It's pretty standard to see older men with younger women in Hollywood. We didn't bat an eye when Alec Baldwin married younger yoga instructor Hilaria Thomas. They have a twenty six year age difference, and what difference does it make? The handsome Michael Douglas is twenty five years older than his beautiful wife, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones. Rod Stewart is twenty six years older than his wife, Penny Lancaster and they have two small children, Aiden and Alastair.
How about these May-December Hollywood couples?
Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart, 22 years
Clint Eastwood and Dina Ruiz, 35 years
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, 16 years
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, 12 years
Warren Beatty and Annette Benning, 21 years
Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris, 60 years
But May-December romances have taken a turn in Hollywood and in mainstream USA. Suburbanites and city-slickers alike are now seeing more older women dating (gasp) younger men. They are coined as "cougars" or "cradle robbers." In today's day and age, dating a younger man is becoming almost as acceptable as an older man dating a younger woman, but we still have a ways to go. There is still a double standard. We still raise our eyebrows when cougars and their cubs walk on by. "Isn't he supposed to be in school? Is he in a recess break?"
Hollywood's "Cougar Couples" and their age differences.
Cougars and their cubs...
Sharon Stone and Martin Mic, 27 years
Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry, 10 years
Jennifer Lopez and Casper Smart, 18 years
Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher (when they were a couple) 16 years
Joan Collins and Percy Gibson, 32 years
Madonna and Jesus Luz, 28 years
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon, 11 years
What are your feelings about large age gaps with couples? Some speculate that younger women prefer older men for the stability and maturity they provide. They find it sexy. Some men gravitate toward the youth and beauty in younger women. Younger women may not have much life experience, but some men feel like they can teach them the ways of the world. Older women are equally as beautiful as younger women, it simply lies in personal preference.
How about the "Mrs. Robinson Syndrome?" Older women, younger men? What are the younger guys looking for?
Dan, age 24
"When I meet a woman over 30, she's usually very clear and focused. She knows what she wants in life and it makes being with her so much easier. I look at a lot of my friends who have girlfriends their age and younger and the problems they have strike me as ridiculous. They frequently act foolish and immature. I don't have time for that behavior, that's why I like mature women." ~ by ivillage.com
Vincent, age 31 That life experience is sexy was also a repeated theme:
"Just the fact that there's so much to learn from an older woman, that they have so many more life experiences to draw upon, is an adventure to me. It's like a rush." ~ by ivillage.com
Scott, age 28 "We younger men like older women because they are more experienced and less self conscious in the bedroom. They are confident and sexually mature. They don't have the insecurities and play the head games the young ones do."
Valerie Gibson is the author of Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men. According to Gibson, "Young men sometimes call themselves “cougar hunters” when they’re out on the town looking for sexy older women. Younger men have no problem whatsoever in approaching an older woman who’s single. They don’t mind at all what age she is as long as she’s vital and gorgeous or something attracts them."
What do cougars see in younger men? An article on O Magazine, called In Praise of Younger Men suggests that some women like the lack of baggage that a younger man comes with: no children or ex wives to contend with. They can be less set in their way than older men. Younger men are usually more willing and interested in the bedroom as well.
Erin, age 48 “I dated a guy who had a body like the guy from that Diet Coke commercial. At first, it was all passion and romance. I was not only his lover, but his mentor. I just like younger men."
What do younger women see in older men? What each of us finds attractive is different. Some women love older men for their ageless wisdom, distinguished good looks and maturity. Many times an older man is more financially secure and takes the time to romance his lady. He may have been through a marriage and raised kids, and has learned what to do and what not to do in his next relationship. The game playing phase is usually over by then and the conversations you can have with an older man far exceed the ones you can have with a twenty year old. They have more confidence than cockiness. There is a difference.
At the end of the day, all any of us really wants is love and companionship. Who we find it with is up to each of us individually. Love is part heart, part hormones. Who are we to judge age differences? Or even gender differences for that matter? Life and love is a series of choices that we each personally make. Live and let live.
"When it comes to relationships, maybe we’re all in glass houses, and shouldn’t throw stones. Because you can never really know. Some people are settling down, some are settling and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies." ~ Carrie Bradshaw