Older men with younger women somehow seems natural in our society. Men seeking sexy, young, trophy wives and secretly high fiving each other when they catch one. Socially acceptable? That’s debatable. While it seems to be more of a cultural norm than older women with younger men, there are still all those negative cliches and stereotypes that come with this relationship; dirty old man, gold digger, daddy issues, mid-life crisis affair, the list goes on and on. Biologically, there are some explanations for a mans’ attraction to a younger woman. It’s our biological imperative to multiply and younger women are more likely to be fertile and successfully carry and deliver off-spring. But, let’s face it, most relationships aren’t consciously driven by the biological imperative to breed. They are about attraction and, frankly, no one has the right to dictate who another person should be attracted to, (as long as it’s legal!).F
What about older women and younger men?
Let me get personal for a moment – I’ve been married twice. Once to a man my own age and once to a man more than a decade my senior. I was attracted to different things in each of these relationships. When I married my first husband we were both inexperienced in everything. We learned how to navigate adulthood together as equals. It was stressful and bewildering at times but we loved each other and had a great deal of things in common to keep us grounded. Sadly, my first husband and love of my young life was killed while we were in our twenties.
My second marriage was to a man who was my superior at work. He was older and more experienced and had a nurturing tendency that made me feel safe at a time in my life when I felt all alone. I was a newly widowed mother and needed someone to anchor me before I floated away in a cloud of sorrow, fear, and self-doubt. My older man did this for me but our relationship ended when I found my own legs and became independent. He wasn’t capable of allowing me to grow into my own identity so we split.
By the time my second marriage ended, I was a successful professional at a media company. My identity was defined by my tough but fair, logical approach in my dealings with my contemporaries and subordinates. When my work day ended, I went home to be a mother and a creative. The polar opposite of my hard-ass corporate persona. For a long time, I didn’t date or socialize with anyone outside of my small group of life-long friends.
Then, it happened. I was being pursued by an incredibly attractive man at work. He was new to the company and a favorite piece of eye candy for all the girls and he was young! Fifteen years my junior. He would flirt and I would tell myself that he wasn’t really flirting. I talked myself out of the idea that he might be attracted to me. Maybe he was trying to get in good with the boss. Maybe it was just his charm. Either way, why would he want me when every girl his age was falling all over him?
As time progressed, he pursued harder. I guess he thought that I was oblivious to his advances so he moved from verbal flirtation to accidental touches and, eventually, marched up to me and said, “I’m very attracted to you. Would you like to get a drink with me?” I said yes.
Now, this isn’t a love story and it isn’t even about him. It’s an explanation of the attraction between us. So, first of all, the sex was the best I’ve ever had. He was strong and dominant. He was confident and had amazing staying power and he wasn’t afraid of experimentation. When I wanted to close my eyes and drift in to that place of ecstasy and escape, he could bring me there. When I wanted something hot and fast and wild, he could perform at that level, and when I wanted something tender and more controlled, he let me take the lead. Our love making sessions were all night main events but it wasn’t all about the sex.
I loved that I could nurture him. When he had problems, he could talk to me and I had enough life experience to give him advice. It made me feel good to see him succeed at things that he’d asked me to help him with. I couldn’t do this with either of my husbands.
Trust was a non-issue
We both knew that this relationship was not going to lead to marriage. I spent a lot of years building a life for myself and I didn’t want to share. I wasn’t ready to compromise with anyone when it came to my home, my money, and my lifestyle.
He didn’t want to parent my children and we wasn’t ready to settle down.
With none of that “relationship” pressure we were free to explore a completely open and honest dynamic and in time, our feelings grew from lust to a love based on mutual respect and ten years later, though we’ve never been an official couple, we still love each other and would do anything we could for each other. And, though we don’t see each other as frequently as we once did, the sex is still pretty hot!
Though my story hasn’t ended in a traditional relationship, I do understand how older women and younger men fall for each other.
It’s about being open to the idea that love and attraction are possible in unlikely places and partners. It’s about defying the stereotypes and giving in to your own feelings; knowing that sometimes other people will be cruel or say things without thinking; like calling you a cougar or asking if you and your son go out to dinner often.
When this happened to me, my new lover grabbed me and stuck his tongue in mouth. Then, he smiled at the waitress and said, “Mom and I are really close!” while I laughed my ass off. She gave our table to another waitress.
This is not a relationship dynamic for the insecure. If you aren’t confident in yourself, you will forever be looking for judgmental glances and younger girls who want to take your man.
I suppose it’s really not any different than any other relationship. Love is love, right? And… oh, the sex? The experts were right when they determined that women reach their peak later than men do and if you’re lucky enough to come together during those peaks be prepared for fireworks!