Pros and Cons of Dating a Younger Man
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It’s far more common these days for women of all ages to date younger men. Whether it’s a 24-year-old woman dating a 19-year-old man, or a woman in her 40’s dating a man in his 30’s, it is no longer considered unusual for a woman to opt for a man who is her junior.
There are many benefits to dating men who are younger than you, as well as potential pitfalls to look out for. Our relationship experts share their best advice on the subject.
Age can just be a number
It’s extremely individual on which men are mature enough to handle dating an older woman, and which are not, according to Dallisa Hocking, founder of FrogKisser.
“With individuals maturing differently and at various times, I believe that a numerical age shouldn't have much weight when finding a lasting relationship. I know women that have dated younger men and they have had amazingly rich partnerships. And the same exists with the reverse
scenario. I know women, myself included, that have dated men that are older and have found they are not ready for an emotionally mature relationship. Age won't necessarily indicate if someone is ready to be with someone in an adult, emotionally mature and committed relationship,” Hocking said.
The older you get, the less difference it makes if your partner is younger. The maturity difference in a 20-year-old man versus a 30-year-old man is vast. So a 25-year-old woman might shy away from a man five years younger than herself, but when she’s 35, she’d be more interested in dating him because he’s more mature and is her equal.
Pros and cons
There are many benefits to dating a younger man. “It widens a woman’s choice if she is in her 30’s or 40’s especially. There will be more available guys in her age range. If the age gap is not too great, the guy will be more mature than, say a guy in his early to mid 20’s. When dating younger there is more choice and more quality in that choice, also these guys have less baggage—exes, past wife (wives), children,” said Toni Coleman, a psychologist and a dating coach.
“The problems associated with this are if the age gap is too great, the man is so young that he just can’t meet her emotional and intellectual needs, and/or he is just in it for fun and she wants more. This can be especially so if the man is in his 30’s or early 40’s and the woman is in her mid to late 40’s or older. If he wants kids, it is often a deal breaker. However if he is late 20’s to early 30’s and she is mid to late 30’s, it can be a non-issue. It often comes down to the amount of years between them and whether her age would impact his having a family life with his own kids in the future,” Coleman said.
“It’s also a problem if the guy is in his 20’s, has a lot of growing up to do, and she knows what she wants and is ready to take the next steps. Often, he just won’t be there and will probably be in for a number of changes before he is — including what he wants and who he wants it with,” Coleman said.
Often, a woman’s confidence is boosted when she dates someone younger, according to Jonathan Bennett, a certified counselor and dating coach and author of Eleven Dating Mistakes Women Make (And How To Correct Them).
“The biggest benefit is to a woman’s confidence. A lot of women feel undervalued once they get older since the media values youth. For example, it’s difficult to find an older woman as a romantic lead in major movies. Dating a younger man can prove to them they are still attractive. Also, younger men might be more willing to travel, go out to clubs, see concerts, etc. than older men ‘married’ to a career,” Bennett said.
“The downsides usually are lack of commonalities. If the age gap is especially huge, it might be harder for both sides to relate, especially if there is a corresponding gap in maturity. For example, a young guy just out of college won’t know the experiences of a 30-something career woman with a child,” he said.
“However, the situation might work better if both partners are older to begin with. So, if a 40-something woman dates a 30-something man, they will both be more likely to be mature, share common family issues (children, divorce, etc.), and both used to juggling work and dating.”