As women continue to achieve their own economic power, and sexual taboos get lifted every day, the notion of dating and marrying a younger man is a very real option for every woman.
Dr. Wendy Walsh: Back in 2003, a study by AARP revealed that 34 percent of all women over 40 in the survey were dating younger men, and 35 percent preferred it to dating older men. But before you head down the same road as Demi Moore, Madonna, and Susan Sarandon, there are some things to consider.
Perhaps the biggest stumbling block if you are considering longevity is the difference in long-term priorities. When couples are biological peers, initial sexual attraction eventually gives way to shared life goals. In a May/December couple, when the initial sexual attraction wanes, the difference in life plans comes to light. He might have loved your kids when his hormones were high on the hunt for you, but things change. And, if he doesn't have his own biological children, there's a good chance he'll want some someday. This could be a problem if your factory is closing soon. And if you are already financially planning for retirement and he's investing in a risky way that only the young can afford to do, you might have some money disagreements. Then there is society's perception of your relationship. We are years past the movie "The Graduate," and our culture has certainly become more accepting of older women with younger men, but think about the slang term for those women: "Cougars." Older women are still seen by many as predators.
On the positive side, a younger man can be a big boost to our self-esteem. It is wonderful to be put in a social situation where our wisdom and life experience can shine. Young guys can be really impressed by our knowledge. They also love our sexual confidence. The old double standard, where a woman loses points for sexual experience, is wiped away. Our sexual experience becomes an asset.
I recently learned my favorite pro to marrying a younger man at my doctor's office. She announced that she was retiring at the age of 59. When I asked if this early retirement was because her husband was retiring, I was told, "Oh no. My husband is twelve years younger than me. I'm getting to retire because he still plans to work for another decade." Nice.
|Dr. Wendy Walsh holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and her area of interest is Attachment Theory, a psychological, evolutionary and ethological theory that provides a descriptive and explanatory framework for understanding interpersonal relationships between human beings. As a psychological assistant registered with the California Board of Psychology, Dr. Walsh has treated individuals, couples and families for a variety of mental health concerns including personality disorders, anger management, eating and substance disorders, and depression.|