What are men/women looking for (in general) when an older man seeks a younger women? What are men/women looking for (in general) when a younger man seeks an older women? I have always dated older men but now find myself attracted to a younger man. Yikes!
Well, dear reader, this is the stuff that many plays, books, and movies have been written about. What came to my mind when I read your query were the following movies: Harold and Maude, The First Wives Club, and Pretty Woman. I also thought about the whole Demi Moore/Ashton Kutcher (older woman/younger man) and Celine Dion/Rene Angelil (younger woman/older man) age difference scandals we heard about in mainstream media over the years.
I have heard so many stories from clients about issues that can arise when there is a significant age difference between romantic partners, as well as the benefits. Most of the negatives involve the fact that one partner seems to age rapidly in comparison to the other and cannot do as many things as the younger one. I hear a lot of stories of younger women who complain that their older mates lose control over sexual functions that seemed automatic when they were younger.
Other clients who are dating significantly younger men often focus on the benefits- especially when it comes to sexual functioning! I think this is based on the fact that as women age, they blossom sexually, which is a good match for a younger man who is also in his sexual prime.
When I thought about the two questions you posed, I sat down and wrote some answers for each and upon review, realized that most of the answers were the same for both men and women. Here is what I believe both men and women are looking for when they imagine dating a younger person of the opposite sex:
- ‘younger, newer model’ to make him/her feel young and desirable again
- ego-booster who makes him/her feel wise and powerful in face of his/her inexperience/ignorance
- spontaneity and freedom- becoming unburdened of duties/obligations
Here is what I believe both men and women are looking for when they imagine dating an older person of the opposite sex:
- someone mature and worldly who can give them new experiences and teachings
- financial and emotional stability- a sense of grounding
- mother/father figure; someone to take care of them and feel nurturing and/or protection
All of this being said however, I also believe that we are often just attracted to someone because we find them attractive; and sometimes, that has no bearing on their age nor our own. If you’re struggling with this in your own situation, I suggest you look at the reasons I’ve listed for why people look for younger/older mates and see if any of them apply and ask yourself whether that is a positive or negative in your own situation. Also ask yourself if age difference is the primary reason you are attracted to this person; or is it that you just happen to be attracted to someone who is significantly younger than yourself? Also, imagine if you entered into a relationship with this man and come up with a list of pros and cons of what life with him would be like in 10/20/30 years and see if the pros outweigh the cons and consider making your decision accordingly. Or just follow your heart and see where it goes!