“I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre.
My awkward adolescent years were spent in a single sex, all boy’s school. Even now I don’t quite understand the reasoning behind that? Although there are theories floating around that a single sex school improves upon academic performance?
I don’t buy it.
My personal conspiracy theory is that perhaps the concept stemmed from a naively simplistic time when it was believed that everyone was heterosexual, therefore by removing the opposite gender in an academic environment, this would allow the remaining gender to flourish and achieve educational excellence?
I’m sure there are academic specialists who could debate the merits of those claims. I did pretty well in high school but I sincerely doubt that was down to the dominant young male environment I was educated in. So I guess you could argue I made academic gains but socially I was slipping into an abyss.
Something happened to me after high school because I journeyed into the world of part time employment. It was through working I was able to tentatively interact socially with the opposite sex. I’ll admit this took time, but once I was able to inexplicably attract these complex, beautiful beings called women, it was an addiction I found very hard to let go of.
During my late teens/20’s for some unknown reason I was drawn to older women, this could have been because I was raised under a predominately female influence (mother, aunts…etc.) as a child, but this isn’t an episode of Dr Phil, so I’m not trying to discover why; just presenting the objective data.
I dated women anywhere between 3 – 12 years older than I. Truth be told, this was under the influence of a sexual, ego centric motivation; however that doesn’t change the core truth that I revelled in the company of these women. Facts are facts and although consciously this was not something I set out to do; subconsciously I was attracting and dating older women and loving it!
As I gracefully began to walk through the doors of club 30, I noticed that there was a subtle shift happening to me socially. As I began to advance in age the women were now approximately the same age and as I continued to move deeper toward mid 30 territory, undeniably women that were drawn to me were younger.
You can give countless examples of older men with younger women, I guess Beyonce & Jay-Z or Angelina & Brad being the most obvious candidates, but now that I am creeping up in age I have to wonder myself why this phenomenon is happening?
I genuinely don’t think this has anything to do with the lack of appreciation we have for older single women in our society; as I think this relationship dynamic is driven by a large proportion of women. Neither do I believe that these relationships are formed due to any kind of mid-life crisis.
I know in terms of representation, mainstream media and certain workplace environments still have a long way to go, but I think it is a primal set of core behaviours, that subtly influences our social interactions.
While doing a little research for this post I discovered that modern man and woman have been around for about 200,000 years or so, however (so called) modern civilisations only started 6,000 years ago. In essence, our primal drive for survival pre-dates modern society and influence.
In a more primal era, within harsher external environments, what was the best way for humanity to survive? For human offspring to endure the best method was for an experienced male to find a bountiful woman, which would give them the best chance of producing healthy children.
Experience breeds confidence and confidence develops over time, so maybe it isn’t specifically age but rather what being a certain age implies? Age is an indication that you are more likely to have a better sense of self, therefore accumulating more attractive qualities.
It also can’t be denied that younger women generally tend to be more mature at an earlier age than their male counterparts, so by finding an older man perhaps there is more chance he already went through the “sowing wild oats” phase and is looking for something a little more meaningful?
I know there are exceptions to every rule, which is why I opened this post with an amazing quote from Jane Erye and if you are an older woman who is in a wonderful relationship with a younger man, I’m genuinely pleased for you. I also don’t discount that there are many younger women in relationships with very immature, insecure older men. Age isn’t a guarantee of maturity, just a rough guide.
Until next time!
I’m not sure you know where you’re going with this piece. The headline implies that you support the idea of older men and younger women, but your argument fluctuates from one side to the other. Let’s start with single sex schooling – the argument then, as now, is actually about girls doing better away from the distracting influence of boys (the class disrupters). Evidence shows that girls do better academically and in sports away from boys, but most reasonable people look at the full picture including social and emotional maturity/exposure and decide that co-ed is the better option. (I work in education so I read the research on this topic that dates back 2 decades).
However, I am not sure what the point of this opening is for your piece? You cover your own experience of being attracted to older women and end with a flow back to women your own age or younger. I’m not sure that we can read anything into this but personal choice or preference.
If anything, social trends point to a rising phenomena of ‘cougars’ seeking younger men – however we are still in the minority, whereas statistically speaking, men of all ages flock in droves to women hovering around the median (use-by date) age of 24. I think you’ve seen the stats on my site in the 3 articles I have published so far on the topic of women aging.
So overall, some interesting thoughts but I’d be interested to hear your one-line summary of what this article is saying 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
Definitely a lot of food for thought here, I never gave much thought to the other side of the coin, as this post was based on my awkward adolescent experience.
However I think there is an inherent natural appeal to the older man/younger woman dynamic based on primal behaviours. But because I carry that bias of thought (based on my experience) as an older male, that doesn’t mean I think the older woman/younger man relationship carries less validity, especially I was in a relationship with an older woman for 17 years.
I’m not sure I have a definitive conclusion because I have a firm stance on the issue but rather my experience to draw from. 😊
LikeLiked by 1 person