It is common, even normal, all over the world for the man to be older than the woman in a relationship that usually produces children. Everybody has ideas why and they are probably all near the mark, but what is going on when you see older men dating much younger women? It is not difficult to get bitchy about why they are doing it. This article is about how to date a woman much younger than yourself.
There is nothing, except paedophilia, quite so likely to get Western women riled up as seeing older men dating younger women. Having said that, they don't like to see older women/younger men relationships either. They seem to like things just the way history has fashioned them - the status quo.
However, dating significantly younger women can have a lot to do with culture. In some parts of the world, typically where there is no social security, it makes sense for a girl to look for an older guy. Older men will have more money and be less flighty than a boy of their own age.
Older men might even be more attentive to their young woman, especially if they get married
It is far rarer to see large age discrepancies in the West except between rich men and their girlfriends, which is why so many people distrust older man-younger women relationships. However, in Asia and Africa it is quite normal to find a difference of between 15-20 years.
So, when thinking about forming a relationship with someone significantly younger than yourself, the first point is where does the girl younger than yourself come from? A very good friend of mine had a wife 30 years younger than himself in Europe and they got on great, but it can be difficult.
He was regularly asked how his 'daughter' was and she was asked if he were her father. That couple could laugh it off, but some find it acutely embarrassing. It is something to bear in mind and be prepared for.
However, where I live now, in Asia, most men date younger women, a lot younger and there is no prejudice against the couple. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Or to be more accurate, the ill-feeling starts when the difference is 40-50 years, which you do see sometimes.
The man dating much younger women must take the feelings of his date into account. If he chooses a venue for older people, there may be some sniggering, but likewise if he chooses a club for youngsters. The venue is important. Suggestions include a cabaret, a show or nicer restaurants and vacations .
There are often differences in the types of food someone younger likes. Your young woman might prefer fast food or she may be more adventurous than you. It is something to consider when choosing a restaurant.
This is where your experience comes into play and you will probably be able to afford nicer restaurants too.
If you do decide to go up-market, you will have to realise that your attractive young partner might not have appropriate clothes to wear. Nice clothes are expensive, so if you like her a lot and you don't want to make her feel self-conscious, you may have to take her on a shopping trip or donate enough money for some new gear.
Young and older people often have a completely different sense of style and fashion anyway, so if you are going to become an item, you may both have to give some thought to bridging the fashion gap. An old man in very young clothes looks daft, but he can usually wear jeans and a T-shirt and the girl will probably be only too keen to raise her standards a little too.
Very often, the girl or young woman in the relationship will not have been exposed to as much culture as the older man or not the same culture. I mean this in the broadest sense. If she is Asian, dancing in a plush environment may be only something she has seen on TV or Western museums may be baffling no matter how well she knows her own culture.
I took an Asian girl around a British castle once and when I told her who lived there she was flabbergasted that it was just for one family. They have palaces in Asia too, but she had never walked around one before. The moral is never to assume too much, don't make her feel stupid, whether she's foreign or local.
This is a big point and an easy trap. It is very common for an older man to ramble on about some passion of his that he would expect his contemporaries to know something about, but his young date probably doesn't know anything about it at all.
Remember, just ten years ago young Germans, Austrians, Italians and Japanese were not taught about World War Two. In some countries they are still not. Not that that is the only example. Do Cambodians know about Pol Pot? Does any country know all it's history and how much do you know about other countries?
It is, therefore, very important when dating someone younger, to encourage her to talk about what she knows about and it is your job to listen, pass sensible comments and try to learn something about her interests, which is all part of making her not feel stupid.
Older men will probably be used to paying for everything on a date, but it is still worth remembering that a much younger woman might not have much or even any money. She may have spent her last money on those new shoes so she could look good for you, so don't be stingy, but if she wants to pay for something, let her. She is showing a bit of independence and building her self-confidence.
Usually, the young lady in such a relationship will look much better than the man, but that doesn't mean that the man should not make an extra special effort for his date. In fact, it means he ought to.
Do what you can do with the hair you've got left and get a good night's sleep so your eyes aren't baggy. Use a face pack or some anti-wrinkle cream. Go to a beauty salon and learn some tips.
It is a terrific boost to the ego for both partners in a relationship, when you find a young woman who is attracted to older men. Even more so when she picks you.
One last point, if you love each other, is children. Do you want any at your age? Because she probably will and it's something that you will have to discuss not too far into the relationship.
Owen Jones is a baby boomer who dated and then married a woman much younger than himself. If you would like to read more of his dating tips please go to his new blog Dating with Style