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JENNIFER'S GEMS
by Jennifer Brown Banks

Younger Men, Older Women
Is it for you?

The current dating scene is one of fewer taboos and greater social acceptance. And with it, women are finding the freedom to love according to their heart’s dictates. For some, this means dismissing date of birth as a determining factor in mate selection. When it comes to love, ladies everywhere are finding “age is just a number!” This phenomenon has been featured on Oprah, captured in modern movies, and has graced the pages of girly magazines.

Demi’s doing it. Madonna made headlines with her boy toy, and Tina Turner too! I personally conducted an informal survey of my own of single women (see quotes below), ages 25-49, and 90% approved of these December/May unions. A male friend of mine also spoke in support. Here’s what they had to say based upon their experiences:

ELAINE
A 36-year-old attractive, journalist and divorcee states “When I met Bill, there was a 'forbidden fruit' fascination that kept him in my thoughts even from day one, when we first met at work. He came on to me like gangbusters! He was cocky, cute, incorrigible and extremely sure of himself for his age (28). Upon getting to know him, he dispelled all preconceived notions about younger guys. He was a great conversationalist, cultured, unmacho, and intelligent. I would definitely recommend it!”

FRANCES
A 49-year-old statuesque teacher dated Eddie, a blue-collar worker nine years her junior, and asserts that younger guys have a certain innocence about them. She adds, “they typically have less emotional baggage and more energy!” She and Eddie moved in together after three months of dating and she’s having the time of her life. Wedding plans are in the works.

KAREN
Karen, a 45-year-old secretary and single mom has two words for these affairs—“Thumbs up!”

CYNTHIA
Cynthia, a 25-year-old full-time college student confesses that younger men are the rave! She found the one she dated to be attentive, flexible and more family oriented than older guys who wined and dined her.

DARYL
Daryl, a 42-year-old writer prefers older women, stating that they are often clearer on what they want in a relationship, and less likely to play games.

According to William July II, author of Brothers, Lust and Love, “This is not a fad. Women taking younger men as boyfriends and husbands is a new way of life. Evolving women often feel more comfortable with younger men, because younger men aren’t products of the old-school, male domineering mentality. Today we’re seeing many old prejudices and stereotypes about age breaking down because the number of failing relationships in this society is forcing us to consider alternatives to tradition.”

It’s important to note that not everyone is in favor of this form of partnering. Renowned author and psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers, in outlining guidelines for mate selection, suggests that women not marry a man more than five years younger. She states that closeness in age does not guarantee lifelong happiness, but an age-discrepant marriage definitely guarantees stresses that are not present or are less severe in other marriages.

One must also be mindful that compatibility is based upon many different factors. Two people of different age groups may find common ground through their shared values, goals, interests, and backgrounds.

Also, age is not necessarily an indicator of maturity. I have found some young guys to be very mature and wise beyond their years. I have, by contrast, encountered men who were advanced in years that had the emotional maturity of an adolescent. As with other aspects of relationships, age preference is an individual decision that must be based upon personal needs, desires and level of comfortability.

FAMOUS YOUNGER MAN/OLDER WOMAN COUPLES:

Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell
(she’s 6 yrs. older)

Courtney Cox & David Arquette
(she’s 7 years his senior)

Cameron Diaz & Justin Timberlake
(she's 9 years older)

Madonna & Guy Ritchie
(she’s 10 years older and states she’s turned on by how macho he is!)

Demi Moore & Ashton Kutcher
(she's 16 years older!)

For more information on this intriguing topic, pick up a copy of Older Women, Younger Men, New Options for Love and Romance. (New Horizon Press).

 



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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.


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