###You want to date someone who appreciates you. Someone with his shit together. Someone mature, evolved. Ready to take you seriously. The problem is, you think that person has to be older than you. But you’re wrong. Just as chronological age doesn’t always “cure” one of immaturity, a man can be all of these things and still be 24, 28, 30 (depending on what you consider young). You just need to give him a chance.
You’ve told yourself you don’t really want a younger man. You use it as a reason to blow them off, pare back your options, and fuel embittered stories about how It’s So Hard to Meet Good Men. But that’s not a power position, and it does you no favors.
Here are the reasons you wave off the idea of dating young:
You don’t believe that a younger man would want you. You’ve been taught that past a certain age, you’re over the hill, undesirable. And you’ve swallowed it whole.
You cling to stereotypical ideas of What Young Men Are Like (aimless, noncommittal, out just for sex). Sure, some are. But these are not age-specific qualities. Beware of wielding stereotypes; they’re cheap shortcuts masquerading as wisdom, and if you use them, prepare to be judged by them.
You look at younger men through an “old” lens. You project onto them your storied disappointments and memories. You think, Ugh. I’m not doing that again. As if all the young men walking around are just iterations of your old heartbreak.
You don’t think a young man can appreciate you. Wrong. Couldn’t be more wrong. One of my most popular posts to date is 7 Reasons Why You Should Want to Date an Older Woman. Oh, ladies loved that piece—and so did men. But men don’t need convincing; you do.
You’re worried about what people will think. Regardless of how sexually permissive and progressive we think we are, there’s still a bit of eyebrow raising when a woman dates younger. There is a cultural stigma. I know because I’ve felt it myself. I just don’t give a shit.
My current boyfriend is nine years younger than me; the boyfriend before that, 10 years younger. When I was 36, I had a brief, wonderful affair with a lovely 24-year-old entrepreneur I met on an airplane. And when I tell people that (if they ask or if it comes up), I either get a lilting “Reaalllly” or a “You go girl!” followed by a high five, which is kind of odd when you think about it. You would only applaud someone if she succeeded in doing something impossible or crazy, or if she got away with something she shouldn’t have. And for me, dating a younger man isn’t a game. I just like them.
Wait. Am I a Cougar?
As I approached my mid 30s, I wondered if this meant I was now a bona fide cougar. I didn’t think so. The term conjures an image of a hungry, embattled woman with heavily coiffed hair, mummified in makeup, squeezed into a bedazzled top and looking to “score” a young man.
The cougar image is cartoonish at best, derived either from a culture fearful of a sexually empowered woman, or from the woman herself, who claims cougardom as a way to boost her self esteem via sex with a man many years her junior. But it didn’t seem to fit my reasons for dating younger, nor is it an accurate or flattering explanation of why younger men are worth dating.
You don’t need to make like Stifler’s mom and prey on young 18-year-old boys. You don’t even need to claim the cougar title. What you need to do is embrace the incredible sexual power you possess—and stop making excuses for why you can’t.
Why to Date a Younger Man
He’s bored with girls his own age. If there’s one complaint I hear from younger men—and the reason they’re interested in older women, is that they’re a little tired of the same old scene and games. They’re very into the idea of spending time with a woman who brings a little more to the table—a whole world of experience and interests outside of his own. He’s not dumb because he’s 27. He’s smarter than you think and would welcome a grown-up conversation, not to mention a mature relationship.
No one can make you feel old—that’s on you. Let go of your inhibitions… and what you may discover is that the world feels a little bigger, and the night a lot younger.
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