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Her boyfriend, meanwhile, is on the downside of his working life.Until he got divorced recently and his expenses went up, he thought that at this point in his life, he would be retired from his work as a dentist. He's got three kids: one in college, one about to start college, and one who is 10 years old."Now we have choices." But these relationships aren't always portrayed in a positive light.Terms like "cougar" (slang for an older woman seeking a younger man) depict the woman as a predator, rather than an empowered, independent and loving person.A 2003 study by AARP revealed that 34 percent of all women over 40 in the survey were dating younger men, and 35 percent preferred it to dating older men. Quite frankly, his mother made it so impossible," Winter says of the six-year relationship, which inspired her book."Societal attitudes have definitely changed," says Susan Winter, 52, co-author of "Older Women, Younger Men: New Options for Love and Romance" -- and she would know. "But (that kind of discrimination) would not be allowable now." Hollywood in particular has defied the ageism stereotype, with celebrities like Madonna and Demi Moore marrying significantly younger men (a 10- and 15-year age gap, respectively, with director Guy Ritchie and actor Ashton Kutcher), and the public has come to accept it. 11, 2000 -- When Tamara Latorre met her boyfriend, she was 32 and he was 43. The 20-year age difference between them didn't trouble her. Three years later, they're happily living together on a four-acre horse farm in southeastern Massachusetts.
The "successful older man" seeking "young attractive female" is common place.Moreover, says Winter, women have experienced a significant financial and status shift over the past half-century."When women as a group are able to have their own economic and social standing and have a power base, they are now able to pick the man that they want rather than having to choose the man to support them and give them social status," Winter explains.But high-profile Hollywood couples like Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins (12 years her junior) -- who met and began dating while filming an on-screen romance in the 1988 movie "Bull Durham" -- have proven that life can indeed imitate art when it comes to matters of the heart.Theirs, however, is a real-life love story of an older woman and younger man -- something that is not so uncommon nowadays.