Older Women ROCK!


By Madeline Iva

Jimmy Fallon just had a baby girl! Well–his wife just had a baby girl.  And…thanks to the magic of People magazine, I found out that Jimmy’s wife is actually older than Jimmy F himself.

Nancy Juvonen is 46 to Jimmy’s 38.  I defy you to look at this picture and not say “awwwww they’re cute together.” But what makes me love Jimmy Fallon exponentially more than I used to kinda enjoy him is that she’s obviously not the Hollywood hottie most of us expect out of a ‘civilian’ wife.

What I love even MORE than the fact that she’s not just another liposuctioned, lip-injected, former-would-be-model wife (yes, I’m looking at you Adam Levine)…

AND that she’s older than he is….

…is that when you see them together, its obvious that she makes him laugh.

It warms my heart people!

She makes him laugh--how sexy is that?
She makes him laugh–how sexy is that?

What do I mean by civilian? Here’s what I mean–Matt Damon lately said in an interview that he was so thankful he married ‘a civilian’ instead of another celebrity.  The difference? Apparently, you can still lead a semi-normal life if your other half isn’t a fame seeking whore like yourself. For instance, Matt Damon can walk his kids to school while his good buddy Ben Affleck who married Jennifer Garner can’t. Apparently celebrities dating/married to/etc. other celebrities get an exponential amount of attention from the press. (Wow. That kind of power production makes me take a whole new look at a lot of these celeb hook-ups.)

Meanwhile, Nancy J. is actually a part of the Hollywood industry. She’s Drew Barrymore’s producing partner in their production company.  If you think back, you’ll remember that in the blink of an eye between Jimmy Fallon leaving Saturday Night Live and becoming a talk show host, he was the lead in a Drew Barrymore film called FEVER PITCH where he played an overly-devoted Red Sox fan to Drew Barrymore’s aspiring single thirtysomething exec.

It’s not a bad romantic comedy, actually. Jimmy is perfectly delectable in the role–but perhaps the movie didn’t do that well because it explores a little too well the disappointing reality of how boy-men can fixate on their hobbies/obsessions–completely ignoring the moments where they need to step up to the expectations of being in a solid relationship.

Not enough escapism, perhaps, for the romantic comedy crowd….?

Warning: severe reality check in this rom com
Warning: severe reality check in this rom com

I really don’t care for the term ‘cougar’ but we gotta celebrate the fact that in the goddess-like attempt to have it all, women–some women–can find a supportive man to be at their side while they are phenomenally successful.   And often, that someone supportive turns out to be younger.  Why not, right? It’s been my experience that younger guys who like older women like powerful women.

OR they just like strong sexy comfortable women and think age isn’t that big a deal.  Because let’s face it — it’s a weird flippity-floppy game that happens when a woman crosses the line of 40.

On one hand, as a friend of mine who’s a former model knows–American society shrieks out all these messages that women over 40 are somehow repellant as sexual creatures.  You’re no longer sexy.  You’re no longer considered attractive to men, who are going to look at younger women beside you, behind you, etc. You’re a drab soccer mom, a bat-crazy single, or a power-hungry bitch.

My ex-model friend really knows how to use her looks and charm to win a lot of prizes in life–I stand back in awe at her powers that she’s been honing for years because they’ve actually taken her pretty far when she works that magic mojo.  But her anxiety about getting ready to go out is increasing every day as she faces the mirror to get ready.  Yet to me she still looks as good if not better than when she was thirty–mostly because she’s happier now then she was then.

Sam Taylor-Wood and Aaron Johnson making it work, despite 22 yr age dif.
Sam Taylor-Wood and Aaron Johnson seem to be making it work, despite the 22 yr age dif.

Which is the other side of the flippety-flop.  I was at a birthday party where all these women were saying “Forty is so good–but fifty is even better.” Their unanimous cry had to do with how all the angst in their lives was over.  You know yourself when you’re older.  You know things about life and how to move through it with a modicum of grace.  You are more comfortable with yourself as a sexual being, and as a competent woman.  And this is what perhaps turns on the younger guys–you feel and relish your powerful bad-ass self. You know how to enjoy life so much more than you did in the insecurity-ridden twenties.

I’ve seen two sides of the younger-guy older woman thing.  I was having lunch with two guys who were around 25 as they were discussing their time in NYC, marked primarily by women at least ten years older.  The upshot: “They were kinda intimidating,” one confessed.  “Yeah,” the other one agreed.  I felt the same way dating older men when I was 19.  So there.

Madonna & Guy...not so much.
Madonna & Guy…not so much.

Meanwhile, I’ve also seen grad students drooling over their professor’s wife from afar.  “I met her and my first thought was, ‘do you like younger men’?” one student confessed.  Of course, he was in his thirties by then.

Is that the important dividing line an older woman should be aware of? In dating a younger man is she actually dating a man? Or is he still a bit of a boy?

The women running around dating the boys seem a little neurotic and sad to me.  The women getting into long term stable relationships seem happier — but what am I saying? That’s probably the way it is with everyone–maybe age has nothing to do with it at all?

It probably doesn’t. However, I offer a stern warning to the women out there who are still stuck in an unhappy mindset.  Just what made young women so miserable in their 20’s? Well, somewhere around middle school they start learning that you’re only as worthy as your hotness level to guys.  Once that kind of aculturation sets in, bye-bye contentment.  Rejecting that belief is where most women begin to be happy.  Don’t let the messages our culture puts out into the ionosphere suck you back into that fool’s game. (Again.)

You know better than that now…and if for some reason you still want to assure yourself you’ve got it going on just remember that if anything you now know how to put out your own kind of wattage much more successfully than you did before. If you’ve really got it going on, you even know how to make guys worry that they aren’t hot enough for you.


Ultimately, I think age doesn’t matter in a relationship once you’re both over thirty.  I’ll even reserve judgement for that mature person in his/her late twenties dating someone much older.

As for everyone else–hey, I know, love is blind.  As Woody Allen said that “the heart wants what the heart wants.”

I’ll just clap my hands over my eyes and wish you all the best of luck. 🙂

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  • Post authorcmkempe

    Oh, Woody Allen, ewww! Your daughter, even if adopted, is not alright. Ugh. But as someone who’s usually been the older woman, I say go for it. Men tend to get more conservative as they get older. Who needs a stick in the mud?

    Reply to cmkempe
  • Post authorellaquinnauthor

    I have younger guys hit on me quite a bit, but I’ve been happily married to my younger guy for 30 years. Tweeted.

    Reply to ellaquinnauthor
  • Post authorElizabeth Shore

    I agree on the “couger” thing. Don’t know how that term started but it’s not my fave. However, the whole older woman/younger man thing is interesting indeed. Why don’t we see more of it in romances? Seems like there are stories aplenty to be written, especially when I do see the 40s and 50s crowd of women seeming to feel more comfortable with aging. Great post, Madeline!

    Reply to Elizabeth Shore
    • Post authormadelineiva

      Yeah—I don’t even try to keep track of what’s going on. I used to get the eye from seriously older guys, and then that went away, and lately it’s come back. (Shrug.)

      Reply to madelineiva
  • Post authorelfahearn

    My ex-step son used to bring his high school friends over to hang out. One of them absolutely feasted his eyes on me, making all kinds of high school moves to let me know he was interested. It cracked me up and made me feel pretty at the same time. Always nice to know ya still got it…

    Reply to elfahearn
    • Post authormadelineiva

      Was your ex-step son named Stacey? As in “Stacey’s mom has got it goin’ on?” ;>

      Reply to madelineiva

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