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Christopher Ryan of Psychology Today argues – in direct response to Schwyzer – that there’s an “innate biological desire men hold for women in their most fertile years,” and that such a desire is perfectly natural.
We’ve all heard this idea before: men are designed to want to spread their seed, so in spite of their age and inability with age to care for children, they remain attracted to women who can propagate their DNA.
Schwyzer, on the other hand, believes that men are not hardwired to be attracted to younger women.
He contends, rather, that “much of the appeal” men find in dating younger women is “the hope of finding someone less demanding.” He says, “A man in his 40s who wants to date women in their 20s is making the same calculation as the man who pursues a “mail-order bride” from a country with less egalitarian values.
“Ask women in their teens and 20s who are in relationships with older men about guys their own age, and you’ll invariably hear laments about young men’s immaturity,” Schwyzer says.
“That callowness is often oversold by too many aging Lotharios wanting to emphasize the difference between their own supposed expertise and young men’s clumsiness.” Mmm-hmm. According to Schwyzer, many young women end up with older men who are “deeply unsafe.” For his part, Schwyzer urges older men to mentor younger men instead of taking advantage of the younger women those young men should be dating.
Bonus: If we can do this we’ll be a lot happier with or without a man!Of course, we’re still going to have our kids and our schedules and our careers and our past heart-breaks, because If we embrace the struggles that have given us the very life experience a mature man (or anyone) finds appealing, we give ourselves permission to reconnect with our own childlike spirit.Sure, men over 40, 50 and 60 also have unattractive qualities that often get generalized (for good reason!I’d always felt pretty mature for my age (as so many women do), and especially in comparison to the guys around me.I stayed married to my husband for seven years, and by the time our relationship ended, I saw our age difference in a completely different way.