On the surface, the older women/younger men dating phenomenon may seem irrelevant to the topic of chronic pain. While it may not have much bearing on men in pain, it certainly does have significant implications for women in pain.
For starters, women in pain may view the whole pass-a-watermelon-through-my-nostril thing (alternately known as childbirth) with less of a starry-eyed view than women who never have experienced chronic pain or other forms of chronic illness. As in, been there, done that, gonna pass, thank you very much.
In addition, those of us in pain may have little energetic marbles to spare for a brood of scrappy, energetic kids running around the house, in constant need of our attention.
With respect to these two points alone, removing ourselves from the whole dating-marriage-childbirth script puts us at odds with a society where older men generally turn to younger women for partnership – among other things, so that the women can birth the men’s children. Younger men pursuing relationships with older women, however, turn the whole I’m-marrying-an-incubator model on its head.
Then we have the fact that women in pain are often isolated from community, and that internet dating sites predominantly feature men looking for women as much as two decades younger but no more than two or three years older, if that. Where does this reality leave the 40-something chronic pain hottie chick splayed on her couch with a crate of Vicodin, looking for some love in Cyberspace?
Lastly, women in pain are, well, women. And like all of us navigating through this patriarchal world, we can use a little shake-down of the system. The revolutionary potential of older women/younger men relationships affects us too. So if I’m rattling off about this whole cougar-cub thing on my chronic pain site for the next few weeks, you’ll know why.