Before we learn more about this older woman/younger man story, I want to thank Goddess Fish Promotions for letting me be a part of this tour. I also want to thank Jana Richards for being here to talk about older woman heroines and providing a giveaway with two different prizes. So make sure to read the entire post to find out how to enter. And now I bring you Jana Richards......
When She’s Older
One of the central problems in my novel “The Girl Most Likely” is that Cara is eight years older than Finn. The age difference bothers her to such an extent that she at first refuses any kind of relationship with him. She’s afraid of looking ridiculous for pursuing a younger man, and afraid that one day he’ll wake up and realize he was no longer attracted to her.
At one time it made sense for a man to be older than the woman he married. An older man was likely to be more established and better able to look after a wife and children. He wanted a younger wife who could bear his children. As well, women tend to mature faster than men, so an older man and a younger woman were likely more ready to settle down than a man her own age or younger.
These days, however, reasons for the man in the relationship to be older don’t hold up. A woman can be just as capable of financially caring for a family as a man is. Medical advances mean that women can have children later in life if they choose. And in many cases, couples are choosing not to have children, even if they are able to.
But old, updated ideas still persist, even though the social reasons for them existing in the first place are no longer valid. There is still a resistance to older woman, younger man couplings. Dr. Kathryn Elliott, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, says that we are plagued by the ‘shoulds’. “We think we should only weigh 120. We should marry people within two years of our age. We pathologize anything that isn't within those shoulds."
Though relationships between older women and younger men are becoming increasingly more common, even outside of Hollywood (eg: Ashton and Demi), there are still issues that such a couple must face to make their relationship work. First, let me explode a few myths, courtesy of Susan Winter, co-author, with Felicia Brings, of "Older Women, Younger Men: New Options for Love and Romance". She and her co-author interviewed more than 200 couples. Although this is not a scientific study, three myths kept popping up:
Myth #1: ”He’ll leave you for a younger woman.”. Winter says they didn’t find one man who did this, at least not for a specific younger woman. In some cases the man wanted children and the relationship fell apart as a result.
Myth#2: “The older woman is always the seducer – a Mrs. Robinson.” In all the cases that Winter studied, the man was the initiator.
Myth #3: “It will never last.” The average length of the relationships that Winter studied was 13 years.
Psychologists and dating experts believe that though age may be factor in determining whether a relationship will work, there are other factors that may be of greater importance.
1. Are your personalities similar? Are your energy levels similar? Dr. Elliott says that for an older woman/younger man relationship to work, “voltages” must be matched. She defines voltage as the person’s intensity for life. "What you don't want is one partner wanting to go out, the other stay in; one willing to talk, the other wanting space (and silence to enjoy it)." Is he the right maturity for you? Age doesn’t necessarily dictate maturity. Spend time with your younger guy and find out how he handles stress, money, work, etc. These things will help you determine his level of maturity.
2. Do you expect the same things from a relationship? If you want some fun and a no-strings relationship after your divorce, and he wants family and commitment, you could be headed for trouble. Denise Washington says it’s important to match expectations: “Don’t be afraid to voice what you want. By being on the same page in the beginning, it will prevent frustration and heartbreak later if he doesn’t want the same thing.”
3. What are your deal breakers? Figure out early on what you cannot live with. Is it immaturity, him living with his parents, not getting along with your kids or your friends, spending too much time with his friends and not enough with you? Is he looking a mommy or a midnight booty call? Asking questions at the beginning of the relationship will help you decide if he’s a man or a boy.
My couple in “The Girl Most Likely” eventually figure out that for them, age doesn’t matter. They learn that the things they have in common far outweigh their differences. Love, it seems, is ageless.
The Girl Most Likely by Jana Richards
Cara McLeod, the girl most likely to have the perfect marriage, is now divorced and, in her own words, “fat, frumpy, and over forty.” The thought of facing former classmates—and the ex-husband who dumped her—at her high school reunion terrifies her. Cajoled into attending by her kids and her best friend, Cara enlists help at the gym to lose weight and look great for the reunion. Personal Trainer Finn Cooper is more than willing to help—but does he have to be so to-die-for gorgeous?
Finn thinks Cara is perfect just the way she is. She’s everything he wants in a woman, except for one thing—she can’t get past the fact that he's eight years younger. To Finn, age and weight are just numbers. But can he convince Cara the numbers she worries about add up to only one thing for him—love?
“I think you’re beautiful. You know that, don’t you?”
No, she really didn’t know that, but she nodded anyway. What happened when he woke up one morning and realized that she had a few more lines on her face? Would he still think she was beautiful or would he tire of her, just as Peter had?
“Are you sorry about last night?”
Her head rose sharply. He looked away, not meeting her gaze. However mixed up she felt this morning, she couldn’t let Finn feel that he’d somehow failed her. Setting her mug on the night table on her side of the bed, she caressed his unshaven cheek.
“Of course I’m not sorry. I loved our night together. Don’t mind me, Finn. I’m in a mood this morning.”
He tugged at her sheet once more. “Then let go of the sheet and let me hold you before I have to go.”
Cara held her sheet tighter. It was one thing to get undressed in the dark and another to let him see her body in the cruel light of day. “No, please. I’d rather not.”
Would he look at her in the cold morning light and see all her imperfections, her scars, her forty-three years of living? Would he look at her and want to trade her in for a newer model?
Jana Richards has tried her hand at many writing projects over the years, from magazine articles and short stories to full-length paranormal suspense and romantic comedy. She loves to create characters with a sense of humor, but also a serious side. She believes there’s nothing more interesting then peeling back the layers of a character to see what makes them tick.
When not writing up a storm, working at her day job as an Office Administrator, or dealing with ever present mountains of laundry, Jana can be found on the local golf course pursuing her newest hobby.
Jana lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren, along with two university aged daughters and a highly spoiled Pug/Terrier cross named Lou.
This giveaway is for one gc for $20 to Wild Rose Press & one gc for $20 to Amazon going to one randomly drawn commenter.
-This giveaway is OPEN TO EVERYONE.
-Just make a comment on this post, along with your email addy, to be entered.
-The more comments you make throughout the tour at each stop listed here, the greater your chances of winning.
-Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on 12/9.
The myths & other factors made for fascinating reading. I found myself nodding.ReplyDelete
Thank you for hosting Jana today!ReplyDelete
Loved this blog post. That cover is great, love that. I love that I keep finding great new books to read on blogs like this.ReplyDelete
Thanks for a very interesting blog today. You made some great points. The older woman, younger man theme is not written about nearly as much as I would like. At least I don't see it in the historicals I read.ReplyDelete
In your book, the 8 year age difference could create enormous problems and make for interesting reading. A few years ago, I read an antholody titles 'In Praise of Younger Men'. Supposedly all the stories would be older women paried with younger men. While the stories were good, I was disappointed because the age differences in each story were so slight as to be insignificant...a few days to maybe 1-2 years difference. IMO, there was no age difference and no conflict because of age.
This was interesting to research. I didn't realize that these relationships lasted so long (average 13 years). Like all relationships, the key is to find someone who 'clicks' with you. Even if the couple is the same age, if they want different things, they likely won't last.
Thanks for stopping by today.
I just wanted to clarify that my prize is actually one grand prize of a $20 gift certificate from The Wild Rose Press plus a $20 gift certificate to Amazon. I'm sorry for the confusion.ReplyDelete
It's so nice to have you here! Thank you for the kind words. I hope you'll give "The Girl Most Likely" a read.
Thanks everyone for visiting and thanks especially to Jana for chatting with all of us today. Sorry about the giveaway faux pas. That's what I was told, but I will correct that in a minute. Thanks for letting me know, Jana.ReplyDelete
Hi Karen H in NC,ReplyDelete
Nice to see you again! When I was deciding the age difference between Cara and Finn, I settled on 8 years because it was a significant enough gap to cause Cara concern, yet not so great that there was an 'ick' factor associated with it. To my way of thinking, when the age gap between partners is greater than fifteen years (no matter which gender is the oldest), they are almost from different generations and will have a difficult time bridging that gap.
Interesting study. The older I get, the more I think about a possible younger man situation if I chose to have another relationship. I know some of the problems faced by large age differences, there is a 14 year difference between my parents.ReplyDelete
Interesting Patricia. Dating a younger man could be a lot of fun for you. As long you have some of the same interests, have the same expectation, and you 'feel' like you're the same age, it could be a rewarding relationship.ReplyDelete
Hi Jana, I enjoyed the post today. As it so happens I am married to the love of my life and he is 6 years younger than me. We have been married for over 21 years and still very happy and very much in love. We met when I was 30 and he was 24. I started dating him because we just clicked. The interesting thing no one has mentioned is when the man is younger, his sensual and sexual maturity is right on par with the older woman's. They say that women reach sexual maturity around 40 and men around 18. I don't know how true that is, but I do know that we still have a very active sex life and I think it's because he is younger.ReplyDelete
Thank you for the chance to win such a great prize.
reneebennett35 at yahoo dot com
I'm so glad that your marriage with your younger man worked out so well. When everything clicks between two people, age doesn't matter.
Best of luck with the contest.
WOOT JAN AND CONGRATS!ReplyDelete
Love the post sounds like a great book love what I read can't wait to read more! Thank you so much for sharing!ReplyDelete
Good luck with the book and please count me in!ReplyDelete
For sure we'll count you in! Good luck in the contest.
latishajean,thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your support!ReplyDelete
Congratulations on your newest release! My best friend's parents have 16 years between them, and I think their - the parents and my best friend - biggest concern is one aging a lot faster than the other.ReplyDelete
Please count me in for the contest! :)
beatrice.g.tan [at] gmail [dot] com
An age difference between partners can have negative effects, such as your friend's parents are experiencing. Of course, there's no guarantee with spouses of the same age that one won't die prematurely or succumb to illness. I wish your friend's parents good health and many years together.
MUCHO SALES JAN AND ENTER ME!!ReplyDelete
I decided to go with 2 prizes like everyone had assumed I meant. I figured, why fight it? Besides, it feels really good to give away 2 prizes!