Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cougar Territory

One of my best friends from college, Toodles, sent me an email yesterday with a special request from you, dear blog readers. No, Toodles is not her real name; it's the nickname our friend Bob Frawg gave her back in college. Did you all ever give people nicknames in college? We had a nickname for everyone from friends to professors to cafeteria workers. I digress.

Toddles is a 34 year old single woman. Of course I am biased, but I think Toodles is quite a catch. She is smart and accomplished. She has a PhD and is a university professor in a very tough scientific/medical discipline. She is outgoing, athletic and likes to have fun. She is also very petite and cute, something which guys always seemed to like back when I was in the meat market trenches with her. She really has everything going for her.

Like us all, though, she has had her share of dating mishaps. She has had several serious relationships, but they have not worked out for one reason or another.

She emailed me last night because she is in a dating quandary. She has entered unknown territory: Cougarville. I only know the sketchy details, as another one of her qualities is being sketchy about details, but apparently, she is dating a younger man. A MUCH younger man. I don't know the age difference but it must be big if she wouldn't fess up to it. She did say that the boy toy does not know who the Brat Pack was and has never seen or heard of The Breakfast Club. You do the math.

She did say that the guy is "awesome" and they get along "fabulously." And since she hasn't given him his walking papers yet, there must be something to really like.

So, her question is this: can a relationship between two people with a large difference in ages work? Should she continue on or should she stop it here?

I say go for it. My sister is married to a man who is nine years older than her (I think it's 9 years). They are very happy and I have never witnessed the age difference causing a problem.

I also say go for it because if you guys are happy, why end things? If you can put up it, why not?

What do you guys think? And do you think that the woman being older is a problem? We know men do it all the time. Does it make a difference if the older person is the woman?

She wants your input. Comment away!

17 comments:

Rima said...

Well, I would be a bit hesitant because, as everyone knows, there is an extra two year lag in maturity between boys and girls, so, no matter how old he is, he's even two years younger than THAT. But, honestly, it all depends on the person. Demin and Ashton seem to be doing very well.

She should go with her gut. If she thinks he's in it for the long haul, then I say go for it!

Rima said...

I meant to say "Demi", as in Demi Moore. Or was it Dudley Moore? No, Demi!

wheremytruthlives said...

Kudos to Toodles!
I say live it up big and enjoy it ... but when it comes time to start talking long term, deep stuff (moving in, getting engaged) be careful.

Although my fiance is 2 years my senior, there is what seems to me to be a 10 year maturity gap. I'm not saying he's childish, just that I've been through a lot more in life than he has. When we took our relationship to "the next level" I seriously underestimated the difficulties of having such a wide emotional maturity gap.

It's important to make sure that you have a similar experience base so that when you do hit the bumps in life's road you are able to provide each other a similar level of emotional support.

TC said...

10 years, but who's counting. Its just important for the younger person to realize how much wiser the older is. That's the secret.

Anonymous said...

I say go for it. Good luck to her!!
Your SIL

jennifer h said...

34 is Cougarville? Guess I should go pack my suitcase to go live in the old folks' home.

I think it's important to know what the age difference is? Is he 20? 25? Older?

My husband is 19 years older than me. Most of the time, it doesn't make a difference. Although it's pretty weird to think about the fact the year I was born, he was serving in Vietnam.

There are definitely moments, though, when it's difficult. I don't want to live like I'm his age (yet. I'm getting there). I'm 39 and he'll be 59 in a couple of months.

It's something to think about. The obstacles can be overcome, but it's tricky. As long as both people are getting their needs met, then they've got a shot.

desperate housewife said...

My husband is 7 years older than me... Occasionally it matters, but very rarely, and only in reference to silly things like what movies and music we like. I think an age gap can be overcome so long as the maturity levels are similar. That's the real issue, not the number of candles on your cake.

Anonymous said...

This a no brainer for me- Rob is 7 years older than me. Age differences really DO NOT matter- it is the people in the relationship and their level of compatibility and maturity that make or break a relationship. To end a promising relationship
based solely on an age difference and no other reason would be absurd. GO FOR IT! The funny differences between us are just that, funny. We laugh about the things he was doing while I was in grade school. At least it will be interesting! You shouldn t give this another thought, in my humble opinion!

Tracey

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks for the comments and advice. For years I've dated guys 8-10 years my senior and never thought twice about it, but I do believe there's a double standard when it comes to older women and younger men (you should see the looks we get when we get carded at bars...at least I'm still getting carded though!). Plus, as Rima said, there's the whole maturity issue. But, I will say, that unlike the older guys I've dated, this guy has his stuff together and I haven't noticed any huge maturity differences (yet). Thanks again for the comments, and for the post, Molly. BTW, I'm still several weeks shy of 34...don't age me too quickly! Toodles

Just Seeking said...

Thanks for leaving a comment over on my blog!
Your friend has already received her advice and mine wasn't going to be horribly profound anyway---if she's enjoying it, if they're both getting their needs met, etc., etc., then it seems fine to me!

Jennilu said...

Well, I can speak from experience (being the older and wiser woman)that a sweet young thing is always good. Bub is always telling people that he really likes being with an older woman. You know the song: "Older women, make beautiful ....." I think he just likes to rub it in that he is younger than me. Oh, that's right, I didn't say our age difference - I am two whole years his senior ;)

Heather said...

Life is meant to be lived. Who cares about age as long as you're both over 18?

Mrs. G. said...

To each his own. Grrrr.

Mr Lady said...

I came here via Marge (great interview, BTW) and yes, your friend should SO do it.

And woo hoo for her!

Anonymous said...

Cougarville at 34??? Guess I really belong in Jurassic Park in that case! In any event - my significant other is 8 years younger than I am. When we first met it seemed that people around us had a lot to say about the age difference, but that has sort of died down. I am however aware of the fact that I'll retire 8 years before he does and that age does play a role once you get older. That is however something I don't intend to loose any sleep over at this point. Go for it Toodles!

liv said...

Oh, I hope I'm not too late to the party... all I can say is that I am now happily unmarried to the guy I was married to for almost 10 years who is 9 years older than me. I currently have a keen interest in 25 year olds. They awfully cute. And, once over the age of 30, they magically seem sort of sweet and vulnerable to me.

katydidnot said...

i say go for it. the breakfast club wasn't that good anyway.

cougar schmougar.

i'm 35 and single. you think she could set me up?