Older Women Discuss How People Treat Them Differently Now

Sarah Kester
Grace and Frankie looking upset
Town & Country | Netflix

There are pros and cons to getting older. On one hand, you might get treated with more respect and have lots of experience under your belt. 

But on the other, you may have a hard time with aging and losing your youthful appearance. If anyone knows the ins and outs of this, it’s the older women of the world

Here, they discuss the different ways people treat them now versus when they were younger. 

People take them more seriously as a professional

Woman typing on laptop
Unsplash | LinkedIn Sales Solutions

Being a young professional in your career isn't easy. When this Redditor was in their 20s, they had arts organizations contract them for their expertise only to disregard her advice and micromanage her work.

How many guys chase after girls under 18

Reese Witherspoon sighing

"It’s crazy. I was far, far better looking at 25 than I was at 18, much less 15. Catcalling nearly entirely stopped by then. It was constant when I was a teenager. I was an ugly teenager who looked even younger than I was. Attention from men in public is rarely about a woman or girl’s beauty."- u/TerribleAttitude

People treat them with more manners and respect

Older woman smiling
Unsplash | Artem Beliaikin

This is definitely a good perk, one that aligns with "respect your elders." But since respect goes both ways, it's important for older people to also be kind to those younger than them.

They became "invisible"

Grace and Frankie hiding
Town & Country | Netflix

"I used to get a lot of attention when I was younger for my looks. When I hit 50 it seems as if I became invisible overnight. It showed me that true beauty is what is inside, not what is on the outside. The internal stuff is so much worthier of cultivation." - u/puppylove1212

People take them more seriously as a mom

Mom sitting with her two kids
Unsplash | Alexander Dummer

When this Redditor was 24 and married with two kids, she found that people treated her like a dumb, young mom.

They would even ask if her husband is actually the dad of her kids. Now as an older woman, people take her more seriously.

That it's harder for men to accept just being friends

Man and woman hugging
Unsplash | Anthony Tran

"As a kid and even a teen it was easy to hang out with a group of different genders, now about half the time when I meet a guy they automatically go into talking-to-a-girl mode, and don't approach an interaction as first an opportunity to make a friend." - u/TraditionalAd3306

That older adults have no filter

Older woman covering ears
Unsplash | William Krause

When you're a kid, it's highly inappropriate for an older family member to discuss adult things, such as their relationships, sex lives, and watching crude shows and movies. But as an adult? One Redditor said that relatives no longer have the same filter.

That it's easier to make friends

Rachel and Phoebe hugging
Giphy | Friends

"I think what I learned was to have more confidence in the power of just being me. When I was younger I was so shy and self conscious. Now that I’m more concerned with my flawed humanity and the importance of helping others feel good life is a blast." - u/Ok_Tadpole7850

That pain isn't always taken seriously

Older woman in pain
Unsplash | Kat J

Since aches and pains are more common as you get older, some doctors or physical therapists may not take them as seriously.

That's what happened to one Redditor who was brushed off when they went to get their upper back pain checked out.

That their age surprises people

Woman saying she's young
Giphy | SAG Awards

"When I was under 18, people got surprised when I told them my age, because they thought I was older. Now I'm over 30, and people get surprised when I tell them my age, because they think I'm younger." - u/Full-Ordinary-5068

That they lose more people around them

Graveyard cross
Unsplash | Fey Marin

Death becomes more looming as you get older. One Redditor said that it's pretty rare that they go a few months without family, friends, or their parents either being diagnosed with cancer, dying, or moving into assisted living.

They're better at setting boundaries

Man setting boundaries
Giphy | New Girl

"People treat me differently because I’m better at enforcing boundaries and not let people push me to do things I’m uncomfortable with. I used to be kind of a pushover but now. When I say no, I’m only saying it once and I mean it." - u/cyclequeen35

That you may struggle with looking older

Jamie Lee Curtis questioning her appearance

Part of getting older is losing your youth. This caused one Redditor to feel ugly and not recognize themself. So when a man stopped her in a grocery store and said that they were beautiful, they almost cried.

They get treated better by repairmen

Repairman smiling
Unsplash | David Siglin

"I’m in my sixties and while to the public at large I’m invisible, I’m finding I’m having much better luck with contractors/ repairmen. They are now so much more helpful and solicitous. I guess I make them think of their mother or grandma. I’ll take it." - u/lindenlady

They find themselves more attractive

Older woman smiling
Unsplash | Edward Cisneros

While some people feel invisible as they age, others feel as though they've become more attractive through age. One Redditor thinks this has to do with them being more confident and ongoing as they get older.

Some men won't date women their age

Older woman and older man trying to date
IMBd | Paramount Pictures

"I cringe when I hear men say that they wouldn’t date women their own age meanwhile they are over 50. So women are supposed to be blind to the natural aging of men." - u/ChristinaOKC01

They get asked about kids way less

Woman with children
Unsplash | Marisa Howenstine

It's pretty unlikely that someone is going to badger a 60-year-old about not having kids.

But a 20-something-year-old? That's all they get from friends, family, and even co-workers. Not being asked these questions must be freeing.

They get more attention when they're skinny

Grace and Frankie looking unsettled
Town & Country | Netflix

"I lost 130 pounds and the difference in the way I am treated now from what I was treated like as an obese person is crazy. I was invisible before but not people smile and open doors for me. That didn't happen when I was almost 300 pounds." - u/BooBooKittyFu_k

People still treat them like they're young

Old woman smiling
Unsplash | Ravi Patel

While some older people are respected, others are still treated like children. Like this one 32-year-old Redditor who still gets the line, "you’re young, you’ll understand this one day."

Some older generations don't like that we're not doing life the same way they did.

They live in peace now from sexual harassment

Old woman dancing
Giphy | Holly Logan

"It’s so great. I used to get catcalled and groped- no longer! I live in peace now. The erasure of women as they get older is 100% real and I have very mixed feelings about it, but I sure do love the lack of sexual harassment!" - u/kittysayswoof91

That people respect older women with kids and a partner more

Old married couple
Unsplash | Esther Ann

"For some reason, you’re no one to be taken seriously when you’re a young woman who is still finding her way in life and I was a very serious young woman but very shy. Maybe that’s why." - u/imnotamoose33

That people call them "ma'am"

Grace and Frankie looking upset
Town & Country | Netflix

It can be weird going from being called your name your whole life to being called by some formal title.

It's something that makes you feel old and respected all at the same time, so you're not sure how to take it.

People listen to you rant more

Old woman in glasses on train
Unsplash | Aris Sfakianakis

"I think people listen to my rant out of politeness for my age. But I still spout a lot of nonsense, just like when I was younger. NOT political or religious nonsense, but true gobledegook that makes no sense." - u/Desertbro

That you get senior discounts

Old lady happy
Giphy | RITAS

This is definitely another perk of getting older! You will save a ton on things like bus tickets, admission prices at the movies, and lots more. People may also be more likely to give you their seat on the bus.

H/T: Reddit, Reddit

Filed Under: