A Piece of Advice

It’s OK For Older Women to Date Younger Men

4 mins. read

Topics: Age Gap,Starting Out,Dating,Getting Serious

It’s time to end the double standard on relationships with big age gaps. Photo: Oziel Gómez, Unsplash

A relationship coach explains a growing trend of older women dating younger men.


Relationships with wide age gaps have long been stigmatized, but perhaps none more so than relationships between older women and younger men.

There are even questionable labels for women who choose to date younger men, like “cougar” and “jaguar,” as if these women were predators out to get unsuspecting prey.

But as society begins to celebrate all kinds of love, more people are rallying to normalize relationships between older women and younger men. On TikTok, for example, people are opening up about the misconceptions around dating younger men. One survey also showed that 81 percent of women are open to dating someone 10 years younger than they are, and that nearly 90 percent of men are interested in dating someone 10 years older. This shows that more women are open to dating younger men and that more men are open to dating older women than most people might think.

Aileen Santos, a relationship coach based in Manila, Philippines, said that the growing acceptance of relationships between older women and younger men is part of a growing acceptance of all kinds of relationships, but she warned that people must remember some important caveats.

“We are not talking about underage guys,” Santos said, emphasizing that the relationships people should want to normalize are “healthy relationships between adults.”

“It’s just that there’s an age gap and the guy just happens to be younger.”

Some might say these relationships are becoming increasingly common, but of course, they’ve always been around.

“It’s not a new thing,” said Santos. There have always been older women attracted to younger men and younger men attracted to older women, but there’s also been a lot of taboo around their relationships.

According to Santos, it’s possible that a lot of those taboos are being challenged now because of advances in health and technology. It’s now easier for people, women or otherwise, to stay healthy as they get older. That means that health issues become less of a problem in these relationships. Another major obstacle older woman-younger man couples had to face in the past was how they would build their families. But with egg freezing and surrogate mothers, even that can be overcome.

This kind of relationship also allows women who focused on their careers in their younger years to enter the dating pool with more options.

Of course, what attracts people to each other depends on each unique couple, and isn’t necessarily tied to their respective ages. But one expert said that there are many benefits for women dating younger men, like their partners having more energy and more diverse interests, as well as being more open to try new things and more flexible with their attitudes and views.

But it’s not just older women seeking out younger men. Santos said that more men nowadays seek maturity, and are more inclined to date older women to find that.

Still, other times it’s not exactly a matter of conscious choice or clear criteria. Two individuals may just happen to fall in love, and those around them might just happen to see them as incompatible because of their age difference.

Again, Santos warned against the limits of this kind of relationship. Dating anybody underage is always off limits, and this kind of relationship should never excuse grooming or abuse. But it’s entirely possible for two consenting adults, no matter how unusual society finds their pairing, to have healthy, loving relationships.

In fact, Santos said that couples who pursue this kind of relationship, even when there might be pushback, may show that they’re doing it for just the right reasons.

“If two consenting adults get into this kind of relationship, despite the fact that they know there are going to be challenges, then it’s more likely that it’s really based on a lot of thinking on their part, and it’s based on real love, and a real desire to build a solid relationship foundation.”

Source: Romano Santos, VICE

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46% of youths fear discrimination or public shame when in an unconventional relationship.