Thursday, February 17, 2011

Couger Town

Wrinkles and the Younger Man

Embrace your age with confidence and he will, too.

by Maggie Arana & Julienne Davis
Photograph: iStock
Maggie Arana and Julienne Davis, authors of Stop Calling Him Honey and Start Having Sex, reassure us that when it comes to love, age ain’t nothing but a number.
You’re worried because he’s younger. We all know worrying never helps anything—especially in the case of dating a younger man. You shouldn’t be focusing on negative thoughts. Thoughts like: “I’m not as fit as he is. Can he see my wrinkles? My cellulite? My stretch marks? Every time I look at an attractive woman who’s younger than me, I worry a little that he’s going to trade me in for her, or someone like her. And what will happen when I really start looking old?”
Be positive and look at why he chose you in the first place. You are interesting and fascinating to him. He thinks you are hot. He admires your wit, your intelligence, and yes, your experience. So, when was age mentioned here?
Exactly. It wasn’t.
The more you focus on your age, the more he will focus on your age. What you need to be thinking about is the great aspects of you: your life, your interests, and all of what makes up who you are that is wonderful. In our book, Stop Calling Him Honey…and Start Having Sex!, we have a chapter called “Stay Separate to Stay Together.” In it we discuss how important it is to maintain who you are in a relationship and how many of us lose ourselves within a partnership. We end up becoming two halves of a whole, rather than remaining two whole separate people that come together in a partnership. That is a true partnership. Anything less is co-dependency.
Obsessing about being older is not you being a whole, independent and confident person. He compliments you, but he doesn’t complete you. And if you are with him because of the ego boost you get from “dating a younger guy,” or because you are trying to “cling to your youth” by doing youthful activities that you don’t feel confident enough to do on your own, then you may want to rethink things. If you want to go out and go surfing, or clubbing, or whatever it is, then do it!  You don’t need to cling to someone else’s youth as an excuse to do these things.
Go out and have the confidence to do whatever it is that makes you feel good about yourself. It’s fabulous that he is full of life, and the fact that he’s young and hot is a bonus, a mere compliment to your already full life. The focus for both of you needs to be who you are as people underneath it all – having nothing to do with the chronological years. After all, any true relationship should be experienced on a deeper more intimate level than having it be about age. So, if you are with him because he’s young, and you love running around boasting to all your girlfriends that you “have a toy boy,” then maybe you need to look at why you are with him. Are you being ageist? Because if that is the case, then is it no wonder that you are obsessing about the fact that you are “older” than he?
If the relationship is truthful, you should love him for the person he is, and you should love yourself for who you are, right now. Not who you were 10 or 20 years ago. Love yourself for all that you are: your age, your experience…your wisdom. You’ve made it this far and you need to feel good about that. Wrinkles, age spots, cellulite… does it really matter? Embrace yourself with confidence, and he will too.

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