Cradle snatcher, cougar, puma or closer to home “sugar mummy”. These are some of the less than flattering terms that are used to describe women who date men that are younger than them. I have an acquaintance who once revealed she was going out with someone significantly younger than her. Instead of the usual excited squeals of delight that often accompany the confession that one has a new man, all she got from her girlfriends were raised eyebrows and everyone looking at her like she had admitted to being a paedophile. The subject was then swiftly changed, obviously to be brought up and dissected later when said lady was not present.
I used to be one of those women who looked down on those who dated guys younger than them. I even had a personal minimum age. I would not go out with anyone less than 3 years my senior. Now? Now I just don’t give a f***. As long as you’re over 21, you’re good to go bruh. Some people may think that it’s because I’m older now and single and so “options are limited”. But I don’t think so. I think because I am older, I realise that there are a lot more problem’s in the world to worry about other than someone’s age. Some 25 year old guys are way more mature than some 40 year old men and that’s just a fact. It doesn’t mean though that I’m going to be frolicking around with 21 year olds, but you get the point right?
Older woman-younger man (cougar and cub) relationships are still quite taboo and largely not accepted by society. Any society not just here in Zimbabwe. A relationship where a man is old enough to be his partner’s father is still more palatable than one where a woman is dating someone who is two, three or heaven forbid, more than three years her junior. I decided to do some research, talk to people and find out why it is such relationships are generally looked down upon. It was quite interesting to note that an unexpected number of ladies said they would date someone younger than them, although they wouldn’t be comfortable making this public knowledge. They were not brave enough to let people know for fear of being laughed at having to answer a barrage of questions. A lot of them also said they would not date anyone more than three years their junior. An older gentleman I spoke to claimed women who dated younger men were of questionable morals. They are only looking for a good time and prey on these poor innocent youngsters. But what really was wrong with such relationships I insisted? Who said the man has to be older? Was there some sort of historical background to that belief? He looked at me for a second and said, “It’s just not normal-hazvingoite!” and then walked off in a huff having realised he didn’t actually have a valid reason.
A few, more confident sisters, said they would date younger men and not care who knew. After all, it is about them and their partners’ happiness and not about pleasing society. Then there were those that deliberately went after the young blood. Reasons for that ranged from younger men being easier to date as they had no “excess baggage” to having a younger man making an older woman feel that she still had “it” and could still command attention from the male species. Some also said the young ones were overly eager to please and would practically do anything they wanted. And off course some said the young bloods performed wonders in bed!
|I will definitely be “couging” especially if you are Trey Songz
|| or J Something!
The guys I spoke to were almost all pro dating an older woman. In fact, most of them said this was a fantasy of theirs! “Older women have no drama and know what they want in every aspect of a relationship” said one guy, “They keep it real. They don’t have time for games”. Another one said older women tended to be more financially stable and therefore he wouldn’t go broke trying to woo them. In fact, he might be the one to end up getting spoilt! At this, the anti dating older women guys interjected. “I would only go out with an older woman for her money or for the sex” one candid character casually said. “Why would I waste my time with an “off-layer”? (Yes, my mouth was also agape and had to remind myself that I was the one who had asked the question and that I did want honest answers!) One guy responded to my question by saying “Dating is not marrying right”? He went on to explain that he wouldn’t mind dating an older woman as long as it was just for fun and nothing serious. He couldn’t see himself taking this woman to his mother and explaining that she was three or more years older than him and that he wanted to marry her.
An elderly lady I spoke to said we should look to Hollywood for clear examples that such
relationships do not work. Look at Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher she said. They had a sixteen year difference and look at them now. Madonna and Jennifer Lopez have been married to younger men and that didn’t last. Halle Berry, Eva Longoria and Whitney Houston are other examples. “Look at the Bible” she quipped, “Adam was made before Eve meaning he was older and that is the way it should be!”
On the flipside, I also came across those who had solid examples of older woman-younger man relationships that were working well. One of my friends (who herself is a year older than her husband) has an uncle who is eight years younger than his wife but the couple has been blissfully married for the past seventeen years. Someone gave the example of their own parents where the mother was four years older than the father but they had been together for thirty odd years. All these highly interesting conversations lead me to the following conclusions. First and foremost, the people that count the most in a relationship are the two parties in the relationship. A relationship is about pleasing each other and not society. Having said that however, if a as woman, you find yourself in a situation where you want to enter into a relationship with a younger man, keep in mind that people will talk and you will get some negative energy. Make sure your partner is very supportive as this will indeed boost your confidence. A couple of ladies I know ended up having a discussion on this topic and brought up quite a valid point. As we all know, men mature at a much slower rate than women (if at all they do!). Being with a guy who is significantly younger than you may end up being stressful. This is because what you require from a relationship might be completely different due to your different stages in life. He wants to go out and party, you want to stay home and watch TV. You want to settle down and have children, he still wants to see the world and not be tied down. He wants to spend money like there is no tomorrow, you have now learnt the importance of being financially responsible.
I think just like any other relationship, whether he is older or younger, you need to do what is right for you. That guy who is five years older than you might turn out to be the worst relationship of your life while the younger one could the best thing ever to happen to you.
Whilst age different is important, it must not be THE deciding factor in a relationship. If he truly loves you, respects and supports you, age should not be a factor right? After all, Aaliyah did say, “Age ain’t nothing but a number”!
Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number
What do you guys think though? Should age be a major factor in a relationship? What age gap is acceptable and what is not? If you think it matters, why? Hit me up in the comments section down below.