My experience dating younger men has been limited to my husband, who is a measly 5 months younger than me. But I've taken a vicarious delight in the the current Cougar trend. Why shouldn't a woman date a man 10 or 15 years younger than she is? I think it's empowering for women - a leveling of the playing field, so to speak. The idea of being in a relationship with a buff, open-minded, uncomplicated young guy is appealing. But after seeing the movie Cheri starring Michelle Pfieffer, I think I've found my limit.
In the film, Michelle Pfeiffer (51) plays Lea, a turn of the century French courtesean who takes a colleague's 19-year-old son under her wing and quickly, into her bed. Her bad boy lover, Cheri, (played by Rupert Friend, actually 27) is a vapid, self-absorbed dolt. But Lea manages to overlook his moral and intellectual failings and their six year romance blossoms - almost entirely between the sheets.
Michelle Pfeiffer is gorgeous, but the 30 year age difference between the characters made me queasy. And while the plot and characters in Cheri are fictitious, there are recent real-life relationships with age disparities that clearly cross into "ick" territory, such as:
Linda Hogan (49) and boyfriend Charlie Hill (19)
After splitting with hubby Hulk Hogan, Linda quickly found new romance with one of her daughter Brooke's high school classmates. Apparently Brooke isn't too happy about it. Okay, let's agree on this. If the dude is younger than your kids, just stay away.
Madonna (50) and model Jesus Luz (22)
Madonna has made a career out of being provocative, so at first her new young stud didn't surprise me. Then I thought back to Madonna's marriage to Sean Penn in 1985. Gals, let's also abide by this rule - don't date anyone who wasn't alive at the time of your first wedding, it's tacky.
To be fair, there are plenty of older men/younger women relationships that are even more repellent, such as Billy Joel (60) and soon to be ex-wife Katie Lee Joel (27.) The worst is probably Woody Allen (73) and his wife Soon Yi Previn (38), since Soon Yi is the adopted daughter of Woody's former lover, Mia Farrow. But we women should aspire to higher standards than those guys. It's one thing to have a relationship with a younger man, but perhaps after 40, we need to leave the boys alone.