Want to try dating that hot, young guy? ... Go for it!
But in recent years, the tables turned and now many women are dating younger men.
Naturally there are wonderful things about being romanced by someone younger, as well as a number of challenges. A lot depends on the age difference between you and how much younger you're talking about.
- Youthful Enthusiasm. Sometimes as you age, you feel like you've already "been there, done that, got the T-shirt". When you repeat those same experiences again with a younger guy going through them for the first time, you benefit from his enthusiasm. You 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 opens your eyes to seeing things in a new light in ways that inspire and energize you. A youthful outlook is very refreshing!
- Bedroom Stamina. Men's sex drive tends to decrease around the age that a woman'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've had some rather 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 makes 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 how they live their lives. They tend to say "No" more often than "Yes" to trying something new. Youth offers 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 being captivated by you? I doubt it. Feeling adored by 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 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 him 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, significant differences 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 the Kennedy assassination, the movie "Jaws" premiering, The Brady Bunch, 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 is for some.
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 who likes being in charge, avoid mothering him. 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 a bill.
If you want to date younger, be sure to avoid guys who are "fix-it projects," although truthfully, this is a dysfunctional pattern women 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 may not, 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'll avoid putting down roots if he's just hitting his stride or career is taking off.
Another area of contention is having children. You might be done with child rearing, but he may still want to have his own family. This is likely 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've 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 looking for the long-term, what the heck—enjoy a fling!
One word of caution. I've had clients insist 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 I know with a big age gap weren't initially looking to date younger. It just happened. My dating advice is that preferences are great, but don't let age get in the way of finding the love you deserve.
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