Yesterday, my ever-resourceful brother Rob sent me this link.
(Sidenote: Folks, I’d like to encourage this behavior–I’ve officially gotten to the point where I could use help with ideas. The other night I even went out in search of material and the one guy I met was someone our mutual friend had already cautioned me about and who recognized me from a quick introduction at a local bar–where I was on a date with a friend of his. I may have to move. Until then, though, if your idea takes the form of an attractive and emotionally available guy, I will not object.)
Anyway. This subject–younger men dating older women–is close to my heart. Not because I’ve dated many younger men–rather, I have a genetic predisposition to date older men: my mother and grandmother both married men eleven years older, my aunt married someone sixteen years her senior, and my longest relationship was with someone who was thirty-five when we started dating. I was nineteen.
Now that we all know my personal and ancestral romantic history, back to the article. It’s actually a blog post from the number-nerds at the dating site OKCupid, and argues that men who limit themselves to women their own age and younger–which, it would seem, most men do–should reconsider.
The blogger utilizes various visual aids to make his case, including, I can’t resist pointing out, a graph that shows women become more interested in giving oral sex as they age. There are also side-by-side photos of statistically-deemed “attractive” twenty-something and thirty-something women, apparently to illustrate that beautiful people stay beautiful. (At least through their thirties.)
Personally, I plan on getting much more attractive in the next ten years. And I am of the firm belief that every thirty-five year old woman, at her sexual peak, should sleep with a nineteen-year old man, at his.
But maybe we should consider more than that. The post is clearly directed at men who overlook older women, but I’d argue that a lot of women need convincing too. As I lamented in this NPR essay, women are trained to seek men out who will not only provide and support them, but challenge them. And, especially when one takes into consideration “man years” (a phenomenon, according to my therapist, only moderately less extreme than “dog years”), it is difficult to find a dateable guy who isn’t at least a few years older.
In some sense, though, the appeal of dating a younger man is not dissimilar from that of dating someone older. In both cases, you are more likely to find yourself idealized–and really, let’s be honest: isn’t that basically all we want from a guy anyhow?
I’ll let you answer that one. But it is certainly a conundrum: I don’t think anyone would deny that women mature faster than men, or that women generally live longer. Maybe the answer is to be with older men when we’re younger and then take up with a younger guy later in life. I’m open.
And as wierded out as I am by some of the graphics on that OKCupid blog, I appreciate the gesture: it would be nice if more men were open, too.