Although long-founded tradition has it that the man of the relationship should generally be older to the woman, the ever dynamic world of today has no place for such rigid definitions of romances. With the continuos influx of independent, career oriented and modern women into the workplace, there has been a huge upsurge in the number of such volte-face relationships.
“Cougar couples”, as they are popularly known, are no longer confined to the ethereal world of Hollywood celebrities and have become a widespread trend instead.
However, given the biological make-up and needs of a man and a woman as designed by Nature, and given the conventions of the society with respect to dating etiquette and other general practises, older women who date younger men come across many challenges that they must overcome in order to keep the relationship alive and healthy.
Tips for Older Women Dating Younger Men
Here are four valuable tips for older women dating younger men that will certainly help them overcome the roadblocks they encounter.
Subdue Your Protective Instincts
Most women have inherent maternal instincts which surface easily when they get attached to someone younger to them. Women in cougar relationships often tend to become excessively protective over their boyfriends/spouses. They tend to fuss over them incessantly, and also try to guide, help and control them every step of the way. They worry about them too much and prevent them from taking any adventurous or risky steps in their careers or in life in general. In short, they start behaving almost in a motherly fashion.
While to a certain extent, men like to be showered with care and concern, excess of the same can cause anything ranging from mild irritation to outright disgust in them. They may start feeling more like a child than like a partner. In fact,this is one of the prime reasons for cougar break-ups.
Therefore, avoid such behaviour even though it comes naturally to you. Firstly, determine to what extent your partner is comfortable with being cared for. Once the threshold of their acceptance has been fixed, try your best to not cross it. Also, talk out the issue beforehand with him and ask him to freely tell you if he ever feels you are getting unnecessarily maternal in your love. Make sincere efforts to treat your partner as your equal and not cosset them too much.
Do Not Hide Your Vulnerabilities
Some men are attracted to women who are older and hence stronger, more experiences, more knowledgeable and more independent, and vice versa. Cougar relationships are more often than not, based on such attractions. Because the women in these relationships realize that is their superiority in terms of emotional strength that has brought their man close to them, they often hesitate in exposing their vulnerabilities to their partners.
Such partial disclosure of one’s feelings and thus, one’s own self, can be fatal for the relationship. For the first, it makes the woman languish in suffocation because she cannot be honest to her own partner. It paints a completely false picture in the mind of the man. Not very infrequently, it can depress the man into thinking that he is extremely weak emotionally and hence not deserving of a much stronger woman. Most dangerously, it puts an end to the growth of love between the two people.
Unless there is a mutual free-flow of feelings, thoughts and emotions between the two persons, love cannot be fostered. When the two people in a relationship unhesitantly share problems and collectively try to solve them, they come even closer to each other. Trying to hide your vulnerabilities and weaknesses from your partner can only lead to stifling complications.
Do not worry about the fact that your partner has fallen in love with the “stronger” you. Nobody can be inhumanly invincible and everyone has their weak points. There is no need to be ashamed of them. Do not hesitate to disclose and discuss your problems, fears and doubts with your partner. Do your relationship a whole lot of good by being frank, honest and open.
Avoid Dominating Your Partner
Another common reason why such relationships fall apart is when the woman becomes excessively bossy and dominating. Men have a lot of ego and such behavior usually puts them off.
While it is completely necessary to not surrender to the male ego and maintain your own stand about everything in your life, what must be avoided is too much of a restrictive and stringent attitude towards his life.
Do not become a control freak. Do not try to boss over him, dictate the terms and conditions of the relationship, and implictly take advantage of your greater experience of life. Do not try to become the leader of the relationship. Do not try to pet over him and most importantly, do not attempt to patronize him.
Treat him as your equal, because after all, he is your equal in the relationship. Although it is almost inevitable to become bossy at times with people younger than you, if you’re dating such a man, your natural instincts must necessarily be curbed. There is no place for exercising superiority in a relationship. Most importantly, do not hesitate to apologize. Let your man know that you’re making efforts to not be domineering and he will not mind even if you do, inadverdently, try to control him sometimes.
Expel Any Sense of Awkwardness
A cougar couple may have to encounter many awkward situations. Some of your acquaintances in your social circle may not be open to the idea of such relationships and may pass jibes. If the couple works at the same place, and particularly if the man is subordinate to the woman at work, a sense of inequity may fill the man and he may start feeling awkward and disoriented. Similarly, there are bound to be a lot of unprecedented situations in store for such a couple.
However, do not let any sense of awkwardness linger around for long. Expel any discomfort that might have crept into the relationship through such external pressures. Talk out the issues that are discomfiting and laugh them off. Do not regard them with much seriousness.
Furthermore, do not try to evade them as it would only create an unending list of “no-discussion” topics. Bring them out in the open, talk about them and deal with them with maturity. Be sincere in your love and in following the aforementioned tips, and your partner shall never have cause to complain!