10/25/2012 04:34 pm ET Updated Dec 25, 2012

Older Women, Younger Men: Is There a Double Standard?


I'll admit it -- I've always had a sugar daddy complex. I've actively dated men who were at least 10 years older than me in the hopes that I'd meet the one who would ultimately become my husband. I know what you're thinking... I'm a gold digger who used her feminine wiles to trap a man with deep pockets.

That's where you're wrong. I've always liked older men because they seem to have an air of confidence and sense of self that younger men are still in search of. Having amassed a certain level of economic independence affords them the opportunity to leave that race to succeed and temporarily focus on life's more important issues. For me, marrying an older man was more about being with someone who had already done the whole rat race career track and was more interested in starting a family and focusing on his kids.

For centuries, older men have been marrying and shacking up with younger women and no one has batted an eyelash. Hollywood is rife with these couplings: Larry King and his ex-wives; Jack Nicholson and his baby mamas; Warren Beatty and Annette Benning... the list is long. Yet when an older woman gets involved with a younger man, she's labeled a cougar and society can't conceive that a younger man could possibly find her attractive and lovable, were she not sitting on a huge wad of dollar bills.

Perhaps these younger men, just like me, are seeking a woman who is secure in her person, who's achieved a level of success that permits her to focus us on other areas of her life and invest more in love and family (as is the case with me and my man).

What it boils down to is that all relationships -- whether between an older woman and a younger man or an older man and a younger woman -- work because both parties are invested in one another for their own individual reasons. Yet while we accept an older man coupling with a younger woman, why do we take jabs at older women who are doing the same thing? Why do we brand them cougars and insinuate they've been sitting in a plastic surgeon's armchair for far too long and that their younger male counterparts are merely shtooping them for the green stuff? Is there a double standard?