08/29/2011 11:13 am ET | Updated Oct 29, 2011

The Last Taboo

Older men have been dating younger women for years, raising eyebrows and causing the judgmental snickers of middle-aged women and men for years. In the last decade, the tables have turned. It's no longer unusual for older women to date younger men. The trend has become so prevalent that the term "cougar" is now a commonly used colloquialism. While dating younger partners has become more common, many still consider these age-spanning relationships taboo. I must admit that in the past when I noticed a chronically challenged couple, I, too, have often made a rush to judgment, instantly dismissing them as gold diggers or pitiful sugar daddies or mommies. I would ask myself if they really thought their companions had genuine feelings for them. Were they delusional? What could they have in common? Could they possibly  mutually love, care for and respect each other?

Perhaps the readily available information exchange of the Internet, Facebook and Twitter, combined with more people with quality educations, have created a society in which it's possible for multiple age groups to be aligned on the same page. Is the new generation so sophisticated that they can maintain a genuine relationship with a person who has more life experience? Can this age difference be diffused?  

The awareness of health, nutrition and exercise is almost universal. Certainly this new sophistication has effected the health and grooming habit of all generations. This, along with the desire to maintain proper grooming routines, has also blurred age lines. The proper hair color, hairstyle, skin care and grooming products have helped to make everyone look vital. Think about it. How often have you had to second guess a person's age? 

The growing maturity of the youth culture has evolved over the last generation. The desire to be plugged in to the cutting edge has raised the fascination with a younger partner. These two factors, plus the  advantage of today's forever young look and spirit, have helped to make these previously considered dubious relationships valid. Will these relationships soon be viewed without judgment? Only time and age will tell.