In China, are younger men a perfect match or offensive?
Aclose female friend who used to complain about men a lot has recently been sporting a happy face at our gatherings. She told us that she was dating a man much younger than her and that she loves him.
“My boyfriend makes me feel energetic. He accepts ambitious career women like me, and we may get engaged soon,” she said.
My friend’s relationship reflects the trend of older women entering into relationships with younger men.
According to the National Statistical Office of Korea, the years between 2005 and 2017 saw a growing number of Korean women opting to marry men younger than them. It also found that the women were mostly aged between 35 and 45 years old. The trend appears to have achieved normalization in South Korea, Japan and even China in the past few years.
Official analysis suggests that women’s entrepreneurial spirit leads to the phenomenon. Career women tend to demand gender equality, have better education, economic and mental independence, as well as a lower desire to marry and have kids. They are also less resistant to divorce.
From the female perspective, having a younger boyfriend or husband has tons of advantages. They tend to be more considerate and less controlling, which makes them more ideal for independent careerminded women.
“Older, successful men are used to being in control of a woman, and that doesn’t sit well with modern women,” my friend explained.
Meanwhile, from the men’s point of view, cougars or women who date younger men are more mature, intellectual, and economically and emotionally independent. Dating them can be relaxing and more fulfilling because of more meaningful conversations. Plus, having an experienced career woman as a mate allows for confidential career advice that may not be possible from peers.
In Japan, a TV series titled Last Cinderella portrays the life of a 39-year-old woman who experiences tremendous pressure from work and life and falls in love with a man in his 20s. In China, the TV shows May-December Love and My Dear Boy (from Taiwan) depict older, more mature women who have a higher social status and act like moms toward their younger boyfriends who are vulnerable and need attention and care. However, this is not the reality. Nowadays, men who date older women are no longer the fresh off the boat college student, or the unemployed naïve novices one sees on TV shows that originated a decade ago. Today’s “younger brothers” are much more real and less dramatic. They are ordinary people living an ordinary life. They are not “drama kings” who are picked up outside by the heroine. They neither work for the heroine as a subordinate nor get acquainted with her after a one-night stand. Though the setting and plot are less dramatic, the story is still quite touching. The feeling one has for his or her lover intensifies during dinners and drinks. They love each other like any other couple because love is beyond the boundaries of age and social tradition.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Global Times.