Older women know themselves a lot better, and that means they are better at setting boundaries and have clarity of their needs.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on January 28, 2021. It has since been updated.
We have seen many older-man-younger-woman couples in popular culture and among celebrities. These couples are easily accepted as well compared to when the genders are flipped. When the woman is older and the man younger, the older woman gets labeled as a "cougar" even though one research, They're the Ones Chasing the Cougar, found that very few women considered themselves "seductresses" who were pursuing younger men who were "passively waiting to be courted," writes Psychology Today.
Cougar comes with some negative connotations, and the stereotype is of a leopard skin wearing older woman who prowls on younger men. However, ask Jason Mamoa and he will tell you that he asked his wife, Lisa Bonet, who is 12 years older than him, out first. "... When you meet someone you’re completely infatuated with and then find out she’s amazing, intelligent, and funny and she’s a goddess and you’re a degenerate," he told Men's Health. He was nervous but he took the first step.
Even Hugh Jackman, who is 13 years younger than wife Deborra Lee Furness, was the one who convinced her to not break up with him. He was sure about their relationship from the start, as per EOnline. Elsa Pataky, who is older than her husband, actor Chris Hemsworth, credits the success of their marriage to their seven-year age gap, according to Daily Mail.
So, what makes younger men attracted to older women? Here are five reasons that this relationship dynamic works:
The younger man could be looking for a woman who is sure of herself, something that is usually seen in a woman over the age of 30. As an older woman, we are more likely to know what we want. We have probably been through a couple of relationships and also know what we are not looking for in a partner. At an older age, it's easier to fix our priorities and goals and work towards them. It is also likely that these men feel older than their years and are ready to be with someone on their wavelength. Age is after all just a number and it is our learnings in our life that teach us to be stronger and bolder.
An older woman who knows her mind is unlikely to be playing games with her partner. Instead, she would probably bring stability to her partner's life. An older woman can also help a younger man grow up faster and figure out what they want in their life. Men might choose to date older women because of a sense of relational equality, as per Psychology Today. They probably find that an older woman is more of an equal partner than a dependent one.
Younger men, who are still trying to figure out their own lives and are still green, might find it hard to be there for a partner of a similar or younger age. It's possible that they may not have space in their lives for supporting another person, who is likely as green as them. Older women can be guides and mentors to their partners since they would have had more experience. They already went through the difficult bits of life and know how to effectively handle them.
It is widely known that a woman gets paid less than a man doing the same job. According to data from the US Census Bureau, the average gender pay gap in the United States in 2018 meant that a woman working a full-time, year-round job earns 81.1% as much as her male counterpart earns. So, when a man is in a relationship with a younger or same-age woman, she is likely going to earn less than him. An older woman might be earning more, and that removes the financial burden from a man.
For some men, it's likely not about the age at all but the qualities that they are looking for in their partner. When a man seeks a woman who has clarity and substance, he might automatically find older women more attractive. There are many people who prize deep and intellectual conversations over an exuberant lifestyle. An older woman, not focussed on starting a family, is likely going to be able to be relaxed and accepting.
Disclaimer: This article is based on insights from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.