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So if you're thinking about getting together with someone younger, don't listen to anyone who uses words like "cougar," "cradle robber," or "Samantha Jones;" instead, consider the five points below.

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.

In our culture, dating an older partner is often seen as a status symbol for younger women — we're often told that older partners will be more financially and emotionally stable, which is why being courted by an older partner is often seen as a compliment, a confirmation that you, indeed, have your act together and are desirable.

This is probably why heterosexual women's age preferences in partners tend to skew their own ages of higher (while heterosexual men's tend to skew younger).

To act like youth is an eternal state — that a person who is currently 23 and not totally sure about how to pick a good bottle of wine or operate their dishwasher, will exist in that state forever — is actively denying the facts of our own lives.

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.And sometimes, they do; sometimes someone who is older really is more emotionally intelligent. Hell, we've even developed a terminology to describe people who look like adults on the outside, but are basically middle schoolers on the inside — that'd be that scourge of the dating world, the "man-child" or "woman-child."In my own mid-twenties, I dated a 30-year-old, expecting to find someone ready to get serious sheerly based on his age and professional accomplishments; instead, I found an immature trainwreck who made rude comments about my weight and cheated on me basically every time I was out of earshot.Lots of women who've dated around have similar stories that prove that there's no concrete relationship between being older and actually acting like an adult.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.People have a much easier time, it seems, getting on board with the idea of a woman taking a younger partner for purely sexual reasons than they do with the idea of a woman in a serious relationship with a younger partner.

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