Relationship advice. Does age matter in a relationship? So given all this, do traditional notions of appropriate age gaps in relationships still matter?
Ever heard of the rule that men should date women who are half their age plus seven? Some celebrities - think Leonardo Di Caprio - take this to extremes with a roster of something models regularly appearing on their arm, but do you know where the saying comes from? But does it stand up to scrutiny, or is it just a baseless rule perpetuated by men who want to justify dating younger, and less mature, women?
When it comes to the subject of love we always hope that there are no real significant barriers to its success. But what about age? And what about age as it relates to older women involved with younger men?
A cougar is typically defined as an older woman who is primarily attracted to and may have a sexual relationship with significantly younger men. Although precise ages vary with the definer, in general, the woman is 35 years or older, the man is more than eight years her junior. Some women and men consider "cougar" a sexist, derogatory termbut the flavor of the meaning in context varies from empowering to offensive.
There are a few things at play here. And not for the reasons you may think. An older woman does pose an alluring challenge for a younger man.
We all remember when year old Ashley Olsen made headlines for reportedly dating year-old Bennett Miller, the director of Moneyball. And, yes, I know some younger men date older women. Kyle Jones, a year-old Pittsburgh guy, was in the news for having a relationship with year-old great-grandmother, Marjorie McCool.
The real rules about how old and young you can date. According to this rule, society should accept a 50 year old man dating a 32 year old woman. A quick poll of my friends says otherwise.
For these reasons and others, my friend Megan O'Brien, a successful woman in her own right as the founder of the marketing agency Beauty Brander, almost exclusively dates men in their sixties and older. We recently attended a wedding in Palm Springs together, a fancy affair with pool parties, fireworks, and a ceremony at the Empire Polo Club where they host the Coachella music festival. I'm 33, Megan is 37, and the majority of the guests who were not relatives of the bride or groom fell somewhere squarely in between. Recently recovering from a relationship with a year-old celebrity plastic surgeon in Los Angeles, Megan arrived to the wedding weekend licking her wounds, only to immediately be courted by the year old uncle of the groom.
I had a game I liked to play with this younger guy, a hilarious invention of my own called "Is He Dead? What, after all, had he done? A lot of us have found ourselves attracted to somebody younger or older, and have been reluctant to act on it because of some perceived weirdness or taboo.
A middle-aged man dating a much younger woman has long been thought of in American culture as a classic sign of midlife crisis. In some circles, dating a younger woman is a status symbol. Navigating the social ramifications of your relationship while struggling with generation gaps can be tough, but a significant age difference can give you the chance to consider new perspectives and appreciate the offerings of a different generation.