So I read yesterday that J-Lo, she of the block, has all but confirmed she is dating Candian singer/songwriter/rapper Drake, 17 years here junior. Fair play to you Jenny, but I can’t help but thinking, is dating a younger man really more hassle than it’s worth?
As a woman of 41, IF I was in the dating game and following in J-Lo’s Manolo-heeled footsteps, I’d be dating someone around the age of 24. That just feels, well… wrong. Perhaps it’s gender stereotypes at play here, after all we all know that when it comes to the subject of dating, rightly or (as is often the case) wrongly, the same rules don’t seem to apply to men vs. woman. The number of Hollywood men and their romances with much younger women are so commonplace they rarely make the headlines, but the J-Lo’s and the Madonnas and the Kylie’s… well, their penchant for youth seems to be an endless source of media fascination. Perhaps who can blame them, I mean as my friend Jenny (a different one) used to say “who needs old flesh?”. She could be right. But is it just a big ol’ faff?
Firstly, let’s get physical and I’m not even talking about bedroom antics here. I’m talking the physical differences between me at 41 and me at 21. Let’s face it, there are plenty. So, if you don’t have the army of personal trainers and private chefs at your disposal that I’m assuming Ms Lopez has, is keeping your bod tip top to keep up with your (most likely, I mean if you’re opting for a younger man you’re not likely to pick out a chubby one are you?) younger, fitter man not just fraught with anxiety?
I’ve never been a gym go-er and if I had to worry about body comparisons with my other half on a constant basis, I’d be a wreck! All that pressure to feel like you’ve got to be not just on a par but even fitter, more toned, more honed. Even then you’re likely to invite the “wow she looks good FOR HER AGE” comments. Personally, I don’t think I could hack it, the fear of a younger, sleeker-without-even-breaking-into-a-sweat model coming along and blowing me out of the water despite my endless devotion to the pilates reformer machine and green juices, would just stop me before I even got started. Maybe I need to be less insecure.
When I was single, pre-married and kids days, I did once end up on a date with a guy who was around 22/23. I was late 20s at the time so the difference in age might have only been around 7 years. I was slightly mortified when over our starter I realised. He on the other hand, was delighted. Thought it was cool to be on a date “with an older woman” (I remind you again, I was under 30 at the time!). But as soon as he’d not only revealed his age but also the fact that he was still living with his parents (not unreasonable given he was starting out in his profession), it only served as even more of a turn-off. And that’s the other thing, younger guys, on the whole – and sure, I could again be making a sweeping generalisation here – they’re quite likely to be on a different page to you in terms of career, income, aspirations, basically their life-stage. For many less shallow than me and more secure in themselves you’d argue, why should that matter? And of course it shouldn’t, after all, love is love and I’m totally a ‘live and let live’ kind of girl, but I’m talking for me, personally, it’d be a no.
Call me old-fashioned and I think over the course of writing this I’m beginning to realise just how much I clearly am, but I don’t want to feel like anyone’s mother other than to those I’ve literally given birth to. As I sat across the table from that sweet but exuberant puppy of a 22 year old, I just didn’t feel like I was sitting with a match. An equal. Maybe it’s different in the realms of the celebrity. Maybe if you’re J-Lo or Madge, Kylie or Demi (although look how that worked out…) all you’re looking for is someone who’s hot, makes you laugh and has enough energy to keep up with you. No bad thing, as ticking the boxes goes, that’s a pretty good list right there. But, in the real world, I’m not sure those things – for me – form the basis of someone I could have a long-term relationship with and feel ‘partnered’ with in a way that wasn’t unbalanced. Maybe I’m just looking at it all the wrong way and I say again, whatever works for you, works. When all is said and done there’s a lot to be said for doing what makes you happy, so go for it J.Lo.
What do you think? Has dating a younger man worked out well for you? I’d love to hear your stories, do share!