Older Women Dating Younger Men: Are They Breaking the Rules or Making New Ones?
In April of 2009, the magazine Psychology Today ran an article on older women dating younger men, and Cyndi Targosz wrote a book called, Dating the Younger Man: Guide to Every Woman’s Sweetest Indulgence. Lately we are seeing more and more of it happening. I wrote an article years ago on this very topic.
Since time began we are used to younger women dating older men, it has always been the way of the world. Psychologists and sociologists agree that women choose mates for upward mobility. Since the beginning of time, one of the priorities of women was to look for a marriage partner. Times have change and some women no longer look for marriage while many of them still want to have babies. Then there are others who just want a man to donate his sperm for the purpose of procreation. Yet, again there are some women who prefer not to have children at all.
However, from a biological and historical perspective traditionally younger women courted older men and not the other way around. There was a biological component to the reasons why women do this. It comes down to survival of the fittest. Women want the best possible mates to take on the responsibility of marriage and child rearing.
Traditionally women married much younger than they do today, even in America a hundred or two hundred years ago, girls as young a 12 and sometimes less were married off. It just would not make any sense for a young girl of 12 to marry a boy of 10, or 12, 13 or 14 for that matter. He had nothing, he was not established in any profession and he certainly didn’t have anything to offer her. In those days tracing back to ancient history, young girls or women married a much older man who was well established in his profession, had a business or a practice and she was assured, actually her father was assured, that she would live a good life in comfort and style. In those earlier times, when women were property of their families they did not marry for love. They married who their fathers felt were right for them, unless they were fortunate enough to have a father that would consent to a marriage based on love. It was rare though, because a good marriage brought status to the family at large.
When we take into consideration survival of the fittest, it made perfect sense for a woman to want to rise in stature, catch for herself a good older man, and have babies with him. That way she knew her babies would survive and grow up healthy because the man had the means to support them.
I am not trying to make light or even put down men here. I am speaking strictly from a psychological and social point of view and I am speaking from a psychosocial biological point of view. Yes, in case you are wondering there are researchers that do combine all three factors to make predictions about human behavior.
As we push forward to the 20th century we find that women started marrying later and 12-year-old brides were less common, finally legislation was enacted to set a legal age for marriage. It became commonplace to have couples marrying for love. Often these couples were pretty much of the same age with perhaps a 2 or to 7-year difference, but no longer a 20-year difference as seen in previous centuries. However the “social mores” of the 20th century still pretty much frowned upon older women dating younger men until recently.
Older women with younger men are dating in public from the Vegas strips to small town America while the rest of America look on and wonder why. Previously it was almost an unwritten taboo for an older woman to date a younger man. She would hold back her feelings because she felt it was unnatural to date a man that was young enough to be her son. She that her family, friends, and community would not accept the relationship or she felt it was religiously unacceptable, after all were not all the men in the bible at least 7 years older than their wives?
Many older men and women today are finding themselves in a situation where they are divorced and once again in the dating market.
Should age be a factor in modern dating?
Now here is the situation. Many women find it hard to find a man of their own age, because these men are either married, passed on, or chasing after women half their age. The truth of the matter also, is that women out number men two to one. If a woman found it hard to find a husband at 20, she finds it even harder at 60. Newsweek magazine published an article in 1987, which painted a pretty sad picture. They stated that women over the age of 35 would be captured by a terrorist quicker than getting married because of the shortage of men.
If the only men that seem to be interested are younger men, should the older woman go for it? Do these relationships work? Are the men in it for the long haul or are they only looking for sex? These are questions, which cross the minds of both the women involved and society at large?
Let’s examine some of the issues that society has placed on this kind of relationship. We will discover that some of the issues are valid and some are myths. Nevertheless, they are necessary to review so that women are aware of different possibilities of what could happen in the present or even somewhere down the line if they decide to consider a such a relationship.
The intentions of younger men myth or reality – Beware of the Wolves
Young men like to prey on older women
By preying I mean these men see older women as desperate and will take anything they can get and be happy for it. This way of thinking can lead to abuse.
They see older women starved for love, and you know, in some cases it may be true, some women have been alone so long and just like younger women they do have needs.
Young men see older women as sexual teachers
Some young men do see older women as more mature and sexually uninhibited. They buy into the notion that the older woman will be better in bed than women of their own age. Although this may be the case if the young man is barely 18, but when he is 30 and she is 60, this situation changes are she probably has nothing new to teach him. He might even be able to teach her a thing or two. Furthermore, it may have even more to do with libido than anything else. Because a woman is older it does not necessarily make her a sexual goddess.
Yet, you cannot really blame the young man for this notion, correct or otherwise. Hollywood the media, and the music industry have all contributed to this notion. We have the older woman in movie The Graduate, starring a very young Dustin Hoffman, and the much older Mrs. Robinson played by Anne Bancroft. We have Rod Stewart’s famous song Maggie May and more recently we have the marriage of Aston Kutcher and Demi Moore just to give a few examples.
Cleaning out the bank account
Still looking at the dangers that an older woman might come across in terms of men who are predators, we have the example of men marrying several older women at a time to wipe out their bank books. Though not rich like the celebrities, older women can be in a position where they do have money and valuables, either because they worked hard for years to get what they have or their husband’s who passed on, left them with the house, and other property, as well as a good life insurance settlement.
Sexual Boy Toy
Across North America, you can see many clubs where much younger men escort older women. These women do have money and pay for the every need of their men for favors exchanged.
Some men to not intend to wipe out the older women’s bank account and run off to the next women, but some do expect to be a kept man. Having a women with money, younger or older, really doesn’t make a difference to this type of man, not having to work and have a woman provide for your every financial need is what they are after.
Let us now put the possible negative aspects aside and see the possibility for older women and younger men having a wonderful relationship.
Is it wrong to have an older woman younger man relationship?
No relationship is wrong if it is right for you.
As long as there are two consulting adults, the relationship should have no bearing on what other people think, the relationship belongs to the older woman and younger man.
Current social norms should not have a bearing on true love. The great classic romances were based on forbidden love, you have Romeo and Juliet, and West Side Story, or accepted love such as that of the profit Muhammed and his older wife Khadijah and so on. Furthermore, society changes paradigms all the time, but you and your love one will be on this earth but once and therefore you have to make your decision now in this time and space.
Examine your motivation for dating or marrying
Do not date or marry a younger man only because you think he will take care of you in your old age. If you have nothing in common with him chances are your relationship will end in separation or divorce long before you are old enough to need some one to physically take care of you. Furthermore, the situation may be turned around and while you are older you may have to tend to his needs since people are suffering from heartaches and strokes at a much younger each.
Do not date or marry because you feel as an older woman your options are limited. You have to live your life with this person; you need to be with someone you love and are compatible with and that person has to someone who loves you back.
Do not buy his love; he if really loves you he will gladly give it. If you buy his love and then fall or hard financial times, he will soon take off for greener pastures.
Date or marry for the right reasons
Age is not the factor to consider as much as good marriages are. Do not obsess over the fact that one day you will lose your looks and his eye will turn elsewhere. Although it is true this may happen, it is equally true that you will drive him away a lot sooner if you become paranoid about it. If you become too clingy or accuse him of seeing younger women when there is no foundation for these accusations you risk the chance of driving him away.
What a couple needs to do to have a good relationship.
Regardless of age, every couple:
Must have things in common
Must be compatible mentality and physically (of course exceptions are made for sickness etc).
Must share the same lifestyle (not an older person who is a homebody and a younger man that wants to do the nightclub scene 7 days a week or vise versa)
If you date or marry for the right reasons, you will have just as much chance at a good relationship as any other relationship.