Dating an older woman is quite the rage these days.As a woman over 35, I’ve never felt more desired by men in their late 20s and early 30s than I do now—moreso even than when I was that age. Pay no attention to the ol’ elbow-jabbing, wink-wink idea that cougars* are “more likely to put out and pay for everything.” Meh, that may be a reason a naïve man attempts to score with an older lady, but it’s hardly the reason a smart man enters a relationship with one.So if you’re only seeking women in the 21-29 age range, let me tell you, you’re missing out. And by that I mean: her own career, her own friends, her own apartment, her own money.

“I find it comforting to know that her life goes on when I’m not around,” he said. Plus, I’m talking about outside of the bedroom as well. etc.) But many are not.** She’s choosier, and, unlike the 26-year-olds who think they’ll drop dead if they’re not engaged by 27, married at 28, and prego before 30, she’s looking at life a little differently now.

(This is code for, “I dread clingy girls who abandon their own ships the moment we have sex, and set up camp on my shore.”) Also, the fact that an older woman has her own money means she likely worked hard to get it. You may buy into the idea that all older women are “desperate.” Granted, some are. This doesn’t mean she doesn’t want marriage/kids, because she might—but if so, she’ll be pretty clear about it up front.

Should you automatically go dutch or expect her to pay? In fact, you want to impress someone, treat a lady with some bank to a nice meal, because she appreciates exactly how much it costs. So when you take her out with your friends or coworkers, be it to a wedding or work event, you don’t have to worry she’ll perish without your constant attention. Since she’s got a little life on her (and maybe even a marriage in her past), she may not have the rigid checklist that a younger girl has.

She’s been to enough of these things on her own to manage just fine while you’re talking to someone else. Most of the single women I know over 35 just want a good man, period.

And, unlike the 23-year-old who gets tanked and throws shade at your ex, she’s got class. I once went out with a young man from Queens who only dated older women because younger ladies, he found, couldn’t do a thing without checking in with 15 of their friends.

In fact, your ex will likely friend her on FB (like my old bf’s ex-wife did). When you date a younger woman, he said, you also date all her friends, and it’s “a pain in the fucking ass.” You can’t just go out and do your own thing because she must receive approval from a larger governing body.

A slightly more mature lady has friends—but she sure as shit doesn’t need their permission to live her life.

Hard as it may be to imagine a world before Facebook, the fact is, there was one—and I, along with many of my lady cohorts, lived in it. I don’t need to be omnipresent, liking everything he says or does, and I don’t have to monitor what I say, worrying it’ll be taken a certain way.

Given that we didn’t suckle at that digital teat so early on like Millennials, we’re not going to live and die by whether we change our relationship status. Get this: I’m not even FB friends with the guy I’m currently seeing. I did get a glimpse of his page when he left it open one day, and I did take a gander at his ex, but I found it so stressful that I closed out of it immediately. If she’s gotten this far on her own, regardless of whatever relationships are behind her, she’s been through enough ups and downs to know she can handle just about anything.

And she knows she won’t fall into a million pieces if she doesn’t have a boyfriend. And whereas younger women are putting you through the paces to see if you can provide her with a life, an identity, and a future, an older woman already knows who she is and what she wants to do—she’d just love someone to share it with.

A friend of mine dated a 40-year-old woman when he was 22 and new to New York.