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0186 Dating a Younger Man/Woman

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Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast Number 186, “Dating a Younger Man or Woman.”

This is English as a Second Language Podcast Episode 186. I'm your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Our dialogue today is about dating a younger man or a younger woman. Sounds interesting. Let's go.

[Start of story]

Tadashi: Was that Diane you were talking to just now?

Helen: Yeah, do you know her?

Tadashi: Diane and I used to work together. She looked happy.

Helen: Yeah, she’s dating a new man. I just got the scoop. He’s not her usual type.

Tadashi: What do you mean?

Helen: Well, he’s a little younger than she is.

Tadashi: That’s no big deal nowadays. How much younger?

Helen: Diane is 42 and he’s 27.

Tadashi: They’re 15 years apart! Talk about robbing the cradle!

Helen: Hey, didn’t you just say that May-December romances aren’t that uncommon? From what Diane tells me, they have a lot of things in common.

Tadashi: Yes, I did. But, that was before I knew there was such a huge age difference between them. I know that my parents wouldn’t approve of me dating a woman 15 years older than me.

Helen: Aren’t you being a hypocrite? After your parents divorced, didn’t your father remarry? And, isn’t your step-mother 18 years younger than your father?

Tadashi: But, but…that’s different.

Helen: How? Because Diane is a woman and your father is a man?

Tadashi: Yeah. I don’t mind saying it. There’s a double standard. I think a lot of people would agree with me.

Helen: You may be right, but I’m not one of them.

[End of story]

We're talking about dating a younger man or a younger woman in this podcast, being romantically involved or interested in someone who is several years younger than you. Our dialogue begins with Tadashi asking his friend, Helen, “Was that Diane that you were talking to just now?” The expression, “just now,” means right before I asked you my question, or in the last minute or two minutes. When we say something was just now, or you were talking to someone just now, we mean it was immediately before we started talking.

Helen says, “Yeah, do you know her,” and Tadashi says, “Diane and I used to work together.” “Used to” is to have worked together in the past. We use that expression, used to, when we want to describe something going on in the past and emphasize that we were doing that action. Tadashi could have said, “Diane and I worked together,” with the simple past, but when they say, “I used to work,” it's a matter of emphasis. We are trying to emphasize the fact of the action of working in the past. So “Diane and I used to work together,” Tadashi says, “She looked happy.” Helen says, “Yeah, she’s dating a new man,” a new boyfriend, in this case. Helen says, “I just got the scoop.” The “scoop” means the news. When something is new to you, new information, we sometimes use that expression, the scoop. “Did you get the scoop on Diane?” “Yes, I got the scoop,” means I have the information. I have the information that nobody else may have. We also use that expression in a newspaper, when a newspaper, or a television station, manages to get some news, get some news that nobody else has, they - we call that a scoop, when just one person or one paper, newspaper, manages to get the news, finds out information that the other newspapers don't have. So Helen is saying that she got the scoop. She got the information, the news, from Diane.

Helen says that her new man, Diane's new man, is “not her usual type.” “Type,” as a noun here, means that it's the kind of person that you like, the kind of person that you would find attractive romantically. You may say, “Oh, she's not my type. I like women who are shorter,” or, “I like a woman with black hair, and not blond hair.” Whatever your preferences are, whatever you like in another person that you are romantically interested in, that would be your type.

Well, Tadashi asks Helen what she means, “He’s not her usual type,” and Helen says, “Well, he’s a little younger than she is.” Tadashi says, “That’s no big deal nowadays.” “That's no big deal” means it's not a very important event or it's not a very important piece of information. Someone says, “It's not a big deal,” it's not important. Nowadays, all one word, nowadays means today or this, in this time meaning that, in general. For example, “We are now in the 21st century. Nowadays, it is very common for people to take airplanes from city to city.” Nowadays is a general term that means in this time or in this time period.

So, Tadashi is saying that this is not important that he is younger than she is. He then asks Helen, “How much younger?” Helen says, “Diane is 42 and he’s 27.” Tadashi is very surprised at the difference in their age. He says, “They’re 15 years apart,” meaning there's 15 years difference between them. When we say “apart,” as one word, we mean difference. “Talk about robbing the cradle,” Tadashi says. The expression, “to rob the cradle,” means that you are dating someone who is much, much younger than you. A “cradle” is the bed where you put a little baby. So, “to rob” or steal, the cradle…we don't say steal the cradle, we just say “rob the cradle” - that's the expression, but rob means the same as to steal. To rob the cradle means that you are dating a man or a woman who's too young for you in the opinion of this other person. You're dating someone who is very, very young for your age.

Helen says, “Hey, didn’t you just say that May-December romances aren’t that uncommon?” What she means here is that Tadashi, in their conversation before we began listening to them, had said that May-December romances are common. A “May-December romance” is an expression we use to describe when the two people who are dating are many years apart. If he is 60 years old and she is 30 years old, that would be a May-December romance. Sometimes you'll hear the expression May-September romance; it means the same. The more common expression is a May-December romance. A May-December romance is when two people are at very different ages who are dating each other. And, Tadashi said that this was not uncommon. To say something is “not uncommon” is the same as saying it is common. So, he was telling Helen, before they started talking about Diane, that May-December romances were common. Helen says, “From what Diane tells me, they have a lot of things in common.” The expression, “in common,” means that they have a lot of things that they share - the same interests, the same likes, the same dislikes. Maybe they both like dancing and swimming. Those are things that they have in common.

Tadashi says, “Yes,” he did say that May-December romances are common, “But that was before I knew there was such a huge age difference between them.” An “age difference” is a difference in age, when two people are many years apart. Tadashi says, “I know that my parents wouldn’t approve of me dating a woman 15 years older than me.” “To approve of” means to say it's okay. “I approve of you going to the store.” When we talk about approving the actions of another person, we always put that second verb in an “ing” form. “I approve of you going,” “I approve of him talking to her,” “I approve of you dating a woman” - always the “ing” form for that second verb.

Helen says, “Aren’t you being a hypocrite?” A “hypocrite” is someone who says one thing in one situation and a completely different thing in another situation, or says one thing today and does something very different tomorrow. That's a hypocrite, a person who doesn't do what they say they think is right. Helen says, “After your parents divorced, Tadashi, didn’t your father remarry?” To “divorce,” is when you legally separate from your husband or wife. To “remarry” means, you can guess, to marry again. Helen says to Tadashi, “And, isn’t your step-mother 18 years younger than your father?” Your “step-mother” usually there's a hyphen, step-mother, step hyphen mother, is the person that your mother or - well, in this case, the person that your father marries, maybe your mother died or your mother divorced your father, if the father marries again that woman, who is your father's wife, is now your step-mother. So, you can have a step-mother or a step-father.

Tadashi says yes, what Helen says is true. His father is 18 years older than his father's new wife, “But that's different.” Helen says, “How?” meaning here why. How is it different? Why is it different? “Because Diane is a woman and your father is a man?” And Tadashi says, “Yeah. I don’t mind saying it.” “I don't mind saying it” means that I know what I am saying is controversial, I know that people may disagree with you…with me, but I'm going to say it anyway. We use this expression, I don't mind saying, when we're going to say something that other people might disagree with, but we want to say it anyway.

Tadashi says, “There’s a double standard,” a “double standard.” A “double standard” is when you say…you have one rule for one type of person and a different rule for a different type of person. Usually we talk about a double standard when we are discussing men and women. We expect men to behave, or to act in one way, but if a woman acts that way, we say it's wrong; that's a double standard. Tadashi says that there is a double standard, and he thinks, a lot of people would agree with him.

Helen says, “You may be right, but I’m not one of them.” “You may be right” means it's possible that you are correct, but I am not one of those people who agrees with you.

Now let's listen to the dialogue, this time at a native rate of speech.

[Start of story]

Tadashi: Was that Diane you were talking to just now?

Helen: Yeah, do you know her?

Tadashi: Diane and I used to work together. She looked happy.

Helen: Yeah, she’s dating a new man. I just got the scoop. He’s not her usual type.

Tadashi: What do you mean?

Helen: Well, he’s a little younger than she is.

Tadashi: That’s no big deal nowadays. How much younger?

Helen: Diane is 42 and he’s 27.

Tadashi: They’re 15 years apart! Talk about robbing the cradle!

Helen: Hey, didn’t you just say that May-December romances aren’t that uncommon? From what Diane tells me, they have a lot of things in common.

Tadashi: Yes, I did. But, that was before I knew there was such a huge age difference between them. I know that my parents wouldn’t approve of me dating a woman 15 years older than me.

Helen: Aren’t you being a hypocrite? After your parents divorced, didn’t your father remarry? And, isn’t your step-mother 18 years younger than your father?

Tadashi: But, but…that’s different.

Helen: How? Because Diane is a woman and your father is a man?

Tadashi: Yeah. I don’t mind saying it. There’s a double standard. I think a lot of people would agree with me.

Helen: You may be right, but I’m not one of them.

[End of story]

The script for today's podcast was written by our own Dr. Lucy Tse. If you have a comment or question about our podcast, you can e-mail us at eslpod@eslpod.com. From Los Angeles, California, I'm Jeff McQuillan. Thanks for listening. We'll see you next time on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. This podcast is copyright 2006.

Glossary
just now – shortly before now, before this moment

* I received your email just now, and I wanted to reply while I am still at the computer.


used to – in the past, but not now

* I used to play the piano when I was younger, but I don't anymore.


the scoop – news; information that other’s don’t know yet

* What's the scoop on the new teacher they hired?


type – sort of personality or person

* She is the quiet type, so she didn’t say much at the party.


nowadays – these days; currently

* Nowadays, people don't watch video cassettes very much in the U.S.


to rob the cradle – (slang) an expression used to describe a romantic relationship between an older person and a younger person; emphasis on the younger person’s age

* His new girlfriend just graduated from high school! That’s definitely robbing the cradle.


May-December romances – (slang) an expression used to describe a relationship between an older person and a younger person; emphasis on the older person's age

* People usually have strong opinions on May-December romances because of the age difference.


to have things in common – to have similar interests, hobbies, or beliefs between two people

* My husband and I have many things in common. We like the same kinds of music and movies.


age difference – the number of years between one person's age and another person's age

* The age difference between my mother and father is only four years.


to approve of – to agree with something, usually by someone older or someone in a position of power or rule

* I don't approve of my best friend dating my younger sister.


hypocrite – someone who says one thing and does the opposite

* Cindy gets angry if I’m late meeting her, but she's never gets to class on time. What a hypocrite!


to be divorced – to have legally ended a marriage

* My parents divorced when I was very young and I don’t remember them ever being married.


step-mother – a woman who becomes a mother by marriage to a man who already has children

* Our new step-mother is trying very hard to get us to like her.


don't mind saying – it does not bother me to say

* I don't mind saying that I’m not looking forward to taking this business trip with Jim. He isn’t very reliable.


double standard – a rule that applies to one group or person, but not another; often used when talking about men and women

* It’s a double standard that women are judged much more by their looks than men.


you may be right, but… – to say someone may be correct, but that their opinion is not the only one possible or is not one that you agree with

* You may be right about today's weather, but I'll take an umbrella with me in case it rains.

Comprehension Questions
1. Helen and Tadashi
a) agree that May-December romances are not usually a good idea
b) know that Diane usually dates men who are younger than she is
c) disagree about Diane’s relationship with a younger man

2. After his parents' divorce, which of Tadashi's parents remarried?
a) mother
b) father
c) step-mother

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
type

The word “type,” in this podcast, means a kind of person or personality: “My girlfriend is the talkative type,” which means she likes to talk a lot. Or, “She isn’t his type. She likes the artistic type.” “Type” can also be used to mean a sort of thing in general, such as “type of food” or “type of music”: “What type of plants do you think we should put in the backyard?” Or, “We had all types of people at the meeting.” The verb “to type” can be used to mean to write with a keyboard on a computer or typewriter, when you hit the keys to form words or letters: “I can type very quickly when I am writing emails to my friends.”

used to

In this podcast, the phrase “used to” means that you did something in the past that you no longer do: “I used to shower in the morning everyday, but now I shower in the evenings.” Another similar phrase, “to get used to,” means to make something a habit or to accept something as normal: “My new neighbors like to practice singing, so I had to get used to the noise.” Or, “I’ve lived in Maine for three years but I can’t get used to the cold weather.”

Culture Note
In the U.S., a typical first date is to go for a meal, to the movies, to an event such as a concert or a sporting event. Everyone wants to make a good “first impression” or the first opinion other people have of you. In fact, there is a famous saying: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” which means that you won’t have another opportunity to influence how the other person first sees you.

Here is some advice to make a first date a success. First, try to keep the conversation going by asking your date polite questions that are not too personal, such as, “So, how was your day?” and “Did you see that TV show the other night?” Don’t talk about yourself too much. It’s common to ask about the other person’s job (“What kinds of things do you do in your work?”), where they live (“How do you like living in that area?”), and what they do in their free time (“What kinds of things do you like to do on the weekends for fun?”)

Even though you want to find out a lot of things about your date, asking questions that are too personal will “turn them off,” or make them dislike you. One thing you should always avoid is talking about your ex, or old boyfriends or girlfriends. It’s easy to start complaining or talking other people’s faults when talking about ex’s, which may leave a bad impression on your date.

It is good idea to do an activity like bowling or seeing a movie for the first date, so you can ask your date if they would like to do it again. This is usually how people plan their next date. Planning the next date while you are on your first shows how interested you are in the other person and you can find out how interested the other person is in dating you.

Comprehension Answers
1 - c

2 - b