THE FUTURE AND IT IS US: OR SHOULD OLDER WOMEN DATE YOUNGER MEN?
We older folk have faced the future and it is us. A young
female bartender told me recently how lucky I am. “You know what your future
held. I’m twenty-four and intimidated and scared by the unknown.”
It might be unbelievable that reaching the upper levels of
age can be a great experience. Take my word, it can be. I’m thankful for good
health, a working libido and energy to spare. I know my envelope is closing
down slowly, but I am the about as exuberant and free-floating as I’ve ever
been. I answer to no one, don’t tell my kids what time I come home from a date,
and don’t even have to tell them what I do with a man I like when the evening
comes to a close. Besides, they definitely don’t want to know.
When my son wanted to buy me a pair of earrings not long
ago, he pointed to a traditional pair. Instead, I selected a long, dangling
sexy pair. He looked at me and said, “That’s not you, Mom.” I replied, “It is
I, also, felt I finally had earned the right to weed out
friends and acquaintances who drain too much of my energy and give little back.
This has paved the way to fun and laughter. At my stage of life I don’t have an
enormous amount of highs and possibly face an onslaught of lows. I have to make
use of every second for time is of the essence.
Truth be told, I don’t recognize myself. Forgive an older
woman some bragging rights. I’m really careful about looking stylishly
disheveled, wear brighter colors, show cleavage and wear my hair (as someone
called it), “bedroom style.” It all just came into play in the last five years.
What I missed out by being a prissy and, so-called, intellectual as a young
woman, I am making up for with rowdy behavior at a mature age. You might think
this is pathetic talk from a woman who is probably aging ungracefully, and
perhaps it is. But I am having a really good time.
I used to want people to love me for my mind. I no longer
give a damn. Now I’m in favor of you liking me for my physical appeal and the
fact that my breasts didn’t go South — yet. Is that shallow? You bet, but it’s
a phase of life I’ve never experienced. Hoorah for shallow!
When I go across the
discounted senior coupon, occasionally I get stopped. I want to jump out of my
car and kiss the attendant. It’s like a thirty-year-old being carded at a bar.
When I walk the streets of Center City Philadelphia and a rare man stops me to
say how nice I look, my day is made.
I didn’t realize how many years I waited for that to occur
until it happened. Sure, I’m over the hill, and, on closer inspection, the
wrinkles and facial parenthesis around the mouth are distinct, but all I need
was for it to happen once. Now, I can go to the other world smiling when my
time is up. So many older women I know look great. I have one dramatically
pretty blonde-haired friend who is a guy magnet wherever she goes. I love to
tag along with her.
This brings me to one goodie about aging I haven’t dealt
with before. Single women of a certain age who are independent and somewhat
financially secure have tended to change the “rules” once mandated by society.
This change involves older women dating younger men.
A 2003 study by AARP
showed that in women over age forty, 34% were dating younger men, and 35%
preferred it to dating older men. These older women are called “cougars.” Think
Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, Madonna and Guy Ritchie, to name a few.
In their book, Older
Women, Younger Men: New Options for Love and Romance by Susan Winter and
Felicia Brings, they say, “Today, not only are more and more older women
discovering that younger men are equally attracted to them: they are
challenging the old male mores, finding that it is possible to have loving,
rewarding relationships with caring and sensitive young men who have the
maturity to navigate this uncharted sea.”
An Ezine Articles quotes the above authors Felicia Brings
and Susan Winter who wrote, “Older women/younger men relationships are far more
prevalent and far more successful than society at large would have us believe.
The theme that the social order reinforces often is the message that these
relationships are a bad thing-and even under the best of circumstances-are only
a temporary thing. Popular movies…suggest…in those rare cases in which a woman
is older than the man, such couplings end badly, sadly or tragically. The truth
is, we’ve been sold a bill of goods…Our research…confirms that older
women/younger men are an increasingly viable (dare we day common) phenomenon.”
Younger men might find older women attractive for a
multitude of reasons. Older women tend to be more mature, secure and not always
interested in a commitment (for many men a plus). These women might not worry
about the long-term endurance of a relationship because they’ve been through
careers, marriages, raising children, dramatic moments and several boyfriends. For them, if the romance
ends, it’s over – no drama. It’s clear that some of these relationships might
have a short shelf-life due to the fact a younger man might want to start a
family something those wizened ovaries can’t produce. With the question
of a wanting to have children out of the picture, these relationships can be
Would I consider a much younger man? Maybe. It hasn’t been
something that has come my way but, I do think older women must keep all
options open. I want to go out having left no stone or boulder or mountain
From the sexy G.