Ageless Womanhood and the Twenty-Something Male - Simply Woman

By on December 1, 2017

By Alison Bristow

Coming out of my marriage, I saw men in their twenties through the eyes of an aunt or older sister at best, and I assumed it was mutual.

I was informed by my then 16-year-old stepdaughter that I was going to end up an old cat lady – a comment that in retrospect I’m sure came out of a conversation she had with her father. My then-husband, who had told me not too long before, that I (a year younger than he was), was too old for him.  He had developed a habit of pointing to the wrinkle lines becoming increasingly visible between my eyebrows, even going so far as to take his thumbs and with an air of disgust trying to smooth them away. Needless to say, I was feeling anything but attractive at the time. So, the thought of anyone, much less a twenty-something man being attracted to me was not in my field of awareness.

Any attention I received from this sector of the human species, I treated in a buddy-like fashion. This went on for about eight months until one summer night I found myself willingly pinned against a tree intertwined in a Gone with the Wind style kiss with one tall, handsome twenty-something who had pulled me from the dance floor insisting that I walk with him under the stars. This was the beginning of me waking up to the reality that men in their twenties did indeed find me attractive and it was mutual.

One of the many unexpected twists and turns life had in store for me in the wake of my matrimonial martyrdom, and it didn’t come without a layer of complexity. It brought me face to face with society’s gender-biased ideas about what is age appropriate and what isn’t, and how I was or was not going to allow those ideas to govern my life. Until required by my own experience to examine these notions, I had no idea how subtly ingrained they were in my psyche.

I remember in a particularly soul-searching moment realizing that had the gender roles been reversed, the age differences would have been a non-issue.

The refreshing thing is that the men in question have all been totally at ease with the scenario. Which has made it even more clear that on one level I have been dealing with the cultural relics I unwittingly allowed to take shape in the landscape of my own mind.

And while I am mindful of who I share what with, I have incurred judgment from a few that I know of and probably a few more that I don’t know of. But that’s okay because I’ve come to embrace the awareness that I am more invested in living an authentic life than an unjudged life.

And as far as I can see anyone who chooses to live an authentic life – especially when aspects of that life go against convention – had better get cozy with criticism and censure.

As it turns out, the twenty-something male is responsible for initially restoring my faith in men and for giving me some of the best sexual experiences in my post-divorce discovery of how men and intimacy are going to fit into my new life. Surprisingly I have often found more energetic resonance with them than with men closer to my age range. They are open, eager to explore, have no interest in trying to control me, no expectations about fitting the interactions into a predesignated relationship construct, and as a bonus, I might add — their repeat button still works!

And thanks to these experiences I’m so much more aware when I notice us women limiting ourselves based on gender-biased ageism. It literally makes me cringe.

I’ve always had a naturally youthful spirit, but consciously cultivating a connection with the ageless core of myself at a time when many are running for Botox and butt lifts has given me an anchor and air of confidence that no one can ever take away. And I believe that this ageless core is the heart of every woman.

I saw it with my grandmother on her 90th birthday. My cousin and I had turned on music and were dancing around her living room when suddenly there she was, my Grandma skipping through the dining room to join us. Three songs, tons of laughter, and a few tears later, we came to a stop –  my grandmother’s eyes twinkling with delight, my cousin and I more out of breath than she was, and a moment of time etched in my soul for as much of forever as I can conceive of.

I could have never known at the time the powerfully positive blueprint this one experience would leave within me for living an ageless life.

I’m sure my Grandma didn’t know either. She was just being herself. Imagine the blueprints you can leave for future generations of women by being your ageless self!

But you don’t have to take my word for it. I recently learned that the experts who once told us we could expect to start going downhill at 40, are now saying that middle age in America should be extended to the age of 85.

So, ladies if you are under 85 and using age as an excuse for anything other than living a fabulous life, the only thing outdated is your data! Get with the new program. When the experts give us something positive to go by, we must milk it for all its worth.

Maybe dating men in their 20s isn’t how life is inviting you to explore your ageless nature. I only share this as a way to entice you to begin to look at and step outside the limits ageism, as it specifically relates to women, may be imposing on your life.

In closing, let me say that in the two years since my marriage ended, those wrinkle lines on my forehead, along with the bags under my eyes that were growing larger by the second, have smoothed out significantly all on their own with no help from my former husband’s thumbs or Dr. Beverly Hills. Nope, just good old-fashioned self-love, self-care, and the commitment to consistently living a joyful, ageless life.


AlisonB-12Alison is a teacher of well-being and authenticity, a provoker and promoter of fun and facilitator of deep relaxation and restoration. She lives in Southern California where she runs trails, dances, and finds as many opportunities as possible to connect with animals and children.

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