Recently though, as women have become more socially, psychologically, and sexually liberated, some have begun to ignore social prejudices by dating younger men, sometimes with that five to seven year age gap between themselves and their partners. If you see or hear of one of these unconventional couples, your first instinct might be to giggle and make jokes about “robbing the cradle” or “cougars,” but is an older woman dating a younger man really so bad?
“While I like to have fun, I also like serious conversation every once in a while,” says Rachel*, a college graduate who dated a 19 year-old during her mid-twenties.
In my experience, men tend to be praised for being on the older end of a May/December romance.
As the put it, “It’s a time-honored tradition in Hollywood for older men to date younger women.” Recently, Sean Penn, Mel Gibson, and Robin Thicke have made headlines for their younger female partners, but back in the day, Old Hollywood couples boasted major age gaps, too: Think Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, and Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow, with 25 and 30 years between them, respectively.
Everyone says it: “Girls mature faster than boys.” From the days of having cooties in kindergarten, we’ve been led to believe that boys our age are too childish for us.
And while we love checking them out on the quad—whomever created “shirts versus skins” deserves a national holiday in his or her honor—we can’t help but think that college guys still have some growing up to do.