Older Women/Younger Men

Dear Lucia,

I’m dating a man who is five years younger than me and not settled in his life yet. He is definitely the pursuer in this relationship – calling me, setting up dates and even surprising me with events for us to [go to]. I’m 32 and he is 27 although we don’t look much different in age. Should I stop seeing him because of the age difference? When does an age gap become too big?


Dear Anonymous,

Until recently, a woman dating a man that was more than a few years younger was rare. Luckily, this is rapidly changing.

In the book Older Women, Younger Men, authors Felicia Brings and Susan Winter write: "Older women/younger men relationships are far more prevalent and far more successful than society at large would have us believe. The theme that the social order reinforces often is the message that these relationships are a bad thing – and even under the best of circumstances – are only a temporary thing. Popular movies … suggest … in those rare cases in which a woman is older than the man, such couplings end badly, sadly or tragically. The truth is, we’ve been sold a bill of goods. … Our research … confirms that older women/younger men relationships are an increasingly viable (dare we say common) phenomenon."

You said you don’t look much different in age. This tells me he is probably your first younger man. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be so concerned about what you look like together. As long as he treats you well and you have great chemistry, who cares what you look like as a couple? Your friends will know what the age difference is, so the only people you’re concerned about are strangers. You can’t live your life trying to look good in the eyes of people you’ll probably never see again. Besides, they’re probably jealous!

Secondly, you mentioned that he is 27 and not yet settled. These days, most 27-year-olds aren’t settled – male or female. You have to ask yourself some questions: When do I want to be married by? Do I want to have children? When? Is he motivated and working toward security and stability or is he still into behaving as if he were in college? What are his long-term goals? What are your long-term goals? If you want to be married within the next 2 years, then you need to ask yourself if he could possibly be "The One." If not, are you willing to simply stay and enjoy the moment knowing that eventually you’ll have to move on? Not every relationship has to lead to marriage.

Finally, when does an age gap become too big? Well, five years is not that much of an age difference (as opposed to if you were 22 and he was 17), and will become even less so as you get older. I have a male friend who is more than 10 years younger than me and we click on many levels. If he didn’t have a girlfriend, I could definitely see myself dating him and I think he probably feels the same. It’s not about age. It’s about compatibility.

In the end, to have a great relationship you need to have two people who appreciate each other and feel lucky to be together, no matter what the age difference may be. To quote the late Aaliyah, "Age ain’t nothin’ but a number."

REMEMBER: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.

Watch Lucia’s show, "The Art of Love," on Adelphia East Valley Public Access (Channel 25) on Monday, Aug. 29 at 8 p.m.

Write to Lucia at: http://www.theartoflove.net

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