Ask Laura! Is being a cougar good for her health?

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(This Q & A with Life Fit Expert, Laura Lewis was originally written and posted on AOL’s  Thatsfit.com.)

Dear Laura,

I have been single for about five years. I am 43 and a single Mom. I recently started dating a”young man” who is 31. I usually date guys that are the same age or older than I am so you can imagine how shocked I was when I realized he was serious!

I am curious what your thoughts are on older women dating younger men. We have so much fun! We laugh together, have a great passion for each other, and he seems to admire me and my ambitions. I have never felt so good. Yet, there is an underlying feeling that I am doing something “wrong”, but my skin, my energy level, my moods, my stress level have all improved dramatically. I can’t help but think this must be good for my health!

Thoughts?

S.K., Atlanta, GA

Dear S.K.,

Times are “a changin” my dear. And thank goodness they are when it comes to the world of dating! Did you know, according to this article, that almost 1/3 of all women between the ages of forty and sixty-nine are dating younger men?

Women are finding that going against the “traditional” relationship of days gone by can really make a big difference in their lives. Are they doing it in order to have a soul mate for the rest of their life? Not necessarily! Kathryn Elliott, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette says many become… ” victims of inner – critic constrictedness ” .Women get caught up with the “shoulds” in life instead of letting go. Instead of living your “dating” life with hard and fast rules and you are still not happy, Elliott says to choose a person who has the same “voltage type”. As long as you are in sync in a variety of ways, dating someone significantly younger than you, can actually be a lot of fun.
There is no doubt in my mind if you meet the “right “younger guy with the same “voltage” type that you can have a highly rewarding relationship on many levels. Men in their late 20′s and early 30′s often find it refreshing that older women have less drama in their lives as compared to those who are younger. Older women really “know” themselves and are self-assured, which can be very sexy to younger men.

How does dating younger men make you healthier? Check out the following list!

1. Dating younger men can boost a women’s self confidence. Not that it cannot be boosted other ways but come on…if a young, virile, handsome guy asks you out on a date and he is at least ten years younger than you are, it’s a highly effective confidence booster! If your mood is boosted, cortisol is reduced, resulting in a less stressed body! Low stress means, in most cases, a longer and healthier life.

2. Younger men tend to be more accepting of older women who are independent and powerful. Acceptance is powerful! It is not uncommon for women to claim that men their age or older are looking for more “traditional” more domestic partners. These men may not be as accepting of a woman who is following a career dream, a passion, who are more independent…. and younger men? Not so true! Many say it’s a “turn on”!

3. The Fun Factor. In most instances ask any woman who is dating a younger man and with a gleam in her eye the word “fun” just rolls right off of her tongue. For many this novel relationship is an opportunity to laugh more, explore situations and places that perhaps they have always wanted to check out. And to be happier! Laughter is fantastic medicine. Researchers have known for years that having fun and laughing is good for you, since Norman Cousin’s first brought much attention to the fact that laughter will boost immunity. New research indicates that anticipating laughing, such as how you might feel before you see your younger “fun” guy, can boost beta endorphins in the brain (feel good hormones) AND decrease stress hormones. Just anticipating the laughter was effective!

4. Sex. Many believe men hit their sexual peak around age eighteen. And women hit theirs, or at least BEGIN theirs at age 35. If you are feeling healthier, more passionate and more alive while in this relationship with your younger man there is a biological reason! His testosterone is higher than in someone who may be over forty-five, which may dampen the passion just a smidge and your hormones are “raging” in a very good way. Younger man, older woman…hmmmm, Sounds like the makings of some great “fireworks” if I say so myself!

Okay, you asked for my thoughts on how dating a younger man might make you healthier and granted my list above is focused upon some very targeted yet relevant information. Dating younger men is not for everyone. Plus, MOST relationships involving a younger man, older woman are not very likely to last for years and years. There is something to be said about having a wonderful, connected, loving and long lasting relationship with your soul mate. Yet, you only live once! And if you are single now, not looking to have another “permanent” relationship then dating younger men is probably a very good thing….for your health (wink!) of course! ;-)

Healthfully Yours,

Laura Lewis, Life Fit Expert

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