Are Guys in their Twenties the New Designer Drug?


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How intriguing that an episode so technologically dated can simultaneously be so ahead of its time in predicting the Cougar trend so prevalent today. Appearing incredibly last-millennium, Carrie uses a complimentary telephone in a night club to check her home answering machine to try to figure out whether the elusive Mr. Big will be joining her. Then, after a hot night out with twenty-something Sam, Carrie searches for her dated and trashy "morning malboro light" and Samantha telephones. Carrie is eager to gossip about her marathon make-out session using her cordless, land-line phone that is basically the size of a loaf of bread! Meanwhile, Samantha bursts with glee about her multiple sexual positions from the night before while cradling a gold-trimmed land-line phone with a SPIRAL CORD!

These go-to girlfriends may be living among technological dinosaurs, but they are way ahead of the curve, as they tap into one of today's most current and interesting dating trends: younger men with older women. Today, Cougars are everywhere. Consider Courney Cox's television series, Cougar Town, and Mark Penn's best-selling book, Microtrends, in which he sites the roughly three million Cougars in the U.S. as one of the most significant trends currently impacting dating and marriage. 


Is dating a younger man right for you?

For the most part, age is just a number. What matters much more is a compatible level of psychological maturity. By psychological maturity, I am referring to the emotional age rather than the biological one.

More and more women are getting graduate degrees, building successful careers, and marrying later, or not at all. Also, single motherhood and sperm donors are becoming increasingly frequent. In other words, women are less likely to need a man to take care of them, and the rules of age-appropriate dating have probably changed forever. If a potential partner is suitable and you are compatible in all other areas, why should age be an obstacle?

If you are contemplating a committed relationship with a much younger man who is kind, available and shares your interests, values, and level of psychological maturity, then life in Cougar Town might just work for you.

If you are with a younger guy just to have some fun, then the question of his maturity may not matter as much, at least initially. But, before you get in too deep, be sure to check out his living quarters. Does his home share some of the qualities of twenty-something Sam's?

If you discover a shortage of coffee filters, a surplus of used pizza boxes, candles from Urban Outfitters, a graffiti-filled bathroom lacking toilet paper, and a hung-over roommate, ask yourself how comfortable you will be spending time in his world. Be honest: at this stage in your life can you comfortably wake up surrounded by pizza boxes? It took Carrie just one morning without coffee filters and one pee without toilet paper to realize that the twenty-something designer drug was not her style.

Whether or not dating a younger guy works for you, consider Carrie's closing thoughts on the topic:

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Elisabeth LaMotte


Social worker, psychotherapist, blogger and author of "Overcoming Your Parents' Divorce"

Location: Washington, DC
Credentials: LICSW, MFT, MSW
Specialties: Communication Problems, Dating/Being Single Support, Divorce/Divorce Prevention
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