Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Older Women; Younger Men

I was tagged by Corporate Presenter to post about “younger women, older men”, but as others will have posted about this, I hope he doesn’t mind if I swap this round to discuss the growing list of women dating younger men. To name just a few, Demi Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna.

Research published by the Office for National Statistics shows that these celebrities are just a part of a much wider movement. The trend in the UK is clear; the proportion of women marrying younger men has almost doubled over the past 25 years. To the extent that now in over a quarter of new marriages, the husband is the younger spouse.

There is speculation that this change is linked to the changing psychology of women. As women have developed more financial independence some theories suggest that women are focusing more on male appearance than on finances. Others suggest that as women have a longer life expectancy, it makes evolutionary sense to marry a younger man. Another theory is that women in advance years remain more fun-loving, and as the average age of marriage increases, women search for more youthful fun-loving husbands.

Therefore, on the day that reports the sad news about the divorce between Roman Abramovich and his wife, perhaps the Russian billionaire should look towards older women, if he wishes to marry for a third time.


Jeremy Jacobs said...

Tx for the plug. I think Abramovich is in a class of his own!

simon said...

yep... I have a relo who is 70 and her partner is 55

Dr Michelle Tempest said...

Thanks Jeremy.
Simon - well the trend is perhaps more global then! Thanks for comment. Michelle

jmb said...

Wow, 25% of all marriages with the female older than the male. That seems incredible to me. Wonderful idea but I think it would work better in the middle years than in the earlier ones. After all it takes longer for men to mature (ducking her head). No 30 year old woman would have the same interests as a 20 year old, but 45 and 35 makes a better fit.

David Anthony said...

I found it funny that when Roman Abramovich and his wife first married, his wife was the main breadwinner of the two. I can see a divorce settlement in the billions happening. She must have played a large role in supporting him during the last 15 years. Heather McCartney, that's a different matter...

As for men and older women I don't see any problem with it. If two people love each other that's all that really matters.

Phoenix said...

Yes, this issue has been covered by a good few of the celeb-spotting magazines recently.

They all chalk it up to the changing roles of our genders. Women used to want someone to look after them, but if they're capable of loooking after themselves, they look for a plaything.

One has to wonder, of course, the motivations of the younger men who go for older ladies...

Big Brother said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Brother said...

What's good for the gander is good for the goose, to paraphrase an old saying. Why is it that when we see an older man with a younger woman nobody says anything but when we see an older woman with a younger man eyebrows are lifted? Maybe gender equality has finally arrived.
Historically speaking, older men often married much younger women. An older man was more financially secure and could take care of a woman and the children. What was the attraction for the young woman? Well if he was much older than her, she would become a widow at a relatively young age and be able to control her assets without masculine interference. Only widows were granted that freedom. Also younger women were more apt to survive childbirth, in fact many men were married more than once since so many women died in childbirth.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

David Anthony - quite right!

simon said...

Yes, I think so Michelle,

But I think it has more to do with the size of her purse...
"If people love each other, thats all that matters...."

Mmnnn.. me thinks we are just a bunch of hormones and chemicals glued together with ego...

I think (in this case).. he got her purse and she got her ego tickled.

So I am not sure I agree D.A. (but I certainly repect your thoughts) I too cynical?

Or perhaps its to do with women want/need to "mother" and men want/need to be mothered? just a thought..

Ian Lidster said...

I say, why not? I have known many very alluring older women in my life, and the reverse of older men, younger women is merely one of convention more than anything else. In any case, if you look at your own history, Henry II was much younger than Eleanor of Aquitaine.Or consider the Hollywood and Broadway writing team of Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin; she was a great deal older but they were happily married for ages.
On the other hand, my wife is 13 years younger than I. Love and compatability is what counts. She and I never consider our respective ages.


Geek @ Kedai.TV said...

Men just don't care who they marry and the women are so picky and career minded that they land themselves at the meridian age of 32yrs old.

By then, they panicked and grab any bloke that come within their grip, especially health professionals.


PS:That is a statistic I got from Official Sources.

James Higham said...

...Another theory is that women in advance years remain more fun-loving, and as the average age of marriage increases, women search for more youthful fun-loving husbands...

This would seem to be close to it. I've certainly dipped off in recent years and as the age of the ladies in my sphere remains relatively static, this is a problem.

QUASAR9 said...

lol Nichelle!
If older men date younger women
and older women date younger men

We should find equilibrium -

The only thing Michelle is how is One supposed to choose between
being a younger woman with a sugar daddy, or
being an older woman with a toy boy

And what is your preference?

Anonymous said...

We are far too ageist as a society, its becoming less relevant these days, but I think I would feel more comfortable with an older rather than a younger man if I was free.

Dr Michelle Tempest said...

jmb, david anthony, HP, Ian Lidster, James Higham - thanks so much for the comments.

Big Brother - I agree, there is no need for raised eyebrows when older women date younger men.

Simon - your comment - "me thinks we are just a bunch of hormones and chemicals glued together with ego" - made me smile - thanks for it.

seo engineering101 - thanks for commenting.

Quasar9 - Thanks for the comment. I don't really think age comes into who you love, although I suspect that people have more in common with others of a similar age. My guy is 5 years older than me which I guess is a similar age.

Ellee - I also agree with your ageist comment, I do worry about any ageist attitudes, especially within healthcare.

Many thanks for all these great comments.


Antigonos said...

When I was in my twenties, I dated men--operative word is "men", not "boys"--in their forties. Some years ago I suddenly realized, looking at the talent on display around a pool, that the forty-ish guys still had the greatest turn-on potential. Alas, I was now in my fifties...

NB--My husband is 6 years younger than I but, interestingly, everyone thinks we are the same age--go figure!

Anonymous said...

Well, I am literally old enough to be the mother of my main squeeze. We suit though, but I am not sure how or why.

Every now and again colleagues and aquaintances say "are you two still together" and seem surprised when I say "yes".

"Together" is relative. We live about 150 miles apart, so we aren't even slightly domesticated - we do have shared friends who knew both of us before we got together, and we have our own friends who treat us as a couple at weekends and as single during the week.

I would say that it's not a relationship my parents could imagine, but my mother's cousin was a decade or two younger than his long-term "friend". I'd have like to have met her. She must have been an interesting woman.

The other day I explained to someone that I had a toy boy. "Lucky you" she said. "No. Lucky him!" I replied.

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Anonymous said...

my husband and I are married 29 years. He is almost 19 years younger than I. We have three children together and raised five together (two of mine from a previous marriage). We are still very much in love and would rather be with one another than anyone else.

Anonymous said...

I feel that I am different. 10 to 18 years difference but what about 29 years? We Love each other but I am so afraid of reactions. How his family feels. I do not think I would want my son to marry a woman 29 his senior. Please give us your opinions. Thank-you

Mark said...

I'm always a little nervous talking about the experiences I've had with older women because there is definitely a code of secrecy maintained about such things. But despite our society's general messages of denial and disapproval, these relationships are happening, and a lot. They are just being kept secretive for the most part. In my case the experiences have all been incredibly positive and enriching. In every experience I have had, even those in which it was clear the woman was looking for little more than a boy toy, I always felt valued and well treated. I'm not sure that is always (or even usually) the case when a younger woman gets involved with an older man. Mature women, on the other hand, generally seem to take better care of everyone and everything around them, even their toys. It just seems to be part of their nature. Any thoughtfulness, respect and consideration that's directed at them is responded to in kind. It makes for a very strong bond potentially.

texahoma said...

I myself am a 33 yr old male dating a 54 yr old. She was actually surprised when I expressed my feelings for her. We will be together 10 yrs this coming Nov. She has been married 4 times, all to older men. They were all abusive/cheaters. I make her feel secure and well loved. Call me her rescuer, but definatly not her "toy".
I was pleased to see others come forward with their relationships. (The you're not in the boat alone feeling).
Little history here.... She is a coal miners daughter from WV, I grew up on a farm in Tx. Sha was in the medical field and I was in construction. No we did not meet in a hospital. We met at a dining hall. Friendship ensued, and soon became intimate.
Age truely is nothing but a number. Her daughter accepts me and is proud of her mother. My father and brother don't think a thing about it. My mother on the other hand is a different story. We have had eyebrows raised at us over time, but our response remains the same, "It's our life and we don't care what you think about it. We are happy and that's what matters."
So, I say to all those that are reading this, if you find the "one" don't look at the ages, see what is beneath and make your decicion from there. I'm glad I did.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I will soon be celebrating our 24th anniversary.
When we married, he was 25 and I was 37. I have always looked younger than my age number and my husband has always looked older. So we manage to look comparable in age.
The only downfall has been my in-laws who only see me as a number.
We are exhausted from the"turn the other cheek" philosophy.

Anonymous said...

Since the dawn of the "Cougar Age" (pun intended), I have maintained several solid personal opinions ~ NO way, NOT interested, NOT even only for the sex, DON'T get it, and NEVER going to happen. The only opinion that I've maintained is a new and important one ~ NEVER say NEVER. I have met and fallen deeply in love with a man 15 years younger than me...and, thus far, it has been the happiest and most peaceful relationship of my life!

Recognizing that, sometimes, this world presents beautiful gifts in strange packaging, I have initiated a blog to meet and talk with others that might be in a similar situation. Our relationship makes perfect sense to us and we are comfortable. Having been "accused" of being "newlyweds" and even "married" by acquaintances, I think the age difference goes undetected by most. Still, there is a stigma. Personally, I HATE the Cougar title...finding its predatory nature completely appalling. The level playing field being what it is, my boyfriend would forgo the Cub title insinuating less than adequate maturity. Still, there are unique aspects of our situation that warrant discussion and create, at the very least, curiosity about other like couples.

I took a deep breath when I read some of these posts! Believe me, I have been personally challenged since we began dating. Most of the challenge is of my own making born of some practical concern and some paranoia. Fortunately, most friends and family know us well enough to provide encouragement and support, and open communication has worked well for us.

Thanks for the blog and the honest sharing!

Anonymous said...

At 49 I married a 23 year old man that lasted 12 years; my family ostracized me, I was not allowed to attend my church, I had so many haters that I had to relocate to another town. I was respected, had good job, he was in college at the time and received doctorate with my support. We tried to be happy but people were cruel at times. Since he died now people want to resurface and I am unable to trust befriending anyone now. This kind of treatment has affected me detrimentally. Now I empathize & sympathize with those who have experienced hate crimes and racism.

Anonymous said...

I too am in a relationship with a man 12 years my junior. We have been together three years. I am 39 and he is 27. I would have to say that he is what I would call " the love of my life". I have been married twice before to abusive/controlling men. He has never been married. All in all, Ive never felt so comfortable with another human being in my life. We have such a strange connection in that we completely are "ourselves" with each other and know and love each other fully, warts and all. My family accepts it now for the most part, though ironically it was the females in my family and friend circle who rejected it initially. The males(family and friends)were supportive from the beginning saying that age didnt matter. His family accepts me for the most part. What I find most interesting is that it was all the females in my life who were the least supportive. They thought it was ok as long as it wasnt serious. But always said things like"your not going to MARRY him, are you?" Hes so young....yada yada yada.... Any thoughts on fellow women being more offended by the age gap than men, who seem very "so what?" about it. Also his male friends are more supportive than his female friends also...