It is no longer surprising to see an older woman with a significantly younger man. The number of older women dating, and some marrying younger men is on the increase and if the current craze is anything to go by, it is not ending anytime soon. These women are commonly referred to as cougars – don’t ask me why, because I have no idea.
Although many societies frown at this trend, they are doing nothing to stop it. In Kenya, especially, the older woman-younger man relationship remains a taboo, and a large number of people do not approve it. This, however, is not a hindrance to daring and women go-getters out there. The situation is different in the first world countries though – women celebrities and socialites have successfully gotten into such relationships with men many years their senior – if you like toy boys – without much hullabaloo.
So, what is this that attracts older women to much younger men? Here are top five reasons:
- For fun.
It has been said that girls just want to have fun. What better way of having fun than with a youth full of energy? You see, most of these women are not looking to have children because they already have them – some who might even be their toy boy’s age-mate. They are not eyeing marriage either; they are in it for a good time – to enjoy themselves with hot-blooded lads. Mostly, they just need a man to accompany them to parties, to go for out-of-town trips and show their lovers off to their friends. “I was not looking for a man to get married to or to help me raise my children. I just wanted a man who could keep me entertained in the ways that a woman loves,” a 47-year-old Eunice says with a wink. She has two teenage children and dating a 25-year-old man. I asked about the age difference and if it bothers her. “It does not bother me at all because as I said earlier I’m not in the relationship for marriage.”
2. To gain control
Conventionally, women are believed to be the fairer sex. However, with the society becoming dynamic and competitive, women have not been left behind. Besides their ambition to take charge in the boardrooms, some want to take control of their relationships as well and go after men they desire. Yes, they want to assume the role held by men. A woman who is this aggressive is more likely to date a younger man who will be more or less under her. This makes women feel stronger and in control of their lives. Judy says she likes being the one calling the shots in the relationship: “For starters, I am an independent woman, and so I do not go looking for a man who will offer me financial support. My desire to date younger men stems from the fact that I like being on the driver’s seat; I can make any turn, regulate the speed, slow down and stop when I feel like. He will be on the passenger’s seat but because he will be by my side, I will allow him to express himself.” It is commonplace that most of these women have more than enough money and they can afford to maintain a young man by providing him with all his financial needs, flood him with lavish gifts and take him out on expensive trips. In turn, the man is expected to make his woman happy by being there for her whenever she needs him, failing which he can be easily replaced.
3. The desire to feel young
An older woman may date a much younger man for rejuvenation. Having a youth by her side serves as a reassurance that she is still desirable even if she is advanced in age. She feels good about herself for attracting someone much younger than she is. Subconsciously, it boosts her self-esteem. A youth is obviously energetic and excites the woman in the bedroom. Having a man who can romance her and take her through the whole cycle of lovemaking makes the woman feel young again. Because younger men are more adventurous, the woman will want to have one as it flatters her in a way. The experience with a youthful man has a way of returning a glow on their face. For these women, knowing that they are still capable of making men go crazy and having their hormones running wild makes them feel lovable and sexy.
“I once dated a young man, after separating from my husband. After watching the movie, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, I decided that I would not to turn down a much younger man if he came knocking. I met one at a friend’s birthday and to cut the story short, he was everything my ex-husband was not, especially in the bedroom. He made me feel so alive. When we connected, and it was like his energy was being transferred to me. With that experience, I regained my youth,” says a very shy Trina. She says she reconciled with her husband but never once regretted having the affair with the youth. “It was a short-lived relationship which filled me with a new zeal for life,” she concludes.
4. Mid-life crisis
Some women believe that marriage or a committed relationship stops them from living life to the fullest, or that it will make them age too soon. This happens, especially, after menopause. Some women who get to this point, would go at any lengths to spice up their lives and a good number seek solace in younger man. Anita, for example, says hers was something she could not explain: “After my youngest child left home, I not only felt lonely but very old. I mean, my youngest daughter went to start her own life elsewhere and I was left all alone. I needed somebody to make me rekindle fire in my life and remind me that life still had a lot more years for me to live.” Well, mid life crisis is real, and once it sets in, it makes women insecure, especially when they transition from one level to another.
5. Physical attraction
Nowadays, many young men do know how to take care of their bodies. They hit the gym, dress well and smell nice. They are well toned with biceps and chests every woman would wish to lay on. No woman – young or old – wouldn’t love to be seen around with an eye candy. “The reason why I dated and later married John, who is 14 years my senior, was his body. I still drool over it six years later. I know he now goes to the gym and has regular exercises at home just to impress me, but I like it that way. I always joke with him that if he ever stopped taking care of his body, I will end things with him,” says Caroline.
Well, they say age is nothing but a number. What matters is there is mutual understanding between two people in a relationship. Women have time and again been judged harshly over this kind of relationship compared to men who have done it for ages, and I guess it’s time people gave them a break. After all, a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do, so live and let’s live.