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the difference between ow/ym and yw/om relationships



Hello everyone!

I am posting from the other side because I am really curious about this.

How and why are yw/om relationships different from ow/ym relationships?

Any thoughts?

p.s. do we have any om/ym or yw/ow at ageless?


Hi Moon and welcome to this side of the boards.

Hmmm. Very interesting question. I've actually been involved in both, if you count my ex-husband who was 8 yrs older than me.

But, there is definitely a difference with my current relationship with a younger man. HE is different. But, what I don't know is whether he's different because he just is, or whether he's different because he's younger than the others with whom I've been involved.

I have been doing some reading on OW/YM relationships, though, and there does seem to be a pattern. Not necessarily true with every situation, but with some. The book I am currently reading "Loving a Younger Man" talks about this. Sometimes the OW tends to be very skittish about the relationship with a YM, probably mostly because of worrying about social stigma. And, the YM sometimes tends to be much more patient and reassuring with her than she is used to.

That has been my experience in my situation. Plus, my YM is much more open to talking about FEELINGS than my past lovers!! :eek:

P.S., I don't know if we have any same sex relationships on the boards.
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In my opinion, the difference the two relationships is that the YW/OM relationship is considered the norm in society versus the OW/YM relationship as still a somewhat taboo subject. This could also be correlated to the "double standard" scenario.


I think it is considered normal for the man to be older, to a point. Once you get beyond ten years difference people start looking at you funny regardless of who's older, but I'm sure people are much more vocal about it when it's an OW/YM couple.

I think that if someone is accepting of an OM/YW couple but not of an OW/YM couple they're only voicing their approval of a patriarchal system where it's perfectly fine for women to be dependent on men (which is what most people think we're all about). It also speaks volumes about society's apparent view that the value of women is dependent on age and physical appearance. And if that's the case, I don't even want their "approval." To me it shouldn't make any difference who's older and who's younger.


I think that if someone is accepting of an OM/YW couple but not of an OW/YM couple they're only voicing their approval of a patriarchal system

This is so true! I was surprised to encounter this in my sister, a philosophy/women's studies major and a self-proclaimed devote feminist. When I reminded her that none of my previous relationships made her uncomfortable despite larger agegaps with older men, she could not really respond. I reminded her that it is really hard to overcome this socialized belief that truly men were more highly valued then women.


New member
i remember a long time ago reading a post on this board and i may be mistaken but i think it was from swan, i agree with Joe that there is a double standard. the older post said that our men are from a different generation, many times raised by single moms or knew of friends with single parent homes usually ran by the mom's, although this was incredibly hard and i dont know how i did it, i believe something good came of it, our son's were not raised where wemon were secondary in a household.

i believe for all concerned a household is better run by two parents. but somewhere in our struggles as wemon i believe we got the respect from our children that carries over to the wemon of today, Adam is very much the man of our household but with this relationship it is different, he is much more comfortable and willing to understand and appreciate my perspective than the men of my past which were all older. Possibly Adam is just a good guy willing to really be there for me, but i think a little of it is his generation also.

the craziest thing is how we connect, i was so bloody uncomfortable talking about deep feelings and needs before him because the men before did not get it, with enough of his prying and keeping me up all night making me crazy until i broke down my walls i began to open up, and i look back on that now and say wow.... he cared that much and i didnt even know i was so bottled up. i have only had one younger man, but i like very much what i also see with other younger men on these boards, or maybe they are just great guys regardless of their ages.