The Internet was abuzz the minute it caught wind of the news that Leonardo DiCaprio is dating a model-actress for more than two years. But what’s the deal? Well, it seems like dating older men is the latest Hollywood trend.
What aroused the public’s interest is not who, but how old his current beau is. The Argentinian stunner, Camila Morrone, is Leo’s junior of 23 years. As the woman is practically old enough to be his daughter, the hubbub surrounding their dating life is not a surprise.
However, Camila isn’t the only one dating older men. Jason Statham and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (20 years), George and Amal Clooney (17 years), Beyoncé and Jay Z (12 years), Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively (11 years)—the list goes on. Hollywood is the place of lovers who proved age is nothing but a number.
But is dating an older man just a Hollywood thing? What’s the truth about older men dating younger women? Together let’s uncover everything there is to know about age gap relationships—the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Dating Older Men: How old is old?
Since time immemorial, your dating pool is not only the people who are the same age as you. It’s typical, even expected, to be with someone older or younger by a couple of years.
Dating someone significantly older, however, was not the norm. A gap north of 10 years undoubtedly captured attention.
Males who prefer younger women make them cradle robbers. A woman who cozies up with older beaus is either a gold-digger or someone with daddy issues.
Fortunately, the fierce opposition to younger women dating older men is a thing of the past. Raised eyebrows aside, there’s a lot of women dating older men—even outside the glitz and glamor of the celebrity world—that it has become a common occurrence.
Society even warmed up a little by using kinder terms. You’re either one-half of an age gap relationship (AGR) or passionately in the throes of a May-December romance.
Gents, why do you date younger women?
So, what is it with older men liking younger women?
Societal views were once biased: they claim that the preference for a woman ten years (or more) his junior stems from a man’s natural attraction towards “fresh-meat.” But older men beg to disagree.
It’s more than just her body; older men find themselves genuinely attracted to a younger woman’s qualities. This list is not all-encompassing, but older men are fond of these traits:
Women tend to be bolder and much more adventurous during their younger years.
She’s a bright ball of energy who’s looking for activities and experiences to liven up her time. Is she game to go hiking? Sure! How about spending a day maneuvering a yacht? Sounds fun, can I give it a try?
And yes, these activities even include sexual ones.
Your younger lover is a firework in bed (or in risque places, if she’s willing to try) because she’s curious and passionate.
She brings out his youth
She’s brimming with youth and vitality; it’s contagious. Older men tend to find themselves thrown into new experiences thanks to her eagerness.
Life gets the better part of us, especially when we’re older, so a younger lover is like a breath of fresh air. Older men see new things, think in a different perspective, and live a more vivid and active life when she’s around.
She respects him
The gap alone calls for respect, but she’s not just polite because you’re older. She admires you, particularly the building blocks and hurdles you created and overcame on your way to where you currently are.
If her energy is your breath of fresh air, your maturity and experience are hers. Your younger lover looks up to you; don’t be surprised if she treats you like a mentor one day, then her best friend the next.
She makes him feel wanted and needed
A woman who’s closer in age experienced the same things. She hustled and bustled, so she’s most likely independent.
But for older men, the feeling of being wanted and needed keeps them motivated. A younger lover who might need some help doing mundane things (changing flat tires, for instance) to the most adult-like (filing taxes!!!), shoots up his happiness gauge.
Now, we’ve established there’s more to the attraction than lustful benefits. But that’s just for the gentlemen. What motivates younger women to date older men?
Ladies, why date older men?
Ladies, why are you attracted to older men?
As with the males, younger women engaged in AGR face judgment. Usually, society perceives relationships with older males as a paid one. The female is his sugar baby while he fulfills the monetary duties of a sugar daddy.
But, Leo and Camila, Ryan and Blake, and no doubt Beyoncé and Jay Z were not sugar dating. Sure, some women do engage in this type of relationship, but it’s also possible that it’s not the case at all.
He may have the money, but younger women may prefer older men for these attributes:
Remember the times you complained about how much your new same-age date reeks of self-entitlement and swagger? “He’s so confident, but he hasn’t even proven himself!” you say to vent out your frustration.
Well, your older lover’s different. He already proved himself. Your lover has none of the false bravado and sense of entitlement because his confidence is deep-seated. He doesn’t even need to boast; he is self-assured, and he exudes it.
He’s more trusting
And since he is sure of himself, your beau is more trusting and supportive of you and your life’s endeavors. He gives you enough space (and sometimes, means) to grow and succeed.
You want to go for a scholarship, but it’s a university that’s far from where you currently live? Please, do it. You wish to apprentice or do something in an environment that’s heavily male-laden? If it helps you, then go ahead. That’s what he’ll say.
Unlike insecure (most, not all) same-age males, your older lover won’t need you to boost his ego.
This next reason is probably something he’d rather not hear, but maybe he reminds you of your dad. If you had a good relationship with your father, chances are, you loosely based your standards on him.
And no, don’t think you’re weird for liking someone who shares the same values as your parents. Even males who experienced a loving relationship with their moms look for a partner who’s like her. He’s familiar, and this is why you feel safe with him.
He’s grounded and mature
His life experiences molded him to become the man that he is. He faced failures as he climbed upwards, so he has a lot of lessons and tricks up his sleeves.
Your older beau is practical, rational, and reliable. With him, there won’t be any need for mind games and time-consuming power plays. He’s been there; thus, he knows it can get taxing. If you let him, he can be a great source of support to you.
It seems like money, and past issues aren’t the only factors why younger women date older men. Compatibility and love can drive couples with a significant age difference to forget the gap.
But before you jump the gun and date someone older or younger, know that dating or falling in love with someone older is not a walk in the park.
Dating Older Men: The Challenges
In the doubtful case that you don’t know, we’re telling you that the societal stigma surrounding May-December romances can wear the participants down. Long story short, people can be mean. Apart from prejudice, some other things may prove challenging for your blossoming relationship:
The generation gap
To put things into perspective, a lot of girls fell hard for Jack Dawson when Titanic premiered in December 1997. In the time he spent collecting hearts, his future lover was no more than a six-month-old baby.
You see, plenty of things can happen to the older male while his other half was merely a tot.
There are references she probably won’t get. You grew up to a different set of values she won’t likely appreciate or follow.
You’ll have to unpack a lot of things, and it requires patience and understanding on both ends.
Physique and physicality
Your body slows as you grow older; it’s a fact. So, it’s inevitable that your stamina, muscles, joints, and health may not cope up with your lover’s younger and healthier self.
Another thing: your libido might decrease.
Since she’s young, your beau may be all for exploring and fulfilling her sexual fantasies. She’s willing to try out new positions, have sex every single day if it is possible, and make love in the most unlikely of places.
Sadly, your hormones may not be up for it. And you’re not to blame—your body is.
Yes, chances are your parents may not be too thrilled to find out your beau is closer to their age.
But ladies, apart from your parents, what if your lover is a parent himself?
Dating a single or co-parent is another challenge because he comes with responsibility: a child.
Like every good father, his child’s needs and welfare is above his, and sadly, your interests.
His time won’t revolve around you. You’ll also have to determine if you should (or should not) get involved with his child’s life.
Like all relationships, there will be roadblocks and setbacks that will test your love and commitment. But there’s always a solution, especially if you’re trying your best to make your relationship work.
Dating Older Men: How do you make it work?
Sure, dating someone older will be a tad harder, but all relationships require you to exert effort. Combine patience, TLC, and these tips to make your age gap relationship work:
Define and respect boundaries
The first tip to making it work is to sit down and define your boundaries. This activity is especially important if your older lover is a busy bee, a parent, or both.
Unlike same age relationships, your roles and expectations differ because you are at different life stages. To avoid unnecessary (and taxing) drama, air out your boundaries right at the get-go. You can discuss if some of them are negotiable, but ultimately, don’t overstep by respecting what was set.
Be honest with each other
You can only be each other’s pillars if you are trustworthy. Work through your generational differences and warring perspectives by talking it out. Don’t worry about sounding immature because you are not. Communicating your problems is a real sign of maturity.
Prove them haters wrong
May-December romances are typical, but people who will judge and throw malicious comments your way are even more mainstream. So, prove them wrong.
Brush off the slight shade with a smile or a joke. Don’t let these people get to you. Stay unbothered, and be confident in your loving relationship.
Have fun new interests
Your younger lover may not understand your undying love for Ghostbusters, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find something in between. Try out old and new activities or games together until you find the one that becomes your special couple thing.
Dating older men need not be hard when you’re both on board to understand, support, and have fun with each other’s company.
To cap it off
We’re living in an era of change and acceptance. It’s all about body positivity, owning and living your truth, dating whoever your heart beats for and genuinely being happy with yourself and loved ones.
Dating or falling in love with someone significantly older than you is nothing new. Like any commitment, it requires more than compatibility. Your love is sweeter if you’re affectionate, attentive, loyal, and willing to do the work.
Your older lover can be your best friend, mentor, or the person who’ll hear you promise and say, “I Do.” But if it doesn’t work out, dating older men can create beautiful and lasting memories for you.