Have you considered dating a younger man, but are afraid of getting your heart broken, being humiliated and ultimately dumped for a younger woman? If so, you’re not alone. Our culture’s discomfort with reversing the norm of the younger woman-older man dynamic may come from a deep-rooted evolutionary instinct driving women to choose the older, wiser, more powerful alpha male over the untested young buck. Or, it could be caused by something as shallow and immediate as a woman not wanting anyone to mistake her date for her younger brother or, God forbid, her son.
Fortunately, more women are realizing the flaw in these beliefs. A recent study shows women are more likely to choose a younger man when dating online. Another study published in the journal, Psychology of Women Quarterly, found women who are ten or more years older than their partner report more satisfaction and relationship commitment compared to women who are the same age or younger than their partner.
“We don’t know for sure, but it may be because when the woman is older, it shifts the traditional heterosexual power dynamic toward greater equality. We know from a lot of research that greater equality tends to make couples happier,” writes study author Dr. Justin Lehmiller, a social psychologist in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University in his blog, the Psychology of Human Sexuality.
There are even more resources available beyond the information we’ve summarized in our post, and some excellent books have been written on the subject of being an older woman who is dating or wants to date a younger man. Here are some of the ones we recommend:
Here are some tips to finding and keeping a younger man, who can keep up with your hot, vibrant self:
1. Don’t Consider Yourself a “Cougar”
The term “cougar” has a predatory connotation that women don’t want to be associated with. It gives the implication that older women are on the prowl, hunting younger men, known as “cubs”, as if they are prey. However, most women are approached by younger men, not the other way around. Labels are generally never a good idea. By not associating yourself with that term, you will erase any negative feelings toward having a relationship with a man much younger than yourself.
2. Be Confident
Men are attracted to confident women regardless of their age. This will actually play in your favor. Younger women tend to have more insecurities as they are still figuring out their place in the world, drawn to dating “bad boys” and are more likely to play games with the men that they date. On the other hand, older women are already established, are more comfortable in their skin and are finished with all the BS games they played when they were younger. This is a big reason why younger men find older women so attractive. Remember that you have a great deal to offer any man worthy of your attention, whatever his age may be.
3. Know What You Want
Before going on a first date, know what type of relationship you want. Are you interested in a fling, a committed long-term relationship or friends with benefits? If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you won’t know if the man you’re dating is the right fit. That would be like interviewing people with no specific job in mind. That’s the way young women date, and you’re not that naïve.
4. Date with No Fear
This is not your first rodeo. At this point in your life you have probably been married before, have kids or made the choice to have neither. Either way, you know that a man isn’t going to make or break you. This strength is another trait that attracts younger men to older women. It takes a great deal of the pressure off of them and the relationship. Older women aren’t inclined rush into a commitment too quickly. They continue to date other men until a relationship is established. They understand that a date is just a date and not a marriage proposal. If there’s no second date, it’s not a big deal. Your world isn’t crushed because one man didn’t call back.
If things progress into a relationship, keeping an open line of communication is essential. The two of you must talk about your expectations, needs and fears. You need to know if he wants to have children. This will be a definite deal-breaker if you’re either past the point of having children or have no desire to have kids. If children are not a deal-breaker for you, there are several options for you down the road. Also, discuss how you will handle the situation if your families are opposed to the relationship, and talk about the elephant in the room. Don’t be afraid to discuss why both of you were drawn to date someone that isn’t close to your age range. Do this when things are getting serious, not on the first or second date.
6. Don’t Assume the Relationship Isn’t Viable
Some women are afraid a relationship with a younger man won’t be viable, although this could be said of any relationship. You never know what you’re getting into until you’re in it. As long as both people keep an open line of communication and respect each other, there is no reason a relationship between an older woman and younger man can’t work out. Don’t put an expiration date on your relationship, unless a short fling is what you’re looking for.
7. Be Prepared for Scrutiny
Society is becoming more accepting of seeing older women with younger men, but there will still be some people who make “jokes” that are hurtful or eyebrows that will be raised. As long as the couple is happy and strong, it won’t matter what others think. Your family members may have issues in the beginning, but over time they too will see that the two of you make each other happy and will ultimately accept the relationship.
8. Don’t Assume He Will Cheat
As you are aging you may begin to feel insecure that he will begin to find you unattractive. If you have been together long enough for your body to go through significant changes, you should have more than a physical connection. If he’s a cheater, it wouldn’t matter how old you are. He would still cheat. Besides, he’s also aging and you could easily trade him in for a younger model as well. Don’t let him forget that.
9. Be His Lover Not His Mommy
You will have more life experience than a younger man, and with that comes a certain amount of mentoring. Younger men have more respect for older women because they are more successful and have more experience than women their own age. It can be nice to be a lover and mentor, but be careful that you don’t cross the line into “mommy” territory. If the balance is lost, the passion will die out, causing the relationship to end.
10. Enjoy Your Differences
Some women are afraid they will have nothing in common with a much younger man. This doesn’t have to be a negative. Enjoy learning about each other’s music preferences, hobbies and experiences. These differences will keep the relationship fresh and exciting.
11. Take Care of Yourself
If you are the type of woman who is drawn to and attracts younger men, you are most likely already health conscious. You probably have more energy than other women your age and are more of a free-spirited, independent woman. However, most young men aren’t known for living a healthy lifestyle. Although age is only a number when it comes to dating, it isn’t when it comes to your body. Don’t forget that you no longer have the metabolism of a 20-year-old. If you allow your diet and exercise to fall to the way-side, you won’t have the energy, stamina and youthful looks you had when you first met your nubile stud. Of course, your new stud-muffin is probably giving you plenty of exercise in the bedroom. So, a drop in your pilates classes won’t be noticed.
12. Know When to Say Goodbye
When women date in their twenties, it’s all about finding someone to love them, complete them and make them happy. When older women date it’s more about giving love and making the other person happy. If a man is in a bad mood, busy with work or simply needing his space, it doesn’t bother older women as much. Older women are more understanding of the inner workings of men, don’t take it personally and are too busy with their own lives to be so wrapped up in someone else’s mood. Another thing that comes with experience is knowing when a man’s heart just isn’t in it anymore. When you began the relationship, you were already established and matured. He was still growing and coming into his own. Sometimes this means that you grow closer together, and sometimes you grow apart. Although it’s painful to let someone go, sometimes it’s necessary to say goodbye for the sake of both of your happiness.
Making the decision to date a younger man can be exciting, intriguing and terrifying for a woman. Being in a December-May relationship is definitely not for everyone. It takes a courageous woman to go against the norm, face scrutiny and possible rejection to be with a younger man. In the long run, as long as you are both happy and enjoying each other’s company, the difference in age shouldn’t be an issue. Dating a younger man is no different than dating a man closer to your age as long as you are a good fit for each other.
If you’re a woman who prefers to date older men or would like to try doing so then check out 20 Tips for Younger Women Dating Older Men.