Attracted to Older Women

Q: I find myself attracted to mostly married women who are much older than me. I have dated women as old as 58, and I am currently involved with a 48-year-old married woman. I have tried dating closer to my own age group but haven't felt the same passion as I do when I'm with women 20 or 30 years older. Is there something wrong with me or are there others who feel the same way? -- James, 26

Dr. Susan: I don't believe there are hard-and-fast age rules when it comes to good relationships. That is, it's sometimes possible for a person to be with someone much older or much younger, and still have a workable relationship. The way you describe your love life bothers me though. Why would you only feel passion for women easily old enough to be your mother, especially married women? Perhaps you can only get excited by the idea of doing something society frowns upon. Older women and much younger men do get together more often these days than in generations past, but the relationships aren't typically about commitment, even when both parties are single. Consider what your goals are for relationships. Do you think you'll eventually want an equal partner, one who can share your journey through life, someone who understands you and whom you understand as well? You're likely to be in a very different life space than a woman that much older. Even if you're not seeking commitment and don't plan to for a few years yet, it's a bad (unethical, dangerous) habit to hang out with married women. Try to get to know women who are more available, perhaps those who are only a few years older than you. And you might discuss your mother issues with a counselor, since you don't sound totally sure of what you're doing.

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