ALANA: What do you think about women dating younger men? My boyfriend is 15 years younger than I am. Is this crazy or could it really be true love?
BROOKE: Alana, I am so glad you emailed me this question, because there are so many women wanting an answer to this right now! Although it has been happening for ages (especially in European countries), the Demi Moore/Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz/Justin Timberlake unions seemed to set a trend a few years back, making the "older woman/younger man" relationship hip and sexy. It became more "acceptable" in our society, seemed to empower women and surely gave women more options to choose from. Plus, any time something happens in Hollywood, it must be real, right? Now, let's look at where both couples mentioned above are today and discuss what is real.
As a life coach, I do not judge and I will give you my professional objective opinion. Before I go there, however, I do want to share my experience with you. As a single woman, I have had many relationships with all different types of men. One of the true "loves of my life," and the only man I have ever lived with, was a younger man. He was one of the most gorgeous, sexy, passionate, doting, loving, supportive men I have ever dated. He pursued me like crazy and I fell hard... hard enough to ignore everything that my intuition was telling me... hard enough to let him move in with me. I was very clear to share my future wants and needs with him upfront, including the fact that I wanted to continue to live in Los Angeles, that I did not want to have children and that I was very focused on my career.
He agreed that he was on the same page with everything and I dove right in! How I could have thought that a guy in his mid-20s could possibly know exactly what he wanted for his future, I will never understand. I do, however, understand that sometimes love makes us blind to the real truth. After our honeymoon stage of living together, things began to get more clear. I discovered that my guy was still drinking and partying like a fraternity brother, was in the process of changing careers and wasn't sure what he wanted to do. He was greatly missing his life and family on the East Coast and was still truly experimenting in life. I remember watching The Break-Up. with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn one night and thinking, "Oh, no! This is my life!" After a year of living together, things went south and we started to resent each other. I felt like he was my son and he felt like I was behaving like his mother (I mentioned earlier that I did not want children, right?) and when a relationship turns into that dynamic, there is nothing sexy about it! We had a bad break-up and I was left heartbroken and beating myself up over knowing it would end like this, but choosing it anyway! The happy ending is that a year after the breakup, he reached out to me and we had a powerful and loving conversation. We are friends to this day, and I can honestly say I learned a great deal from that relationship. I can also honestly say that I have dated men who were much older that I, yet still behaved more immaturely and irresponsibly than my younger man!
So, as a life coach, what do I think about women dating younger men and is this crazy? Or could it really be true love?
Well, if we were in a coaching session, I would first ask what you think? I feel like since you emailed this question, you are either having some doubts yourself or you are listening to the chatter of others whom are making your choice wrong. Could it really be true love? You betcha! I support the idea that true love does not discriminate... it comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, ages, genders and can be the most incredible feeling in the world! We all know the old saying, "You can't choose who you fall in love with!" Well, I coach around the idea that true power lies in our choices in every moment!
That said, I believe that we can fall in love with someone and still choose to be or not to be in a relationship with him. So, let's talk about whether you are choosing powerfully and responsibly. You will hear me talk about "taking responsibility" for our actions, choices and lives quite often. You will also hear me say, "With every choice, there is a consequence." What are the consequences (not good, nor bad... simply results!) you face by dating a man 15 years younger?
Now, we know you never ask a lady her age, so I am going to pretend that you are 45 and your boyfriend is 30 (and again, I recently went out with a 50-year-old guy (much older than me) who was divorced and lived in a house with two other guys, so bear with me for the sake of helping Alana here!).
Is he able to share in, or meet your financial needs or are you picking up most of the checks? Does he want to have his own children one day, and what happens if he chooses to do so 10 years from now? Do you enjoy the same places and activities or are you uncomfortable hanging out with him at bars where everyone is under 30? How do you feel about yourself when you are with him... does he make you feel younger or do you feel too old for him? How does it make you feel when people stare and notice the age difference? And, sadly, but in keeping it real, what happens in 15 years when he is 45 and you are 60? I know today women are looking hotter and better than ever as they age, but will true love endure and will this younger man look past the natural physical changes that occur at 60?
I cannot predict the future and neither can you, but only you are in your relationship and only you can know what your heart and gut tells you! I believe we need to live in the now, the moment and not guess so much about what the future holds, but I do believe in taking responsibility for our choices, so that if our relationships end we understand and are clear that we allowed ourselves to be in that experience and the heartbreak is ours to own!
-- Ask The Drama Queen, XO Brooke Lewis
Email all advice questions to Brooke Lewis.