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What attracts older women to younger men? Is the relationship for keeps? Our Expert explores this relatively new norm...

When they first started dating three years back, people wrote off Hollywood couple Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s (15 years her junior) romance as a brief fling that would live its course.

The couple proved the apprehensions wrong and tied the knot two years later. Susan Sarandon, 56, and Tim Robbins, 44, are yet another successful couple. And, three years ago, actress Cameron Diaz started dating musician Justin Timberlake despite their eight-year age gap. Singer Madonna was 42 when she married director Guy Ritchie, 32.

Closer home, couples like Archana Puran Singh and husband Parmeet Sethi, and Farah Khan and Shirish Kunder debunk the myth that the man should be older and hence have the upper hand for a relationship to work.

A sense of adventure and a spontaneous attitude to life attracts an older woman to a younger man, feels 25-year-old advertising professional Sam Mehta, who is in a relationship with a woman three years his senior.

“Besides, these days, women take better care of themselves and look young,” he says. “However, dating an older woman comes with its own set of rules, as they generally have a emotional advantage over men.

” Mehta thinks older women are more well-defined and focussed on their careers. “What I like is that unlike with younger women, there is no chase involved. Older women know what they like and hold more control in the relationship.” He adds that while the sex is much better with older women, you can’t always win with them.

For Anish Nair, a 29-year-old graphic-designer, age was not a concern when he fell in love with a woman six years older. But once the relationship got serious they had to deal with the age-gap.

“I think older women are more mature and generally looking for an affirmation of themselves in younger men—they still want to feel young and attractive,” he says. Such relationships can work long-term, but it depends on the two individuals.

“Though, I personally feel it is easier to be in a relationship with someone closer to your age,” remarks Nair.

Actress Archana Puran Singh says that when she married Parmeet Sethi, seven years her junior, age was not a barrier. “We’ve been together for 20 years now and our age difference has never been a problem.

I had some apprehensions initially, but I also felt that if the relationship was not going to work it wouldn’t be because of the age gap. The age difference is negligible in our case as both of us work on keeping it that way.

Parmeet and I tend to balance each other—he is much more mature in his way of thinking and I am much younger at heart.” When they decided to get married, Sethi’s parents refused to be involved with them in any way. With time, however, once they realised their commitment to each other, they came around.

“If the man is older than the woman it doesn’t necessarily mean that the marriage is going to work; as long as both partners handle the issue in a mature manner, it won’t be a problem,” says Singh.

Actress Zarina Wahab and Aditya Panscholi have been married for 19 years. Wahab is 10 years older than her husband. “Age was never a problem for us. Every marriage calls for an adjustment and ours is no different.

Our families were very supportive of our marriage.” Wahab believes that it is destiny that brought them together and their love for each other has kept their marriage strong.

“Men are slightly immature as compared to women, no matter whether they are older or younger. The age-difference is not as big an issue as people make it out to be,” she says.
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