Does age matter when it comes to love? According to the stereotypes cast upon people dating someone of an older generation, it would seem so. The first stereotype between a man and a woman where the woman is older will label the woman as a cougar. This label used to refer to older women who “preyed” upon young men. As times have changed this label went from a derogatory term to a desirable term. She can be a woman who rocks the clothing of a younger generation; however, she takes care of herself and looks good. She has no need for a man to settle down and marry or have children; these things have already been accomplished. She has no need for commitment. These women have a positive self-image, enjoy sex, and more importantly, know what they are doing. However, it is people’s reactions to them that give them a stigmatism.
As we saw in Friends, one of my favorite TV shows, a cougar is looked down upon. While Phoebe originally seems excited about her brother’s engagement, she has a very different reaction once she learns her age. She even enlists the help of Ross and Joey to deter her brother, but they quickly change sides once they realize that her brother has something special.
However, according to men, a cougar can be a good thing. She is independent, financially sufficient, and the young man does not have to worry about gold diggers. She is also expected to have different life traits such as being more relaxed on vacation, and do not discuss what shade of lipstick matches their skirt. Due to age these women know what they want in life. They do not play games or value materialistic things.
This term “gold digger” is what we get when we switch this relationship in terms of age. Any woman who marries a man several years her senior is immediately measured in what terms of financial gain. “Is she with him for his money?” “Does she not work?” These questions can be frequently asked regarding this scenario. A woman asking, “What do you do?” is a red flag. It’s not like she could have an actual interest in the man she’s seeing.
The article on wikihow particularly made me laugh.
You can tell that a girl is a gold digger by her sense of entitlement that she be treated well. Doesn’t everyone think they should be treated well? As an independent woman who works two jobs and pays her own bills, I ALWAYS offer to pay half the bill. But a guy offering to pay definitely changes the “tone” of the evening. It can go from two friends having a drink to someone trying to court someone. Either way I still expect to be treated well.
There are some very strange expectations that accompany what people are after when they date someone of a different age. People do not assume that they are simply with someone based off mutual interest or that they have had similar life circumstances. We cannot base assumptions of someone’s relationship on their age.