Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Maidens pursued

It's a weary cliché that older men are often attracted by a much younger woman and launch into a passionate affair or even end up living with her and ditching their existing partner.

Personally I've never understood this tendency, and I can't recall ever being seriously enticed by a woman many years my junior.

There's still an ageist assumption that younger women are more beautiful, more lively, more adventurous and more in-the-know, but I see qualities in older women that more than compensate for that rather rose-tinted checklist.

An older woman may have more lines and wrinkles but not only do they add character, they are a sign of all that experience and acquired wisdom that many twenty somethings just don't have. She's knocked around a bit, lived through rough times, and tried a lot more dishes on the menu. The result is someone with plenty of shrewd observations on any situation.

I know some younger women have packed an amazing amount of experience into a few years and can be just as astute, but I've met many others who simply haven't done enough to acquire truly original insights into life's complexities. They may be tireless clubbers or fearless backpackers but beyond that their horizons can be limited.

Of course what many men see in younger women has nothing to do with their brains but plenty to do with their slim, unblemished bodies and their resemblance to teenage girlfriends or their first romantic glimpse of their wife to be.

All too often they end up making awful fools of themselves, disappointing their restless lovebirds, being thrown out by their devastated wives, or both. They realise too late they were chasing after an empty mirage and failing to appreciate what they already had.

No, give me an older woman any time for sheer worldly-wise, tried-it-all knowingness, as well as a much deeper compassion for the flaws and failings of other human beings, having had time enough to discover all of their own and no longer expecting Mr (or Ms) Perfect to walk through the door. Give me a vintage wine over this year's beaujolais any day.


  1. So people say, but I've got plenty of Achilles heels. I'm not much fun when I'm grumpy. But hell, I always love a compliment!