Why Men Start Relationships with Women Much Older Than They Are

Why Men Start Relationships with Women Much Older Than They Are
13 min read

Today couples where the woman is significantly older than the man is not uncommon. Nevertheless, in terms of psychology, this is a curious phenomenon - psychologist Sergius Gardner will talk about it.

Let me say right away: the purpose of this piece is not to diagnose people who are in such relationships, but, on the contrary, to understand them. After all, when it comes to feelings, none of us is safe from anything.

The popular psychologist Holly Smith on https://cheatingbuster.com/ has this aphorism about the three "V's" that make no difference in a relationship - weight, age and appearance. I think what he means is that these three "B's" matter more to our rational part, which is thinking about status, what people will think, practicality, and possible benefits to ourselves. But when it comes to emotion and grief, rationality is powerless.

Psychology helps to revive feelings and learn to express them and live them. After all, with the help of feelings, a person can create a life for himself, which in addition to duty has such components as joy, interest, and pleasure, as well as the right to choose for himself what will make him happy.

The right to live according to one's feelings is a relatively recent achievement of society. A generation ago, divorce was considered something to be ashamed of. To stick out and show initiative was punished. Homosexuality was treated with electroconvulsive therapy. Women without children were ostracized. Marriage to a person of another race, culture, or religion raised eyebrows.

But it's not the biological age difference that's important for a partnership, it's the difference in who is stronger and more mature psychologically. strength in this context means independence in decision-making and the ability to satisfy one's needs, relying on oneself, that is "to stand on one's own feet. To have his own place to live, his own income, his own interests, opinions and hobbies, his own friends. To be able to cope with the difficulties and problems of life on our own, and for the rest - to turn to the right person at the right moment and know what to interest and thank them with.

So why do men sometimes get into relationships with women stronger than they are, and women, respectively, with men weaker than they are?

In relationships, the relationship between the psychological characteristics of the partner and the parental figure of the father (for a girl)/mother (for a man) has long been established. These characteristics are not obvious, but the principle works like this: the partner recreates in the relationship the kind of psychological atmosphere one felt as a child in one's parental environment. That is if a man grew up in a family where his mother made him often feel guilty, then unconsciously he will find himself a wife, who may look completely different and also be completely different in character, but here the feeling of guilt in the relationship with her will be present in the same volume, as in his childhood.

When a man ends up in a relationship with an older woman, she usually takes care of him to some extent and protects him from the vicissitudes of life and the difficulties of survival in society. It makes sense: after all, with age people are realized in a profession, get material stability, demand, success. And usually the one who is older has more of these, and with this reserve comes the opportunity to care not only about himself but also about someone else, for whom there are feelings and for whom you have a soul.

In psychology, the stronger, more patronizing woman is a manifestation of the maternal figure because the child receives care from the mother unilaterally and gratuitously. At the same time, the law of psychological development is as follows: until the boy receives from his mother the things necessary for growth and strengthening of his psyche, this hunger and emptiness will remain in him.

The needs of the boy on his way to becoming a man are admiration, support, faith in his abilities, praise for his initiative. If these aspects remain deficient, it is difficult for a boy to learn how to compete, manage himself, and achieve his goals.

After becoming an adult, the man continues to seek. When a woman comes into his field of vision, similar to the one who is able to give him what he is looking for, his subconscious hunger draws him to her. Metaphorically, he finds a "better" mother, warmer and more supportive, and gets from her what he did not get from his real mother. It's different for everyone: maybe it's affection, maybe it's admiration, maybe it's acceptance and support in a situation of doubt or defeat.

Maybe just good food, peace, and freedom to be herself. Maybe attention to her stories, exploits, and interests. Maybe permission to do what she enjoys and faith in her abilities. And the man feels good in it, he is happy and feels fulfilled and harmonious. "I'm having so much fun here!" - thinks such a man, looking at his beloved with adoration.

What does a woman get in this case?

Eyes that look at her with adoration. "It's love," she thinks, "what else could it be?" If the man is younger, it is flattering to her feminine self-esteem, which begins to fall as she ages.

This relationship extends the golden time of her attractiveness and seductiveness. She also realizes her need to care, to be needed, important, irreplaceable, capable of giving, influencing and making someone happy.

The disadvantage is that in such couples there is often a problem with showing gratitude, because the man in this relationship unconsciously maintains the position of a child who instinctively takes the love and care of his mother, without thinking about gratitude in return.

The child knows that the mother is not going anywhere, unlike the adult, who must understand that the other adult has the freedom to choose and help because he chose to do so. And since the relationship is formally of the husband-wife type, the rationality of a woman expecting gratitude conflicts with the unconsciousness of a man who does not mean gratitude.

What keeps women in this conflict? The psychological mechanism of projection. The woman cares for the man, but what she really needs is attention and care for herself. That success in a profession or business comes at the expense of ignoring their own needs-rest, health care, self-expression, enjoyment.

Many people from childhood are not taught to satisfy their own needs and put the happiness and comfort of people close to them above their own. The habit of paying attention and spending her energy outwardly rather than inwardly leads to a situation where energy is spent but needs remain unmet.

Unconsciously a woman wants to do something for the object of her care, dreaming that she will get the same in return, only it never happens. The challenge is to learn to identify one's own needs, to realize one's right to have them met. This requires learning to assert them, to ask for what is needed, and to take responsibility for one's own needs. When that happens, the painful need for validation from the other person goes away.

But still, the main thing that keeps a woman close to a partner who is weaker than she is is safety. In addition to adoration, the woman gets an opportunity to realize her importance and patronage, and for this she needs someone who agrees to be led.

As a rule, this type of woman has difficulty in relationships with men who are stronger than her or equal in status. Why? Because he who is stronger needs a completely different attitude, not from the top down, but from the bottom up. It is a threat to the ego. Who wants to be a navigator if you've already got a pilot's license?? Even if they are equal, two lions do not get along in the same cage, and family life, which is a constant competition for the realization of their desires, principles and tastes, is unbearable for anyone.

Besides her ego, there is another part of the strong woman, which she carefully protects. Those who are comfortable with the weak usually grew up with abusive and tyrannical fathers from whom they suffered abuse and fear.

And to trust, and to open up to a strong man for her means to "expose" herself to bad treatment again, because she doesn't know any other. Looking at her father, the girl adopts the qualities that she sees as ensuring his success: performance, activity, determination.

As for the idea that a woman's strength in her weakness - there is a trauma. A weak woman is a whipping girl, a wimp, and the little inner girl is now well protected from traumatizing strong men. To escape from them unconsciously puts on different excuses - all some unreliable, unreliable, all married, no normal men, I can not meet such a man that I like, and so on.

What to expect from a union where the woman is stronger?

Even with all of these fears, a woman's need for a strong shoulder and a stone wall does not disappear, and a woman often yearns for a display of strength from her partner. No matter how strong the tenderness and affection, it's hard to respect someone who's weaker than you. This dissatisfaction can take the form of complaints, conflicts, offences. While it is not uncommon for women to tire of this situation and find themselves willing to face loneliness and the unknown (especially if there are no children together), for many, the prospect of facing fear is less appealing than what is.

For the man, however, this situation is quite profitable, because, unlike the woman, he gains from her what he did not have enough at that time, and little by little he strengthens.

Basically, this situation is more favorable than the one when a man can't get away from his biological mother and begins a complicated relationship with a young and weak partner (remember "Easy Bird"). But if he grows up, at some point he matures a natural need to separate and become independent. And here the problems may begin. First of all, in his sex life, because there is a taboo in his psyche about sex with his mother. A mistress may appear.

If there is a breakup, it is usually accompanied by a very strong sense of guilt on the part of the man, because although unconsciously he took like a child, the rational part of him realizes that the other person really put a lot into him. And yet this separation may well be the start to a responsible adulthood for him.

I will not be overly dramatic, many couples find a certain balance for themselves, in which the relationship can be long-lasting. This is possible if there is no overreaching on any counts: the woman is not overwhelmed by overprotection, and the man has quite enough of the level of self-sufficiency and fulfillment he has to feel good about himself.

Such a situation is much better for a man than a protracted life with an authoritarian mother who criticizes, advises, tells him what to do, reproaches, disappoints him - and yet cares, cares, cares and solves all his problems in all areas.

In such a situation, a man directs his attention either to computer games or gambling, or gets disappointed in life and goes into alcohol and other types of degradation. So if a man has managed to avoid the path on which "laid down their heads a lot of good fellows," then do not underestimate him.

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Sergius Gardner 0
'If your partner is bored, they will seek excitement and fun. They will be looking for something new and different. They will be looking for a new experience.'...
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