Since the beginning of time, older men have been dating younger women. In many places in the world, it was acceptable for a girl as young as twelve or thirteen to marry a man who was in his forties or even older. Not only was it acceptable, sometimes it was even required for religious or monetary reasons. While that demonstrates an extreme example of difference in age and a situation in which the female was forced into the relationship without any choice, times have changed and yet men still choose to date women much younger than them. So what is the allure of an older man for a younger woman?
There is still a taboo surrounding a relationship where there is a large age difference between the male and female. Modern society can handle a five, maybe ten year difference, but anything beyond that is questioned and sometimes criticized. Older women who date younger men are called cougars but I haven't heard a name for young women dating older men besides gold digger. Others say that a woman dating an older man has daddy issues due to a troubled relationship or lack of one with her own father. In this way, women try to compensate something in one part of their lives what they are missing in another. To society, why else would a younger woman date or marry an older man unless she's after his money or high status in society? Hollywood is full of examples of older men divorcing their wives and marrying much younger women. Sometimes these women are their assistants or nannies, but regardless their position they're always younger. Look at couples in Hollywood with a huge age difference like Hugh Hefner who's 89 and his current wife who is 29. Maybe there's love there, who knows, but that big of an age difference just makes you really wonder. Most of the time though,in the real world, the allure of an older men is about something much more than money or social standing.
There are many settings in which a younger woman may meet an older man, but some of the most popular are work, college, or bars. Most of the time, it's a young woman just starting her place in the working world when she ends up falling for her boss who is an older man and is in a more established place in his career. They work together side by side all day so of course if there's chemistry and a connection there they will act on it. While that may complicate things in the workplace, depending on the particular dating policy, they still decide to go for it because it's too hard to ignore the attraction and there is always the sense that they could miss out on something great if they do not go for it. So why does a younger woman go for her older male boss? First off, she looks up to him as a role model. He's in the teaching role and she's the student, so she looks at him as someone she can learn from. Someone who's her mentor. This role makes her respect and admire him, and of course if there's a physical attraction, all bets are off. It also doesn't hurt that they both see each other looking their best at work, him in a suit and tie, and her in the formal wear reserved for the office with full on hair and make up done. If you're working in such close quarters with someone you admire and who's physically appealing to you, something is definitely going to happen and age difference is the last thing on your mind.
There is also the stereotypical story of the student falling for her teacher, whether it's in college or high school. Again, the female student is looking up to the older male teacher. They are full of wisdom and knowledge. At the same time, the male teacher may have a good sense of humor and be able to relate to the students in a way that makes them think like he's their friend rather than their teacher. The older male teacher is mature and a real man. This is very appealing to a young girl in high school or college because guys that age typically lack that sense of maturity and don't really know how to treat a girl correctly. Of course, most girls ignore their crushes on male teachers in high school because that would cause way too many problems for everyone involved. It's against the law in most states to date someone who is a minor (under 18) and even if they are 18, a teacher could still lose his job if he dated a student just for the lack of morality. In college, it is a different story because everyone's over 18 and while teachers typically shouldn't date students, it still happens much more often then it does in high school. It's hard for the younger woman to resist the appeal of an older male teacher who seems to have his whole life together, while the guys around her are still playing games. He's a real man who knows what he wants and if he gives her any special attention that is only going to make her fall for him even more. This attraction is usually not one sided. The older male teacher is not blind and he probably notices the females in his class as well. Whether he chooses to do anything about it is another story.
Another place where a younger woman may meet an older man is in a bar, although that is less typical than the workplace or college. This is because most bars are either for younger college students or older adults. If you live in a college town this is especially evident because you have a whole bunch of college bars that are usually frequented only by college students. Unless your male teacher is only a few years older than you, then you probably wouldn't catch him at these bars. Older men tend to go for the classier types of bars, if they go to them at all. You might catch them at a sports bar if they are into sports, but otherwise the places they drink are very different from a frat boy's. The classier the man, the classier their choice of venue.
Older men are definitely into younger woman as well. Obviously, there is the physical appeal. Younger women have a higher sex drive and are more open to trying things in the bedroom. Younger woman are also in the midst of their youth and vitality and able to have children. Younger women are more carefree and tend to be happier than older women because they have less responsibilities so their outlook on life is much brighter. Older men enjoy the free spirit and carefree nature of young women so that is very appealing to them. They want someone who makes them feel young themselves. This could also be a very welcome change from their girlfriend or ex-wife who always goes after them to get things done and tries to control their lives. Sometimes an older man has been through a divorce and he is looking for a second chance at love with a younger woman who will understand him. Younger women tend to be less controlling and up for anything at any time. It's very appealing for an older man to find someone who truly appreciates them and shows them a good time without all the nagging that goes with older women in the dating world. It's a fresh and new adventure for the man which he can't resist.
When I was a little younger, I used to think there was something wrong with a big age difference in a relationship. As I have gotten a little older and more open minded, I feel very differently about the practices taking place in the dating world. I have become less judgmental about what people choose to do in their personal time because I figure that's none of my business as long as it makes them happy and they offer me the same respect. I never thought I would be open to dating someone who was more than five years older than me, but after dating guys my age, give or take a few years, I can say I am much more open minded to dating someone older, like maybe ten or more years.
I'm not saying that I would go out and specifically look for an older man, but I am saying that I would be open to the idea if the opportunity should present itself, rather than brushing it away without giving it any thought. I find it very appealing to find a man who has his whole life together and knows what he wants and goes after it. If a man is older that means he has more experience and that would be very helpful in a relationship to have someone who can give you that advice because they're been there and done that. Older men are also better listeners and more attentive. As it's been said, like a fine wine, men only get better with age.
The sign of maturity in dating is when you're no longer looking for someone who is just physically appealing but rather who is intellectually appealing. A physical attraction should definitely be there,but you should also be able to have meaningful conversations about things that matter. The person you're dating should be someone who is your biggest fan and definitely looking out for you and protecting you. Age shouldn't even be a factor when you're thinking about dating someone, as long as it's legal and you're doing it for the right reasons, then that is all that matters. We need to start looking at people as human beings first, without automatically judging them with labels of their age.