Older Women, Younger Men: Myths Exposed (guest post by Jana Richards)
Older Women, Younger Men: Myths Exposed
Guest post by Jana Richards
May 20, 2016One of the central problems in my novel The Girl Most Likely is that Cara is eight years older than Finn. The age difference bothers her to such an extent that she at first refuses any kind of relationship with him. She’s afraid of looking ridiculous for pursuing a younger man, and afraid that one day he’ll wake up and realize he was no longer attracted to her.
Though relationships between older women and younger men are becoming increasingly more common, there are still issues that such a couple must face to make their relationship work. First, let me explode a few myths, courtesy of Susan Winter, co-author, with Felicia Brings, of Older Women, Younger Men: New Options for Love and Romance. She and her co-author interviewed more than 200 couples. Although this is not a scientific study, three myths kept popping up:
Myth #1: ”He’ll leave you for a younger woman.”. Winter says they didn’t find one man who did this, at least not for a specific younger woman. In some cases the man wanted children and the relationship fell apart as a result.
Myth#2: “The older woman is always the seducer – a Mrs. Robinson.” In all the cases that Winter studied, the man was the initiator.
Myth #3: “It will never last.” The average length of the relationships that Winter studied was 13 years.
Psychologists and dating experts believe that though age may be factor in determining whether a relationship will work, there are other factors that may be of greater importance.
- Are your personalities similar? Are your energy levels similar? Is he the right maturity for you? Age doesn’t necessarily dictate maturity. Spend time with your younger guy and find out how he handles stress, money, work, etc. These things will help you determine his level of maturity.
- Do you expect the same things from a relationship? If you want some fun and a no-strings relationship, and he wants family and commitment, you could be headed for trouble. Denise Washington says it’s important to match expectations: “Don’t be afraid to voice what you want. By being on the same page in the beginning, it will prevent frustration and heartbreak later if he doesn’t want the same thing.”
- What are your deal breakers? Figure out early on what you cannot live with. Is it immaturity, him living with his parents, not getting along with your kids or your friends, spending too much time with his friends and not enough with you? Is he looking for a mommy or a midnight booty call? Asking questions at the beginning of the relationship will help you decide if he’s a man or a boy.
My couple in The Girl Most Likely eventually figure out that for them, age doesn’t matter. They learn that the things they have in common far outweigh their differences. Love, it seems, is ageless.
When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense Seeing Things was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.
In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada with their Pug/Terrier cross Lou and several unnamed goldfish.
“I think you’re beautiful. You know that, don’t you?”
No, she really didn’t know that, but she nodded anyway. What happened when he woke up one morning and realized that she had a few more lines on her face? Would he still think she was beautiful or would he tire of her, just as Peter had?
“Are you sorry about last night?”
Her head rose sharply. He looked away, not meeting her gaze. However mixed up she felt this morning, she couldn’t let Finn feel that he’d somehow failed her. Setting her mug on the night table on her side of the bed, she caressed his unshaven cheek.
“Of course I’m not sorry. I loved our night together. Don’t mind me, Finn. I’m in a mood this morning.”
He tugged at her sheet once more. “Then let go of the sheet and let me hold you before I have to go.”
Cara held her sheet tighter. It was one thing to get undressed in the dark and another to let him see her body in the cruel light of day. “No, please. I’d rather not.”
Would he look at her in the cold morning light and see all her imperfections, her scars, her forty-three years of living? Would he look at her and want to trade her in for a newer model?