On a near daily basis we see stories about Hollywood couples in love, who have a huge age gap in their relationship. Celebrities from the likes of Jeff Goldblum and Emilie Livingston, George and Amal Clooney, and even Jay-Z and Beyonce are examples of this type of relationship where the man is much older than the women. But age gap relationships expand beyond the rich and famous and are much more common than many realize.
Once seen as almost faux pas, May-September romances work beautifully for many, proving that age really is just a number. But what is it that women find so captivating about older men? Sure, there’s the salt and pepper hair or the often refined lifestyle, but it’s something more than that. Whatever it is, there is something to be said about age gap relationships and the way they work.
Many women prefer older men because they feel like they’re on a similar wavelength; there’s even science behind this. Though it’s often a joke that men don’t act their age, a 2013 study published in Cerebral Cortex gives reason to the idea that men take longer to mature than women do. The study found how the crucial process that’s needed for an individual to develop cognitively generally occurs faster for women. This could explain why women tend to mature sooner and why some women feel like they have more in common with someone older than them.
There can also be a sense of stability that many women find in older men. In an article with Fox News Magazine, marriage and family expert Dr. Paul Hokemeyer says, “The truth of the matter is that older men come with maturity, grace and dignity. They value their younger mates and treat them with more respect,” adding “not like the narcissistic adolescence found in younger men.”
Now while it tends to be true that older men bring maturity to the table, being with a younger woman can provide men with a sense of youth which feels refreshing and exciting for them. The combination of two partners looking for these seemingly very different qualities can work well (opposites attract after all) but it can also have its disadvantages. With any generation gap there can be a very different set of interests, views, or morals. Some of these may cause problems, depending on the importance of the issue, but these are things that can and should be discussed before deciding if the relationship is right for you.
If you haven’t been in an older man/younger woman relationship, there are big factors to consider. What are the advantages and disadvantages? What are the two of you looking for in a partner and will you be able to provide it down the road? More importantly, does this person make you happy?
Find a partner who treats you as an equal, someone you can be yourself with, and remember that like any relationship things won’t always be easy, there may be a few bumps along way, but with effort (and love) anything is possible.