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Posted August 11, Reviewed by Lybi Ma. More younger men date and marry older women than we realize. We remember famous Hollywood pairings like Demi Moore and her years-younger husband Aston Kutcher. But many other couples have an even more ificant age gap. French President Emmanuel Macron is married to a woman 24 years his senior, who was a teacher at his high school.
They met when he was Although they were not romantically involved until they were both adults, the public scrutiny Emmanuel and Brigitte have experienced over the years is a of the times. And they are not alone. Yet despite potential stereotyping and stigma, age-gap relationships between younger men and older women continue to survive, and thrive. Research explains why. Some conveyed that the attention of an older woman boosted their own level of confidence and self-esteem.
Others recognized that older women have more life experience, emotionally stability, grounding, and can offer both honesty and different perspectives. Research by Gloria Cowan found that relationships in which the woman was older were perceived as less likely to be successful as compared with relationships without an age gap. When the age gap was less severe, however, so was the judgment. Cowan found that both adult and adolescent males, in contrast to females, did not hold a double standard when judging couples with only a 7-year age difference.
Where is the sweet spot? The man in the Today. Having established that many men prefer older women, how do these relationships develop?
Using data from 55 interviews with women from 30 to 60 years old who date younger men, she found that women were more likely to have played a passive role in forming the relationship when they were over 40 than in their 30s. Brian Collisson and Luciana Ponce De Leonexploring sources of prejudice towards age-gap relationships, recognize that evolutionary theory holds that younger women should prefer slightly older men and vice versa, in order to maximize reproductive fitness and attainment of resources.
But in reality, it appears that some men choose to date older women partially because there is more of a sense of relational equality. Such pairings are more common than most people believe, and more successful as well. Wendy L. Patrick, J. Why Bad Looks Good. About the Author. Online: wendypatrickphd. Read Next. Back Psychology Today.
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