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Men need to learn to be a value-add to the lives of their girlfriends, instead of a burden.
Traditionally, women are expected to spend a great deal of time on their men with tasks like ego-stroking, cleaning up after them, and plan-making.
In their 2006 study, Sandra Caron, Mary Logue and Nichole Proulx interviewed eight married couples where the wife was between 10 to 17 years older than the husband.
Their findings revealed that whilst both partners were content with their relationship, they still worried about how others judged them.
Without getting too entangled in semantics, Elite Singles resident psychologist, Salama Marine, is quick to discuss this point.
“Prejudices have a tendency to stick, even if society is changing,” she says, “calling an older woman a cougar isn’t meaningless, it’s a way of defining her as a predator who’s only interested in hunting down younger prey.” For an enlightening comparison it’s worth looking at an equivalent expression for older men who hook up with younger women.
However, what’s actually going on underneath the pop-style commentary and tabloid tales of ‘cougars’ and their ‘cubs’?
In search of clarity, we set out on a mission to look beyond the loaded monikers and dubious hype surrounding older woman/younger man relationships.
READ MORE: Happily in an older woman/younger man relationship? The trio behind the project were sure to report that “vast age differences, especially in woman-older relationships, clearly violate the norms of this society”. 40 years ago, writer and activist Susan Sontag penned ‘The Double Standard of Ageing’ for the now defunct .
“I have the rest of my life to devote to a husband or kids or my job.” Some even purposely had what one might think of as fake boyfriends, whom they considered sub–marriage quality, and weren’t genuinely attached to.
“He fits my needs now, because I don’t want to get married now,” one said.
Around about the same time cougardom exploded into the mainstream, social scientists became increasingly immersed in researching age-dissimilar couples where the woman is the older party.
Prompted by this shift in the demographics of modern relationships, a team of sociologists at the University of Maine set about investigating the reality of older women wedded to younger men.The narrative has always sat uneasily with me, as it's based on the presumption that women are so foul that men will only put up with them in order to get sex.