Posts Tagged 'dating'

What’s Behind the Trend of Women Dating Younger Men?

Exploring the modern coupling phenomenon

By Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. Special to Special to Yahoo! Personals

http://dating.personals.yahoo.com/singles/relationships/23981/whats-behind-the-trend-of-women-dating-younger-men

Updated: Jun 13, 2008

'Younger man, Older woman couple (Getty Images)
There appears to be a trend of older women dating younger men, notably illustrated by celebrity couples including Demi Moore and Aston Kutcher, Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry, and the most recent fling between 48-year-old Linda Hogan and 19-year-old Charlie Hill. According to a study of 50,000 women daters over 30, conducted by an online dating site in 2007, more than one-third of the subjects showed interest in men at least 5 years younger. And in 2003, an AARP survey revealed 34 percent of 3,500 women (between ages 40 and 69) dated men who are 10 or more years younger than themselves. This trend appears to be shocking to some people, but I don’t find it so unusual.
Socially, there’s a role reversal of sorts going on, women are more powerful now than ever before and may want men who are younger, and perhaps, more flexible; men who can handle it if the woman’s career and lifestyle takes priority over their own. Media portrayals in “Sex and the City” (like movie characters Smith Jerrod and Samantha Jones) and “Desperate Housewives” are also showing women that dates don’t have to be older. Women who have high-powered careers — or a well-developed self-image — are exercising more choice. Women who have been divorced and are established single moms may enjoy having a playmate, someone to have fun with; who doesn’t try to control her.

Can these older woman/younger man relationships last?

In my counseling office, I have seen many relationships succeed with this kind of older woman/younger man scenario.

“The media focuses on the age difference, but what really makes or breaks the relationship is how well the couple can form a partnership that works”

The media focuses on the age difference, but what really makes or breaks the relationship is how well the couple can form a partnership that works.
Age difference is an adolescent worry: When you’re a teenager, an age difference of even two or three years makes a vast difference in your experience and your outlook on life. Such a difference can interfere with communication, life goals, outlook, and relationship experience. In addition, for the young, the social reaction to such a relationship is often negative. If one partner is underage, a sexual relationship is even against the law.
But, as you get older, life experience and emotional growth help to equalize your relationship skills and resources. A 10-year or more difference in your ages makes little difference in how well you can conduct your relationship.
Don’t focus on an arbitrary numbers difference in your ages. If you are getting along, you have good communication and problem solving, and you love each other, that’s a precious thing, and far more important than any age difference could be. If other people have a problem with it, let it be their problem.
Whether or not a relationship is healthy is not determined by age differences, but by the interaction between the partners. A 10-year difference is not too difficult to bridge, but a 20-year differences or more in age can lead to some difficulties as the partners get older. For example, the younger partner may mature and reconsider his or her choices, or an older partner may confront aging problems much sooner. But, as long as both parties are adult, and the couple has talked about their age difference and the future possibilities, I don’t make judgments about their respective ages.

 

Dealing with the generation gap

There are healthy and unhealthy reasons to date someone of a different generation.

“One inappropriate motivation for dating a younger person is fear of aging on the older person’s part.”

One inappropriate motivation for dating a younger person is fear of aging on the older person’s part. A younger partner isn’t going to reverse the aging process or protect you from old age. Obviously, a man or woman who dates someone as young as his or her children is going to run into some social opposition, but the differences that can cause the biggest problems within the couple’s relationship are differing maturity levels.
As more and more women choose younger partners for relationships, the question arises: Are women in their late 30s and early 40s likely to be successful with partners who are 10 to 15 years younger than themselves?
Success in these relationships depends on what the motivations of both people are. Some older people feel younger at heart than their contemporaries and like to date people who are as active as they are. Chronological age doesn’t always reflect either physical capability or emotional maturity. Sometimes an age difference creates a mentoring relationship the older person advises the younger one on life or career. This can backfire if and when the younger person decides he or she has learned enough, and wants to move on.
If you’re asking: “Is it OK for me to have a partner who is much older or younger than I am?” You’ll do better off if you forget about your ages and concentrate on whether the relationship works for both of you, or not. What really makes a romantic relationship succeed is the emotional connection.
Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., of www.tinatessina.com is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in Long Beach, Calif. since 1978 and author of 13 books in 14 languages, including two new books from Adams Press in 2008: “Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage” and “The Commuter Marriage“. She publishes the “Happiness Tips from Tina” e-mail newsletter, and the “Dr. Romance” Blog. She has written and been interviewed for many national publications, including Cosmopolitan, Maxim, and TimeOnline.com. Online, she’s known as “The Dating Doctor” and “Doctor Romance” and is a Redbook Love Network expert as well as for Yahoo! Personals.

Dating at 40

Disclosure:  Since I’m having a great weekend with my cute boyfriend and just pooped from working on my annual charity event, tonight’s program will be a total rip-off from the best of Craig’s List. 

Read it, then we’ll discuss:

RE: 40’s and dating


Date: 2007-10-11, 11:29AM MDT
I am a man in my 40s and dating. I was married and against my wishes the marriage ended. I loved my wife deeply, she decided she no longer loved me and she wasn’t “happy”. So, now I date. I didn’t ask to be in my 40s and single, but reality being what it is I live with it.

I have no plans to ever get married again. I might have a steady girlfriend if the occasion arises, but she’d have to be pretty damn spectacular for me to make that leap. I have had all my children, I am financially secure and have a plan for myself that is better done without a typical American woman’s bullshit to goof it up. I don’t hate women at all by the way, I just know what is worth my time and what isn’t.

I date for the occasional bit of company and to occasionally have sex, that’s about it. I don’t need a woman in my life full time. I can cook and clean, etc, etc. If I wanted full time companionship, I’d get a dog. Dog’s are much easier to deal with than women at this point in my life. Call me shallow, etc etc whatever, that’s fine with me. I know me a helluva lot better than anyone else does.

I do have some rules for dating. Since I am not a horny, partying twenty something or a desparate to have kids thirty something these rules work for me. I think everyone ought to come up with what works for them, keeping the reality of their particular situation in mind.

My personal rules:

1. I never seriously date a woman who terminated her last relationship because she wasn’t “happy”. Happiness is an emotional response to external stimuli. To break the vow of “til’ death do us part” over an emotional state that may or may not be another person’s fault, is shallow and shows a lack of emotional maturity. It tells me that woman is too self absorbed to be a reliable partner in the future.

2. I don’t date fat women. Sorry, all you “BBWs”; get a grip on reality. If you are walking around looking like you have a beer keg stuffed in your pants, you don’t give a shit about yourself, so I really don’t expect you to give a shit about me in the long run. Don’t give me that crap about how happy you are with yourself, you’re not and we both know it. If you and I had fallen in love twenty years ago, gotten married and had a family and you had put on the weight, I would still be with you, but we didn’t and so I see no need to accommodate your lack of character and discipline.

3. I won’t seriously consider dating a woman who has a lot of hangups about sex. Since I have had all my children, since I can cook and clean and make a damn good living for myself and my children, you bring nothing to the table I need in the traditional sense. Hell, most women can’t or won’t cook a decent meal anymore and are as a general rule clueless in regard to the domestic arts. If you have a lot of hangups about sex before we are monogamous, I pretty much see the writing on the wall after we have been together for a while. You might not like it, but sex is important to men, yes actually, it IS mostly about sex. Now that we are all well educated as to the dangers of unprotected sex, STDs and birth control, I don’t see the problem. Your pussy is not the only one in the universe and it isn’t plated with gold. If you won’t have sex with a man, one of your slutty sisters around the corner will.

4. Feminists. I don’t date women who are avowed feminists with a “you go girl” mentality. Sorry, but your little movement fucked things up in a major way. I think women ought to vote, receive equal pay for equal work etc. etc. I do have enough sense to recognize that whether by design or chance, men and women are different and since I think that form follows function there is a reason for our differences. I don’t want to be around a woman who wants to prove to me she is as good as I am at “man” stuff. It is annoying. It makes you look stupid and insecure.

5. “Independent” women. I never date a woman who feels the need to tout her own independence. First, independent entities by definition do not want or need to be in any type of union with another entity. When the United States declared independence from Great Britain, we dissolved the ties that had connected us to the British. I myself am independent and feel no need to tell everyone about it. It is called being an adult. Being able to take care of yourself doesn’t make you special, it makes you “grown folks”. Second, if you are that independent, why are you looking for a relationship in the first place? Independence is the opposite of dependence and being able to depend on others is why we get into relationships of any kind in the first place.

6. Women who spend every weekend perched on a barstool. I don’t date these over the hill party girls because as an adult male, I know why men go to bars and clubs and as a mature adult woman you ought to as well. If you do know and still sit there every weekend you are trying to be something you aren’t (young, unless you are a drunk) and I have no desire to be with a woman who lives in a fantasy world. If you haven’t figured out why men go to bars and clubs and you are sitting there hoping to meet prince charming, you are clueless and I like to think the women I date have a modicum of intelligence.

7. I don’t date women who have their children full time. Might come across as a shitty attitude to have, but I see no need to be a full time father to someone else’s children and a part time father to my own. This is a personal preference I developed after having discussions with my own children. Mine have been through enough already, I’m the Dad and feel I am doing what is best for my children, they were here first.

8. Anyone who is fanatical about much of anything. If you are religious fanatic, I too believe in God. I have a degree in Theology as a matter of fact, but as far as I can tell, God didn’t assign any woman at anytime to be my moral gatekeeper. He did tell you to be “keepers at home”, if you are so caught up in church work that you are making your family the second priority in your life you aren’t following your own rule book. I digress, fanaticism of any kind is a psychological addiction and I prefer to spend my time with people who lead a well balanced life. Addiction of any kind is a turn off.

9. Overly materialistic. My preference. I grew up dirt poor and have by hard work gotten myself to a pretty good spot in life. If you have a desire and need to get the latest and greatest and keep up with the Jones family, you aren’t for me. I see no need to potentially work myself into an early grave to keep you in shiny trinkets and new cars. I am pretty content with a pot of beans and a nice clean, comfortable house in a decent neighborhood and a vehicle that works and is safe. If $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ is what motivates you, I am not mad at you or knocking you for it, I am personally not interested. No, I am not “poor”, it is about priorities.

There ya go. Don’t know why I posted this. Saw the comments about people in their 40s dating and this is what came to mind. I have no real interest in getting into another permanent relationship. I am content to spend the rest of my life single, but that works for me.

For those disparaging the over 40 dating crowd, even 40 somethings get lonely at times, some more than others. Some of those people are there through no fault of their own. they were and are good men and women who had an ex get middle aged crazy and left a good man or woman behind to chase after something they thought they were missing. Maybe the other person was an abusive asshole or addict and the one who is single had to leave for any number of reasons. All sorts of reasons people over 40 are single. Keep breathing and you might find yourself there some day.

 

And there you have it, folks.  A painfully accurate description of the 40+ dating pool.  Here we have an admittedly lonely guy in his 40s, bitter, defensive, divorced, part-time father with a chip on his shoulder the size of a Maytag.  He’s a simple guy really and doesn’t ask for much in a woman, just these 9 traits:

1. Happy

2. Skinny

3. Slutty

4. Self-loathing, non-feminist (i.e. dependent)

5. Independent, but please don’t show it

6.  Non-drinker

7.  Childless

8.  Apathetic

9.  Poor

Oh, and if you didn’t get it the first 3 times he said it, you have to be all that and he still doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you.  He doesn’t have time for a relationship you see because he’s too busy writing CL posts, blaming you, me and his ex for every wrong he has known and for the ills of society.  Now imagine an army of guys like this, roaming the streets in search of love.  Where do I sign up?