Sparks! with April Beyer

You are closer than you think.

The Friday Takeaway

The Allure of the Older Man

Earlier this week, Shape Magazine asked me to comment for an online article in response to the break up between 24-year-old Jennifer Lawrence and 37-year-old Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.

We all know relationships can be challenging for anyone living a celebrity lifestyle, but the interview got me thinking about the age difference between Lawrence and Martin, conflicting schedules, his recent divorce from Gwyneth Paltrow, and how these factors likely kept the couple from going the distance. It occurred to me that Lawrence might have been selling herself short in the relationship department, and I thought it might be helpful to discuss potential lessons here on Sparks!

When He’s Older

I often see women make the mistake of getting caught up into an older man’s life and losing their own voice in the relationship. It’s sexy and magical at first, but there always seems to be an imbalance of power, and when that happens women can quickly forget what’s most important to them.

The expectation is that an older man will have it all together. Just because someone is older doesn’t necessarily mean they’re more mature, or have all the answers. Unfortunately, a dynamic often arises in which the younger woman will start to defer to him on every level and not pursue her own stability or career. I’ve known hundreds of women who’ve gotten caught up into the fantasy of being taken care of, only to delay their individual path — one that would have brought them confidence and stability.

When the relationship ends, it can be devastating financially and emotionally if too much reliance was placed on the man. Granted, an older, successful man can be a wonderful provider. You just need to make sure you have your own life so his support is just an addition, and not the entire picture of your emotional and financial health.

When He’s Recently Divorced

I always caution women about dating recently divorced men. There’s far too much expectation. Someone who is recently divorced is going through a million different emotions, and if you’re not smart, you could end up caught in the spin cycle of his life. When a divorced man has children, it’s even more challenging. He has a layer of guilt, even if he did everything in his power to make the relationship work.

You never want to be the bridge to help a man get over his ex, or to be a comfort him in his time of need. It can backfire. The relationship will only be short lived, so you have to know what you’re doing.

As a Matchmaker, when I work with divorced men I always look for a neutral tone. What I mean by this, is that they are at peace with the former relationship and divorce. If there’s anger, frustration or he’s talking about her constantly, then I choose to not work with him. To be clear though, it’s not about when he was divorced. It’s more about his relationship readiness. How long he’s been “emotionally single.”

Handle With Care…

There aren’t many advantages to getting involved with someone who’s much older, recently divorced or just out of a serious relationship. If you’re a woman who isn’t looking for anything serious, then yes, it can be a fun and passionate relationship. Just don’t expect these relationship to go the distance. Take these situations for what they are and enjoy the moment.

Have you dated a man who was fresh off a marriage, older or both? Would love to hear about it! Comment below and tell us how it worked out.

Much love, as always,

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