“There’s nothing wrong with an older woman dating a young man.” JLO boasted to Ellen DeGeneres. “If a younger guy is interested in you, what’s the big deal? What’s the word for the man who’s after younger girls?”
You’ve heard the word “cougar” to describe women in their 30s and beyond dating way younger men. Maybe you never thought of yourself as one, until you caught the eye of a younger guy and wanted to run your tongue along his jawline. It happens to the best of us. With many famous women like Demi Moore, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, and Cameron Diaz all joining the Cougar Club, older women dating younger men is becoming more common and nothing to be ashamed of. While you don’t necessarily have to become the Madonna of your neighborhood, these sexy pairings can be a lot of fun for an established woman such as yourself! Just remember, there are some pitfalls to dating outside your age group. After a series of quotes and anonymous interviews, I’ve compiled a totally stereotypical list of generalized pros and cons to dating a younger man.
Pro: Excitement, not only in the bedroom.
“ I like that we can have sex in the morning, go on a freakin’ three-hour “nature” hike, and he’s still down for more when we get home. I’m exhausted, but it’s so much fun. ”
While younger men say that they enjoy the confidence and maturity in an older partner, vitality is listed as one of the main reasons women enjoy relationships with younger men. And what younger guys may lack in experience, they more than make up for in stamina. Rest assured these bursts of vivacity are going to show in sack, so you better do some squats. You’ll also find that this boundless energy creates spontaneity and a desire to have a lot of fun outside the bedroom. Get ready for hiking and dancing instead of another evening on the sofa eating Cheetos and watching the complete season of Dexter. *Disclaimer: This will eventually happen.
Pro: A Clean Slate
“A young guy doesn’t come with as much baggage, so he has fewer preconceived notions about relationships and less heartache under his belt to blame for his inability to be open emotionally.”
What you see is what you get, and that in itself can be refreshing to deal with, rather than spending hours trying to crack the “man” mood. A lot of younger men claim that they prefer older women because of the lack of drama and mind games that they believe come with younger women, so you know that they’re more likely to be straightforward with you. Just remember that they expect the same in return.
Pro: Personal Growth
“For a long time we’ve been fed this idea that women should look for a man to take care of her, a man that is more educated, has a better job and makes more money…” – said Sandra L. Caron, a professor at the University of Maine.
Gone are the days when women got married straight out of high school and became homemakers. There are more than 127 million women in the workforce today, and that means most of these women are self-sufficient, bringing home their own bacon. The means by which a woman defines who makes a suitable mates has completely shifted, giving way to the possibility that being super attractive is a good enough reason in itself. But it also means making room for some personal changes.
“The conventional way we are used to dealing with things as simple as a phone call, like texting instead of calling, is something I had to adjust to. Like, just pick up the phone for Christ’s sake.”
While this shift from using the phone to texting everything seems a little daunting (and annoying), the transition allows you to willingly (or forcefully) grow into someone who is more laid back, carefree, and adaptable to change. Just as dinner on the table at 6pm isn’t expected of you, don’t expect him to give you a ring instead of texting if that’s what he’s accustomed to doing. You might also find that, as fun as it is for a while, you’re actually more traditional than you thought and will want someone who shares the same values. Growth!
Pro: Forward Thinking
“He’s grown up in a generation of women who feel free to pursue careers or be in charge of a household and won’t say stupid shit like: “What’s for dinner, babe?”
A generation gap might sound like a con, but it can be a pro, too. Sure, 20somethings are seen as the selfie generation: a bunch of narcissistic, self-absorbed tech junkies, but they are also spontaneous, creative, social, and always looking to try the next new thing. This can be a big leap from the more conservative, set-in-their-ways, older men, and can really get you out of your comfort zone. This is a good thing and ties in with your personal growth. As a bonus, a younger guy won’t be so inclined to have outdated ideas about gender roles and might actually wash a plate or two.
Con: Lifestyle Differences
“Climbing public street lights during the World Series win by the SF Giants or wtv the f-k it was, to demonstrate his excitement was both embarrassing and a major turnoff.”
All that stamina can be good for your relationship, but it also means your guy may want to party with his friends quite a bit, too. Your lifestyles can be very different, and while it may seem okay to be getting drunken calls from him after 4 rounds of shots with his buddies at first, him peeing on street lamps and getting arrested isn’t.
Con: Commitment Issues
“I’ve been with my guy for over two years now, and every time we talk about when he sees us getting married he answers with… ‘down the line.’ I hate that f**king sentence.”
As your relationship evolves and you’ve decided that this isn’t just a fling, you may want to see what’s up on his end. He may not be on the fast track for any kind of commitment. This is not to say younger men are cheaters, it just means that he’s not even thinking about marriage just yet. There are probably loads more things he has on the priority list – which may or may not include going to Thailand for a year. This can also be a real issue if you want kids. If someone asked me in my early 20’s if I wanted a baby, I would have probably laughed uncontrollably right in their faces (even now, in my 30s, it’s still a daunting thought). Chances are your 20something boyfriend will react the same way. Hold off on the “Wedding Dress” and “Nursery” Pinterest boards until you have a little detailed chat about the future.
Con: Lack of Confidence + “Finding Himself”
“He left for New Zealand for two months. I hope looking at sheep and shit helps.”
Again, sweeping generalization here, but there’s something I noticed about the women in my life vs. their younger boyfriends: women have got their shit together! Not in the traditional sense of what’s socially expected of them: careers, cars, homes, husbands, and babies. I’m talking more on the psychological level: they know what they want out of life, they’re independent and defiant in the face of social pressures. Guys don’t get to these self-realizations as fast as women. They struggle with identity (which causes commitment issues and constant shouts of “you’re trying to change me!”). They struggle with what’s expected of them as “men” and with figuring out what to do with their lives. They’re fearful. This leads to the aforementioned yearlong trip to Thailand to “find themselves”, or whatever. Don’t get me wrong, women have these struggles too –– but we have them earlier on in life and we at least figure out the basics pretty quickly. Older men, in general, will already have gone through the self-discovery journey and therefore you don’t need to worry about them disappearing for 2 months because they needed some “time alone to think”.
Con: The Jokes
“If he calls me ‘old lady’ one more time, I’m going to curb stomp him.”
Whether we like it or not, women don’t get the same respect as men do. Hugh’s a dawg & Demi has to deal with jokes about getting traded in for a newer model. Everyone’s a critic and the sooner you accept that people are tools, the easier it’ll be for you to laugh along with the jokes and make a few jokes of your own.
Conclusion: Consider the pros and cons of dating a younger man before you decide to go for it. Or don’t. If there’s anything that Samantha and Smith taught us it’s that sometimes it’s best to just go with the flow and enjoy ourselves. You go, ladies!