I split up with my husband more than five years ago, and have yet to fall in love with someone new. Sure, I date. I've joined and quit and re-joined OkCupid, J-Date, even Tinder. I've gone out with men I've met at comedy clubs and cafes, in airplanes and through friends.
And yet, here I am, still single.
I'm actually enjoying being single, but that doesn't mean I want to make it a permanent state. Maybe the problem is age: it's harder to meet men who are single after the age of 45.
Or maybe the problem is their age. I shouldn't be limiting myself to "age-appropriate" men. At least that's the takeaway from a recent essay in The Telegraph by Bibi Lynch about the joys of dating (much) younger men.
The essay, called "Now I'm in my 50s, young men want to date me: Welcome to the world of WHIPS," makes a case for younger men. What's better about younger men?
- They're available. Meaning, they're out and about, rather than at home with their children and generally, a wife.
- They're single. I've met men who I've found attractive and interesting, certainly. But I haven't met very many in that category who are also my age and unmarried.
- They're still very hot.
Lynch is not alone in being propositioned by much younger men and taking them up on their interest in dating. As she reminds us, September/May unions are all around us. There is the relationship between the French President Emmanuel, 39, and Brigitte Macron, 64. We see Madonna, 59, and model Kevin Sampaio, 31; Mariah Carey, 47, and dancer Bryan Tanaka, 34; and Demi Moore, 54, who has "reportedly been canoodling with actor Tobey Maguire, 42."
Lynch quotes relationship psychologist Madeline Mason:
"‘The older a woman gets, the more relaxed she becomes about what other people think, and her self-esteem goesup,’ agrees Madeleine Mason. ‘By her 40s and 50s, she’s more likely to have comeinto her own, and this confidence is very attractive and very sexy. As people live longer, we’re expected to change careers, re-educate ourselves etc...
Could it be that this is something we will see in relationships, too? That being older no longer means we are unhealthy or undesirable, and younger generations begin to see past age and see women as individuals?’"
I like the idea of an Encore Marriage, the one you have in the second half of your romantic life, that may look nothing like your first.