Part III: The Zen of Older Women & Younger Men
"He treats me the way I deserve to be treated."
Q: "What do women want?"
Demi Moore, Susan Sarandon and Tina Turner aren't the only women with younger husbands or lovers. According to Victoria Houston, author of Loving a Younger Man, nearly forty percent of all women marrying between the ages of thirty-five and forty-four are marrying younger men. If you're unhappy with your love life, perhaps it's time to discover the joys of a younger man.
As Sarah, a thirty-seven year old divorced mother of three, says about her relationship with troy, age twenty-four, "Older men scare me. At this stage, I want someone to share my life, not take it over." Kate, a petite blond in her mid-forties, didn't start out looking for a younger man, but felt she had little choice. "Men my age are all looking for someone who's twenty-three. Whenever I go out with a guy who's forty-five or fifty, he's always looking for someone real young. He probably divorced a woman like me."
I've talked with hundreds of such women, and one thing is clear-a woman with a younger man is free to be herself. She loves from strength rather than weakness and has a younger friend and companion as well as a lover. Younger men grew up as more women entered the workforce, so they are supportive of women who want both a career and a family.
Are you ready for a younger man? Take the following test and share the results with a friend. It may change the way you look at men.
Now that you're thinking about younger men in a different way,
consider the men you already know.
If you think they're "too young," ask yourself, "Too young for what?"
If someone you "haven't thought about like that" comes to mind,
take the following test.
Just because there is no younger man in your life today doesn't mean there won't be one tomorrow. try the following experiment: ask yourself, "What is preventing me from loving a younger man?" Write down anything that occurs to you, such as, "I've never thought about it," or "I don't really know any younger men." Perhaps you're "afraid of what my family or friends might say," or "concerned about how I look or how much I weigh."
Think about what you might get from a younger partner. Write down everything that comes to mind, like "a more equal relationship," or "greater passion." Perhaps you're "tired of playing it safe," or feel that "men my age are all chasing younger women, and I want someone to chase me for a change."
Rating yourself is easy. Count the pros and cons and see which list is longer. Then look at the reasons you haven't considered younger men and think about the worst case scenario for each one. For example, how would you feel about dating a younger man if your best friend's reaction is, "Are you crazy?" Address each issue and visualize your response.
Now look again at what you might gain. Are the positives quantitatively or qualitatively stronger than the negatives? What is a more passionate, equal relationship worth to you? Like any major life decision, it helps to write down the pros and cons and see how you feel about the answers. It's your life, and the most important issues are those that are important to you. One thing is certain-women who open their hearts and minds to younger men find the love they deserve.
Listen to the voices of women with younger husbands and lovers, and you'll hear:
|"He wants me."|
|"He accepts me as I am."|
|"He keeps me young,"|
The Zen of younger men is the self-esteem you get as they adore the real you. A woman with a younger man enjoys the freedom to be the best she can be. He shares her life in a new and different way that allows her to combine work and love rather than having to choose between the two.
Such couples are much more likely to share power and decision-making. If that sounds good to you, but you're not sure whether a younger man in your life is interested, give him the following test.
|Saying yes to joy|
|Not having to "settle"|
|Rejecting "if only"|
|Having an equal relationship|
|Breaking free from dependency|
|Discovering that you are desirable -- even hot|
Combining love and work successfully
The aim of Zen is to live in the here and now, enjoy the richness of life, and experience that joy forever. Most of us spend too much time critiquing our past and anticipating the future to appreciate that we already have all we need for true happiness. We blame our problems on someone else, thinking, "If only my mother (or my boss, husband, or friends) treated me better." But no one will treat you better than you treat yourself. Men value women who value themselves, and women with younger men value themselves.
The Zen of younger men is that they have less, but give more. Instead of depreciating as she ages, a woman with a younger husband or lover is appreciated as never before. Perhaps that's why so many American women are sharing their lives with a younger soulmate.
My advice to women of all ages is this: don't wait for the culture to change -- change it yourself. Listen to your heart and find the love you deserve in the arms of a younger man.
The Zen of Older Women and Younger Men, notesVictoria Houston, Loving a Younger Man (New York, Pocket Books, 1987), p. 3.
Pamela Des Barres, "Momma's Got a Brand New Bag," Los Angeles Magazine, Vol. 38, No. 9 (September, 1993), p. 109.
Helena Hacker Rosenberg, How to Get Married After 35: A Game Plan for Love (New York, HarperCollins Publishers, 1998), p. 209 ("Too young for what?"), p. 214 ("Think again").
Barbara Lovenheim, "Older Women, Younger Men (And We Don't Just Mean Cher...)," New York Times Magazine (December 17, 1990), p. 48.