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Women in Leadership

Dating Mature Women

Jim Lim asked:

Korea is undergoing a remarkable change in its society’s attitude towards guys marrying older women. Historically, it has been socially unacceptable for a younger man to date an older woman. Not surprisingly for some, there is some logical basis for this cultural phenomenon.

For men, there was a natural instinct to enjoy younger female company. From a physical perspective, they did not want a woman who was aging faster than they were. There was also some belief that as men grew older the chances of infidelity were much higher if they married an older woman.

For women, they did not want a spouse who was more like a “baby brother.” Rather, they were seeking a pillar that will be able to support and show leadership and guidance. Women wanted an older brother!

So what’s the deal in the West? Is dating or marrying older women still a mole on the face of society here, too? Does anybody notice? Like with some moles, depending on where they are on the face, they can go unnoticed, or even enhance physical attractiveness. Marilyn Monroe, for example, comes to mind?

I think without a doubt that Western society is much more accepting of “out of the norm” behavior than our Eastern counterparts. With Westerners, anything goes. You really are living in the Wild, Wild, West.

But, funny enough, I still hear a lot of talk about it. Dating mature women does get attention, even in a country where being gay has become mainstream.

For example, we’ve got Demi Moore, 45 and Aston Kucher, 29. Most would say “Go Aston!” Demi Moore is HOT! In the West, an attractive older woman is known as a “cougar.” I know a lot of guys who would kill for the chance to date a cougar! Cougars are known to be masters in the bedroom, so they say. Grrowwl.

If I were a betting man, though, I’d still put money on the table and claim that most women today prefer to date and marry an older guy. Many women have a preconceived romantic image of the knight in shining armor, with Tarzan’s body, Richard Gere’s style, and a dollar more than Bill Gates.

So is it socially acceptable to date a significantly older or younger person regardless of gender and is there a debate going on about this issue?

Firstly, I think it’s a matter of chemistry. If two people really dig one another, who cares what their chronology is? The people in the relationship certainly don’t and we really don’t care either right?

Secondly, there probably is no debate. What’s there to debate about if a couple live happily ever after?

I suspect that the debate in Korea, however, is getting pretty heated, though. It has to be. Korea has a 5,000 year history and the social norms are deep rooted in ancient traditions and those mature enough to be considered cougars are probably far too embedded in the culture to take the leap.

Clearly, though, there have been breakthroughs, since the trend is recognized here now. That doesn’t mean it won’t continue to cause some ruffle in the feathers, it definitely will.

Cross-chronological dating – a relationship where people are of significantly different ages – is going to remain a popular point of conversation for a long time, in Korea, I suspect and most likely for most of the Eastern and Western hemisphere of this planet.

And why will this be so?

Because social acceptance of cross-chronological (kind of rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?) and other unique types of human relationships, is fun to watch and more importantly, fun to gossip about. Now that’s what it really comes down to doesn’t it?

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