The problems with dating a younger man

This rush to the altar in the under-30 set has been denigrated (mostly by the over-30 set) as a spate of "starter marriages." Ultimately, I think the divorce rate will probably be the same as the break-up rate of the "just living together" generation, but I must say that it's infinitely more pleasant to listen to men who don't consider commitment to be a dirty word.As creepy as the done-it-all, Warren Beatty type of older man is the one who hasn't done anything.They're not so far past the years when they pined to hold a real, live, naked woman that they take for granted what a terrific thrill and holy privilege it really is.When I was in my 20s, my first husband and I went to three weddings in ten years.Parties, rock concerts, nightclubs—I dated the way I should have when I was younger: for fun, without an eye toward marriage. During that time, when I was in my late 30s, I made an important sociological discovery: Men over 40 are profoundly different from those under 35, and it's not just their hairlines.As much as we're loath to admit it, we base most of our expectations about a relationship on the one we observed, for better or worse, growing up at home.The fact that a younger man's very busy mom probably didn't have time to whip up many culinary delights for the family can also work to your advantage.

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We've been together for seven years now, and I'm so used to considering Bronson my peer that I often forget about our 13½-year age difference. In the beginning, if I wasn't thinking, Is he too young for me? someone else was thinking it for me—and blurting out, "Hey, have you seen How Stella Got Her Groove Back?He probably grew up having to pitch in and help with dinner (if only to defrost it); he knows his way around a washing machine, and maybe even had to change a diaper or two.When it comes to gender roles and the division of labor, you're better off with a man whose mother has already fought the big battles for you.An empty medicine cabinet can actually be a beautiful thing.An older man, you may point out, has learned much from life and benefited from years of accumulated experience.

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