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January 12, 2005

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johanna

just came by this site. very thoughtful blog on older men/younger women. So how do you explain a late fortyish man who has for years professed to see women not so much as objects but as humans and who perviously wouldn't never dream of dating younger women (he liked em smart so he claimed) and all of a sudden is now only hanging around and dating 20 year olds? Would you say this man is compensating? or that he wants other men to see him as the alpha male (what I call "dick sizing")? What if these men have unaccomplished lives personally and professionally who depended on others (such as their moms and dads) to take care of them? what I am saying here is there are men dating women 20-300 years younger to fulfill some needs that are not really healthy. It is pathelogical. They need to feel "validated" by other men and being with young hot and fertile women is one way to do this. They use the hot younger woman as their tool to impress other men. What they are really doing is not confronting their own lack of accomplishments in their own lives. I have a friend who told me he was at a doctor's appointment. there was a man in his early 50s with very young womanin her 20s who was all over this man as his GF. He kept making eye contact at with every single man in the waiting room as if thinking that they were be envious of him and that he had a higher status as a male. What it shows to me is his own insecurities and lack of power in life. As for the women, there are women who want to go out with men who are 20-30 years older because they want a father figure even if it is sexual. A father figure in a sexual way is not not healthy for women. It is likewise pathelogical and does not comfront their own insecurities.

Enolihi

I fully agree with Johanna (June 16, 2006). It is a shame that women are still being exploited in this modern society. Women who are older are pushed to the wayside for the younger. Is there any integrity in modern dating anymore? Can older men be satisfied with being a mentor and respect the younger woman without alterative motives?

Good luck to you for I am older and have chosen solitude and peace.

Mark Bergeron

I waited until I was 39 to get married for the first time and I rushed into a marriage to a 25 year old. She was pregnant six weeks after the wedding. Once we really got to know each other, I realized that she was not the one for me. Nothing to do with her age, it was her personality and our lack of a connection. I've hung in there for 10 years, mainly for my daughter. This year, I changed jobs and met the woman of my dreams. Observing her, I could see that she was the most amazing woman I had ever met. I couldn't wait to see her every day and just spend time with her. I would be happy to just hold her hand. I'm now 49 and this woman is 25. I've been told that I look 39 and act 29. For nine months I refrained from making a move on her because (a) I was married and (b) she had a boyfriend. But when she disclosed her feelings for me a few months ago and said she had been crazy about me since day one, I had to tell her I felt the same. Would it be crazy to dump my wife and daughter and be with this woman? She wants to marry me and mother my children.

Bill

well Johanna... having married a young woman of 19 when I was 55.....I'm a successful research chemist...widely published...the holder of a US patent...presented papers at International Conferences in this country and Europe......I don't THINK I'm compensating for my lack of achievement....I also served as president of the Board of Directors of my older kids school....I run six miles a day. I'm not incapable of having a relationship with someone my own age....I dated a succesful attoreny a year older than me for two years....a very fine woman and we remain best freinds to this day...but I was not in love with her....and I was planning on living alone...and then I met this incredible young woman....I'm only human and so whenever someone notices the pictire of my family on my desk and comments on all my children and I say..."well actually the brunette on the right ismy wife" and they go"Your WIFE???? Are you JOKING?"...yeah I smile...but that's about teh extent of my alpha male behaviour. I think you fall in love and sometimes it is not under circumstances you would choose.....witness interracial marriages....or interfaith marriages in some circles....marriage is hard enough and doesnt' need any extra burdens....but when love strikes it strikes.....sure I get comments like " you sly dog you."....but I'm not really into that....never have been...

Pietro

lots of interesting posts here..very educational. i'm 55 and recently met a women, age 30, we get along incredibly, great conversations, great tenderness, and wonderful sexual intimacy as well. She lives in another country and is considering visiting for a month or so...a part of me wants to see and be with her again, a part of me wants to call it off and is doing the math, and even though i am a very fit and active guy, the 'gap' will be quite obvious ..at 70 - she'll be 45, i also wonder how her & my friends/family will treat us. I've been in a relationship with a women, 7 years younger then me, for 10 years - lots of good things, but her illness, her self-centeredness, and our non-sexual relations for 2 years was very hard to handle. I'm not sure what 'love' really is--but there sure are big feelings between and my lady friend and I. Any comments, advice, perspectives, welcome. thanks.

sophonisba

Would it be crazy to dump my wife and daughter and be with this woman? She wants to marry me and mother my children.

How exactly is the new girlfriend going to mother your child for you if you "dump" your child? That doesn't make sense.

Oh, but you don't mean she wants to mother this real, existing daughter of your current marriage. You mean she wants to mother her own yet-unborn children. Since you like to fantasize about dumping children when you leave their mothers, it's hardly fair or accurate to call them "yours."

perplexed

So how do you explain a late fortyish man who has for years professed to see women not so much as objects but as humans and who perviously wouldn't never dream of dating younger women (he liked em smart so he claimed) and all of a sudden is now only hanging around and dating 20 year olds? Would you say this man is compensating?

I think it's simply natural. Nature can appear to be cruel sometimes, but no amount of shaming or social engineering is going to change it. Men do place a lot of emphasis on a woman's physical appearance and youth helps. A woman who is young is displaying her fertility. I'd consider it pathological to be sexually attracted to a woman who clearly looks years past her menopause or a girl who is clearly yet to reach puberty. Again, this sounds cruel and rather arbitrary, but it is simply nature. To deny nature is to refuse to understand it. I'm not saying it's fine to date 13 year-old girls by the way, but I understand men who might impulsively find them sexually attractive if they clearly look like they've hit puberty.

Nature needs to be tamed around these 'edges' however, hence minimum legal ages to engage in sex are placed in law (quite rightly of course) - I'm talking purely instinctive nature.

I think it's dangerous to be too idealistic when it comes to relationships. However much we want them to be an unconditional mutual acceptance between two people right from the initial stages of every relationship, you'll find a quid pro quo system of conditions taking place underneath the romance and flowers in the beginning of a relationship - sometimes all the way through one. Now I do know there is such a thing as unconditional love - I've witnessed it, and felt it. In my experience, this is a love that grows over time - my thoughts in this post concern the initial stages of a relationship, which are the most important ones (otherwise....there is no relationship!).

sophonisba

I'd consider it pathological to be sexually attracted to a woman who clearly looks years past her menopause

If you have living, married grandparents, I'd consider it a public service if you'd tell them that and report back on how it went.

Okay, not a public service. Just vastly entertaining.

Whatever you do, do not visit a retirement community and ask the attendants what the residents get up to. The near-universal level of "pathology" among the over-65 set might permanently scar your tender mind. Old people denying nature every night - scary stuff.

I think it's dangerous to be too idealistic when it comes to relationships.

Are you kidding? You're idealizing female fertility to the point that the thought of old women fucking gives you the vapors.

Old people have sex with each other. This is a good thing, not a sickness. You're going to have a hard time of it when you hit your seventies, I can tell you, unless you come to terms with it.

perplexed

sophonisba, I think you've gone off on a tangent here. I didn't say that old people having sex is wrong. I said that men's general scope of what they find sexually attractive in a woman lies between the boundaries of puberty and the menopause. It doesn't mean older couples having sex is pathological (I didn't say that) - sex between two people can be more than just physical, especially if they've been in a very long-term relationship - physical intimacy has been proven to be good for humans. Heck, simply sharing a bed with someone you love is wonderful. I was speak of sexual attraction. If you showed images of 10000 women of all ages to 10000 heterosexual men, I guarantee you the results would show men were attracted to younger, more fertile-looking women. You have to accept we are guided to a certain extent by our nature. Guys dating younger women is all part of that nature I am describing.

perplexed

sex between two people can be more than just physical

....that should read : sex between two people can be more than just physical sex

Amba

perplexed, I can guarantee you that if you showed images of 10000 men of all ages to 10000 heterosexual women, they'd find the younger men more attractive than the older ones. On an immediate, visceral level, women are just as attracted to firm bodies and smooth visages as men, no matter how much that may distress the ev-psych types. And dude, if finding women who are at or near menopause attractive is pathological, there are a lot of pathological men out there, at least judging from the content of my spam folder.

mythago

the boundaries of puberty and the menopause

That's a pretty big range. If men are attracted to women between puberty and menopause, why would you expect them to date only women at the puberty end?

And "fertile-looking" is nonsense; can you look at a women and tell she's fertile? What are the markers of fertility? (Hint: some of them are considered sexually repulsive in modern Western culture.)

perplexed

That's a pretty big range. If men are attracted to women between puberty and menopause, why would you expect them to date only women at the puberty end?

A woman in her mid-teens to late 20s is at her most fertile. This a medical fact - hence nearer the 'puberty end'. Signs of fertility are a component of sexual attraction toward females - this is manifested in practically all species, and is virtually a tautology when you consider sexual attraction is based on wanting to have sex - procreation (where fertility is necessary).

Linc

I am a 39 year old man, professional, self employed, and well established, having recently met a 19 year old girl in the neighborhood, at first walking my dog, and she hers. We first became friends and then she asked me out. We then had one month of non-stop intimacy that was incredible, although I found the relationship complex in many ways, given differences in our emotinal and intellectual development. I found this site and was compelled to contribute as I am going out of my mind thinking about this girl. I sought to end the relationship, but yet I did not want to do so because of my attraction. This girl is smart, fun, and yes, extremely attractive. I am divorced and have dated but have never found myself as happy as I was for that month or so. Given my comments about reservations in continuing the relationship things kind of fizzled. We ended up not talking for awhile but because of the proximity of where we live it is difficult not bumping into her. Recently she began calling and for the past several weeks we seem to have developed a friendship that did and has not invloved sex, but does and has involved flirting, physical and non-physical. In that back of my mind I have thought there is no way this can go on because all I think about is the one-month period of time when it was non-stop sex and fun. I have communicated this to her and suggested I needed to take a break from the "friendship thing". She has had a 28 year boyfriend in the past, who she claims was her first sexual experience when she was 18. I think she likes older guys. She has a complex family history which would take to long to get into. Nonetheless, we took a break from each other for a while and I recently saw her with another guy and now find myself a neurotic mess because I want to be with her. Anyhow my point is, in reading all of the posts that I have, I do see arguments for the age difference being a huge problem and agree with everything Hugo has said. I now wish this was a case where age would not matter but it seems to have mattered a great deal. Anyhow, the whole thing was great but now I find myself emotionally distraught over not developing a relationship with this girl and I inevitably will be running into her over and over again. My advice, do not let age matter, but of course realize the potential pitfalls it presents and be prepared to deal with the feelings of a failed relationship. In my case those feelings were exponentially exagerrated compared to other failed relations, I think because I like this girl more than any other woman I've been involved with in a long time. Any advice or support would be greatly appreciated from those eading htese comments.

Pat

Linc: as hard as it may be, listen carefully to the inner voice that told you to essentially "cool it" with this girl after boffing her non-stop for a month...you know deep down that it would never work out in the long run because both of you are in very different stages of your lives:socially, emotionally, intellectually, financially...you name it...a man pushing 40 and a girl still in her teens are simply not going to be able to overcome all the challenges and hurdles inherent in such a huge age gap. It'd be a different story if you were, say, 50 and she was 30....she'd have more life experience and the balance of power and maturity would be more equal. I say let this go--move on with your life, Linc, and find someone closer to your own age. I speak from experience, believe me (see my post above).

mythago

This a medical fact - hence nearer the 'puberty end'.

Puberty starts much younger than 'late teens to early 20s'. And, again, if visibile signs of fertility = sexual attraction, there would be little cultural variation and we wouldn't see much interest in features that were neutral or contraindicative. Being blonde has nothing to do with fertility, and being thin is something negatively correlated with fertility. We do put a premium on features associated with social class and wealth.

Skyelove

I am a 16 year old girl with a very interesting situation. when I was 13 my next door neighbor who was 34 at the time started to take a very keen interest in me. The only problem is he had just recently been married 1 month before I met him. He never tried anything on me sexually but we were very flirtatious and we spent a lot of time together.

When he moved away we started talking online. My mom and her friend found some of our conversations and called him up and told him he could never contact me again. They believed he was being inappropriate with me and "a line had been crossed" I was devastated. I know he was very hurt too he said he felt like a sex offender.

3 years later- i'm almost 17 and I really still miss him. I know he has red flags all over him because he's happily married, but i wish he hadn't led me on like he did. I saw him in January after not seeing him for 2 years and he made comments like "You'll be 18 in two years" and stuff like that. I don't know if anyone has had a similiar situation. I mean, I care about him but I don't want to be some chick on the side or cause him to cheat on his wife.

It's all very complicated.

stanton

Skyelove, I understand that the situation is complicated for you, but I can assure you that it is all rather simple for your happily married friend. He gets a rush out of his ability to get attention from a young woman such as yourself, and he intends to continue doing it. He may actually tell himself that the two of you truly have a "special relationship" but he doesn't let that stop him from using you for his own egoic satisfaction. No doubt he feels that he has a "special relationship" with his wife as well, but that is no check on his behavior. There is a good chance that he will be willing to enter a full-blown sexual relationship with you, if he thinks he can get away with it.

My first-level advice for you would be to cut off all contact with this fellow at least until you are on your own and in a solid relationship yourself, and see how this situation appears to you then (and getting your boyfriend's opinion as well). If that is difficult, then I would suggest that you lay down terms with this friend, that there be no more flirting or innuendo between you - that he stop it forthwith and treat you respectfully, as any other acquaintance. When you see that he is unable to relate to you without this, perhaps it will be clear that he is feeding off of your youthful femininity.

I wish he hadn't led you on as well, but he did - and there is every reason to believe that this happily married man is ready to continue doing so. Don't let him. You deserve better.

mythago

(How are all these unhappy people finding Hugo's blog, anyway?)

A 34-year-old newlywed who hits on a 13-year-old should feel like a sex offender, because he is one.

Skyelove

Thank you for your advice!

I'm good friends with his step-daughter so it's difficult to stop all contact. Although, I have tried. I think part of the reason why I looked up to him is because my own Dad is kind of absent in my life emotionally and we've never had a healthy relationship mainly because he doesn't know how to raise girls.

I know I deserve better and I've slowly but surely been allowing guys my own age to approach me because I kinda pushed them all away within the last 2-3 years which is really sad and pretty pathetic. But anyways, thanks again, and I will definitley use your advice =D...

fish

people, this is an extreamly complex issue, but in my opinion the main point is a follows:
1. The abuse/manipulation: in all relationships there is the potential for the abuse of power, position, etc. This only really becomes a problem however,if the older male, is actually abusing the younger female! Im sure that some relationships, even where they have been between teacher and student have been free from all abuse etc.

The originol blog seemed to be making the point that the potential for abuse however comes from the very fact that their is an age differance. Whilst this a potential factor which would allow abuse, it doesnt mean that abuse has to happen and it also fails to take into account any other factors thta redress the balence. In fact the originol post reeks of martyerdom where our behaviours must be controled because of some 'potential' for bad things to happen rather than making decisions based upon our intentions!

My actions are based upon my heart, because I strive to keep my heart pure. I do not base my actions upon a code of external moral ethics which are in place because some unscrupulas person has once abused a situation. This is a bit like saying I won't own a car because I may one day kill someone by drink driving!

Ultimatly, if you are atracted to someone, go for it! If you are abusing them in some way by manipulating your age, power and knowledge, then your an asshole in the first place and whatever relationship you enter into will proberbly be bad for your partner!

Tony

Hi all. I am 46. I have met a 24 year old woman, and we have started a relationshp. No one chased anyone, it just fell into place. We make each other laugh a lot, share a similar taste in music and movies, and love the same sporting activities. She is very special, a smart young woman with a facsinating take on life. Apart from the above common ground, in me I think she sees someone with a lot of interesting life experiences and know-how, and probably a good deal of confidence. I have learned by experience how to treat a woman (I don't mean how to 'play the game' but how to behave, what women like from men), things I had no idea about in my earlier years and relationships. These are all not things she has had in previous relationships with men closer to her own age I think. The age question has not arisen at all, except very recently in my head. I have begun to wonder about our roles and where this is all going. I have no moral concerns about this, she is an adult and not in a vulnerable postion vis a vis me, and my actions and words have been agenda free and honest. We really enjoy each others company on many levels, including sexually, but that is not the main thing - it's a beautiful bonus. Should I really be wondering about this at all? Are some of the comments on this topic above not really making an issue out of something that isn't an issue (where clear-cut predation is not a factor of course)? Yes, I am aware that she is young and beautiful. I also notice beautiful woman who are ten years her senior, but I am not in relationship with an of them. I happen to have a girfriend who is almost half my age. Is this really a bad thing, for either of us?

Jen

Tony,

I am a 36 year old professional woman who has recently dated a man who is 50 and a man who is 54. Both of these men were well mannered professionals. I can't be sure what was in their heads, so I won't go there. However, I can give you the female perspective and I encourage you to listen to it.

No matter the intentions of these men, I felt at a distinct disadvantage. Both men were very nice to me and had the manners you speak of- they knew how to treat women well. However, I was acutely aware that they had much more life experience than me, and that I was always playing with a handicap. I was also aware of the sexual attraction they had for me, which was multiplied by our age difference. I am sure our relationship also fueled their ego. As a result, I think their judgement may have been (willingly and happily) clouded. So, the whole time I had a skepticism and doubt about whether they were attracted to me as a person, or our age difference and the added sexual tension and ego boost it gave them. I think you guys have a definite tendency to let these things get mixed up.

You will have other women in the same situation who are not so self aware or willing to examine the dynamics. Some may also be too wrapped up in their vanity and the treatment they get from these older men to tell you (or even realize) these dynamics. It can be a powerful trip as a woman to be with an older man who has access to power or wealth or social status.

In the end however, one person (the younger) is at a distinct disadvantage. It's like playing chess with a developmentally delayed person, but convincing yourself that it's an even game. It also messes with the younger woman's head. She will now always wonder if an older man (who we tend to trust and idolize as father figures) is safe or would think of her in a sexual way. And there are times when we think we would like that, but you must realize that you should be the more emotionally mature party, and be able to take a pass.

Mike

Interesting. As an educator, I agree. Don't get involved with students, period. I would extend this to say that one should also not get involved with colleagues. If one teaches in a small or mid-sized town, it is even a good idea to remain the "safe" guy with all of the locals because it isn't just a matter of one's interaction with students. When students see you in any role outside of the gender neutral role, even if one is out on the town with someone else, the teacher has lost his/her innocence in their mind. They see you differently. So, I avoid all relationship stuff anywhere in the greater metro area. It works out fine.

One shouldn't forget that female students are perfectly capable and often make passes at instructors; they're not the total innocents, you know! And the passes are not subtle--usually, they just come out and ask to go out for drinks or dinner even. In one case, a female student employee at a library got my name off of my library card and tracked me down. Kind of weird behavior. In these cases, the students violate our emotional boudaries. Don't forget, instructors have feelings, too. As I wish to avoid all contact with students or colleagues it is very annoying that I have to even deal with this stuff.

Trust and professional aside, teaching is a job like any other...I teach and play the avuncular role, they pay me, and I go home to my own life. People who get involved with their students are making two mistakes: 1) they are engaging in a very unethical power relationship; 2) they are egotistical narcissists who actually believe that they are something more than an employee like any other. It is just a job and students are just the customers...that's it.

Burton

One advantage to going out with someone older is that they are a repository of information about earlier decades than one can recall. Years ago I went out with a woman who was a former SDS-hippie and I learned a lot about the 1960s.

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