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First, let's get something straight. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to date younger women.

In fact, it's very common. And why not? Women date younger and older men all the time. (That is, unless the woman is not old enough to date you. In that case, you should leave her alone or risk legal sanctions, and no one is worth that!)

Women are actually very attracted to older men, usually because they perceive them to be more stable, put-together, and wise in the ways of the world and love. In fact, many studies suggest that the average woman matures faster than the average man, so why wouldn't a woman want to date an older man?

For some reason, there seems to be a "taboo" in society, at least a mild one, about men dating women who are much younger than them. And there is a very open taboo about women dating younger men! Just look at the reaction to the liaison between Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher.

Yet there are plenty of advantages to dating younger women. Younger women infuse a relationship with energy and a fresh outlook on life. Let's face it: as you get older, you need a little pep and zest in your life to keep you going. You don't want to be one of those guys who are attached to the TV all day because they have no life. A younger woman will infuse you with a zest for life that is healthy and will keep you active later in life.

Long-term relationships are possible, even despite a huge age difference. So, considering this, what should you look for in a younger woman?

First, you should look for a woman with whom you share some common interests. Sometimes the generational differences can be too great. Maybe you came of age in the sixties, she came of age in the eighties, and neither of you can get into one another's music. Maybe she's addicted to text messaging while you're still old-fashioned enough to want to use the phone. You have to consider whether or not there's the potential there for a long-term relationship, if that's what you want.

On the other hand, many young women are open-minded and will be excited to learn what you can offer with your greater experience and knowledge of events that happened before she was born. Make sure that you demonstrate an equal interest in the things she knows about (like technology, pop culture, etc). When you can both share your interests and learn from one another, then chances are good that you'll keep growing together.

Second, you should make sure that she isn't just looking for a father figure. This is a biggie. Some younger women have bad relationships with their fathers and are looking for an older man to be like a father to them. They may ask you for money, expect you to pay every time, and are simply looking for someone to protect them. These women aren't looking for an equal partner; they are looking for someone to replace the gap left in their lives by their father.

This is not the kind of relationship you should want. Frankly, if all they want is your money and material security, then you can do better.

Instead you should look for women who are looking for an older man romantically. A woman should love you for who you are, not what you can give them.

Third, you need to make sure that she is open to dating an older man and aware of the many challenges that the two of you may face. Although dating a younger woman can be done, it isn't always the easiest thing in the world. People may talk about you and your relationship. Her parents, friends, or siblings might disapprove.
She may find it difficult to hang out with your older friends, while you may find her younger friends to be too vacuous or think, "Been there, done that." You may find that you're both in different stages of life and that your goals are too different to make a long-term union possible. You need to stay open and communicate about the challenges in your relationship. If the age difference ends up embarrassing her (or embarrassing you), then end it and move on. You should both admire and respect one another.

That said, how do you go about dating a young woman once she meets the above qualifications?

First and foremost, you have to act natural. Don't get caught up in numbers or the fact that you are 5, 10 or even 20 years older than your partner. If you are attracted to someone, you should go for it (as long as she's over legal age). Don't feel awkward and embarrassed around her younger friends, or when she talks about things that you're unfamiliar with because of your generational differences.

Accept that you have a different role to play, and don't feel pressured to act "younger." Just because you are dating a younger woman doesn't mean you should start changing the way you dress, eat or play or what movies you watch. Any sudden change and everybody is going to notice. The change will make it obvious that you are self-conscious about the age gap between you and your partner and are trying too hard to minimize it.

Now, during the course of a relationship with a younger woman, some of these things may change. You might want to change the types of shirts you wear, or the type of glasses you wear. Just don't make all the changes too dramatic and make sure they fit your character rather than the person you are with. You want to make sure that you remain the person she fell for. She found you attractive the way you were when she met you, so don't feel as if you have to change who you are.

Next, you should always consider a little teasing and a lot of flirting. Young women love to flirt, and they love to be teased. Go ahead and tell her you're over the hill, or how immature she is. Make light of the situation. Keep things light and funny. Diffuse any awkwardness with laughter.

Lastly, you should always keep the lines of communication open. The age difference can sometimes includes differences in perception about role expectations and attitudes to certain issues. There may be an expectation for you to take the lead. Many younger women are looking for direction. No matter what, you should discuss your expectations with her: she may want to have a child, and you may feel as if you're past the age that you want to be a father. Talk as much as possible so that neither of you misunderstand or have to guess what the other means.

My last point is that you should remember to take things slowly. She may wonder what your real intentions are, since many older men are after the status and image of having a younger woman on their arm. By taking it slowly, you reassure her that you really want to get to know HER. When you ease into a relationship with a younger woman, the people around you will realize that you are in the relationship because you've already found out how compatible you are and how much you enjoy one another's company. No one will be able to claim that you just jumped into things without thinking.


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