Generations ago, dating a younger man was considered taboo. Even as early as several years ago, a woman in a relationship with a younger man was frowned upon, while it was acceptable for an older man to date a woman half his age.
I’m happy to announce that things have changed! We’re now living in a time where people are free to date who they want, and things like race, gender, nationality, and age do not matter. You may have heard of an actual term for women who date younger guys. A cougar is defined as an older woman seeking a sexual relationship with a younger man.
If you are a woman who is dating a younger guy, here are 10 do’s and don’ts when it comes to maintaining a successful relationship.
Don’t Make Age an Issue
You may be dating a younger man, but you are both adults, so don’t make age a big deal. You’ll probably get a ton of jokes from family and friends (and even strangers), so steer clear of joking about or even discussing your age difference with each other.
You may not be discussing your age with your boyfriend but try not to stress about it internally. You already look in the mirror and panic if you see wrinkles or gray hair, but do you do it even more now that you’re dating a younger man? Instead, relax and enjoy the relationship. If you’re in your sexual prime, focus on that instead. You came into the relationship with an open mind, so continue to keep that same energy throughout.
Plus, if this is just a casual dating relationship with an expiration date stamped on it, don’t waste time fretting over the small things. Just have a good time and enjoy it for what it is.
Do Be Ready for Some Teasing
While it’s much more common for a woman to date a younger man, it’s still relatively new, so be prepared for joking, teasing, and rude comments. Family and friends will likely have something to say about your new, younger guy. They may even attempt to give you some “well-meaning” advice. Ignore it, and don’t allow it to bother you.
However, if you’re at the point where it bothers you, try to brush it off because it’s going to happen. The sooner you learn to ignore rude comments, the better off your relationship will be.
Do Take it Slow
If this relationship is headed toward long-term status, take it slow and don’t rush into anything. Instead, enjoy the moments of simply being together. If you’re ready for something more permanent, and your younger guy isn’t, let him progress in the relationship at his own pace. Avoid rushing into things like calling, seeing each other every day, or even moving in together. These actions could push him away because he might not be at that point.
Remember, you are older and have more experience when it comes to dating. He might still be navigating his way around. Allow the relationship to unfold naturally.
Do Reap the Benefits
You chose the younger guy for a reason, so chill and enjoy all the benefits that come with it. You may have differences in your expectations of the relationship, but remain open-minded and keep the communication flowing. These small steps will help you maintain your relationship, so just relax and see where it goes.
9 Benefits of Dating a Younger Man
- They have less baggage: Younger men often have less of a demanding schedule, so they have more free time for an older, more established woman. Also, if they’re over a certain age, they won’t have younger children they’re responsible for, therefore having less baggage.
- They are more adventurous: Some women want to have a good time and lead an active lifestyle, and a younger man’s sense of adventure can be appealing. More youthful men make older women feel like the center of attention and that they are desirable in a relationship.
- They are more open-minded: As you get older, you tend to be set in your ways. Younger men are much more adaptable to change because they have fewer responsibilities. They haven’t had as much experience as older men, so they are open to trying new things.
- Younger men appreciate a woman’s stability: Some younger men are looking for a woman who offers a stable lifestyle instead of hanging out and partying all the time. Additionally, mature women tend to have more financial security.
- They appreciate a woman’s maturity: Many younger men who prefer dating older women say they’re exhausted from all the emotional games that younger women indulge in. According to younger men, women their age can sometimes use sex as a bargaining tool instead of simply enjoying sex to satisfy a need and desire.
- Overall satisfaction: According to a past study published in 2008’s Journal of Psychology of Women Quarterly, those women who were more than a decade older than their younger partners seemed to be more satisfied and committed to the relationship than those women who were in a relationship with someone who was closer to their age.
- Younger men adore confident women: Older men can sometimes be put off by a woman who is confident and sure of herself because that might not be what they were used to in previous relationships. Younger guys have admitted that confidence in older women is a turn-on for them because that’s when they’re not needed. At that point, a younger guy is simply a bonus to their lifestyle.
- You are in control: At this stage, a woman is set in her ways and may not want to relinquish the power dynamic of a relationship. If you’re the type who prefers to be the dominant one, this is the ideal relationship for you.
- Younger guys tend to have higher sexual energy: If you are a woman in her prime, you want a man who can keep up, right? On average, older men struggle with erectile dysfunction or low sex drive. Generally, younger men have better stamina and athleticism when it comes to bedroom activities. They are also more likely to wait until the woman has reached sexual satisfaction before they climax.
Don’t Try to Act Young
When someone gets into an older woman/younger man relationship, they can sometimes overcompensate for the age difference by trying to act younger. As a result, your style of dress and mannerisms can change. For example, you might force yourself to hang out with his friends and use the same slang they use and end up sounding ridiculous.
It’s tempting to reinvent yourself by acting more stylish or trendy, but the key word is “acting.” This is not who you are and will cause you to feel uncomfortable and awkward. Remember, he started a relationship with you as you are, not you ten years ago. Just be yourself. He will appreciate your true self more than any fabricated version of you.
Examples of Acting Too Young for Your Age
- Dressing provocatively
- If you’re wearing clothes your daughter wears, you’re trying too hard
- Wearing the latest hairstyles/makeup younger women wear
- Wearing/doing the latest trends
- Drinking too much and getting sloppy drunk
- Not wearing clothes that fit properly
- Talking in slang
- Always going after younger men and never dating anyone your age
Don’t Compromise Who You Are
When we get into a relationship, we often do things our partner likes and disregard those things that make us happy. For instance, every Sunday you watch football because that’s what he wants. However, you aren’t a football fan and would much rather go to brunch with your friends like you used to.
It’s okay to trade off some days and do things he enjoys. But do something you want on other days. You shouldn’t be the one compromising all the time. For example, if he’s not interested in attending brunch with your friends, grab your purse and go by yourself. A key component of any relationship is to enjoy your separate time as much as you enjoy your time together.
Don’t Compare This Relationship to Your Last One
This point goes for all relationships in general. If your last guy was someone your age, you might tend to compare the differences. For instance, if your older ex enjoyed hanging out with your friends, it doesn’t mean your younger guy wants to do the same. Your ex is the ex for a reason.
Give your new relationship the chance it deserves. You may have enjoyed certain things within the relationship with the older ex, but your new, younger guy brings something fresh and unique to the relationship. Let him show you something different. You don’t always have to like it, but at the very least, try it.
Do Appreciate His Efforts
This is a guy who may not have ever been in a relationship with an older woman, so this may be entirely new for him. When he makes an effort to please you with a gift or by cooking you dinner, show your appreciation regardless. For example, he was in the area and stopped by with a burger and fries for you because he thought you’d be hungry. Although you’d prefer pasta, thank him for taking the time to:
1. Think about you
2. Bring you food (whether you’re hungry or not)
His attempts to impress you demonstrate that he cares and is fully committed to the relationship. If you see something in a store and think he’d like it, buy it for him. Just as he was thoughtful enough to think about you, do the same for him.
Talk about what you both want from the relationship. Are you looking for something short-term or something more? You don’t want to waste your time (or his.) Communication will help you get on the same page. What do you expect from the relationship? Does he want the same thing? These are the discussions you should have early on before becoming too involved.
Unfortunately, society pressures older women to listen to their biological clock ticking away. Younger women have this same issue. Don’t allow society to force you into a relationship you might regret. Take your time and make a decision based on your wants and needs, not on the pressure of running out of time.
Don’t Make Assumptions
You may feel because he’s younger, he won’t want the same things you do in the relationship. A big hurdle people encounter is assuming their younger partner has different or opposing views about things. Your wants may differ, but that’s where keeping an open mind comes into play. Just because his ideas are slightly different doesn’t mean they won’t be as good. Sometimes, it’s even better, and if you kept a closed mind, you would never have known.
When you’re open-minded, you get to know him better, as he does with you. Additionally, it sets a positive tone for a respectful and honest relationship. Put the assumptions aside and enjoy trying new things.
Dating a man 10+ years younger than you is considered acceptable, whereas years ago, it wasn’t. Most importantly, it doesn’t matter who you choose to have a relationship with because it’s nobody’s business except the parties involved. So, continue to live your best life, and don’t worry about what others think. You’ll live a much more satisfying life.