But being aware of damaging social attitudes doesn’t mean being innately suspicious of every individual – it just gives you the awareness to recognise red flags.
Luckily online, men who perpetuate these attitudes will usually wave their red flags pretty visibly; they’ll be the ones who set their preferred age range as 15 years below their own and only one or two above – if at all.
If you’re looking for one great person, then you only need one great person – and they do exist, even if you have to wade through some less than ideal conditions to find them.
But let’s acknowledge these less than ideal conditions. There are fewer single people generally, and yes, there will be some men your age specifically seeking out younger women.
However, as these forms of social and professional capital have historically been denied to women and undervalued in women, older women don’t enjoy the same sense of desirability.
Indeed, because women have primarily been valued for their beauty, a concept deeply rooted in ideas of youth, women are socially devalued as they get older.
I totally understand the appeal of dating younger men.
I’m assuming (and I’m really not sure, because I’ve never slept with anyone who wasn’t well into their twenties) there’s a vim and vigour that comes from sleeping with someone much younger than you.So, it surprised me when a friend texted me “I think I have a crush, but please don’t judge me.” She’d fallen for a man nearly 20 years older than her, and she talked about his good qualities in an apologetic, emoji-less way.Because of the age difference, she didn’t feel excited to share news about her love interest, but she couldn’t deny the chemistry between her and this older man.Younger men who have grown up around discourse around gender equality may indeed be impressed, rather than intimidated, by all you have to offer.And there are mature men in their 20s and 30s looking for relationships, too, so don’t assume they’re just in it for sex. He had a mortgage, a car and a career before I was even born.