Mind the age gap

Twice their age and far less attractive, older men like Ronnie Woods, John Cleese and Salman Rushdie continue to attract gorgeous young girlfriends. Wanobe’s reporter Sara O’Meara talked to author Judy Astley and others about the appeal of older men and why these relationships are usually doomed.

For many folks, relationships between older men and young woman seem crazy and unnatural. I mean why would a 19-year-old Russian waitress choose to date a man like 61-year-old Ronnie Wood?

But Ronnie’s nnot the only older man to bag a younger woman. At 61, Salman Rushdie’s latest squeeze is 27, John Cleese recently began dating an American woman aged 34, and 32-year-old DJ Mark Ronson is reportedly planning to marry 19-year-old model Daisy Lowe.

Some beleive that the age gap relationship is a trade off. The younger lady is looking for someone to make her feel safe and the older man is looking for someone who doesn’t answer back and is a trophy.

Christine Northam, a counsellor for relationship service Relate, told our reporter that couples with a large age difference need to work harder than most. She says that a large age gap can create a minefield of potential problems.

“Practically and emotionally you’re always going to be at different stages of development in terms of your career, your social life and starting a family. Success would entirely depend on exploring these possible areas of conflict and facing them head on.”

However, fiction writer Judy Astley who explores the age gap idea in her new romantic novel, Other People’s Husbands., believes ‘a relationship with a big gap can have an added spark.’

“I know a couple, she’s in her 50s and he’s over 80. He’s kept her fairly balanced, and she’s kept him young. He still can dive in to the sea off a high rock.”

Now that is what I call cool and living life out loud regardless of age. Check out the full article under the Family category in our News, tips and reviews section. I think in my next blog I’ll look at older women with younger men.

Have fun, rock on, friends!

Determined to stay young…

Living life out loud for a great many mature people is all about doing their very best to stay ‘forever young’.

Eating healthy, staying fit are all the rage among folks approaching retirement, as is use of cosmetic surgery, botox and medical hair transplants for men and women alike.

For many of us born between 1946 and 1964 (so-called Baby Boomers), we expect scientific advancements and genetic research to help us out and maybe enable a great life past 100. We aren’t afraid to find a pill cure for every health and fitness issue that challenges our mobility and ability to live life to the fullest, from Viagra to vitamin pills.

Regular exercise apparently is highly valuable. Research by the University of Florida showed that a well-designed program combining aerobic, strength, balance and flexibility exercises could make a difference in maintaining mobility functions.

The study’s findings revealed a common concern. When asked what they were most afraid of, most of the respondents didn’t put cancer or other age-related diseases on their list – top was loss of independence.

Now, if all I have to do to stay out of the nursing home is to stay as fit as possible by walking, running, swimming, then I am totally hooked!

So here’s a business idea for all you fit folks over 40 looking for something new to do. Why not start offering fitness or wellness programs targeted at older adults? Today’s population of older adults is so large, I am sure anyone serving the health and well-being needs of the older adult will do extremely well.

So on with the trainers and out on that track, boys and girls. Shake that lethargy off and get with the action…

Rock on, Wanobians. Live long, live well, play a lot.


Are you ready to age?

If you are anything like me, you’d probably answer no the question above.

But are you aware that in fewer than ten years, all the baby boomers will be aged between 51 to 70 years.

And according to a report by management consultancy McKinsey, boomers will account for something like 40 percent of spending in the US by 2015 with roughly similar figures for the UK and Europe.

Those kind of figures tend to impress marketing folks, but according to a new McKinsey survey many aging people ‘face the prospect of shattered expectations’ despite the economic power of their cohort.

According to the survey, a generation that lived through unprecedented prosperity is going to have to learn how to cope with significant financial, physical and social challenges whatever their high hopes for ‘golden years’.

I personally am a very positive person, probably as a result of spending hours trying to master hula hoops in the 1950s. Yet even I felt initially despondent reading the revelations McKinsey’s research portrayed.

It seems that 60 percent of boomers won’t be able to maintain a lifestyle close to their current one without continuing to work, while a similar number already suffer from chronic health problems. More than 46 percent told researchers they feared ending up alone, and 43 percent are frustrated that they aren’t leading the lives they expected to.

Luckily for my own sense of wellbeing, the McKinsey research (bringing together economic forecasting, demographic modelling and market research) did manage to find grounds for optimism. As a generation that has rewritten the rules at every stage of our lives, we apparently feel resourceful and willing to change. Around 80 percent of those surveyed said they believe they can ‘survive anything that life throws at them’.

I’d love to hear what you feel about the ‘aging’ laying ahead, please leave your comments below.

Live long, live well, laugh a lot.

What makes us powerful?


 Wealth? Health? Intelligence? Planning for a retirement in the sun or avoiding a potentially disastrous retirement spent in penury? I don’t know about you, but I feel confused about all the contradictory messages being winged my way from government or marketers.


I belong to the Baby Boomer generation, born in 1947 (there, now you know how old I am). I hear some people say what a lucky chappy I am. I’m richer, healthier and wiser than any preceding generation. Other folks, especially government authorities and academics, warn of the onerous times ahead, long years of ageing, diminishing health and rising poverty (scary stuff). So what’s the truth?


One thing I discovered early on sitting in a ‘Beatnik’ coffee bar in Manchester in the early ‘60s debating The Bomb, Bob Dylan and Camus is that life never delivers certainty. And that means to get the most out of our journey, whatever our age, demands constantly making the effort to make our dreams come true.


I have never been prepared to wait all day for something to start happening. And that is why I helped start Wanobe. Wanobe exists to help you look for friends and family, play different kinds of games, shop, date and chat.


Some claim that today’s Internet has been shaped by the needs and desires of the younger generation, which may have been true before. But now – with Wanobe -there’s a place you, I and everyone else over the age of fifty can call our own, and shape according to our wants and needs. Now that is what I call power.


Let me know how you feel in the comment zone below, the good, the bad and the ugly.


Live long, live well, my fellow Wanobians,