the naivety that came with her young age, and thus thrust her into an unwanted situation. I know I’ve been there before.
I’ve always been quite mature and never really liked boys who were in my age group. I thought that I was mature beyond my years and therefore could only date older men, to balance the equilibrium. Plus, older guys seemed to like me, so I really thought highly of myself. In thinking I knew everything and was mature for the world, I ignored the fact that in all my maturity, I was still majorly underdeveloped in many areas, ie. Self-care and relationships. I did not realise, the damage that was being done to myself and my self-esteem by dating older men.
The truth is, older men prey on young impressionable girls. They can decipher that there is a lacuna in their lives that makes you seek the company of older men, be it an absent father or lack of attention. They can sense their vulnerability and their need to feel wanted. They can tell that they haven’t figured out how to dissociate their self worth, from how others perceive them. They can sniff out their insecurities and flaws, and often manipulatively use that as a means of control and getting them to submit. They are aware that young girls have yet to solidify their persons, and are therefore very amendable to graft. While the young girls are feeling empowered and mature, the older men are slowly working on them, their emotions, their psychological state, thus creating their personal toys out of them.
My dad always used to tell me “a mango can look ripe on the outside, but inside it is still very much unripe.”
After many years of dating older men and a whole lot of damage, I finally understood what he meant. No matter how mature I felt and looked, I was still a little girl who knew nothing about the world. On the inside, I was still very much, unripe.
I look at India Love, Kylie Jenner and other young girls dating older men, and my heart goes out to them. They have barely stepped out of their teens and are already subjecting themselves to a world they are emotionally and psychologically not ready for. It took many years for me to heal from the emotional manipulation and sometimes emotional abuse, that I had been subjected to, while in a relationship with an older man. And for that reason, I don’t recommend that young girls date older men. I do recommend that you develop as a young woman first, before embarking on such relationships. I recommend dating boys closer to your age and enjoying your youth. Don’t be the 19 year old girl dating an older known womaniser or an older man with kids and a few divorces up his sleeve. I know you think it makes you look cool and mature now, but the effects don’t wear off easily. So to young girls out there: Stay away from older men. They are a recipe for disaster.