Is that twenty-something hunk starting to look hot and inviting instead of too young and off-limits? You’re certainly not alone; many other women are being weakened by the temptation to drink from the fountain of youth. According to a 2003 AARP study cited in CNN, a poll among 3,500 single people showed that 34 percent of women over 40 were dating younger men, and 35 percent of them actually preferred it to dating older men.
What’s all the hype about dating younger men? Here’s a short list of hits and misses; check them out to see if men good men really do come in younger packaging.
HIT: HAVING A YOUNGER MAN ON YOUR ARM IS A TOTAL CONFIDENCE BOOSTER.
Nothing says you’ve still got it more than the adoration of a younger man. It is validation that instantly catapults you to Madonna and Demi Moore levels of hotness. But the confidence boost doesn’t just come from that. A younger man can take you out of your comfort zone and give you the courage to try things that you wouldn’t normally do. And depending on how receptive you are to that voice and to change, it can be quite thrilling.
HIT: THE AGE DIFFERENCE CAN ACTUALLY BE A BONUS.
One place that the age difference works is in the bedroom. As women get older, they become more familiar with their body and less inhibited in bed because they already know what pleases them. Many older women who have been with younger men say that they are more experimental, eager to please, and insatiable.
Doreen, who is in her late 30s, once dated a man who was—as she puts it—barely legal. “He was a bit timid at first, which I found totally disarming. [But] He was so intent on pleasing me and was always up for another round,” she laughs. “He tired me out on many occasions, but it was quite a learning experience—for both of us.”
Read these articles for more relationship tips:
- Age Does Matter: 20 Celebrity May-December Romances
- 5 Tips for a More Sizzling Sex Life
- The Couple’s Guide to Surviving Relationship Downtime: 5 Tips for a Stronger Relationship
(Photo source: Wikimedia Commons)
MISS: MIND THE GAP.
While it may not be something you and your guy discuss, the differences in age and lifestyle become obvious when you’re working and he’s in school or when you’re making more money and are in a higher career position than he is. You may be forced to downgrade your preferences.
“I was into fine dining; he was more of a pizza guy. I had already gone through the whole ’young and poor‘ stage; he was still dealing with it,” says Naomi, a 38-year-old IT executive who dated a 23-year-old guy. Because of her stature in life, she felt that she could afford herself more luxury and her boylet was still struggling to make a name for himself. “I wanted more out of life,” says Naomi, explaining how it ended.
Some drawbacks are just as drastic despite a smaller age difference. Annabee was 23 when she dated a 21-year-old guy. “He was stubborn, pig-headed, and immature. And the worst of it was I always had to give him cell phone load!” she wails. She says that the experience made her swear off younger men.
HIT: YOUNGER MEN ARE USUALLY MORE ATTRACTIVE.
“Women nowadays look so much better than the men their age!” Isabella says matter-of-factly. In her early 40s, Isabella says that men in the same age range have started to look like daddies—and not in a good way. Their foreheads are wider, which is just a nicer way of saying that their hairlines are receding, and their stomachs are expanding.
“They become a fast and fading shadow of the men that they used to be. In contrast, women now are so well-maintained. They take care of themselves; they go to the gym and the derma. It’s enough to make you want to check out the younger men and take one out for a test drive!” she says.
MISS: PEOPLE AROUND YOU WILL TALK.
Your relationship will be prey to judgment and questioning. You may be called a lot of names, ranging from cougar (which can kind of actually be a compliment) to cradle snatcher, while he may be accused of latching on to a sugar mommy or freeloading. This is to be expected, especially if the age gap between you and your guy is wide.
But like any other relationship, it all really boils down to the two of you and how you relate to one another. The basics of a healthy relationship—communication, trust, and respect—all have to be there, and you both have to constantly work on improving them. And, honestly, it’s possible gaps in those areas that you need to mind—more so than the gap between your ages.
(Photo from Sex and the City courtesy of HBO)