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Sunday, 24 Dec 2017

Being in a relationship with an older woman – Can it work when the man is much younger?

By Dr Becky Spelman

relationship challengesAge differences in a relationship can be challenging and leave many couples questioning if their partnership can survive the years between them. While an older man going out with a younger woman is common and generally accepted, society can be a little less open minded when it comes to an older woman choosing to date a man that’s much younger than her. But that certainly doesn’t mean it can’t work out.


While stigmas of age differences are still around, it presents a couple with obstacles to overcome. Older women that are attracted to and dating younger men often have to contend with jibes, such as being labelled a ‘cougar’ or a ‘Mrs Robinson’. The social stigma can mean that couples can face extra pressure on their relationship from the very start. For some couples it can also be difficult if they don’t receive the support they need from their families, particularly if they disapprove.

There are other downsides to consider too. Firstly, you’re likely to have very different lifestyles and interests, which can make spending quality time together difficult. On top of that, as a younger man, he’s less likely to be ready to settle down. If it’s a long term, committed relationship you’re looking for, it’s best to address these issues early on so you both know where you stand.

Sexual drive

Despite the challenges, there are positives to dating a younger man that can make them more than worthwhile to overcome. For starters sex is often more compatible in these relationships. Men reach their sexual prime in their twenties, while women get theirs later in their thirties and forties. For relationships with an age gap this can have a positive impact in the bedroom. Other positives include dating a younger man that’s full of energy, keen to try new experiences, has less baggage, and sees you as a worldlier person he’ll want to impress. Dating someone younger can be a fun experience that brings back romances from your youth.

Despite both the pros and cons of an older woman dating a man that’s much younger, the essentials of a relationship are still the same. Ultimately, what matters the most is that your personalities are compatible, your values match, and that you have fun together.

All relationships face challenges along with the high points, no matter the age difference between the two involved.

Who can I speak to about relationship challenges?

If you would like to speak to someone about relationship challenges, you can contact one of our therapists here at the Private Therapy Clinic for a free chat.

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