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“Guys my age come with a lot more baggage,” she says with a shrug.“They’ve been in long-term relationships, and some of them are even divorced. Younger guys are just , which surveys 5,500 single people each year, 26 percent of women were open to dating men 10 years younger than them or more.Although the idea of a "cougar" who dates much younger men has a certain cultural cachet, being a woman in your twenties who simply chooses a partner who's a bit younger is often viewed as weird, desperate, or deluded — basically, anything besides what it is, which is totally normal.People have a much easier time, it seems, getting on board with the idea of a woman taking a younger partner for purely sexual reasons than they do with the idea of a woman in a serious relationship with a younger partner.“As far as society is concerned, dating younger men is so much more common than it used to be,” she says.“If what you have is a big connection with someone, embrace that.“There’s much less judgment about age gaps in non-heterosexual relationships, because we don’t have the same preconceived notions about what’s ‘appropriate’ and what’s not,” she explains.

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We might think that certain concrete markers of adulthood — a prestigious job; a working knowledge of personal finance; properly assembled Ikea furniture —signify a related degree of emotional maturity.In an interview in Shape, psychotherapist Robi Ludwig claimed that, “In some cases, a younger guy is developmentally in a different place...he’s not ready for all of the pressures and responsibilities that go along with a committed relationship because his emotional maturity is not fully developed yet.”Again, this is generalizing that conflates age with a specific set of romantic values — plenty of people of all ages aren't interested in serious relationships, and plenty of people of all ages are interested in serious relationships, too.Ludwig isn't necessarily describing a younger guy; instead, she's describing a guy who isn't interested in a serious relationship, a kind of dude who comes in all ages.So if you're thinking about getting together with someone younger, don't listen to anyone who uses words like "cougar," "cradle robber," or "Samantha Jones;" instead, consider the five points below.In your twenties, especially in the years immediately after college, an age difference of just a year or two can make you feel like you're a world apart from someone.

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