"When I finally found out how much younger he was, I was a little shocked," says Kimberly Schmitz, a 34-year-old communications and public relations director in Tucson, Arizona, of her now-fianc, Bobby Kern, 25, owner of a feed store and pet food distribution company in the same city.
"(But) he is such an amazing man that I decided to let his actions speak more than his statistics. He is the most mature and sensitive man I have ever dated." For Kern, the attraction is mutual.
Hey, I’m no psychologist – just your friendly, neighborhood dating coach. Whether we like it or not, there is nearly a full generation gap between 28 and 45.
"He likes that I am secure in our relationship and I have my own things to do without him." Indeed, the idea of dating an older woman is titillating for some younger guys.A 2003 study by AARP revealed that 34 percent of all women over 40 in the survey were dating younger men, and 35 percent preferred it to dating older men. Quite frankly, his mother made it so impossible," Winter says of the six-year relationship, which inspired her book."Societal attitudes have definitely changed," says Susan Winter, 52, co-author of "Older Women, Younger Men: New Options for Love and Romance" -- and she would know. "But (that kind of discrimination) would not be allowable now." Hollywood in particular has defied the ageism stereotype, with celebrities like Madonna and Demi Moore marrying significantly younger men (a 10- and 15-year age gap, respectively, with director Guy Ritchie and actor Ashton Kutcher), and the public has come to accept it.And I think that's a very common fantasy for young men." The potential issues between such May-December couples are the same ones that challenge the longevity of any relationship: different long-term priorities and emotional temperament."He's not thinking about kids and marriage," says Pender of her boyfriend, "and he bugs me when I forget to dye my gray roots." If you can work through these issues, the adage holds true: Age ain't nothing but a number.