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April 23, 2013

Women Dating Younger Men: The New “Norm”

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Written by: Tracey Fuller
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Couple on a date

Why is it easier to accept men dating younger women, but when women date younger men, there has to be a label to make them sound sleazy, like the ever over-used “Cougar” title. Why is it when 50-year-old men date a 25-year-old woman, they get a thumbs up, but when a woman in her 50s chooses to date men in their 20s, they are automatically criticized for their “Cougar-like” ways?

I used to be one of those women who criticized. In my early 20s, I always dated men who were older than me. I think the attraction was 1. They were more mature then men my age, 2. They offered more security, and 3. They were more ready to commit and were done with the “dating scene.” Guys that I dated who were my age or younger at the time either still lived with their parents, were indecisive about what they wanted in life, and let’s face it, were thinking more with their “you-know-what.” Not that men of all ages aren’t like that from time to time, but you know what I mean. The safer bet for me was always the older man. And, friends and family were okay with it.

But, then you get to the age where you start really getting to know yourself, and your needs, and sometimes the older man is so set in his ways that if you don’t go along with his plan, then all bets are off. Women who find themselves divorced in their 40s will even tell you that their choice to date younger men is simple–less baggage and they are not so set in their ways like men their age. When I began dating again in my late-twenties, I asked my brother if a 25-year-old guy would date a woman in her 30s, and without hesitation, he said “Yes.” As I am writing this, I am in a relationship with a man who is 5 years younger than me. I asked him a few weeks ago what his attraction is to older women, and he said it’s because we have more of a sense of what we want in life, and carry ourselves with more confidence. And we have more experience.

Like the Demi Moore’s and Bo Derek’s of our time, women who choose to date younger men are often shamed.  In a society where we can accept George Clooney dating Stacy Keibler, why is it always a shocker when a woman in her 50s wants to date a man in their 30s? I have found that dating younger men isn’t about the age, it’s more about who you connect with mentally and physically, and age is merely nothing but a number. Never in a million years would I have thought I would be in a serious relationship with someone who was in the 8th grade when I was a freshman in college, but it’s the best relationship I have ever been in. So, my advice to women who want to date younger men–go get em’! Ignore the usual criticism and status that comes with it. Cause in the end, you could be in the the most rewarding relationship with a man who not only respects you, but is also in admiration of you.

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About the Author

Tracey Fuller
Tracey is a Chicago native and has her degree in journalism from Columbia College. Her passion for writing about dating and relationships derives from her own experiences, as well as from friends conversations about their dating life. She has been a freelance writer for 10 years.

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