A reader from London writes:
First of all, I love reading your column. It truly gives me much insight on relationships.
I am currently seeing a man twenty-two years my junior (he is 45, I am 67). I am flattered by the attention of the younger men that come into my life. I act and (do look like) I’m in my early 50s. The fact remains, I am 67. I really don’t understand why they would want to be with an older woman. I see this as such a trend and really would like to understand it. Believe me, I long for a man closer to my own age but the attraction is hard to find. My confident attitude seems to scare men my own age away. I wish I could find a happy medium. The gentleman I am seeing now has young children and he does spend ninety percent of his time with them. He has three homes. I respect his need to be with his kids. We have an electric, unbelievable sexual chemistry.
Before we met, he assured me he was not into a one night stand and explained to me why he just preferred older woman. He claims he just likes the maturity. He never allows me to say I am older. He corrects me by saying I am more mature than him. Perhaps I’m a fantasy for him. The relationship hasn’t been a one night stand, but it’s been mostly sexual. When we are together, we are great together. However, he then becomes so aloof for a period. I won’t hear from him via phone or email for several days. Then, all of a sudden he will send an email telling me how much he misses me. Perhaps that’s his set-up for the next sexual encounter with me. I just don’t know. I never say anything to him about his disappearing acts, because most of the time I know where he is. He tells me when he has his children. Perhaps he’s lying, I don’t know. But, stupidly or not, I believe what he says. I so trust your advice, can you tell me how to deal with his behavior. Is this his way of controlling. Am I just a fantasy for him? Am I a stupid old fool? He is an Aquarian and I know about their aloofness. I have been seeing him for three months now and wonder if I am only satisfying his sexual desires or if I mean anything else to him. Help!
Thank you for this alluring inquiry. There is such seductive flavor in the erotic dance between couples with significant age differences… And I think you will find that in actuality, the liaisons between older women and younger men have always been rather more common than admitted until just the last few years. Society is always such a silly little brat. It only ever comes to admitting mature reality after a lot of kicking and screaming. Diversity is pleasure, and an age difference is a sure way to explore a broad range of experience and emotion. However, you have to be prepared… Society is a stiffly woven fabric, and slow to come along. It frowns upon such riveting notions of the flesh… If you choose to go in a direction adverse to its current accepted thought, then you’re going to have to sacrifice any desire for conformity.
I’ve looked at your man and what a warrior he is. A real alpha male; potent, cunning and always ready for battle. The boardroom is his field of honor. He has an old world mentality, which he does his best to transfer to the modern stage. But not all of his natural energy translates well. Modern family life, with its two parents, two kids and SUV was in direct contradiction to his mercenary mentality… It was stifling to him. He would have done better as a warrior king of old, with many children (because he’s a great father) and a whole lot of concubines… Instinctively he seeks a partner who is understanding. One who can supply the kind of healing only a wise woman knows how to administer. There is magic in the eyes of an older woman, a mellow glimmer that radiates the deepest of feminine mysteries. He finds this flame in you… What you provide suits him well. A woman close to his age or younger would want to marry, to settle and to nest. He is past these desires. Such a woman would only be a hindrance to him as would dating many different women. He is a focused power, and he knows that playing with many lovers is dangerous for a man in his position. He finds the arrangement you have ideal. You aren’t likely to be presenting him with an unwanted pregnancy… You’ve already experienced domestic life, and you cherish your independence. He likes independence in a mate. In short, you fit his bill. And he really doesn’t see you as older… Just wiser, and perfectly suited to his needs.
What’s bothering you is this vague notion that you’re being used. You can’t fathom why a man his age wants a woman your age, and you are afraid that being used in the bedroom and liking it makes you a slut, an “old fool,” or both. You think that for the sex that pleases you to be okay, it has to be ordained in the eyes of propriety and mandated by convention. I suggest that you stop making demands… This man will be with you for many years, if you’ll let him. But attempt to change this relationship in any way, and he’ll leave you with nothing. You entered into this arrangement with no qualms, so play the hand you were dealt. You don’t need any justifications for the pleasure he gives you. Relax and enjoy the ride. Stop pondering a future goal that keeps you from appreciating the lush scenery of now. This fellow fits your needs. So he’s not there every morning and gets moody on occasion? I think you can handle the trade off.