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Does age matter in dating?

Editorial Staff

Demi Moore is more than 15 years older than Ashton Kutcher

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Dating an older man or woman certainly has its advantages. Often, someone older is more experienced, looking for fun, further along in life, more mature, or more stable. You might be thinking, “Yes! Finally, someone who is ready for the relationship I want and/or at my level.” But, are you sweet enough for a Sugar Daddy or courageous enough for a Cougar?

Cougar Time
According to an article on, older women may be on the prowl for a young stallion around the college age because of the difference in sexual peaks of men and women. A woman’s sexual prime is in her 30s—while men in their 30s are already on the decline. A man in his early twenties is the perfect match.  

While the sexual chemistry is right, the Cougar may be leaving the den for more than just that one reason. Dating someone younger can make women feel younger. In an anecdotal recount  about being a Cougar, women talk about dating younger men. Dating younger men allows women to be fearless flirters like they were in their teens and twenties.

Dating younger men allows women to be appreciated once again for their sex appeal, rather than their mom-appeal. Recall Mrs. Robinson from The Graduate, or Kim from “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” for example.Younger men, around college age, have a different set of priorities than those contemporary to the 30-plus crowd. Sex and fun seem to be the main priorities for the older woman, as they are not ready to settle into (or want to break from) the stagnant lifestyle of a husband and kids. 

Establishing a real relationship with a Cougar could be difficult. If you are looking for long-term relationships and want a family to provide for later, you are in the wrong dating scene. If you are looking for a challenge, you are in the right game. Have fun and embrace the relationship as it is. You could learn a lot from the experienced and confident woman.

There is no age limit on fun, but always be aware of the rare chance the relationship could turn into more. Society casts women dating younger men negatively, so be ready for lots of scrutiny from your family and friends. 

Sweet Sugar Daddies
Dating older men differs completely from Cougars. The familiar scenario in Hollywood is: a very young girl dating a very old man for his money or for fame. Each time I happen to watch the recent season of “The Girls Next Door,” I can’t help but label the girls as fame-whores, who are definitely not in the relationship for love. 

But, I would say that the above scenario is the exception. Most college-age women who end up with older men are not looking for fortune or fame but for a real relationship with a man who is ready to commit. 

Older men are more confident than younger guys. After being in several relationships over the years, and some who have even been through a divorce, they are tired of the dating game. They are upfront about their feelings, more approachable about serious relationship topics and perhaps even more willing to work through problems. 

These attributes are refreshing to a woman who has suffered her dating peers and is ready for a relationship longer than a one night stand from the bar and maybe a couple of dates after. Older men offer security because of their experience.

When it comes to a relationship with an older man, age does prove a bit more important. Ten to 15 years is the maximum a relationship could really work when you are young. Consider if you are 20, he is 35. When you are 25, he is 40. Also, if you are seeking children in the relationship, the older the man, the less chance he may be willing to have children—or he might have some already! But, the older you get, the less age begins to matter, I believe, and it more what you share in common.

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