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(Megan was adamant that she never had "a daddy thing" for substantially older dudes.) "It seems something starts to happen to men who are still single as they hit 40.

What I'm talking about here is a bit more specific.

I recently interviewed 49 women, solicited via Facebook, ranging in age from 26 to 40, with a median age of 31.

Some women I interviewed in person, some over email.

All had a history of dating older guys; all were either currently dating men younger than themselves, or were keenly interested in doing so.

For most of them, this was a fairly new shift in their lives, one that had taken many by surprise.

Megan, a 35 year-old yoga instructor, wrote "You know how they always say that the good ones are taken or gay?I never believed that, until I started dating guys on the cusp of 40." She explained that she's generally dated men 3-5 years older than herself."This is so weird," my friend Nicole -– a successful 33 year-old entertainment executive — tells me."Ever since I started dating, I went for older guys, sometimes much older. It's crazy, but right now, it just makes sense." While the "cougar" (the older woman who pursues significantly younger men) is at least partly an overhyped media creation, there's some evidence that for one age group in particular, this is a real emerging trend.More than a few women in their late 20s to mid 30s who generally dated older men are now switching to going out with younger guys.While the stereotypical cougar is a woman in her 40s with a boyfriend little more than half her age, these women are still in their 30s going out with guys just a few short years younger than themselves.

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  1. (Megan was adamant that she never had "a daddy thing" for substantially older dudes.) "It seems something starts to happen to men who are still single as they hit 40.

  2. It's not that they slow down so much as they seem paralyzed by uncertainty about their lives." Many of the 20 and 30-something women I talked to noted that it was guys their own age or even younger who seemed more mature and emotionally stable.

  3. While the pool of straight, single males age 38-45 is smaller than that of dudes who are a decade younger, it isn't just scarcity that seems to be turning some women away from dating older men. My grandfather often remarked that "30 is the age when a young man stops being promising." Since American society now turns middle-class male adolescence into a quarter-century project, grandpa's axiom needs an update.

  4. And this doesn't necessarily adhere to the idea of "cheetahs" (the "younger sister" of the cougar, as helpfully invented by the ).

  5. What I'm talking about here is a bit more specific.

  6. I recently interviewed 49 women, solicited via Facebook, ranging in age from 26 to 40, with a median age of 31.

  7. Some women I interviewed in person, some over email.

  8. All had a history of dating older guys; all were either currently dating men younger than themselves, or were keenly interested in doing so.

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