“Daddies”, “cougars” and why the big age gap is such a taboo

When Leonardo DiCaprio turns 70, his girlfriend at the time will probably be no more than 25.

The actor’s preferred type of women, already called “Club 25”, caught the eye a few years ago, but after his recent breakup with his last girlfriend – Camila Morone, 2 months after she turned 25, it is relevant again.

Leo, now 47, is not known to have ever dated a woman over that age, the only one older than him being Naomi Campbell, but she was also 24 when they dated.

DiCaprio’s model is so obvious that tabloids around the world began to look for specialized explanations from psychologists, past traumas and subconscious motives in the actor. But there is a significant age difference in many couples, including celebrities, stars and even politicians, and in times when political correctness is a must, the many years between partners are still considered a social taboo.

George Clooney claims that he did not expect Amal to be interested in him because she is 17 years younger. The difference between Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher was 15 years – although this marriage did not end well at all, and that of Emmanuel and Bridget Macron – 24 years.

Moreover, the average age difference between partners has decreased over the centuries, and today a large “gap” is far more unacceptable than it was 100 years ago, for example.

Photo: Getty Images

Studies in the US indicate that nowadays the average age difference in heterosexual couples is about 3 years, with the men being the older partners. In Western countries, an average of 8 percent of couples are more than 10 years apart, according to data cited by the BBC.

What makes people choose much older (or younger) partners, do such relationships have a future, and why do we accept them as something almost forbidden and out of the norm?

The simplest answer is reproduction, the drive for which is embedded in the genes of every living organism. Couples who are close in age – in their young years – are much more likely to produce offspring than if the age difference is large.

Fertility in both sexes begins to gradually decline after the age of 35, which also explains why people are generally predisposed to like partners of the same age or younger.

Then there is the concern for the generation – if you have a child at 70 years old, the probability of waiting for him to fully mature and be ready to fend for himself is far less than if he was born when you were 25 or 30 years old.

Other interesting data cited by Psychology Today indicate that the likelihood of a newborn surviving is highest with parents of similar age, with the male being slightly older and regardless of how old the mother is. In relationships where the women are significantly older than their partners, the baby’s health is considered less optimal, even compared to women of the same age but with partners their own age.

There are also studies that show that a couple without a big age gap is more likely to have a more stable and long-lasting relationship.

This is because people of the same age go through similar stages of development at the same time, both personally and professionally, and are more likely to share common interests typical of their generation.

“In the first 10 years of marriage, people claim that they feel better in their relationship when their partner is younger. However, over time, the satisfaction of couples of different ages declines more than those of the same age,” he explains to BBC Grace Lordan, Lecturer in Behavioral Sciences at the London School of Economics. Also, over time, the likelihood of divorce among those of the same age decreases, compared to couples with a large gap.


Photo: iStock

A serious obstacle to long-distance relationships is also public opinion, which still accepts that the older is using the younger. They have also given birth to urban folklore and specific terms such as “daddy”, “user”, “gold digger”, “cougar” and “toyboy”.

It is difficult to say which relationships are more difficult to accept – those of older women with much younger men or those of older men with very young women. In both cases, it is believed that there is a moment of use, but in general, the couples of a young woman and an old man collect the most negative comments, because it is believed that the girls are sold to get a certain material comfort.

The second, while simplistic in explanation, is by no means unusual or even bad. It is the subject of the so-called evolutionary psychology and often determines relationships, even without drastic differences over several decades.

According to evolutionary psychology, our brains have evolved adaptive strategies for optimal reproduction and survival. Therefore, women subconsciously look for successful men, with social status and resources – money nowadays, which would support survival and raising a child. And these are usually older men.

Men, on the other hand, prefer younger women because youth is associated with better fertility.

This also explains why men tend to be slightly older than women in most relationships; why even as adults, many men prefer young women, and why girls respond.

This was a far more prominent and widely accepted trend just 100 years ago. In 1900, the average age difference between spouses was double the current 2-3 years, and to a greater extent this was true for middle and upper class men, for whom it was common to marry much younger wives.

The reason is logical – a 40- or 50-year-old man could hardly have children from a woman of the same age, and in a patriarchal society it is much easier to find a 20-year-old woman. However, in the XIX and even at the beginning of In the 20th century, most women did not work and their main priority was to marry someone who was financially stable.

1. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Sam Taylor-Johnson (age difference: 23 years) There's nothing unusual about the Taylor-Johnson family history in Hollywood, except for their age difference. They meet on the set. At that time, actor Aaron Johnson (b. 1990) was only 18 years old, and director Sam Taylor-Wood (b. 1967) was already 42. That same year they announced their engagement, and three years later - late they exchange one each

It is the acquisition of more rights by women and their access to jobs and, accordingly, economic independence that begins to close the “hole” in age.

However, what accounts for the reverse age difference, which has no evolutionary explanation – young men looking for older women?

Surveys show that with older women, men feel more confident and prefer a more mature, secure and confident partner, with more experience and stable emotions, whose main focus is not to start a family.

However, not everyone can endure the process of turning a girl into a woman. Even Leo Di Carpio.

The article is in bulgaria

Tags: Daddies cougars big age gap taboo

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