Saturday, April 14, 2012

Older Women and Younger Men - Why the Taboo?

What do Rupert Murdoch, Billy Joel, and Alec Baldwin have in common? They are all involved with women decades younger than themselves – women who could be their daughters. Because they are powerful men, we often accept this as normal. But just try reversing it.

Demi Moore was practically our only role model for a successful relationship of an older woman with a younger man, but alas even this long-term marriage has come to an end.

I'm not saying there's anything particularly great about falling in love with someone half your age, that those people will have anything to talk about, or that the relationships will last; however, I am pointing out that women who do this are often ridiculed whereas men are admired. That's because men are still greatly valued for their status, prestige, and money, and women for their looks and youth.

When I turned 50, I had a hip replacement because my hip was fractured in an accident I'd had years ago and the joint wore out. The only thing worse than turning 50 was turning 50 and having a hip replacement! I felt ancient. Absolutely fossilized. And as a result I developed a big-time crush on a guy 25 years younger than me. He was really fond of me (Hello, Alex!) until he realized that my interest was romantic and then he ran as far as he could in the opposite direction. And rightly so. I get that. What I didn't get was the way my family and friends mocked me, as though it was a ludicrous notion that anyone so much younger could be interested in me. Why? Because I wasn't an 81-year-old man with an empire that stretched as far as the Wall Street Journal and Fox news?

In my novel Straight and Narrow, my main character Tara Richards is about to turn 40. She is deathly afraid of the clock turning, and sees 40 as the demarcation line between young and old.  To make herself feel younger and more attractive, she yearns for the attention of a 24-year-old guy. What happens? Read Straight and Narrow! And let me know your thoughts on younger men and older women.



  1. I hear you. Men seem to age better than women. Gravity does not serve us well either. As long as our society over-values youth and perkiness, it's a losing situation.

    On the other hand, the thought of a gentle yet strong, younger man rattling my bones does not seem unappealing ;o)

    Sig, I think you are a classy, intelligent and attractive lady. Be open to future opportunities with men - younger or not. Now... handsome, charming and rich would be even better!


  2. Thanks, T!

    I'm not sure that men age better than women (think – baldness and pot bellies), but I do know there is a double standard about older women dating younger men. Somehow they have a desperate look about them whereas an older man with a younger woman can look dashing (of course, I frequently view those old guys as buffoons).

    Maybe the important thing is to recognize that we're all individuals and some of us can cross the age divide; it's not always a dealbreaker. But other people can't. If only it weren't so gender specific.

    Yeah, totally agree about the youth orientation. I'm reading a great book now called Face It written by two women who used to be models, and then they became psychotherapists. It deals with the psychology of losing our youth, particularly for women. Very interesting.

  3. if a women keep her weight down and stays active and fun..... she may look twice has good as any guy her age. I am a cougar and proud! I am 53 and having a relationship with a 30 year old. much better than a 65 year old man. not sure how deep the relationship is but why the hell NOT?

    1. Right on, Ninanina! I'm happy that your relationship is working out.

      I didn't mention cougars before because I guess I perceive them as being primarily sexual relationships. I don't even like the term – it sounds predatory. But if you own it, and are proud of it, awesome.

      You said that you weren't sure how deep the relationship is. Maybe you don't want something deep. That's fine.

      I stand corrected that older women and younger men are taboo; however, I think only a certain type of guy wants a much older woman and I still suspect it may be primarily sexual in many cases (not talking about yours and not saying there's anything wrong with that – if it's what they both want, but often women want more).

      And one point I was trying to make for me in my life was the people around me were laughing at me because I was looking at a guy 25 years younger than me. Not just looking – crazy about him. But for you, sounds as though it's working out well.

    2. PS Nina, how come I can't follow your blog? I clicked on your picture and link but just got your profile. Send the URL. Post it here.

  4. I have a cougar tendency, I don't mean to be one = it just so happened that my scooter mechanic is 30 and likes ME! I prefer to be with someone my age... but the man I love (who is my age) is having personal problems and is going through a divorce. Sig, Thought I finally met the right one this year... met him and he bought me a ticket to new orleans.... we had a great time. but his separration is giving him so much pain that he wants to retreat from the world and go through some personal soul searching and counselling. I have to respect that; I will leave myself open to him for the future.... but I will not cut myself off from others. The much younger man is available so why not. I enjoy his company from time to time, and the relationship is not all about sex. We ride motorcycles together :) I don't think any relationship is about sex. Not in my experience. I just don't see my relationship with Clint being long term. at all.

  5. if you click on NINANINA... go to the top of page and you will see the 3 blogs that I keep.

  6. Nina,

    Your current cougar relationship sounds good. As you said, he's available, he likes you, he treats you well, and you have things in common. That works! Maybe it's not long-term, but you are waiting for the other guy to nurse his wounds from his separation. I hope he resurfaces.

    Whatever happened to Leroy?

    I never said relationships were all about sex. I don't think they are at all (although, of course, some are but most of us don't want just that. We want a companion, among other things).

    I would jump on a younger man (pun intended) if one appeared, but only if we were compatible. Sounds as though you and your motorcycle buddy are working out great right now. But I do hope the guy you thought was "the one" reappears.