Almost one-third of women inbetween ages 40 and Sixty nine are dating junior guys (defined as Ten or more years junior).
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He was 27, she was 42. Those were the ages of Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore when the duo tied the knot last year, making their very publicized May-December romance official.
But even tho’ their older woman-younger man relationship may be among the world’s most visible, it’s not that unusual anymore.
Braving “robbing the cradle” jokes, almost one-third of women inbetween ages 40 and Sixty nine are dating junior boys (defined as Ten or more years junior). According to a latest AARP poll, one-sixth of women in their 50s, in fact, choose guys in their 40s.
It’s not what you think — the stamina or “re-boot” capability of the junior masculine. The women like the plasticity and sense of escapade of their more spontaneous, junior companions, Tina B. Tessina, PhD, a licensed family therapist in practice in Long Beach, Calif., and author of The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again, tells WebMD. For their part, the studs like the sophistication and life success of their older mates, she explains. The much touted idea that women peak sexually in their 30s and dudes in their teenagers does not come in into it — most of these couples are beyond both those age periods.
Other Reasons Behind This Trend
According to Tessina, other reasons underlying this expansion of everyone’s dating choices include:
- Older women are looking better every day, thanks to creative medical advances and a gym on every corner.
- Women are more likely to come back on the dating market because of divorce and a longer expected life span.
- Not as many women are looking for the picket fence and two cars. Now companionship, travel, and joy are coming to the forefront.
- Women may also want a man with a less-developed career who could go after her or take care of children, if that is a factor.
- For their part, junior dudes often find older women more interesting, experimental, joy to talk to, financially lodged, and more adept sexually.
But what about the notion that guys are “hard-wired” to seek a smooth-faced, curvy receptacle for reproduction and thus are drawn to junior women? “Humans are relatively pliable species,” Michael R. Cunningham, PhD, a psychologist in the department of communications at the University of Louisville, tells WebMD. “Factors other than biological can be attractive. You can override a lot of biology in pursuit of other goals.”
Interestingly, Cunningham did an unpublished explore of 60 women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, who were shown pictures of boys aged to those decades. “The women,” he says, “were more interested in studs their own age or older.”
As for the studs, he says: “I guess it could be nice not to drape around a ditz with no skill of music or something like that.”
Getting Over the “Shoulds”
“We have strong ‘shoulds’ on ways of partnering up,” Kathryn Elliott, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, explains to WebMD. “We are victims of inner-critic constrictedness. We think we should only weigh 120. We should marry people within two years of our age. We pathologize anything that isn’t within those shoulds.”
The key to making older women/junior man relationships work, Elliott says, is to match what she calls voltages. “Choose someone who is your voltage type — has the same level of force about life. If the voltages are different, one becomes the pursuer and one the distancer. This can create agony.”
Voltages are not a factor of age, she says.
“What you don’t want,” she explains, “is one fucking partner wanting to go out, the other stay in, one willing to talk, the other wanting space (and muffle to love it).”
Dealing With the Flak
Susan Winter is co-author, with Felicia Brings, of Older Women, Junior Guys: Fresh Options for Love and Romance. She has been in several relationships with dudes up to 20 years junior than herself.
She works out a lot by her own admission (and judging by her track record in this department) and often meets fucking partners at the gym, not the bars.
Winter tells WebMD that she and her co-author interviewed more than 200 couples for their book. Tho’ hardly a scientific examine, the research surfaced three myths such couples hear every time:
- Myth No. 1 — “He will leave you for a junior woman.” Winter says they did not find one junior man who did this, at least for a specific woman and because she was junior. “In some cases, the man desired children,” she says, “and the relationship fell apart because of that.”
- Myth No. Two — “The woman was the seducer — Mrs. Robinson.” In all 200 cases, Winter says it was the man who initiated the contact.
- Myth No. Three — “It will never last.” Winter said some of the couples they met had been together 25 year or more. The average length of the relationships was 13 years.
Pretty Promising Material Out There
Winter is upbeat about the junior generations. “The boomers are lost sheep,” she says. “All they can do to get a woman is dangle their Porsche keys.” As you peel back the decades, tho’, the boys get “cooler,” she says. Guys in their 30s get her vote. “They grew up with AIDS, they are considerate. Such guys (at least the ones interested in older women) are stable and mature. They don’t want to be mothered. They want a woman who knows who she is.”
Still, even Winter admits, this may not be for everyone.
SOURCES: Tina B. Tessina, PhD, psychologist and author, The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again. Michael R. Cunningham, PhD, psychologist, University of Louisville. Kathryn Elliott, PhD, assistant professor of psychology, University of Louisiana, Lafayette. Susan Winter, co-author, Older Women, Junior Guys: Fresh Options for Love and Romance.
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