What is it with older men dating younger women?
Back in 2012, fashion designer, businesswoman and former child star Mary-Kate Olsen, then 25, was caught canoodling with former French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s younger half-brother, Olivier Sarkozy. He’s almost 20 years her senior, and was carrying the emotional baggage of an ex-wife two children.
The two married in 2015, but when they first started dating, they were seen together on multiple occasions. After the press caught wind of the two spending the Memorial Day weekend together in the Hamptons, The New York Post confirmed the pair were dating and were “head over heels” in love with one another.
But what’s crazy is that while Olsen was sucking her thumb and adorably uttering her catchphrase “You got it, dude,” Sarkozy was graduating from high school and filling out college applications.
So why are more older men dating younger women, and why are younger women like falling into the arms of older guys?
Christie Hartman, PhD, dating coach and author of Changing Your Game: A Man’s Guide to Success with Women, believes young women like Olsen are seeking maturity, confidence, wisdom and resources young men can’t provide.
“Men in their twenties, especially under 27, can be immature, not know what they want in life and have difficulty committing,” she says. “This may not be true for all guys, but in my experience it is pretty common. Older men, however, have the guts to approach women and may make a better sexual match.”
Karla Moore, a certified dating coach, agrees: “When I was single and in my twenties I was attracted to older men. I think women choose to be open to being attracted to many kinds of men (casting a wide net) and don’t only focus on men in their twenties. They are also being pleased in the bedroom in a way that their 20-something male counter parts are asleep about.”
But aside from the sexual upgrade, young women may be clueless about big picture implications of dealing with a man that has personal baggage like an ex-wife and/or children.
“This ends up being a very complex family dynamic for the 20-something woman,” Moore says. “She may be thrown into being a stepmother and may not fully understand what that role will entail.”
How do these women deal with the responsibility involved in being with a man with children and/or an ex-wife?
“It takes an emotionally intact woman to be a stepmother or a wife of a husband with an ex-wife,” Moore points out. “The average woman that goes down this road is rudely awakened by the complex reality that rears its head. As a woman in your twenties, get honest with yourself and listen to your instinct about this life you will embark upon. You deserve the best! Men that have baggage typically do best with women that have baggage too.”
Through the test of time, the concept that older is better has become socially established and engrained in our minds. Because people associate age with experience and experience with better performance, women will probably forever want to date older men.
But if you’re going to date an older guy, Hartman recommends figuring out where he stands on important things like marriage and kids before it gets too serious.
“If his situation is too complicated, think about if it will negatively impact your life.” And if you’re a young woman in your twenties, you have a lot of life ahead of you.
Tyger Danger is a writer, editor, and social media aficionado. Follow her on Twitter.
This article was originally published at GalTime
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