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23 Nov

” I asked a car full of in-laws in an attempt at early research.The answer from both my brother- and father-in-law was interesting, and basically the same: .While women cannot have children past a certain age, men can continue reproducing (albeit not necessarily with ease) well into their twilight years.This is significant, as we’re making big life decisions, like getting married and having children, much later in life.Beyond physical characteristics, there is another reason that women in their 60s might want to consider looking for a younger man.The unfortunate truth is that, the older we get, the greater the difference becomes between the number of single men and women in our age group.There are evolutionary reasons for this, but psychologist Alice Eagly suggests women and men value things according to changing social roles; women, then, value in their mates that which society historically has withheld from them (i.e., power and money).The more our roles in society change, the less this will remain the case.

But there’s a sort of omertà when it comes to these couplings; people don’t usually get knee-deep into the psychology of relationship age gaps.“So what do you think about arm candy?Well, it does.“A husband like Dirk could keep me young another 20 years,” says Blanche as she waits for her date to pick her up. This little twist holds true even today, some thirty years later: It’s quite unusual for older women to date much younger men.During dinner though, it becomes obvious that Dirk isn’t interested in Blanche romantically. A fictitious Samantha Jones and the legendary Kris Jenner aside, women who date younger — “cougars,” as they’re called — are painted very much like Blanche and Samantha: man-hungry yet successful in their own right; impossibly beautiful and equally vain; deeply complicated and flawed. The opposite dynamic, an older man with a younger woman, has been almost entirely normalized in life, politics, and Hollywood.Would you or have you dated a much younger, or much older man?Helena Bala is a writer, former lawyer and the genius behind Craigslist Confessional. Photos by Joseph Leombruno and Bettmann via Getty Images; Collage by Edith Young.