Actress Gabrielle Union, 44, and her husband, Chicago Bulls player Dwyane Wade, 35, are often lauded as a power couple. “Older successful men are used to being in control of a woman, and that doesn’t sit well with modern women,” says Susan Winter, co-author of the book “Older Women, Younger Men: New Options for Love and Romance.” “Younger men have grown up with working women and have worked for female bosses, so they’re more likely to treat women equally.” Some in these relationships agree.
The only problem is that a lot of younger women don’t want to seem too “forward” with older guys.
They’re probably worried all of their hot young friends are going to give them crap for liking older guys…
“[Younger men] don’t have the weight of the world [on their shoulders] yet.” But initially, Wipp held off on dating Sutherland because she was wary of the numbers on his driver’s license. I really had a mental struggle dating someone younger than me,” she says.
When they began a romantic relationship in 2006, they faced judgment from family and friends.
“Younger guys tend to be more active, have less baggage,” says Soletti, an event planner who regularly hosts dating mixers.
“You’re less likely to date a younger guy who’s been divorced, has children or has sexual performance issues.” In 2011, she met Juan Cabrera, now 34, at one of her mixers and soon fell in love. “Millennial men are career-focused and want to travel with successful women and conquer the world together,” says Soletti, who notes she’s seen an uptick in established women signing up specifically to meet younger bucks at her speed-dating events.
In April 2010, they had an intimate beachside wedding in Hawaii, and they now have a 6-year-old son, Marek.
“I love that she loves me so much, and that I mean a lot to her,” says Sutherland.
“There were a lot of the ‘boy toy’ remarks, and I will say it mostly came from men my age — there’s a threatening aspect to a woman dating a younger man,” she says.
“Everybody thought this was a little phase, that I was just having a crisis.” But friends and family came around to accepting the couple after they’d been dating for a year and it became clear that Sutherland had serious intentions.
Wipp was immediately attracted to Sutherland’s youthful energy, which was a far cry from the cynical guys closer to her age.