Enchanted by Youth: Why Older Men Love Younger Women. ~ Adam Sheck

Via on Jul 5, 2012

Midlife Crisis? Marry Your Yoga Teacher.

The idea of the midlife crisis is certainly something that we men face at some point in our lives, usually in our forties or fifties.

As we enter and begin to face the second half of our lives, we all have the opportunity to face our mortality—and this brings up existential issues.

What have I accomplished in my life? What do I have yet to accomplish? What might I never accomplish? What will I leave behind? What kind of person have I been and what kind of person do I want to be? Does my life have meaning?

Some men act out on the way to facing these questions—the stereotypes of men buying the red convertible, having affairs, getting involved with younger women, perhaps all of the above. And some older men might even choose to marry their yoga teacher!

Now I’ve never met Alec Baldwin or his lovely yoga teacher wife, and I truly have no judgments about his nuptials. I’m just using this as an example to get the attention of my readers (and maybe a tiny bit of search engine optimisation). Nor am I saying that he is having a midlife crisis, though this type of behavior may reflect that in some men. Mr. Baldwin is intelligent (love his blogging), handsome, talented, successful and obviously has had his choice of many women. Being with this woman seems to be for the best, at least evidenced by his latest fit and healthy look.

Anyway, that is the last I will say about Mr. Alec Baldwin, so let the bait and switch begin…and let’s get back to the topic of midlife crisis and the question of the day:

“Why are older men attracted to young women?”

Often, it’s about what might be called the rejuvenation mystery. 

The rejuvenation mystery is about recapturing lost youth, exuberance, energy and passion. In Roman times and probably earlier there was a belief that if an older person slept next to an infant, that person would somehow absorb youthful energies and rejuvenate.

More popular in our modern era is the idea of the older man/younger woman and now the cougar strategy of the older woman/younger man. Why is this so common? I would suggest that it is about the rejuvenation mystery seeking out its resolution.

Yes, for some, this is simply a preference. Yet for many, it’s an attempt to recapture and reignite those youthful energies, especially as we feel ourselves approaching old age.

The best advice I ever received about this came from my teacher, Brugh Joy (Joy’s Way, An Introduction to the Potentials for Healing). My interpretation of his wisdom is to enjoy dancing and flowing in those rejuvenating energies, yet don’t confuse them for something more than they are or something that they are not.

When I arrived at my midlife crisis in my early forties, I was enchanted by a substantially younger woman. Our time together felt like magic. I felt alive, exuberant and filled with the romantic high of falling in love.

Unfortunately, I was so full of myself that I also began another relationship, one with a yoga teacher friend. I was receiving a great deal from from both relationships, not to mention the excitement of juggling them. My yoga friend knew about the younger woman but the younger woman did not know about the yoga teacher—so there was an extra helping of drama to keep things even more exciting.

I was smart enough to realize I was playing with fire and heading for disaster. Yet I was also so inflated and high on the energies that I just didn’t care. I imagine this experience might be similar to the manic episodes some of my bipolar patients have experienced.

Needless to say it ultimately blew up. My heart was broken over the younger woman, my yoga teacher friend was deeply hurt by me and all of this tainted the next relationship I eventually entered. I experienced the lesson my teacher, Brugh, had shared with me years earlier. I confused my experience of the rejuvenation mystery with love and the potential for relationship. For this, I paid a huge cost.

If I had been a little more aware, a little more enlightened, I could have perhaps simply enjoyed the company of this ripe younger woman for what it was. We each had something to offer each other and if I could have accepted her gifts without projecting into the future, it might have been different. If I was able to stay centered and not create a romantic fantasy, I wouldn’t have set myself up for such heartache.

Yes, our internal psychodynamics played into it. My need to feel vital and powerful and perhaps her need for a loving, nurturing, successful father figure, kept it all in motion past the expiration date of the lesson. If I was more present and grounded, I would have believed her early on when she asserted that everything ends.

What I wanted was to create with her a world of love, lust and intensity. What I needed was to remember who I was, experience my vitality, creativity, passion and aliveness, be grateful to her for this precious gift, integrate it and move forward in my life. Alas, letting go—especially with that strong surge of intense neurotransmitters and hormones flooding my body—was not something I could do.

The lesson I learned has helped me to support many men as they enter this period of their lives. Some have learned from my story and let the energies burn without the need to act them out and inflict pain upon themselves and their loved ones. Some have been more stubborn, as I was, and needed to learn a tougher, although perhaps more lasting, lesson.

We are all less than perfect. On the good days, I aspire to walk the talk. There are also days I am woefully human and fallible. My path and my lessons are what help me to connect compassionately and empathically with the people I work with. I am no better and no worse.

My final answer on the question, “Should you marry your much younger yoga teacher?” If you love that person and want to build a life with together, absolutely! If it’s in order to feel younger and better about yourself, absolutely not.

 Bonus: Yoga “Tit for Tat” (viral funny video).

(This article appeared in an earlier form at the site, MenAfterFifty.com under the title: Midlife Crisis: Marry Your Yoga Teacher?)

 

 

 

 

~

Editor: Lori Lothian

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About Adam Sheck

Dr. Adam Sheck, the Passion Doctor, helps couples and singles bring back the passion into their lives and into their relationships. He is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Los Angeles, is certified in Imago Relationship Therapy and has practiced JUST enough Tantra to be dangerous. He blogs about relationships at thepassiondoctor.comand about issues facing men in the second half of life at www.menafterfifty.com. You can also find him on Facebook.

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120 Responses to “Enchanted by Youth: Why Older Men Love Younger Women. ~ Adam Sheck”

  1. Eric says:

    ..I've been having "existential issues" since I was a teen. entering my mid-40's isn't going to make me do anything stupid that I didn't already do in my 20's and 30's. I cringe when I recall how I acted–much like your triangle experience.
    but I had to go through it–lose the women who I loved and who loved me and all the pain and remorse that goes along with that–to get here. it was all fear and ego.

    it's nice to be at a place of sanity & balance, where I know that the allure of "playing with fire" and acting out has no allure for me anymore. I can simply be present in a relationship, and love as best as I can–mistakes and all–with no "rejuvenation mystery" or shadow issues driving some twisted agenda.
    as you stated wonderfully, "If you love that person and want to build a life together", then the age doesn't matter.
    thanks Doc!

    • Tracy says:

      Nice!!! Thank you for sharing! As an older woman dating a younger man, it's my biggest fear! It's good to know there are men out there willing to look past their egos and love just to love!!!! You have given me hope!!! :)

  2. Adam Sheck Dr. Adam Sheck says:

    Eric,

    Yes sometimes I find it amazing that we survived our youth, young adulthood and the rest of our lives. My motto now is to make NEW mistakes instead of repeating old ones.

    Adam

  3. yogasamurai says:

    Hey Brother, I think there's a lot more to this – potentially. The archetypal "pull" here on both sides can be very, very strong – though not always acknowledged or acted upon? It always takes two to do this or any other dance. You are reflecting just on your side of it, but no one should think that these relationships are one-sided.

    I've spoken to lots of "younger" women about this phenomenon (and not because I've dated them, either!). I would say – because they would – that there is a growing interest by younger women in older men – and the reasons range widely, from the mercenary to the intellectual, sexual/emotional and aesthetic.

    A lot of young women are bored with their immature young men and they are hoping that their older guy can teach them something about the world. They may find him genuinely inspiring – he may elicit a powerful male archetype. Just as she may embody one or more of the female ones for him. Can they get beyond them – or play with them creatively?

    Ultimately, the only issue a younger woman considers is R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

    Are we talking about long-term relationships here? Mostly, no, I think. The fact is, for a guy who is in touch with his emotional needs, a younger woman is A LOT of work. You'll have to try to create balance across the asymmetries of this generational divide. So will she – but you're the elder party, and there are responsibilities that come with this.

    That balance can exist, though, depending on what emotional needs are being fulfilled, and whether there is a semblance of real compassion and love. Is it "normally" the way to go – definitely not. Ideally, you might appreciate your special connection, and the energy derived from it, without actually trying to "possess" it.

    Why not just smell the flowers for a lifetime – rather than picking one for a day, a month or a year?

    There's also a lot of sexism and double standards applied to these situations, when the parties do decide to go for it. Demi Moore isn't seen as someone suffering any "life crisis" – she's just free and she's hot, and she's "got it" and the boys want it – until they don't, of course, and then she melts down in public, goes to rehab, and hopefully reclaims her life.

    And note our contrasting language – "predator," "horny old man" versus that oh-so-chic and elegant phenomenon known as the "Cougar." Now who could possibly be upset with such a sleek and luxurious creature?

    Funny thing is, a lot of young women think older men are "Lions"! Alec Baldwin – a Lion. Hmmm, catchy eh? I'll accept Cougar, if you accept Lion.

    I am Man, HEAR MY ROAR!

    Cheers, Dude YS

    • smiles says:

      Was impressed with both of your responses… until I got down the the 'cougar' part. I'll have to disaggree with you on that one. Anything can be made to sound derogatory depnding on how it's said. And believe me, it's not meant as a flattering term.

      A predator pouncing on a harmless younger animal.

      Gee, don't I feel special? :-)

      I have been dating someone who is 13yrs younger than I am. And originally I was embarrassed, and didnt want people to know the age difference. I have to admit though, I confided in close friends- it was a thrill to have someone younger interested in me – it's quite the ego boost.

      But as you said, it has run its course… and its been time to let go… I just havent yet.

      • yogasamurai says:

        I've heard people use "Cougar" disparagingly, but the truth is, people generally assume that a woman couldn't possibly dominate or inflict damage on a man or another woman like a man could. There's a double standard.

        Is it based on truth and reality? Hell, no. It's based on neo-Victorian assumptions about women as delicate nurturers, and men as aggressive beasts, assumptions that mystify motives and occlude personal responsibility.

        Good luck with your "situation." In my experience, there's always an aspect of living through someone else's projection – and having my own. When we have mutual projections that seem to "feed" us in some way, we often think we have a "relationship – rather than saying, oh, our delusions are perfectly synchronized!

        Usually what we're seeking in this way we need to find within. So don't give a lot of power to the projection – because it's actually your power, not the other person's – but that person may take it if you give it, because he or she is starving – probably worse than you.

        A lot of spiritual vampires out there – especially in the yoga world. It's a den for them, male and female both.

      • yogasamurai says:

        Smiles – I thought you might like this. A Utah high school's sports team decided to reject "Cougars" as their name — and their mascot. Why? To avoid offending older women!

        LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Sign of the times.
        http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/01/20/utah-school-r

        I'd still vote for the New Jersey MILFs.

    • YS,
      You raise good points and yes, I didn't address the other side of the archetype, though I did allude to it with my younger woman. There are no victims and perpetrators here, just archetypal energies playing out to their conclusion. And yes, being in the moment without expectation of what the future connection might or might not be is a great perspective. And somedays I am there and somedays a partner is there and somedays we might both be there.
      Peace,
      Adam

    • Harry says:

      Last time I checked, a cougar was a predictor that preyed on fresh meat. Some of these women are seriously damaged goods. Some of them have married wealthy men for their cash and then created so much havoc in the men's lives that the guys had no choice but to divorce them, essentially paying them to leave. You might call it extortion, since the guys are at risk of losing their health. Yes, the cougars like their boy toys because they can play with them the way a cat plays with a mouse.

  4. Complementary says:

    Part of the attraction is that older men/younger women are so complementary to each other. She does not compare her career success to his, and he does not compare his physical appeal to hers. Each are superior in their own realm. Neither feels threatened by compare. But proud of the gifts they can lavish on each other, his material resources and status, her youth and beauty.

    • Complementary,
      When both are acting out their healthy aspects, absolutely, there is much to be gained by both. When the shadow with its grasping, attachment, possessiveness, insecurity shows up, not so pretty.
      Adam

    • Lexi says:

      Yes, this is true. I've heard of couples who are about the same age compete with their career success and always want to be better than the other. This forms a lot of jealousy, which isn't healthy for forming a loving relationship. When there is an age gap, each individual brings different qualities to the table that compliment each other.

  5. yogasamurai says:

    Ding ding ding! :o) My brother married a woman 15 years his junior. They worked together, and for a while he was dating the office "belle," while she was considered the dowdy and quiet Catholic girl. But she knew she wanted him, and she knew what he really needed, and she won him – big time. Three kids later, they are the most happily married couple I know, and they still have great sex. Then again, my brother's also one of the coolest stand-up guys I know, too. :o)

    Actually his seniority was a huge boon to her, he helped guide her early career choices, and she guided him in basic life choices – like getting bad influences out of his life. Yes, they complement each other very well.

  6. Complementary says:

    It is a funny feeling I find when I meet younger women, it is as if we are both there to serve and delight each other. I wonder if that is how it used to be between all men and women? Only half the people you met each day were aiming to get one up on you; the other half were there for mutual comfort and support.

  7. yogasamurai says:

    Maybe Adam will jump back in. He's in the trenches dealing with the gender war wreckage day in, day out!

  8. okay, into the fray…i left my husband almost a decade ago–he was 18 years older than me…no sooner had i departed, and he picked up with a woman 30 years his junior. LOL…I want to say this: I was dismayed. He and I parted ways when I had grown from girl to woman, from maiden to …queen? In other words, when after 17 years and two children, I was actually his EQUAL, it was not working…he wanted a girl to protect, care for and be fiscally in power over….

    just say'in

    • notsoyounganymore says:

      Interesting….when I was in my late 20s, I got into a relationship with a man in his late 40's. It was a beautiful relationship…more harmonious than any I've ever known. He offered me maturity, stability, life wisdom that I craved. But did I have daddy-issues? Oh yes. And somehow that little doubt always niggled at the back of my mind. But best of all, when I asked to travel for a year without him, he gave me that freedom with no guilt tripping…he was giving me space and time to grow–a tremendous gift for someone who was used to insecure and possessive little you know whats. But in that year, I found myself in a triangle of my own. I ended up leaving him for a man my own age. In those first several years with my new man, how often I looked back with regret. Did I make the right decision? Leaving someone who accepted and adored me with all my flaws and insecurities for someone with whom I constantly butt heads..someone who forces me to examine myself critically? Every single time my new man and I would have a fight, I would sorely miss the placid waters of my former love. Ironically though, my older man went on to get together and have a child with a woman 30 years his junior! (quite a coincidence, eh?). And I too was dismayed! It wasn't about fiscal power in our case, since neither of us were very materially successful. But it was about his needing to be a nurturer, a healer, a rock and my (and probably his new lover's) need for something solid to hold onto in the tumult of our youth. In any case, I look back with love and gratitude and know that all turned out as it was meant to be.

    • Awarenessishere,
      You seem to have the picture, at least for HIS dynamic. I've always wanted a partner who would CHALLENGE me, to stimulate me to grow and be more than I could be on my own. Easier in theory, except for those growing pains, but what else is the point of life, if not to grow and enjoy and share who you grow into with others? AND, always easier to figure out someone else's dynamics and issues, it's figuring out our own and then doing something about them, that's the challenge.
      Wish you the best,
      Adam

    • Complementary says:

      It may also be that he is insecure about some aspects of himself, but by being a good provider he can give himself a break on those areas where he does not measure up. Likewise, a young woman might have insecurities that she can assuage by sharing her body with a man who will simply adore her youth, not comparing her against other women her age, but against women his own age. I guess "Equal" often means "equal opportunity," which can be a never ending opportunity to prove yourself.

    • johanna b says:

      Yes, I married a man 17 years older…when i was 22. When, at 32, i went to grad school and forged a fairly decent career for myself I of course went from being a little girl to a pretty strong, confident woman. He showed his contempt (meaning feeling threatened by me when I finally started challenging his fundamentalist Christianity) by rolling his eyes, "tsk"ing everything I said, or just walking away. It may not sound like grounds for ending a 17-year marriage, but that lack of respect over time is as painful as verbal or emotional abuse–maybe it is a milder form of it? I am now with a man 14 years younger. I have no illusions about it being a "lifelong" commitment–although we do have a child together…but he respects me the way my ex-husband NEVER did.

    • Harry says:

      By what you say, you left him and then were dismayed when he found someone a lot younger and more attractive than you? So, close to two decades into the marriage and you felt like you wanted to be treated as an EQUAL? So the whole relationship had shifted? It was no longer the relationship you had both entered? The dynamics had changed? You became the queen and you didn't want him having any kind of "power" over you? Guess what? You changed, he remained the same. How terrible of him to do that to you.

  9. MatBoy says:

    My reading of history and experience in 'older' cultures leads me to believe that much of this 'urge' is hardwired. How a man responds to these urges depends on his relationship to his urges and how he handles them. Each person is different and I believe the physical urges can be hugely different. I've never figured out what is really going on 'out there' and I'm not sure I'm all that interested. I have never come across a 'one sized fits all' explanation for any part of human experience. I see life more as a thick stew I swim around in never knowing what I will run into next.

    I'm convinced everyone else is in the same situation and trying to figure it out is futile. You've got to do what you got to do. Follow the younger women urge or let it dissipate without response. It's your call and you LIVE, here I mean aliveness and newness, through the consequences of your choices. Younger woman, older woman; married woman, unmarried woman; your wife, someone else's wife; you get to put it together however you dare. You'll never find the 'why' but you will learn something from your decisions. How much trouble and how much peacefulness do you want in your life? Each of us is different, each has to deal with his urges.

    • MatBoy,

      I would agree, regardless of how "evolved" we believe ourselves to be, our DNA hasn't caught up to our progress by a long shot. That's why the archetypes are such powerful templates for potentialities that we can embrace and grow from and with.

      Yes we each have our choices about our lessons and how we face them and that's what makes it all such a great adventure.

      Adam

  10. Dave says:

    As Matthew McConnehey said in Dazed and Confused, we keep getting older and they stay the same…;>

  11. Barbara says:

    The societal implications of women needing to be young and beautiful to attract a man is really at stake here and it's annoying that no one seems to notice. What is wrong with women their own age?
    I find it really creepy when older men hit on younger women and expect them to be into them (and find it even more irritating when they are). The whole older man/younger woman thing really bothers and disgusts me. I understand all of these comments but I still want to shake the women and say "you're making things worse for us women by playing into this!"

    I also find the whole "daddy-ish" part disturbing— incest much?
    I would never date a much older man and find it really annoying when other women do it.

    • Barbara,
      I totally agree with you, "what is wrong with women their own age?" What's wrong with it, what's right with it, what do I want, what do YOU want? All good questions.

      Regarding your disgust and disturbing-ness, I am curious on whether the reverse roles give you the same uncomfortable feelings? For instance, when I was 25, I had an intense and pretty much purely sexual summer "romance" with a 40 year old woman. One of the most incredible and opening experiences of my life. Does that disgust you as well?

      And my daughter's mother is 13 years older than I am and we raised an incredible child together. Do you find that "mommy-ish" or disturbing?

      I've run the gammit of older, younger, same and I'm not sure who I will have sex with next or fall in love with next or want to build a life with next. And I am not predetermining what their age or appearance will be. I am prejudging what I would like their heart and soul to be like though. That's a lesson I've learned after over half a century on the planet.

      I've also noticed for me, and do my best to apply it only to myself unless someone is asking my thoughts or paying me large sums of money for my thoughts, that what elicits the strongest reactions in myself usually points to some really good shadow material that I would be served to look at. And sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.

      Wish you the best,
      Adam

      • Barbara says:

        Thank you so much for your reply. I understand what you mean about "finding love despite appearances and age etc" but it doesn't seem like this article or the comments really were talking about that as much as men living it up after mid-life crises and craving a "young piece of tail."
        Again, I'm just going back to the societal implications this continues to have for women and how beautiful and young they "need" to be. It's just not the same when roles are reversed– men are considered more handsome and mature with age while women are not.
        That is simply what i'm pointing to and yes, that does "disgust and disturb" me. I foresee a world where women and men are not judged for age either, but i think many older men will ONLY date much younger women because it feeds their egos and they can show them off as a "hot piece of ass."
        This is where I mentioned I wish some women would say no to that since I think it just continues to fuel women thinking they're only their appearance and age (and also, takes away men from women who are their age and want to date them but they'll only date much younger women!)
        Truly, I believe anyone should date whoever they want, any age etc, if they love them, but when older men only date younger women, it doesn't sound like finding love despite age but only chasing after younger women to make themselves look good and in the process hurting women as a whole. By your response, you are obviously not in that category, but to me this is the underlying statement of what you've mentioned in the article and no one seemed to point out how that negatively effects women's body and age issues. Also, the term "mommy issues" is not as prevalent in society or as creepily joked about.

        • MatBoy says:

          In Taiwan, up until a generation ago anyway, it was always preferable if a woman married a man close to her age. My wife always said that the 'best' was to fall in love with a college classmate and to build a life together. But, if that does not happen, you have to look at the other options.

          Marrying a much older man is not preferable but the society has a long experience with it and there are ways to 'pull it off'. The entire family usually gets involved and they help take care of the woman. There is usually a strong financial incentive involved which can be used to make the next generation gets a good start in life. You just get on with it and try to make the best out of it.

          • MatBoy,

            Thanks for adding a different cultural perspective. The truth is, until a century or so, the majority of marriages were formed to join family power and financial structures and weren't based upon romantic love ideas. People had spouses to continue the bloodlines and mistresses/lovers to attend to their sexual and emotional needs.

            Adam

        • Complementary says:

          If men get more appealing with age, that is another way to say they are less appealing when they are young. The younger women who compete with older women are just as much as to blame as the older men who compete with younger men. It cuts both ways. Women have more options when they are young; men when they are old.

          • Barbara Joy says:

            all that is a gross oversimplification to me. younger men are still considered attractive while women are much more likely to be perceived as ONLY attractive if they're young, thin, pretty etc. Older men are only competing with younger men for certain women who are looking for a much older man (which I think is a minority) Anyway, if you want to defend it, that's your choice but the whole thing is still a very obvious double standard that does not benefit women.

          • Complementary says:

            To a woman struggling to make ends meet, I don't know how you can say a young man with a crummy job would be as attractive as a man who is well established in his career. To large degree men are valued for their accomplishments in the world, and these take time to achieve. A man who is blessed to be handsome, fit, charming, and fun to be around is generally looked on with derision if he is not also pulling his weight financially.

          • Complementary says:

            You mean, it does not benefit older women. Younger women do just fine playing the field of all the men who are older than them. They only start complaining when they get older. For every man who chooses to date a younger women, there is a women who chooses to date an older man.

        • Barbara,
          I appreciate your frustration and it truly goes both ways, depending upon your perspective. What about all of these young men who are looking for a good female partner and yet many young women are more interested in a "success object" as opposed to an equal partner. The dynamic flourishes because we ALL participate.

          And, is it "bad" that we are drawn to these dynamics or just something to understand about ourselves in order to give ourselves a tiny bit more free will and choice in the matter.

          I agree though, women AND men might be better served to appreciate who they are and what they have to offer and not be driven by chronic low self-esteem. It's part of that "youth is wasted on the young" cliche, which has some truth. With time, we sometimes gain maturity and can make more optimal decisions for ourselves.

          Take care,
          Adam

          • Barbara says:

            Adam, I don't think your article spoke genuinely or interestingly to any of the stuff you are mentioning here in your responses. I never know what I think until I write it (ha!) and after this long winded conversation, I'll end with what I think my main issue is with this article: you seem to have examined the issue with going after a hot young thing for all the wrong reasons and yet you end with this whole romantic thing about how you wished you both loved and accepted the relationship as something beautiful and mutually beneficial.. blah blah blah. That creeped me out. You just outed yourself as cheating and chasing after someone younger to feel good about yourself and that's how you ended it? think you made the whole double standard thing seem totally great and natural as long as you know when it's time has expired (and that's why I've been speaking to it in all these comments) instead of really exploring all the issues you bring up here. Wish you spoke more about self-examination as the end point.

          • Dr. Adam Sheck says:

            Barbara,
            Like you, I don't know what I'm thinking until I write it. In my mind I was addressing all of these discussion points. I don't feel I was ingenuous, just not fully developed. Guess I need a Part 2.

            YOU are a delight.

            Thank you,
            Adam

          • Harry says:

            You turn everything into a negative. You sound like a hateful old nag. You are disgusted with everything. Maybe you suffer from depression? Maybe you just to hate to see someone having a good time? Maybe you've forgotten what it is to be young? Maybe it's time you looked inside yourself?

      • yogasamurai says:

        Uh, not if it was hand-rolled in Havana. :o))

    • I'd be delighted says:

      Let's face it, what attracts one sexually is physical and hard wired, men don't see a successful middle-aged lady past her prime with charm, intelligence and taste and say, "man, I'd like to hit that!" unless she has been taking amazing care of her body. They might enjoy dinner, the opera, cocktail parties etc. with her, but when it comes to what overrides his conscious mind it's the freshest, glowing ripe youthful exuberance of horny young women. Yes, they are thinking of them while doing you.

      Young women, on the other hand, the ones that go for older bulls, are actually physically attracted by the experience-scarred survivor who has fought through life and won some things, and has the stories to tell about it.
      Women are less concerned with how visually pretty her man looks, she will almost always be prettier herself. Most women prefer a man a little older and rougher than herself- what's that all about? If that's the case, isn't wanting a much older man more of the same feeling?

      You sound merely jealous, as many women do after their glow fades- and there is nothing more of a turn-off to a man than that bitterness and desperation of the over-35 single woman who is looking for a final chance to find a life partner. A 22 year old is almost always more fun. And the fact is, those that do date us old lions do it because they are mesmerized by our richly developed animal magnetism. Even if we have no money! We're not talking about prostitutes here. Those of us that dare to date the hottest young women are very confident; in our prime, we know that we are better than our 22 year old selves, hence better than her 22 year old admirers. She knows that too.

      Men and women are fundamentally different creatures, not equivalent at all. Men need physical and visual stimulation to get aroused sexually, women usually need feelings of safety and caring, nesting, and to admire their partner in a slower burning build up to sex (Unless they're drunk). Men are aroused by porn, women by romance. Women want the longer story; they get it with an older man. They need this more as they get older, so that a younger woman is actually more like the older man in generally being more ready to be quick to have sex.

      It's ridiculous to think that men should try to change their desires to conform to some sort of equal rights for middle aged women. Women have the run of the place when they are young and beautiful, they manipulate, break hearts indiscriminately, get favors, drinks, tickets, cars, husbands, etc. just for being delightful, and then when they get to be middle aged, they are stunned that the magic has faded. Well, our magic only increases. That's about a 50-50 balance, I'd say.

      Also, might there not be something uniquely beautiful about the mentoring aspect to any older-younger relationship, men or women? Lauren Bacall has said as much about her life with Humphrey Bogart.

      I think what has developed in the last century or so in popular culture is the dreamy delusion of the same-age childhood sweethearts being the perfect balance for family happiness, children, etc. But what if it actually is more like- men are better suited for a relationship at age 45-65, women at 19-38?

      For me, the great thing as I go decade after decade dating beautiful young women is that I get the variety I never imagined when I was in my youth. It is thrilling and wonderful. And if a woman can have great experiences with much younger men if that's what she wants, I would never want to take that from her- it may make her so perky that I might want to date her!

      • mmm says:

        "Men need physical and visual stimulation to get aroused sexually, women usually need feelings of safety and caring, nesting, and to admire their partner in a slower burning build up to sex (Unless they're drunk)." – What???? Perhaps you are just very unattractive so a woman has never been hot for you? All the women I know, including myself, need physical and visual stimulation to orgasm. Feeling safe and admiring someone does not make a woman wet. I really can't get over your perception of women. Uh, and women like porn too. It's like you are writing about some madonna ideal you have about women and not actual women. Also, I was never turned on by old men when I was in my teens and twenties. The few women I did know who dated older men used them for their money and then laughed about them behind their backs and had sex with hot guys their age in order to get actual sexual satisfaction. They did like the vacations and presents and trips to nice restaurants the old guys provided. But turned on by their mentoring? Uh, nope.

  12. Yogateacher says:

    How come so many articles written by so called "passion specialists" or "tantric healers" or whatever are so filled with creepery?

    It's not cool to be a creepy old dude and if you're out trolling for young ladies, that's you. We have to deal with creepy guys in droves every day, it's just not pleasant.

    • Yogateacher,

      Your statements, phrased as questions are a little bit general and I'm not sure what point you're wanting to make. Were you interested in engaging in dialogue about some aspects of the article that you are reacting to?

      Sorry that you are having to deal with droves of creepy guys on a daily basis, don't imagine that's fun at all. I know quite a few yoga teachers and respect them immensely, both male and female. Some have been educated in the field of psychotherapy as well as the 8 limbs and are creating great shifts in our healing paradigms. They seem to have great insights into the worlds they have cocreated and take responsibility for who enters their world and how they are treated.

      If you have any interest in helping create understanding and change and changing the victim/perpetrator dynamic you're sharing, there's a whole community on elephant journal to engage with.

      Adam

      • yogasamurai says:

        Solid reply – better than she deserved. Thanks.

      • elephantjournal says:

        Well said, Adam! ~ Kate

      • Triston says:

        Victim? No where did she say victim? The yoga teacher threw that in there. You don't have to be victim to be harassed, bothered or bugged. Victim implies, how you are using it, with your contempt and defensiveness, and the snarky responses that followed, that the woman is a victim. She is the recepient of unwanted attention by sleezy older dudes, and believe me, there are many. Men who think they are all that, when if many cases, the come across as entitled and thinking they have earned the right to bother women,and that younger women will be attracted to them. The poster didn't say she wasn't taking responsibility for her environment, and interesting that you are blaming her for who she has to deal with. Wow, your response was very telling and actually very sad- blame the woman for having to deal with jerks. Wow. You come across as blaming the ladies for somehow attracting a##holes, even in casual encounters. Women get approached and bothered and we have to try and be polite and say please go away. Yet you see that as being victims? And seeing the repsonses below, see you have an agreeable audience.

    • Complementary says:

      Though not all yoga teachers feel this way, such as the one pictured above with Alec Baldwin.

      • yogasamurai says:

        LOL. They actually look very cute together in that photo. She definitely has that "got mine" look!.

    • elephantjournal says:

      It's also not cool to make ad hominem complaints about the author instead of discussing the points of the article. Please keep it respectful if you'd like to keep commenting on our site. ~ Kate

      • Yogateacher says:

        I just sent a request to cancel my membership as the misogyny is rampant on this site to the point I don't even enjoy it anymore. Every time I come to puruse I become disheartened and disgusted by the loathing of females that goes on here and sad that women capitulate and congratulate the men for "speaking out" . t's alarming really.

        • Yogifeminist says:

          I agree wholeheartedly. It seems maybe a lot of these people would benefit from a Women's Studies 101 class, where they can be taught that social implications of beauty for women (i.e. to be beautiful is to be adored is to be successful) and the rampant objectification in our society (i.e. you are nothing if not pleasing to the make gaze) shape these relationships of older men/younger women. There is of course older women getting with younger men, but more often than not these older women have had cosmetic surgery and massive amounts of money spent on their appearance so as to look younger and to fit the beauty standards. This is a no-brainer guys, and it's not "hard-wired" either. It's society and it's extreme demands on women and their bodies within relationship and within any realm they occupy. A passion expert would surely see the societal pressures that can influence and create our specific gender relations.

        • Triston says:

          Go for you !! The replies to your post were just an example of exactly what you were describing. I posted a response and we will see if it shows up.

  13. Yogateacher says:

    Right yogasamurai,, I am not even deserving of some condescending mansplaining reply. That's so true. It's not easy bein an uppity yoga teaching beyotch in the world but somebody's got to do it.

    • Yogateacher,

      I was going to ignore the not-so-witty repartee between you and yogasamurai, but I woke up in a different mode than that this am.

      FIRST, I don't agree with ys disparaging you, that's his thing and he's entitled to his opinion. I'm not sanctioning or colluding in it.

      AND, I'm getting bored with your passive aggressive comments alluding to "condescending mansplaining", etc. It's NOT clever, it's NOT interesting, it's NOT direct. It's chickenshit and you may feel free to quote me on that.

      I don't mind being a lightning rod for people's issues and happy to engage them. YOU play hit and run, dump your anger and resentment where you feel free to and then complain and whine when nothing changes.

      You want to be angry, be ANGRY. Say what you want to say here and say it directly. Ask for what you want, engage or go someplace else to whine about it. There's enough whining in the world and not enough people making change. Whining isn't why I posted this blog. Engaging, discussing, arguing, understand other perspectives, that's what is behind it for me.

      You're anger and any other feelings is welcome here.

      OUTRAGE is what has made change in the world. ENRAGE just keeps it stuck. Choose.

      I'm not a touchy, feely, psychologist that let's his clients whine and complain ad infinitum and gets paid to keep them stuck. I'm there to facilitate engagement, connection and change. I don't write any differently than I work.

      And I'll even end with a quote, which you may or may not have heard or appreciate, "BE the change you want to see in the world".

      Adam

    • Complementary says:

      I know this is unfair, but whenever I hear a woman complaining about men hitting on her, I imagine what she is really doing is reminding herself and everyone else how attractive she is. I think what attracts men first is when they notice that a woman has noticed them. There are women who do not even notice the men around them because they are so preoccupied with family, boyfriend, work, etc. Men do not hit on these women, or if they do, the wind is immediately taken out of their sails by her genuine confusion that such a thing could cross their minds. On the other hand, there are women who are always watching from the corner of their eye, to see who finds them interesting, whether to be angry about it or to enjoy it. Men recognize this desire for attention and respond. So, ironically, noticing the behavior you do not like is exactly what encourages it.

      Not saying any of this applies to you personally. I could not possibly know that from your comments.

    • Complementary says:

      Just to clarify, I did not mean anything pejorative about being aware of and responsive to men's attention. That is just being present and engaged. It's nice to be around. But, it will attract interest.

      • Dr. A says:

        Complementary,
        Appreciate you treading lightly. You make some good points that most likely apply to some people and hopefully this will give some of them some insight if not into themselves, at least into how some others might think/feel.
        Adam

  14. That's EXACTLY what we all do, my friend. It's just that on the good days, we can admit it to ourselves :)
    Adam

  15. Yogateacher says:

    Oh geez, you guys are frickin hi-larious. Thank the baby jeebus I'm gay…but I think you all just made me that much gay-er . And no, complementary, the attention from dudes is not sought nor desired. It's just frickin creepy and a real daily pain in my ass. Some dude hit on me yesterday while I was helping my friend move. I was told I was smokin hot but needed to cuss less etc etc to which I replied I cuss cuz it feels good sometimes and leave me alone, to which he said " we should hang out". Ugh! It's so friggin funny, and super classic, that you think we all secretly want that shit. It's gross. And I'm 45 and that dude was probably 30. And I'm the "younger chic" to guys that are in their 50's and 60's at they gym. Ew.

    My point here is that I know the world is your oyster and all if you happen to be a dude, but be aware that you might very well be creepin some gal out. In fact, there's a damn high probability that you are. Just raising awareness…bein the change I want to see in the world and all. Peace out dudes.

    • Yogateacher says:

      And ps… You are creepin my straight friends out to. Just FYI.

    • Complementary says:

      No, I do not imagine that is the kind of attention women want, total stranger saying you are smoking hot. I was talking about "attention" in the literal sense of the word, simply noticing you, and then you being sufficiently aware of that to react. I think it is this non-verbal dialog that leads men to imagine there might be romantic possibilities. Then, you would hope they would explore that in a way that values you as a person, to leave that connection intact, if it turns out there is no romantic interest.

  16. Yogateacher says:

    *too

  17. [...] in love… with a younger woman? Enchanted by Youth: Why Older Men Love Younger Women (Elephant [...]

  18. bennyk says:

    The topic is valid and important, however there is a weird assumption in this article: that yoga teachers are by definition young. What's with that? When I saw the title, I thought the article would be about how yoga teachers are generally vibrant and sexy, so a man can feel stimulated and satisfied by marrying a yoga teacher of his own age. Surprise, suprise,to find that the image of "yoga teacher" apparently implies youth. I'm a yoga teacher, and at 55, I get hit on by men of all ages. Try writing about that aspect of being a (female) yoga teacher.

    Creepy older men were probably always creepy but it wasn't so obvious when they had hard bodies and a full head of hair. There are also secure, caring, older men who ride through their mid-life crisis with dignity. The latter want a real relationship with a grown up woman, regardless of her age. They're not interested in girls with women's bodies. If a younger woman wants to hang with someone who has ego issues so that she can get taken care of and learn about the world, more power to her. Personally, I think equality is sexier.

    • Dr. Adam Sheck says:

      bennyk,
      I appreciate your thoughts, yet the "asssumption" that yoga teachers are younger is one that YOU inferred/projected. Yes, in the Baldwin case, she WAS younger. However, my friend the yoga teacher was actually a few years OLDER than I.

      My writing is about societal views as well as my own experience and i have learned lessons with women of ALL afes

      Careful where you point the finger my friend, as three more point always back to you :)

      Take care,
      Adam

  19. bennyk says:

    First, I wasn't pointing fingers. And if I'm totally in error, great. Yes, you do describe having dated a yoga teacher vs a younger woman, which would imply that the yoga teacher wasn't as young. However, the wording of the article is oriented in different ways toward the impression that yoga teacher = younger woman. If that wasn't the point then I don't understand the reason for the 3rd paragaph, the last paragraph, or, especially, the caption under the photo.

    • bennyk,

      If it's MY bad, happy to own it, as you say, great! My experience is that Ele Love readers are a passionate, if touchy bunch, God bless them. My shadow gift is to stir up the pot a little bit, which hopefully is for the greater good.

      Every cliche, including the midlife crisis, has a grain of truth and some value. MY intention is the share the face value, what might be going on under the surface AND my personal experience with the issue as appropriate. If you found that this post stimulated a comment or two, just WAIT for this week's post, "I dated a tie-me-up girl."

      And, I'll point the finger a bit as well as reveal that my brilliant and beautiful editor chooses the pics and placement. Isn't she great?

      With metta,
      Adam

  20. lei says:

    mmmm Are people really this hopeless? Yes. Is it me, or are there not loads of ridiculous people in this world coupled up and entirely miserable? Living dull lives in front of television screens, eating microwaved dinners, and screaming for a wake-up call? Age? Who cares! Live you fools!

  21. rebecakasak says:

    Truth is that this is one more thing that’s been ruined by feminism. We know this by looking at the attitudes of people from societies that haven’t been feminist-wrecked yet.

  22. diro52 says:

    women have within them the 'life force'. Remember only a woman can bring human life into this world. For thousands of years man has believed , just being in the presence of a beautiful young woman would extend his life. So for me (60), I took a new wife 22 years younger who makes me feel 35, as she looks 20! I have discovered what Hollywood male celebs chase, the fountain of youth AKA the Hot young wife. BTW every young woman has a different peak 'life force' age.

  23. Caitlyn says:

    Only thing to say is this – I truly want to date and have a relationship with men my age, unfortunately they are busy dating women who are way younger. I am 42.

    If that is the scenario, how can older women who are beautiful, intelligent and have much to offer stand a chance with men’s obsession with youth?

    • Lexi says:

      That's why there are so many single ladies out there in their 30's and 40's having trouble meeting men about the the same age.

    • Harry says:

      Maybe if more women had to worry about being left alone and not having any relationship opportunities, they'd be less quick to divorce their husbands. Divorced men often end up with a lot of expenses related to the ex-wife and kids, if they have any. Perhaps the younger women they can date is a fair consolation. And like his money, house and car, as well as his kids, you'd like to take that comfort and consolation away, too? Why am I not surprised?

  24. Jayne says:

    Is it just me or is the photo in the article of two guys kissing? The person on the right looks to be Asian and he has a slight stubble.

  25. Sandeep says:

    Great blog! I truly love how it’s easy on my eyes and also the information are well wrtietn. I am wondering how I can be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which should do the trick! Have a nice day!

  26. melodie says:

    Love this,

    I'm the younger woman and men often want to start something with me but I can see the path is a rocky one.
    I enjoy their company but have trouble explaining it can be no more than friendship even when we both feel that physical attraction. We are just at such very different places in our lives..

    words of wisdom to help ease the blow?

  27. Melodie,
    Not sure that the blow HAS to be eased, sometimes just the truth is the best remedy. No need to be cruel, just direct about being in different places sounds very clean to me. If the man/men don't get it, it's then on them, not you.
    Adam

    • melodie says:

      Sometimes that's hard to get into my head. When I do my best to be as up front as possible and then they react poorly. Like I'm doing it to hurt them. To remember their reaction is more about them then it is about me.

  28. [...] during the baby boomer years. The facelifts, the Botox, the Porsche, the expensive getaways, the dating-younger-people syndrome (which might actually be a wise choice!), the haves vs. the have-nots, competition amongst peers, [...]

  29. Iris says:

    I just started dating an older man for the first time. I have never been treated so well in my life! I am 32 but look much younger, I have always been hit on by men of all ages. I still get asked out by 21 year old boys! The young ones have nothing to offer, they are just pretty. A lot of men my age still don't know what they want and I am so over that drama. The man I started seeing is very good looking for his age. He is happy and healthy which is very attractive to me. I couldn't be happier. He has children and the fact that he is a loving, responsible, caring person is also a big turn on. His ex wife is 14 years older than me but still beautiful, It just did not work out. i am very happy with my decision and am a firm believer that age does not matter, it's about the connection and what the person stands for that matters. :)

  30. rachel says:

    theres nothing difficult to figure out here-think of a 20 year old model in a bikini-now think of a 60 year old in a bikini…it really is as basic and as shallow as that!

    • Becca says:

      I know right?! A 20 year old male model has a nice tight ass. Who wants some 60 year old fart with a saggy ass and saggy balls. You're very perceptive!

  31. [...] mid-life crisis: we accept this as truth, a normal stage in life even. We see our neighbor driving off in a new, [...]

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  33. Jim McMahon says:

    As men age our hormone levels decline. Having an affair or love relationship with anyone causes those hormone levels to rise again (pun intended). This in turn invigorates us and makes us feel good.

    Whether that partner is a young woman, your yoga instructor, or even your own spouse we do have the abiltiy to address this situation with knowledge and with heart., i.e.: equipped with this knowledge you could have an affair with your wife.

    As for me while I love the beauty of my yogini friends in class I place them off limits in order to preserve the sacred space of the yoga studio. Of course I'd likely violate that notion in a heartbeat if the right situation presented itself, but then wouldn't we all?

    • Jim,
      When I dated my yoga teacher, that was the one unspoken rule: don't date anyone on the mat and risk screwing up their practice if it doesn't work out. I think it's a good one, and yet, sometimes you just have to take a chance and risk.
      Adam

  34. funbarrel says:

    In the words of that fine band ‘The Hold Steady’:

    “Guys go for looks, girls go for status”

    That pretty much sums it up.

    • FB,
      In my experience, guys go for the feeling of rejuvenation. Sometimes it's about looks, sometimes purely about the energetic. My heart-crushing younger woman experience was with a woman who most of my friends didn't feel was terribly attractive at all, yet to me at that time, she was the most beautiful woman in the world.
      Adam

  35. Barabra says:

    I am a beautiful successful woman. I have so much to offer and so much love to give. The men my age that are interested in me are interested in my money and/or status not me. I am a very good looking woman for my age, but I now know that men interested in me are slime!!!!!

    They want to screw young women but they are expensive! :) lol no money to play and they are in love with you!!! Fuck you losers. Go fuck your sluts that only want your money and home!!! That is what you deserve!!!!

    • peacelovegrits says:

      you got it sweetie. i am not only gorgeous, smart and funnny but also fucking rich. yet because i am "too old" none of these "enlightened" males would deign to associate me. let them have their tight young snatch, they have become irrelevant to out lives. let alec baldwin have his womb, he will pay for it soon enough (and let's see how fat he gets then, not to mention how quickly he quits dying his hair).

    • Sorry you ladies are so disappointed in men. That's part of why I'm focusing on men's work these days to do my part in educated men in connecting to what's important to them beyond the surface. Not easy for ANY of us to get older and learn the lessons that are part of that part of the journey. It ALL falls away, that's the only thing that is guaranteed.
      Adam

  36. Maggie says:

    The real reason that older men like younger women is that younger women tell shorter stories.

  37. [...] seen the stereotype: men craving bigger, better, faster cars and younger, blonder, sexier women in order to feel ‘on top’ in the world. Cream the competition. Leave no prisoners. Never take [...]

  38. Shannon says:

    yay

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  41. Erik Johnson says:

    Good article, but I think you missed the "Nature" aspect. Here is something I wrote earlier today on this subject.

    Some people say that men are attracted to youthful women because they are more beautiful, but what makes our brains determine what is beautiful? When I was a teenage boy, I was just as attracted to older women as I was to younger women, but when I hit my mid 30's, something "flipped on" in my brain which made younger women seem irresistably attractive to me.
    This phenomenon can be traced back to our early evolution. Hundreds of thousands of years ago, if a male human lived into his mid 30's and beyond, that male obviously had something going for him genetically. And it wasn't neccessarily that he was stronger, faster or smarter than other males. It had more to do with the fact that he was able to live so long without any medical care or even much hygeine to speak of. In the early days of human evolution, it was commonplace for anyone of any age to die from something as simple as an absessed tooth, an infected cut, a broken bone, or a ruptured appendix. So, for a male to live beyond the age of 35 was a rare occurence during our early evolution. He obviously had "good" genes."
    Nature wants these "good" genes to be passed on. Therefore, Nature built in a "switch" in the male brain which is "flipped on" sometime in their mid 30's, and it makes those males crave sex with women who have just reached breeding age. But why only younger women? Why does the switch not make us irresistably attracted to ALL women? It's because, back in the old days, a pregnancy by a woman in her mid 20's or older was almost always a death sentence for the mother. Only the youngest women were able to survive the trauma of childbirth because their young bodies were more resilient. And the chances of the offspring surviving increase greatly when the mother survives.
    This is why older men are attracted to young women. In fact, if you ever question why humans have a certain behaviour, just think back to how that behaviour would have helped us survive and thrive in the old days. For example: Teenage rebellion. What makes a child — who has loved his/her parents more than anything else during adolescense — suddenly hate those parents when he/she reaches breeding age? That is another "switch" in the brain which forced young breeders in the old days to leave the safety of their small group or tribe. Without this "switch," young breeders would have remained with the group, bread within the group, and subsequently, the human species would never have acquired the genetic diversity it needed to survive. Without diversity, any type of disease or condition which might kill some of the group, would kill all of the group.

    Thanks,

    Erik Johnson
    Bristol, FL

    • Samantha says:

      It's very clear you are not a biologist, or not a very educated one, since a women's fertility is at its peak in her mid to late twenties. It seems like you are trying to justify dating teens without saying it straight up. Just saying… your post can be taken the wrong way.

  42. sheilapierson says:

    Great article…and enlightening in ways I needed it to be…thank you

  43. Achomu Lawrence says:

    All in all, there is always someone for everyone, says the Musician.

  44. realist says:

    Love yogateacher’s comments. I’m a 40 year old bi woman and I have zero illusions about any man ever wanting me. Male attention never mattered to me much anyway (maybe around age 35, but that’s it). I’m happy to be single, raising my kid. Nature is nature. I won’t argue with it.

  45. Daniel says:

    Another reason that we are attracted to people outside our own age range might be that we have gotten emotionally stuck somewhere in life or need lessons that are at a different level than is expected from our age.

  46. Mike Smoth says:

    Err, I am not sure why you have to fabricate such complicated physiological theories. The reasons are very simple. A young girl is attractive and she has a nearly virginal, tight, hot and wet spot that men crave for. I am so sorry if this sounds to vulgar and blunt but that's the reality. Don't waste your time coming up with complicated existential reasons. And guess what, for older women looking for younger men, it is the same. It is all carnal.

  47. tjk,
    I would agree that we're not terribly evolved as a species (see my above comment on the value of archetypes as templates for possible paths we can take in our growth). That is EXACTLY why we do our best to make sense of our journey in life and write and dialogue and share, in order to help each other.

    It is that COMPASSION and CURIOSITY that gives us opportunities to evolve. I have learned in my work as a psychologist to meet my clients where they are, not where I want them to be. I am no better or worse than anyone, I have just learned a few things that might help a few people on their way.

    I would imagine that YOU must care, even just a little, or you wouldn't have bothered to post a comment here. In that spirit, I would ask you exactly what kind of "content" you are looking for on this topic, as I do plan to be blogging for quite some time and would like to support the readers in what they want.

    Take care,
    Adam

  48. yogasamurai says:

    Or the original post restored.

  49. Flabio says:

    You go girl! Younger men are the BEST!

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