Actor Mel Gibson and partner Rosalind Ross pose at the American Film Institute Awards in Los Angeles, California, on Jan. Gibson, who is 61, is 35 years older than his partner Rosalind Ross, who is 26.Many men and women are seemingly rejecting those cougar and sugar-daddy stereotypes, as some experts are seeing that a substantial portion of middle-age and older singles are willing to choose partners who are younger than themselves.
To date someone younger is to consciously reject a lot of this.
For this reason, being a woman with a younger partner is often viewed in a negative light. We can fight this totally gross line of thinking by agreeing to view younger people that we have chemistry as real possible partners — and by not constantly "joking" about any woman we know who happens to have a younger partner.
In your twenties, especially in the years immediately after college, an age difference of just a year or two can make you feel like you're a world apart from someone.
Which makes sense — in the course of 24 months, I transformed from a college senior who'd never lived on my own and subsisted primarily on bagels stolen from the school cafeteria to a financially independent adult who worked a serious job and subsisted primarily on bagels stolen from work.
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But the experience has made me think about how women are discouraged from dating younger men — especially women in their twenties.
Although the idea of a "cougar" who dates much younger men has a certain cultural cachet, being a woman in your twenties who simply chooses a partner who's a bit younger is often viewed as weird, desperate, or deluded — basically, anything besides what it is, which is totally normal.
In the early days of our relationship, I got a lot of a lot of exasperated eyerolls, "you go, girl"s, and questions about whether I was technically old enough to be a cougar.
I also had a lot of friends who couldn't believe how dumb I was — didn't I remember how difficult it was to get a guy to commit at age 24? Of course, I didn't "go through that again," and five years into our relationship, no one really gives a sh*t about how old either of us are.
But what might the real benefits of dating someone younger be?