Women have not always felt free to date whomever they’ve wanted. Society, personal obligation, fear…You name the reason and a woman somewhere at some time probably felt like she had to choose a certain partner because of one outside or internal reason or another.
Society and older women
As a society, we’ve villanized older women who like younger men, more so than their male counterparts, says Laura Bilotta, a dating coach and matchmaker in Toronto.
“Women shouldn’t have to feel a stigma when it comes to dating younger men. As long as everyone is a consenting adult and they aren’t abusing their power, there is nothing wrong with a May/December romance.”
Thankfully, though, many of these “walls” are coming down, and women, in general, fell freer to date whoever they want.
A 2017 poll from Seeking Arrangement found that 42 percent of women date younger men because of their increased energy; 23 percent date younger men because women think their male mates look up to them; 18 percent of women date younger men because they are in shape; 12 percent date younger men because these men are not intimidated by the older woman’s success; and 5 percent of older women say they date younger men because the women are looking for carefree fun.
Although this poll doesn’t come from an incredibly reputable source, and the poll only had 6,237 respondents, its findings were not surprising to interviewees.
The reasons behind the numbers
Generally, older women who date younger men have already been married, says Bilotta.
“[They] were unsatisfied in their previous relationship [and] want someone young and exciting in their life,” adds Bilotta. “I hear from women on their second time around that older men stop taking care of themselves and don’t have the energy to keep up with them.”
Bilotta also says that women who’ve gone through a divorce want a certain level of control over their lives and relationships. “Being older in the relationship means they have the experience and therefore the upper hand.”
David Ezell, CEO of Darien Wellness, says society is coming to terms with the idea of intergenerational relationships, too. “Our culture is much more comfortable with older men and younger women,” adds Ezell. “If you have any doubts, look at the hundreds of movies where that is the case. In most cases, either party is looking for someone outside of their age group who can bring a level of experience and maturity (for the men) and energy, excitability and optimism (for the women).”
Ezell also says he thinks the above information applies to younger women and older men, as well as same-sex couples.