Men dating older women has historically been taboo. Perhaps it’s due to Freud and his controversial Oedipus theory or perhaps due to its relative rarity.
More recently, however, relationship conventions have started to loosen. All sorts of relationship types are now becoming more accepted by society.
With taboos disappearing, we’re beginning to see more and more people open up about the type of relationship they’re seeking. Nowadays, it’s perfectly acceptable for an older woman to date a younger man.
In fact, there are many people that swear by this combination as the best type of relationship to have!
Famous examples of younger men dating older women
One of the first famous couples to date openly with a large age gap were Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. At first, their 15-year age gap made headlines but people soon realized that they were serious about their relationship.
Whilst that marriage ended in divorce after 8 years, many relationships with age gaps last a lot longer.
Celebrities (with an age gap relationship)
Recent celebrities with successful age-gap relationships include Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra (who is 11 years his senior), and Hugh Jackman and Deborra Lee-Furness (13 years his senior).
The latter have been together an impressive 20 years! It’s certainly true that the public and the media are less shocked by an age gap than they were a decade ago.
How common is an age-gap relationship between a younger man and an older woman?
In one of their articles, the LA Times reported that 32% of women between 35 and 44 were living with a younger man.
This was according to the 1985 Census, which suggests that this has been a popular lifestyle choice for at least the last 30 years, if not longer.
In an AARP survey, 34% of women aged between 40 and 60 said that they preferred to date men younger than them.
Whilst we don’t know how much younger and older the men and women are in these relationships, what we do know is that ages and age gaps are mattering less and less and that around one third of women are having age-gap relationships.
Mrs. Robinson, the first cougar
The 1967 movie The Graduate seems to have become something of a cultural phenomenon. In reality, most people only remember the fact that a younger man was seduced by an older woman.
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Her name, Mrs. Robinson, has even become synonymous with being ‘the older woman’ in a relationship.
It has to be said, however, that relationships with age gaps are nothing like they are in The Graduate.
For a start, many older women allow the men to do the pursuing and don’t necessarily seduce a younger man themselves.
Both parties in age-gap relationships where the woman is older than the man, don’t even actively think about the fact there is an age gap when they meet the other person for the first time.
Nowadays, we hear the term ‘cougar’ bandied about much more frequently. This description began to take off in 2001 when Valerie Gibson released her book Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men.
Like the title of this book suggests, it seems that older women have taken ownership of this term and are proud to be called as such. Being portrayed as a cougar is much better than being viewed as a Mrs. Robinson.
So, do age gaps really matter then?
The truth is that age gaps are of no concern to anyone but the couple involved. This doesn’t stop people from having and giving opinions on the topic.
In this regard, a study by Dr. Caron in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy revealed that couples in a relationship with an age gap said that the age difference mattered more to everyone else than it did to them.
What’s interesting about this study, is that the men interviewed said that they were drawn into the relationship by physical attraction and not because they wanted to date an older woman.
This suggests that there is something innate about men wanting to date other women rather than it being an active choice.
Another study, this time published in Psychology of Women Quarterly in 2008, reported that people in relationships with an age gap of 10 or more years were more satisfied with their relationship.
All in all, therefore, age gaps don’t matter. They’re not the reason most relationships of this type are started, they don’t matter to the people who are in these relationships either. If they matter to other people, that’s not your problem.
The pros of dating older women
Dating is great but dating older women is even greater! There are so many positives to dating older women, it’s difficult to know where to start! Here are a few (ok, more than a few!) reasons why dating older women is a good idea:
When speaking to men who have dated older women, one of the first comments they make is regarding maturity.
More life & relationship experience
With an older woman, you will be dating someone with more life experience. Not only that but your older woman will know a lot more about pretty much everything than her younger counterparts.
Having more relationship experience means that your lady will be an expert communicator and will know how to avoid the pitfalls and problems that couples can have when they run into conflict.
Older women have no time for drama, nonsense or mind games. They’re straight-talking and clear-headed.
Clear focus & confidence
Older women know what they want and they know how to get it. There is nothing sexier than a confident woman!
A pro-active choice not to have children
If you don’t want children, going for an older lady means that you won’t find yourself in the predicament of her wanting to start a family.
There’s always a chance that a younger woman who says she doesn’t want children, might change her mind. There’s also no risk or worry of pregnancy (presuming she’s past the menopause).
An older lady has been managing her own finances for a lot longer than you have!
The Physical side of things
It’s well known that women reach their sexual peak way after men reach theirs. There’s a high chance that a younger man and an older woman might be at their peak at the same time.
Cons of dating an older woman
You’d be a fool to think there aren’t a few cons when it comes to dating older women. That’s not to say, however, that every ‘con’ applies to every older woman (just like every ‘pro’ won’t either).
It’s important to bear in mind that you might be at different stages in your lives. You might still be in the shared accommodation age or just starting your career whilst she owns her own home and potentially has children.
Whilst this doesn’t necessarily mean your relationship will run into problems, this could be an area of potential conflict. A way around this is to establish early on that you want the same things.
Potential familial upset with her children or extended family
If your mature lady has children, it might cause difficulties in your relationship. Responsibility for children might cause restrictions in your relationship.
For example, if the children are young, you won’t just be able to up and leave and go on a spontaneous trip abroad. Equally, if the children are older, your partner may be tied down financially by paying for school or university fees.
If your older partner wants babies, you might have to have them sooner rather than later due to her advancing age and biological clock.
Set in her ways
It usually goes that when you get older, you’re more stuck in your ways. Whilst this is not necessarily the case, it is more likely that an older woman has a routine that she’s happy with and that she likes,
Not much in common
It is more difficult to be in a relationship with someone who has different social references to you. A lack of social references in common might cause conflict or misunderstandings.
Why women like dating younger men
There’s a heap of reasons why women go for younger men. In general, they’re fitter, more youthful and ambitious. They have their whole future ahead of them and perhaps add a little rejuvenation into an older lady’s life.
But, there’s actually more to it than that!
The Science Behind Dating an Older Woman
As a woman approaches the end of her reproduction age, her sex drive goes through the roof.
This is because her body knows it’s running out of time to reproduce and so it makes the woman’s libido get higher and higher.
Men of her age are running out of steam at this point and so many women are attracted to younger men.
A confident older woman might want to date a younger man simply because she likes being in the driver’s seat.
This is the perfect solution for a woman who has had bad relationships in the past or who has been subjected to controlling behavior as it allows her to take some control over her relationship.
Of course, there are many women out there who don’t make an active decision to date a younger man, they just happen to feel attracted to one for one reason or another and take it from there.
Where to meet an older woman
There is an abundance of older women who’d gladly date a younger guy, you just have to look in the right places.
As with most things these days, going online is the easier option. There are even websites dedicated to this sort of relationship. Cougar Life is one such website.
This website has existed since 2008 and has apps available on iOS as well as on Android. With Cougar Life, you can find dates in your area, exchange photos, chat in real time and even send gifts!
You could also go down the more traditional dating route. Older women, however, are not going to be found in the hottest clubs in the city.
They, on the other hand, prefer quieter wine bars or bars with craft beer. Other locations to try are parks, the countryside, and even gyms.
How to date an older woman
Dating an older woman is somewhat similar to dating a woman of your age but there are a few things that you should perhaps consider.
If you want to date an older woman, you need to exude confidence. Since an older woman is likely more confident herself, she will want a man with high self-esteem who can hold his own.
You don’t want to come across as too young for her, she likely doesn’t want a lapdog. Maintain your own interests and friendships and have your own goals.
When dating an older woman, it’s probably quite easy to fall into the routine of her dominating the relationship. After all, she’s probably got routines she’s had for years.
It’s important, therefore, that you take control where you can. Make the first move or be bold and take her on a surprise date that you know she’ll enjoy.
What do dates look like with an older woman
Don’t presume that because she is older that she won’t want to do things that you find fun. Many older women love to date younger guys simply because it’s fun to do so.
Ask her what she wants to do and listen to her. Don’t be afraid to be bold and take her places that she wouldn’t think to go to – places like amusement parks are fun, even when you’re older!
Your older woman will likely enjoy cozy and romantic dates too so think about taking her out for coffee, for a drink to a quiet bar or out for dinner in a dimly-lit restaurant.
If the woman has a young family, you might have to be more creative with dates. There are plenty of things you can do once the kids are in bed, though.
Surprise her with a bottle of wine and a Netflix subscription or take round a fun board or card game that will get you laughing until the early hours.
The future of your relationship – aging
If you’re looking for a long term relationship, you need to think about what the future might look like when your older woman finishes working.
She might want to enjoy retirement in a way that you can’t because you still have to work. Equally, you might be jealous of her freedom, which could cause conflict.
Let’s also consider what life will be like when you retire. Depending on the age gap between you, when you retire, you might not be able to enjoy it as much as you might with a partner of the same age.
If your other half is a good deal older, you might end up caring for an elderly person instead of enjoying the freedom of retirement.
How to make your relationship successful
Don’t make her age a big deal in your relationship. You might find her joking about being “the older woman” or a cougar but take her lead before you start making jokes on this topic.
Because you’re younger, it might end up that you feel insecure about the relationship because of your age.
This is something that you need to take control over. Your older lady has chosen to be in a relationship with you and she will like you for you.
Make sure you don’t start changing who you are, this simply isn’t necessary.
Another way of ensuring the longevity of your relationship is to make sure you show an interest in who she is as a person.
Forget about her age, get to know her personality and what makes her tick. As with any relationship, you need to make an effort and keep making an effort.
So, put away your phone, ask her questions, and show a genuine interest in her and her answers.
Finally, don’t come across as too needy or clingy. This can be really off-putting in any relationship but even more so in one with an age gap. The last thing you want is for her to feel like she has to mother you!
The dating game is never easy, whether you’re dating someone younger, older or the same age.
Whoever you’re dating, the most important thing is that you treat them with respect. Dating older women can have its challenges but all of these can easily be overcome.
As we’ve seen, there are many benefits to dating an older woman. Confidence, stability, experience and high libido are all great reasons to find yourself a cougar.
As for the cons, don’t let these put you off. In truth, there’s nothing difficult about dating an older lady.
If it’s the first time you’ve dated an older woman, you might discover things about yourself, how exciting is that?