Age gap relationships are something society seems to be obsessed with. But, often it's the younger woman/older man combo people are interested in. When it comes to younger men dating much older women, there's a whole different set of power dynamics at play.
Here, men who have dated much older women explain what it was really like.
"I got tired of the mom jokes."
"Dated a lovely woman that was exactly twice my age. I was 25, and she was 50. She'd been through a terrible, abusive marriage, and had three grown children, two of which were older than me. Her ex and her kids treated her like shit, and unfortunately, she let them. Together, we made a life running a business together that was successful enough for us to afford two homes, three nice cars, and a boat. Eventually, I realized that while I had a damn good life, I was not happy. Age is not just a number. It eventually gets to the point where you can see the huge difference. I got tired of the mom jokes, and I was totally out of my element when her kids visited. I hated how they treated her and it became a source of contention for us.
Sexually, we were great at first, but that changed quickly as she went through menopause. She was no longer interested in sex, and I was a raging 30-year-old by then. We started sleeping apart because her back hurt. Things really started to fall apart when I realized I was taking care of her more and more, and I started to resent her for it. Eventually, I realized that unless I left I would be miserable. I told her after 13 years together, that I thought it was time for us to part ways. One of the most difficult things I've ever done. She was totally devastated. Age matters a lot. Don't kid yourself and if you don't want to work amazingly hard at keeping it together don't start it." [via]
"The sex is mind-blowing."
"My SO is nine years older than me. The main difference is finance and career. She has a career and makes six figures, whereas I make about 1/5 what she does and still am not successful in my career. The first thing I noticed about being with an older woman is that they know what they want in bed, so the sex is mind blowing. The negatives are that she has nine more years of life on me where she's had to figure her life out, but still expects me to be on her level. It can be frustrating." [via]
"I have way more life experience."
"Wife is 10 years older than me. We've been married 14 years. Ironically, she's the naive one and I have way more life experience so it kind of balances out. We have a great marriage." [via]
"There's never any drama."
"I'm 21, dating a woman 25 years older than me. We've been dating since I was 18, and I plan on proposing early next year. It's amazing. There's never any arguing or fights, never any jealousy. She's emotionally mature, so there's never any drama. If there's something we disagree on (which I can't even think of an example for), there's no contention. The emotional maturity is probably one of the most attractive things. She's more self conscious with the age difference than I am, but its not a big deal for either of us (especially after three years). All of our friends are great and no one is judgmental.
Unfortunately, my parents were not so pleased with my decision to date an older woman, so my relationship with them has been... unstable for lack of a better word. But her family is great. She has children older than me, and children younger than me. That was a little weird at first, but nowadays I just view them as family. Sexually there's no issues. We have matching libidos. When we first started seeing each other it was sex 10 times a week, literally. But after the honeymoon phase, we settled to a comfortable three to four times a week. Overall, things are great. I couldn't be happier. [via]
"Libido compatibility has been an issue."
"We've been together for about five years [and she's 15 years older than me]. She's fit and healthy and we match up well as far as maturity goes. Libido compatibility has been an issue, but that's less to do with age and more due to some mental health issues." [via]
"It was a life-affirming relationship."
"I dated a woman 12 years older than me for over two years. I was 26 and she was 38 when we met. It was an amazing, life affirming relationship with someone who truly loved me and I truly loved her.
However, it just wouldn't work out in the long run. In 10 years time, she would have been 48 and I would have been 36, I would be in a prime of my life trying to motivate an older woman to act as young as I would be. If I were 42 when she was 48, there wouldn't be much difference to notice. Four to seven years is barely noticeable. I got with a 35-year-old at 29, and we will age pretty well together." [via]
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.