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Frustrated African woman in kitchen with boyfriend

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If you think a younger boyfriend or husband will keep you youthful, we’ve got news for you: he might just put you in an early grave. Research has found that having a male partner who is between seven to nine years younger increases a woman’s mortality rate by 20 percent. There are many theories surrounding why this is, but some experts believe it’s because having a younger husband brings on extra stress for women. The same study found that when a man is older than his spouse, his mortality rate decreases. Another study found that men with younger wives report higher rates of marital satisfaction than those with wives who are older. None of it is fair, but you won’t add years onto your life by debating the injustice of it all. If you have a younger boyfriend, you may or may not be able to handle the stress as it is.

While the experts struggle to pin down exact reasons women with younger partners experience lower rates of satisfaction and higher rates of mortality, we can certainly deduce some ideas just based on what we see in society. Here are problems that can come up in the long run when dating a younger man.

Having a toddler in your 50s

As a woman, you have some great reproductive options today that don’t force you into old-school timelines. You can freeze your eggs and have your children after you feel more financially secure, after you’ve met some career milestones, and perhaps after you’ve had some personal experiences you’ve been dreaming about. You can do things on your timeline. However, whether or not you want to do things that way is a different story. Having a 38-year-old boyfriend when you’re 48, who is pushing you to unfreeze those eggs to put them to use and make a family, could leave you a 50-year-old mom chasing around toddlers, which could be exhausting.

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