A couple in an older woman younger man relationship kissing outside in the sun.

Cher and Tom Cruise. J. Lo and her backup dancer (pre-A-Rod). Demi and Ashton Kutcher. Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborra-Lee Furness. These are all examples of the older woman-younger man relationship.

I hesitate to use the word ‘cougar’ to describe the older woman in this situation because that infers a negative connotation, as if a woman of a certain age must be on the prowl in order to take advantage of a young cub. It’s 2019, people. I think we can handle the reality of an older woman dating a younger man. But what does that entail? And what do those dynamics look like?

Like with all types of relationships, the May-December romance between an older woman and a younger woman comes with its fair share of risks and rewards. Here are some of the things about these relationships, you may not have thought of yet.

She Might Just Like Him for Him
A woman of a certain age isn’t looking for a husband to provide her with security or because her biological clock is ticking. Chances are she has her own financial independence, has a career that she loves, and doesn’t need to procreate (either by choice or because she has kids from a previous relationship). An older woman has more choices than she might have had when she was younger, which means she’s with a younger man because she genuinely likes him and wants to spend time with him. She’s more focused on the present than the future.

He Might Wonder What He Can Offer Her
Because an older woman is more established in life, a younger man might wonder what he has to offer her in terms of security, whether it entails providing financial security, putting a ring on it, or fathering her children. However, times are changing and women in general (both young and old) aren’t looking for men to provide for them. As a result, younger guys may enjoy being with someone who doesn’t expect to be provided for and a relationship where the two partners are more equal.

She Might Not Be Looking for Marriage But He Might Be While older women are definitely looking for a life partner, others might not be. They’ve been there, done that. They’re more focused in loving life and having someone to have fun with without an “I do” or even putting a label on it. Some younger men might go along for the adventure while others might wonder if there’s a viable future with this woman, especially if marriage and children are things that he would like in his future eventually.

It May Feel Like They Don’t Have a Lot in Common
As time goes on, and a little bit of the novelty wears off, both people might wonder if they have enough in common to sustain the relationship. Do they have similar interests and hobbies? Do they understand each other’s pop cultural references? Are they on the same level of maturity? Like any couple of any age, both parties might analyze the level of compatibility over the long-term.

When it comes down to it, like any relationship, an older woman/younger man relationship definitely has potential. What matters are the two people involved and their level of communication, honesty, and clarity when it comes to what they want.

Brianne Hogan

Freelance Writer

Brianne is a Canadian freelance writer who’s been writing about dating and relationships longer than any of her relationships. She applies a “do what I say, not do what I do” approach to her articles, and believes you can find Your Person mostly when you aren’t looking. So enjoy your life, and eat lots of cheese (at least that’s her motto). Her byline’s been featured on Thrillist, The Huffington Post, HelloGiggles, Elle Canada, Flare, Awesomeness TV, among others.