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Double Standard of Older Men Dating Younger Women

Why Do Older Men Date Younger Women?

By Mel Bancroft

The idea of a younger man with an older woman is harmlessly portrayed in movies like “The Graduate,” “Summer of 42,” and “The Inkwell.” In these coming-of-age tales, young men “graduate” from being nerdy, awkward or unpopular to newborn studs once they have been intimate with an older woman. But older men dating younger women are not seen in the same light. Depending on the governing state and the age difference, an older man dating a younger woman can lead to criminal prosecution. In public, older men dating younger women are subject to being ridiculed, snubbed or not taken seriously at all. At any rate, women and men alike have an opinion about how it affects them and society as a whole.

After several relationships with women his own age (early-to-mid 40’s), Charles, a restaurant owner, found himself attracted to women in their 20’s. “I have had to deal with so much baggage that women my age bring to the table. It seems like I end up paying the price for every bad relationship they were in before me. The only drawback is sometimes I feel like I’m a teacher with a younger woman. I have to show her how to take care of the bills, run the house, and a lot of stuff that people her age just don’t know yet. It’s a tradeoff that I don’t mind making. An older woman would most likely be able to jump in and handle those things. But I’d rather be a teacher instead of having to deal with the baggage. I don’t see no problem with older men dating younger women. “

Joslyn, an office assistant, only dates men who are much older than she is. “A young buck can’t do a thing for me,” she said boldly. “I’m 23 and I will not date a man under 40. I think older men are smart, romantic, and will spend more money than a younger man can. And they like younger women because the sex is better and more frequent. Sometimes I get stares from people when I’m out to dinner with an older man, and all the women act like I wanna steal their man, like their intimidated by my presence alone. I am not a home wrecker. I just prefer older men.”

Josyln went on to explain how her mother, Evelyn, a retired postal worker, felt about older men dating younger women. Evelyn has been trying to convince Joslyn to start aiming for men her own age so she can get married and start a family.

“I keep tellin’ Joslyn that I wish she would make me a grandmother sometime soon,” Evelyn said. “How is she supposed to do that if she’s with a man who already got all the children he wants to have? And every time I turn around she’s in another relationship. It might last for a year or two, but in my day we just didn’t do that sort of thing. We used to call them ‘dirty old men’ back then. I know times are different now. I just don’t want no old son-in-law.”

            “See, she is just old-fashioned, like all her church-going friends,” Joslyn interjected. “Call it what you want, but you’re gonna grow old fast with these men old enough to be your father,” Evelyn concluded.

Older men dating younger women will always be a debatable topic among those who disagree with it and those who live it.  And God knows there are too many variables about age differences that would neither prove nor disprove one’s ability to be happy in this type of relationship. Logic dictates that the math speaks for itself; when an older man and a younger woman come together with a considerable age difference between them, they’re bound to get out of sync somewhere down the road. However, if those people choose to take that chance, it’s really nobody else’s business. Why do older men date younger women? In a nutshell: because they can and it’s their choice.

Bancroft is a contributing writer for Regal Black Men's Magazine, a publication dedicated to the African American community.

This article was published on Thursday 24 February, 2011.
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