Now from the land of Mozart and the sachertorte comes new wisdom that might stand the laws of attraction on their head. Men like younger women and women older men simply because it maximises one’s ability to have children. Not the most romantic thought, but then Austrian researchers say they have the statistical analysis to prove this. Now, this is not exactly new to many of us. In India, marriages are traditionally between younger women and older men.
But let’s not kid ourselves that such liaisons today are because of, well, kids. The quest for an older man is driven by security and, in all probability, a nifty bank balance. Please don’t tell us that all those lovelies who ‘fell’ for Donald Trump, he of the bizarre hair, or Hugh Hefner, did so in the hope of a multitude of progeny. No siree, the shekels in the bank came in quite handy. Stars like Michael Douglas and Harrison Ford sporting partners decades younger is certainly not driven by hopes of keeping the family name alive but because a young wife is a wonderful accessory to shore up your reputation as a man about town.
Now it is all very well to say that the older the fiddle the better the tune, but let’s face it, there aren’t too many takers around when the superstructure is sagging and bright lights become a scary prospect. Of course, nothing that a quick visit to the neighbourhood surgeon cannot fix but still it helps to be on the right side of 25 if you are looking to get on the gravy train. For men, it is an ego thing. For the seriously successful and rich, the more greenbacks in the bank, the quicker the old model is back in the parking lot and the new one in the garage. Men constantly need validation of their virility and this is not very likely if the little old lady is busy knitting bootees for the grandchildren. All this is very cynical and takes away from emotions like true love. But it works out just dandy for both sides.
Now, of course, things are often in reversal mode. So you get younger men who are quite happy to flaunt their much older women. Demi Moore, Joan Collins and Madonna will testify to that though it does help that they are rich, famous and sexy to boot. A bit of all this also has to do with the myth that women age faster than men. So the idea is that at some point of time, the much younger woman will look the same age as her older husband. Or not, in the world of botox and collagen. Of course, we started off with that Austrian study. The difference between partners of optimal ages and that of the same age is 2.2 and 2.1 respectively. Not exactly a scorching statistic there. So study or no study, it does look like old habits dye hard. So for the moment, whether you are a man or woman, you’ll have to play it by year. And year’s to that.