Who is the host of the dating game
Indeed, the very fact that middle-aged women are more likely to have a high status can drive them to seek out younger partners.
According to dating coach and behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings, living in a youth-driven world puts new pressures on women.‘There’s a constant need to reinvent themselves, to ensure they’re being current and still relevant,’ says Hemmings.‘And one way to get this validation — to hold onto their prime and to prove they’re still desirable — is to be seen with someone much younger.’This is not to suggest, says Hemmings, that the likes of Madonna are acting cynically in their choice of lovers.
Many of the newly retired men I meet are content with their comfy slippers just as their wives are bursting forth with a post-menopausal, post-empty nest lease of life, taking on new challenges and seeing the next stage as something to look forward to rather than the slippery slope into dotage.
So it’s not surprising if more and more middle-aged women hanker, a little wistfully, after younger men.
Kate Moss, 43, is romancing Count Nikolai von Bismarck, 29, while 51-year-old Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet is dating fashion designer Erik Torstensson, 38. study, almost a third of single women between the ages of 40 and 69 are dating younger men, with ‘younger’ defined as ten or more years their junior. For some of the celebrities mentioned, there’s an undoubted desire to attract attention and controversy.
The toyboy trend isn’t just reserved for celebrities, either. Fast approaching 60 and with a seemingly unquenchable thirst for men 30 years (or more) her junior, Madonna never shies away from an opportunity to display her passion for men who could easily be her sons.
When she asked him how he felt about her being 61 to his 51, he replied: ‘That’s easy — you’re so much younger than me.’She added: ‘He tells me I’ve opened his eyes to a more youthful life, and he seems to be loving it.’I wondered if leaving behind a 25-year marriage had contributed to her sense of vigour.
And with this increase in power, many middle-aged females will adopt previously ‘male’ behaviours.And that an increasing number are willing to go beyond the fantasy and actually do something about it.When one of my friends divorced a few years ago, she took a lover, Max, who was smart, funny and ten years her junior.Gone are the days when middle-aged women would adopt skirts of a sensible length, allow grey hair to creep in or take a back seat in public life.
Today, they’re still working in powerful positions, are financially independent, are adept at holding back the ravages of time — and are often newly single, thanks to divorce.And, fascinatingly, it’s one that reveals as much about the diminished status of men as it does the increasing dominance of older women.