The ubiquity of older women dating younger men in the media over the past 20 years has demystified what was once considered a taboo, says Innes Smith.
Pictured: Joan Collins, whose fifth husband Percy Gibson is more than 30 years her junior My struggle with rejection came not only from my career choice, but from the sorts of women I’d been dating.
The first woman I ever fell in love with was 20 years older than me.
Her name was Judith and she worked as a matron at my boarding school.
In what I can only imagine was a deliberately cruel move on the part of the school, Judith’s living quarters had been tantalisingly positioned bang next door to the boys’ dormitory, just the other side of a paper-thin wall.
So while we were forced to lie in petrified silence on pain of punishment, Judith could clearly be heard giggling into her phone and dancing along to her transistor radio.
On occasion, my more conventional friends would question how long a relationship like ours could last.
They joshed about desperate, predatory cougars, but what they failed to grasp was that her maturity and solvency meant she no longer had to worry about judging men along shallow lines such as bank balance and career status.
I really wasn’t into the party-girl scene and longed for a bit of stability.Here was a woman old enough to be my mother tearing a hole in my heart.All the boys were in love with Judith, but she and I had a special connection, or so I surmised from her flirty glances.She’d reached the fortunate position of being able to choose a man she actually liked rather than one who ticked boring, predictable boxes. While the traditional template of older man/younger woman still dominates, there appears to have been a shift.
Ann would laugh whenever I brought up the subject of age. Research suggests the older woman/younger man relationship has been on the increase since the Eighties.
Indeed, my first long-term relationship was with a woman 12 years my senior.