Age is just a number (but not when she’s over 25)

Despite eliciting raised eyebrows and sour looks, middle-aged men continue to pursue women half their age.

When the members of the Older Men Only Love Younger Women (OMOLYW) organization declare that they want to enjoy their youth, what they really mean is that they want to enjoy the youth. This group of men who don’t date women over 25 believe that the only way to stay young is to actually remain with the young. While others justify that these women are of legal age to date middle-aged men, one thing remains to be addressed: the unexplained reason why such a dynamic exists. 

What makes younger women so appealing to older men? How do they attract these young and fresh partners despite the evident generational gap? Is this a chance to relive adolescence or an attempt to escape from their midlife crisis? The LuhSallian attempts to answer these questions through an in-depth look at the OMOLYW’s members.

The youth diggers

“I don’t think people realize how much it works for both parties,” Jack Dawson, 51, the community’s founder, emphasizes. “I think it’s normal for women to love mature men—why are people questioning that?” Members of the organization have shared the same sentiments, saying that being able to date women way younger than them has helped their partners be more aware of themselves, almost as if they’re stepping stones for their own personal development. “I learned a lot from our relationship and experienced his own brand of fatherly love,” says Dawson’s former partner, Rose DeWitt Bukater (III, BS-TA), 26. “Though we broke up after I turned 25, I see that I’ve grown more mature—perhaps even more mature than he is now,” she says pensively.

Dawson’s ridiculous rule of breaking up with his girlfriends once they turn 26 has been criticized by others, but he remains adamant about it. “Twenty-five is the perfect number—not too young, not too old. Once they pass that age, I have to break up with them,” Dawson declares. 

Hollywood is the biggest public example of why this age gap in a relationship is deemed acceptable, as claimed by the OMOLYW. They argue that this practice just makes sense in a culture that idolizes the youth and scorns women for displaying signs of aging. 

To further justify their claims, the OMOLYW also argues that this pattern exists in the entertainment sector, where most female characters are consistently far younger than their male counterparts. In fact, 48-year-old Hollywood star Leonardo Dicaprio is celebrated as the very face of this movement. Thus, with Dicaprio as the organization’s poster boy, he himself argues that anything must be normal if it is depicted in a movie. “There’s a reason why I work in the film industry—I think I do a good job in internalizing my roles,” he brags.

E-motion sickness

When it comes to the justifications of these OMOLYWs’ power pursuits, there is little room for them to redeem themselves in the age of the Speak Now renaissance. Women who have fallen under the vicious games of the members of the odd bunch of men have narrated their experiences in a mass protest on the confession website, where multiple prominent names have been mentioned in instances of fetishization and grooming. Unsurprisingly, the paragon of midlife crisis-aged men who only date women until half their age at most remains at the top of the trend list— Dicaprio himself.

Various testimonies of the Titanic actor’s exes have gone viral, including that of rumored ex-girlfriend Gigi Hadid who spoke about his internalized age denial saying, “You know him as the Great Gatsby, but to me, he’ll always be the man who needs ginkgo biloba.” In the same manner, Blake Lively rose to the virtual stand and claimed, “Ironic as it is, Leo was a total Aries. He had traces of Caprio-corn but at his core, he was a [sign of the] ram.” Among the accounts of the short-lived affairs with the man of the half-century, Camila Morrone’s avowal garnered the most traction. “Looking back on the five years I was with Leonardo, I could have sworn he counted my age in dog years,” she quips.

The Leo-cession of the internet became a springboard for the anti-OMOLYW movement—encouraging other women to speak their truth. What started as an open forum to air out frustrations on predatory men in a humorous manner snowballed into a much dourer discourse. Filipina OPM artist Mananahi Mabilis (II, AB-RED) came forward and spoke on the dangers of the community. In a post titled I Should Have Known You Were Trouble, the felinology major recounts an encounter with Jan Mayor, the 45-year-old singer-songwriter who garnered backlash for drunkenly fighting with a calendar at a bar that wrote: “Jan 2023—so much older, never wiser”.

In another statement, the Hatinggabi singer talks about the short-lived romance between her and 42-year-old Filipino-American actor Jake Jillionballs, coming forth in a song entitled Pack the Patriarchy saying, “tatanda ako, pero ang iyong mga irog kaedaran ko pa rin.”

(I’ll get older, but your lovers stay my age.)

Age ain’t nothing but a number

It often boggles the mind as to why these men fantasize and prefer younger women more than ladies their age. “I like them young; they’re just better for my aesthetic,” Dawson justifies. Clearly, for these men, the generation difference does not hinder what they call ‘love’—not even a decade-wide age gap.

This attitude, however, has drawn flak and fuss from society. People have called out the general public’s disturbing tolerance for grooming and fetishizing younger partners. But the good news is that good-looking men and women seem to get free passes. Famous army private Steve Rogers recently reported being in a relationship with Ava Silva (IV, AB-WN), who is 30 years his junior, admitted not receiving much disapproval from the majority. “Maybe it’s because we actually look good together. It just makes sense,” Rogers shrugs.

In contrast, other less attractive and downright ugly couples are not safe from the attacks and criticisms. Alumnus Leonard Leakey (BS-PHY, ‘95), a former member of the OMOLYW manther community who is currently in a relationship with a woman half his age, exclaims, “It’s so unfair! People only pick on us and not the others because of how less conventional we look?” 

Because of the hate they continuously receive, the community is expected to be nearing its downfall. Thus, they’re now looking for funding from their sister organization, sadboi org Bestfriend Against Boyfriends, Yo (BABY), hoping to get support from them. Dawson reaches out, “As men, we understand each other. I believe we can establish an alliance.” As of the moment, BABY has yet to release a response to this statement. 

Nevertheless, OMOLYW is convinced its community will withstand the test of time and continue to persist amid the possibilities of collapse. Dawson says, “We’re never going to stop. We’ll give anything up just for the touch of a younger kind.” The community says they’ll continue having relationships with younger companions, and no one can stop them from doing so, living by their motto: “Age is really just a number”.