24 April 2009

The Threat of Older Women

For no particular reason, I was thinking about relationships lately. I was talking to someone and they mentioned the trend of women dating younger men. Which I hadn't been thinking about, but did give me pause.

I read this interesting article from the AARP that had some interesting highlights referenced. For example, did you know that the 2000 U.S. Census revealed 12% of marriages were between older women and younger men?

Having at one point participated in this trend, it wasn't hard for me to recount my personal motivations. Of course, I tend to be prodigious once a topic strikes my fancy, so I tracked down some other references and compiled a cross section of the current thinking for you below.

Essentially, the writings indicate that younger women should be concerned about this trend, and culture should embrace it.

Uh huh.

Not sure how much I swallow, but here's the reasoning consistently provided:
  • Older women are more self-confident and capable.

    They knows what they want, and are less prone to make selections solely based on a man's perceived ability to financially support her. Every source I found mentioned this. Of course, in my experience, women of any age care mostly about the money. Even when they say they don't. And guys care mostly about the looks. Even when they say they don't. And both genders will walk right over someone who is rich or sexy but unavailable, for someone mediocre and willing.

  • Older women are more emotionally stable as partners.

    I'm not sure that emotional stability is all it's cracked up to be, but there is no reason to split hairs. Let's be real here: someone who knows who they are AND who they are not is always attractive regardless of gender or age. Young people of both genders fall into the trap of searching for ANY partner, instead of THE partner. And we are sucked into all kinds of drama for the silliest reasons. Who am I kidding? We create most of the drama in our lives, all by ourselves.

  • Mad skillz in the boudoir.

    I'll reference my earlier comment about willing and just leave it at that.

So it's easy to look at the list and think it applies to the older/younger mix. But in reality, it seems to me to apply to almost any mix. Shouldn't each and every one of us be looking to surround ourselves with confident, capable, and experienced people? At least that's what I've found people believe they DO surround themselves with. Except for those people who arrogantly believe everyone else in the world is just an ignoramus.

We tell ourselves and each other in lots of ways that Size Doesn't Matter. But it does. To both genders. All the time. Boobs, butts, feet, and fingers, eyes, nose, lips, legs, and ear lobes. Everyone of every gender and orientation cares about size and has a preference. And like armpits and butt cracks, we all have these opinions and they all stink. Regardless of what yours are, don't try and kid yourself. It never ends well, old or young.

After all, since we aren't all going to be smart, self-assured, smooth, and sexy, someone is going to have to settle. Right? I'm not sure what your version of settling might be, but mine surely looks a whole lot like not settling at all. Don't get me wrong, I'll make compromises and so will you and the next guy. But in my mind it won't be a compromise in any way that I'll admit to or recognize. The person I want won't be flawed, fugly, or flustered, they'll be perfect. Because that's what I'll want to believe. So that'll be reality. For me.

1 comment :

egdub said...

But don't you think that a lot of these "reasons" are so general that they're meaningless?

Don't you think plenty of "older" women are just are confused about "who they are" as many "younger" women? And that lots of women of all ages are concerned or not concerned about money and are confident or not confident in the bedroom?

Plus, I don't think most people (who aren't dating online) give it that much conscious thought--"oh, I'll start picking up older women in bars," as opposed to "that woman I was just talking to is funny; maybe I'll get her number."

I just don't think most dating is quite so calculated, though maybe I've been doing it wrong.