Everyone knows how older men like to date younger women and many of my dating coaching clients complain about this. Yet in recent years, the tables are turning and many women are now dating younger men. Naturally there are wonderful things about a romance with someone younger, as well as a number of challenges. A lot depends on the age span and how much younger you are talking about.
- Youthful Enthusiasm. Sometimes as you age, you feel you've already been there, done that and got the T-shirt. When you repeat those same experiences again with a younger guy going through them for the first time, you get the benefit of his enthusiasm. You will feel young again, which is one of the biggest reasons for dating younger.
- Refreshing Perspective. As you move through life, you develop belief systems based on your experiences. Sometimes they limit your point of view without you realizing it. When you spend time with someone younger, you gain access to his fresh perspective. He can open your eyes to see things in a new light and inspire and energize you. A youthful outlook can be very refreshing!
- Bedroom Stamina. Men's sex drive tends to decrease around the age that women's peak. With a younger man, you can enjoy his resilience, stronger libido and maybe find a better bedroom match. One of my clients, Linda, is dating a man 15 years her junior and they have had some exciting trysts. Their invigorating sexual bond has kept them happily together for more than eight years now.
- Not Stuck in His Ways. As you age, you get into habits and sometimes ruts. Often people get stuck in their ways regarding how they do things and what they are willing to try. With a younger man, his habits are not as firmly entrenched which can make it easier to negotiate your relationship. Things like what time you eat meals or go to sleep at night, where you vacation and the type of activities you enjoy together. Many of my dating coaching clients complain about how men their own age are very rigid about the way they live their lives. They tend to say "No" more often than "Yes" to trying something new. Youth can offer more flexibility, giving you greater options to explore together.
- Adoration as He Looks Up to You. Is there a bigger ego boost then a younger man who is captivated by you? I doubt it. Enjoying the adoration of an attractive, hot, young guy is tremendously exciting and good for the soul. I'm sure even reading this now you can imagine the fun you could have. My client Jane found that spending time with her younger lover, Jonathon, helped her tap back into her own youthful exuberance. She opened up to activities with him that she hadn't done in years like horseback riding, hiking and cross-country skiing and reported how much fun it was! In many ways, dating Jonathon was like revisiting her own youth and she smiled a lot more as a result.
- Generation Gap. If you are dating a man who is five years younger, that's not such a big deal. But when the age span stretches to 10, 15 or 20 years, there can be significant differences that emerge. Just think about how he won't know the music, TV or movies you grew up with. He won't have the first-hand experience of the times and history you lived through. I'm talking about when President Kennedy was shot, the movie "Jaws" premiered, the TV show the Brady Bunch aired on Friday nights and the first time the Beatles were on the Ed Sullivan Show. These iconic moments in history and entertainment have great meaning for some. Every age group has their own memories. Not sharing the same frame of reference isn't a problem for every couple in love, but it can become an issue. A lot depends on how much you draw upon these experiences in the present and how knowledgeable your date is of the past. I know couples who had trouble relating to each other outside the bedroom due to the generation gap and it caused them to part ways. Only you can decide how important it is to have shared history.
- Not Your Financial Peer. Usually, older people have had a longer career, which often means they are better compensated than a younger man would be. Just like men have been doing for eons, you may need to help foot the bill and take the lead at times when dating your younger guy, since you have more financial resources. If you are looking for an equal and expect a man to pay half for everything, dating down might not the right choice for you.
- Becoming a Mother Figure. If you are a particularly strong woman, you may also need to fight the tendency to be in charge and avoid stepping into the mother role. My client Cindy ran into this problem with her younger man, James. He was the sweetest guy and so willing to do whatever she wanted. Over time, those traits drove her crazy. He never took the lead, initiated anything or paid the bill. If you want to date younger, be sure to avoid guys who are "fix-it projects," although truthfully, this can be a pattern you engage in with men of any age.
- Family and Friends. When there is a big age gap, you can run into trouble with friends and family, both yours and his. Not everyone approves of the "May-December" romance. Both of your families may not approve of your relationship or see the benefits. In addition, it can sometimes be difficult to socialize with your friends or his. While the two of you bridge the gap easily, others might not be so inclined, causing awkward social situations.
- Different Life Agendas. Not sharing the same life agenda can drive the biggest wedge between two people. You might have the desire to settle in with your man and enjoy the fruits of your hard work. On the other hand, he might be hitting his stride and with his eyes on his career, he might not be ready to put down roots. Another area of contention is having children. You might be done with child rearing, but he may still want to have his own family. That can be an unbridgeable gap and indicates different life agendas. In these cases, one person needs to compromise which might not be acceptable to you. This can cause a rift and end an otherwise suitable loving relationship.
As a dating coach for women, I have found that age does not matter as much as compatibility. When two people find the love they want, the difference in years becomes meaningless. Or if you just want to try dating a younger man, but aren't set on this for the long-term, what the heck — enjoy a fling!
One word of caution. I have had clients insisting they only want to date a man much younger. This narrows your options dramatically and can prevent you from finding a good match. In addition, many of the couples of I know with a big age gap weren't looking to date younger. It just happened, but was not the main criteria for the romantic partner they sought. My dating advice is that preferences are great, but don't let age in the way of finding the love you deserve.
Are you a woman over 40 ready to start dating or dating but not meeting the right men? Get the proven dating advice you need for women over 40 from a dating coach who has helped thousands. Download my free book 5 Big Turnoffs that Drive Men Away so you can avoid heartbreaking mistakes and find the magic of love more easily.
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