5 Reasons Not to Date Older Or Younger

I was out with my parents last weekend, dining in one of the finest barbeque establishments on the Hudson River when my mother let out a low curse. I turned around to see what she was looking at. It was a woman somewhere in her late forties to early fifties kissing a boy (A BOY!) on the mouth. And stroking his hair and giggling with him like she was in her teens again. Now don’t get the wrong idea when I say boy. He was legal and of drinking age, but he couldn’t have been much more than twenty-two. And yet he was there, swapping spit with someone who could be his mother. I consider myself a feminist, one of those women who thinks she can do everything without a man, but for some reason watching these two play kissy face made my stomach churn. I know men do it all the time. And I’m not cool with that either. I don’t like that 38 year old Bradley Cooper is dating a twenty year old (she looks 16!) model. Or that 42 year old Jeremy Renner had a baby with his twenty-two year old girlfriend. There are tons of women closer to their age or who at least can rent a car with no problem that they can date. Women that they probably have more in common with. Women that are far more interesting than those girls. Even I at 28 would be too old for those men in their forties, but society doesn’t seem to make a big deal about it. Even I didn’t have much of a reaction when I learned of those huge age differences, but I had a reaction, a physical reaction when I saw that kid making out with that women.

I hate myself a little for writing this. She wasn’t even hot, or remarkable in any way. She was frumpy. She wore an oversized tee shirt and a pair of neon green Crocs. She was overweight. Her skin sagged. Her boyfriend seem to be her physical opposite. He was tall and thin, and brown and muscular. He wore a tight shirt to show his muscles. Maybe it would have been a little more palatable to me if the woman, looked like Brooke Shields or Cindy Crawford, if she looked like the image of the word cougar. But she looked like somebody’s over tired mother.

My father who is usually oblivious to what my mother and I are paying attention to saw what we were looking at.

He said, “The boy probably needs a place to stay. He gives her some. She pays his bills.”

My mother, always the cynic said, “I know. I wish your brothers would find some older women. Maybe I could finally get them out of my house.”

I too wondered how that younger guy got to be with that older woman. I wondered how they met. I wonder if he was really attracted to her.

He must have been.

I just don’t think it’s possible to fake those kinds of sweet long looks, or the gentle way he held her hand while they were eating dinner. There are all types of swindlers out there. There are men who will break your heart without even a second thought, but when I looked at them, even though it made me feel uncomfortable I felt like they were in love. And it dawned on me that I shouldn’t judge. Because that was the kind of stuff that romance novels are made of.

Here are some things that might make you want to reconsider your May-December relationship.

1.  They didn’t grow up watching the same TV shows as you. (How do you NOT know  PETE AND PETE? You’ve  NEVER seen ALL IN THE FAMILY???)

2.  They have cool new sayings that you totally won’t get. (That chick is ratchet. Doesn’t she know she’s just his jump off?)

3. You have to buy their alcohol because legally they’re not allow to. (Whomp whomp)

4.  People mistake you for their mother or father.  ALL THE TIME.

5. You could have changed their diapers. Or might have to change their diapers soon.  (Eww. EWWW.)

And what do you think about the much older woman younger man thing? Please share your thoughts.


25 thoughts on “5 Reasons Not to Date Older Or Younger”

  1. As the mom of a good-looking and charming teenaged boy (did I mention intelligent?), this scenario really, really, really rubs me the wrong way. Not so much because of the age difference (though I always think it’s a little icky–Anna Nicole Smith and that ancient millionaire, anyone?). But why is a mature woman making out in public with anyone? Handholding: fine. Tender looks: lovely. Private whispering or a brief, gentle brushing of lips: sigh! Wish I could get some of that. But a mature woman (or man) swapping spit in public with a much younger person is making another kind of statement, and it makes me question the older person’s judgment and motives. ‘Cuz if you can hear slurpy kissing noises or you can see there’s tongue involved, it’s not classy. Loving PDA is good–very good. Blatantly having your hand in somebody’s pants in public is not. I’m glad they’re hot for each other. But I don’t want to see it.

  2. I don’t particularly want to watch anyone of any age “making out” in public.
    That said, and though I don’t get it other than the sex what a 40+ woman would talk to a 20 something guy about any more than I get what a 40 man would talk to a 20 year old girl about, I do think what’s okay for one is okay for the other, meaning it annoys me beyond measure that society is pretty much fine with the older man, younger woman scenario but not the older woman, young guy scenario. In the end, I agree with your father, he was getting some and the woman was likely paying his bills. Of course it doesnt mean we should all have to watch paw each other!

  3. I’m in agreement in part with the other posters — I do not like watching people of any age making out in public. The age thing doesn’t bother me too much. Personally, I would date a man up to 10 years younger than I, but I wouldn’t date him just because of his age. For the mature women I know who are with younger men (and I know a few) they are with them because the man offers them something more than eye candy and sex. But here’s where I am unfair:), I believe many men who date young women 15 to 20 years their junior are with them because that woman is young.

    But then again, there are exceptions to every cliche. Eighteen years ago my then 70 year old aunt married a 90 year old man who was vibrant, funny and smart. My son gave away the bride:)… My uncle lived for 10 more years and those were very happy years according to my aunt (who is still alive and kicking:).

  4. Oh, boy…literally. You’ve opened up a can of worms here, Sugar! I’m of the mind set that love is love and there is no rhyme or reason to it. Pheromones, chemistry, or just the simple fact that another person completes a part of you that feels like it’s missing. Love takes many forms. I know that in my early/mid forties, I went through a CRAZY hormonal surge before the big “M” hit and if I’d been single, there wouldn’t have been a man under thirty-five that would have been safe with me around in that state. Older men go for young women to make them feel younger. If the guy is a bit immature (Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner strike me as such), all the better. Same goes for women. If they haven’t had a chance to sow their oats because they’ve spent much of their lives being what everyone else wanted them to be and thought they should be, their forties are a great time to explore uncharted waters. Younger people who go for much older partners tend to have unresolved daddy/mommy issues and are looking for someone to care for and nurture them in a way that they missed out on for whatever reasons. it may seem icky to some of us, but for those people in those relationships, it’s the best thing since sliced bread and it works…at least until one of them grows up. PDA’s aside, I have no problem with it.

    1. I feel like those mommy/daddy issue relationships even when the partners are happy in that moment never really work in the long run, because those issues don’t get resolved and it kind of makes that person even more effed up in the long run. They are trying to replace their parent with a sexual partner. For me it’s just not cool. You get what I’m saying?

  5. Hmmmm – very interesting. Mr Monkeys is nearly 9 years younger than me. We’ve been together for over 16 years now (nobody better be doing math here!) and it was really only an issue when we first started dating. I was 27 and he was…ehhhm…18. When we met, we were both camp counselors. I was brand new (after 5 years in the corporate rat race) and had no idea what I was doing other than checking something off my bucket list. Mr. Monkeys was an experienced 3rd year counselor who knew was well respected and knew what he was doing. Of course I knew how old he was (or wasn’t!) but we had a lot in common, lots of the same hopes and dreams. When the summer was over, he went off to college in New Haven and I moved to Boston – but here we are all these years later, married over a decade later, with a house and kids and responsibilities up the ying-yang.

    And the best part? We’re scheduled to die together – women live 8 years longer then men…our boys can bury us in one casket – you know 50 years from now…

  6. I’m no prude by any means, but I have to say that I’m in agreement in that I also do not want to watch anyone swapping spit while I’m trying to have dinner. By the way you describe him and how attentive he was to her it makes me wonder if he was not a gigolo. They are very practiced at those long loving looks, holding hands, and PDA (or so I’m told) Then again, maybe, despite her sloppy appearance, she is a wonderful person and he is completely in love with her (Probably not). I’m not a fan of the PDA – Get a room already!

  7. As a late-fortyish woman who spends a lot of time with college students (in the classroom!), I can’t imagine ever going out with someone that young. Even though I feel like I graduated from college, like, yesterday I’m always saying something in class and getting 22 blank stares back at me. Then I remember — duh — they weren’t alive back then. Of course, they have no idea what I’m talking about!

    I always thought the Demi Moore-Ashton Kutcher marriage was weird because he was closer in age to her daughters. I could never quite wrap my head around that. It would have been less weird, I think, if she didn’t have kids.

  8. Fascinating, all these responses to a very simple fix. No Making out in public. So what if he is younger? Men marry younger all the time. I think anyone who marries someone so much younger is after something other than companionship. We just watched a great movie where he was fifteen years younger than she. She sent him packing. He spent the next five years growing up. When next they bumped by accident, they fell in love all over again, this time it was real. So, why not? What’s the big deal? But, no making out in public.

    1. You’re right. Age difference is not so much of a big deal the older you get. But I feel like men don’t mature as quickly as women. Even guys my age act 12, so I couldn’t imagine going younger.

  9. I am one of those “older” women. My husband was 29 when we married, I was 37 (37 1/2 in truth). It was no one’s business that we fell in love, though my mother probably was not thrilled.
    That was almost 24 years ago. We are VERY happily married. He is my soul mate, and I am his.
    A real happy ending.

    And as far as making out in public — at any age– my response: Get a room!

    1. That age difference is not so big. It’s not even ten years. This woman was at least twenty years older than that boy and as a sister of boys in their early twenties I want those older women to stay the hell away from them.

  10. I loved what your mother said, I think I’ve said the same thing to my sons. I think as women get older they find there’s a lot good reasons in having a relationship with a younger man. Although I’m not big for public shows affection, I have no problem with age differences. I think an older woman would find a younger man attractive in more ways than just physical. The problem is most of us get married when were young and we end up marrying older men, because the guys that are the same age or younger are immature. But I can see any woman in her 40s getting along quite well with someone 20 years younger. Thank you for the blog I really enjoyed it.

    1. I just keep looking at my brothers who are 19 22 and 23 and I fail to see how anybody over the age of 25 could talk to them. The differences in generations are so different now. I’m only five years older than my brother and yet I can’t even relate to him. There are those exceptions to the rules but for the most part theres a good reason older women don’t date younger men.

  11. Had I not currently be in a relationship with a younger man, 29 years age difference (he’s in his 20’s and I’m in my 50’s), I might share SOME of the posters views as well. But we’ve been together almost 2 yrs and its been my best relationship to date. I’ve been married twice, once to someone 6 yrs older and then 6 yrs younger. What I’ve come to learn, is that age doesn’t play a factor…..only the qualities of the individual person. We have a mutual respect for one another; not to mention a lot in common. He has an “old soul”, and we enjoy the same music, concerts and some activities. However, there are some things we don’t share in common and we give each other space to pursue those things on our own. I don’t pay any of his bills….he pays mine. I lost my job shortly after we met and he’s been there wholeheartedly, emotionally and financially! His communication skills are awesome. When an issue arises, which is rare, he seeks to resolve it immediately…..making sure that we preserve the peace. Society is quick to assume that our type of relationship is always built on high powered sex or someone being kept, but more than often, they’re beautiful non traditional relationships filled with lots of love. My daughter is a few years older than him and his mother is a few years older than me, and yet both of them are very supportive of our relationship. We decided very early on to take things one day at a time and that has helped us surpass the duration of some marriages. I ask posters, not to be so quick to judge. We may not always agree or even understand, but we should always be ready to respect it.

  12. I like your topic. However, every woman has her own concept about choosing a life partner. Younger men who date older women or a cougar is popular today. Not all men are the same. Some of them prefer to date a matured lady while some like their money. So, most of these young guys are not supportive but depend on their women. So, power and materials are two things that most young men and old women relationships happen. Older women are seeking younger men because they guys can make them feel younger. That’s what I think.

  13. I don’t like looking at couples – AT ANY AGE – making out in public. but as far as the age gap, I don’t have any problems at all. I am in a 4-yr relationship with a man 20 years younger than me. We are asians, so traditionally, this kind of relationship is taboo. I also was not married, I don’t have kids and my friends are all about 10-15 years younger than I am (I can’t help it because most of my college friends are married with kids and their activities bore me). Me and my hubby dance – hiphop – not ballroom! I would post our photos if I could but I won’t so you just have to trust me when I say I don’t look a day older than 28. I am btw, 43.

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