Guest Writer #115: “Lawnmower Boy Vs. The Sex Therapist” by Eric Leech

She was a 45-year-old sex therapist, and I was a 26-year-old college student (a.k.a. Lawnmower Boy). For a 20-year-old woman to date a 40-year-old man on various dating websites, is not a big deal. However, swap genders, and suddenly you have a recipe for sharp whispers, long stares, and family upheaval.

That’s just not the way it is supposed to be. Isn’t the star quarterback supposed to find his cheerleader in chemistry class? He’d drop a toad down her blouse. She’d burn a hole in his Letterman’s jacket with the Bunsen burner, and the two would fall in love, marry, and make beautiful babies.

However, what happens when that quarterback ends up working at a local fast-food restaurant for the next 15 years, only to be promoted once from the dancing chicken costume? Alternatively, what about that cheerleader, who after bearing 13 children finds her perky pom-poms shaking just below the knee? This is traditionally the time when they may both find themselves looking to trade-in for a younger model.

Finding Love
The divorce rate in America is extremely high. Statistics suggest that for every 1,000 couples, at least five will fall victim to a permanent separation. This means there is a relatively large number of mature, single, widowed, and divorced adults looking for companionship.

In a 2003 pole of single women over age 40, it was discovered that as many as 34 percent were dating men up to 30+ years younger than them. Having been there and done that, I can tell you that this is by no accident. It wasn’t that there just happened to be a shortage of mature men that year. These relationships offer a benefit from both sides.

The Attraction of Age Gap Relationships
The young man, represents youth, energy, enthusiasm, and freedom (no kids, meddling ex’s). According to an AARP study, one of the biggest complaints of 35 percent of women dating men their age, is that they have too much excess relationship baggage. In addition, many women feel these men are just not as fun as they used to be.

An older woman is experienced, beautiful, uninhibited, knows how to cook (something that is becoming a dying tradition), and will appreciate a younger man like a doting mother over her prized son. Whoa now, I did say mother, but don’t get too upset. The main attraction of dating a mature woman is her attitude about dating. Men are biologically designed to chase and conquer. However, once they’ve been conquered. They want to move on and spread their seed to other newly harvested pastures.

Younger women, on the other hand, are biologically inclined to nest and raise a family. This can put some strain on an otherwise, casual relationship. The older woman and younger man, are in a sense, in the same place in life. She does not expect much from the relationship (particularly in the beginning), and neither does he. It’s all fun. That is, until…

Buying Into the Love Story
A sugar-coated mamma (a.k.a. older woman with money) can pose some danger to a younger man, by putting herself in the position of a maternal caretaker, rather than an equal lover. It is, after all, a woman’s nature to care for those in need. Many immature men are at the crossroads between a boy and a man. He is unsure of himself, struggling to find his place, and she seems to hold all the answers. This attraction, however, can be to her own peril.

The therapist once said to me, “I will train you, make you into the man of my dreams, and a young woman will win you over, benefiting from all my hard work.” This comment made me very sad, but I now realize she perpetuated this fate by her own decision not to see me as an equal lover. A cougar may be a trophy to a younger man, but he may become a pet, cuddled, and thrown back in their cage, if he refuses to follow her expectations (a.k.a demands).

I do have many fond memories of that relationship. In fact, I really wouldn’t be who I am today, if it wasn’t for her. However, I do recognize the tumultuous nature of this type of dating, and therefore, my best advice is to enjoy these relationships for their novelty, but buy into the love story at your own risk. Love can be found at any age, but you have to remove all age-related expectations. Otherwise, you’ll never learn to relate to your partner on equal ground.

All is often unfair in love and age!

By Eric J. Leech, author of Love, Lust, and Relationships

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Add Your Comment