"There's no hard and fast rule on whether age differences sink the love boat," Singleton wrote. "But age is definitely a factor when you date someone. ... In my research with gay men for my book, 'The Mandates: 25 Real Rules for Successful Gay Dating,' I never met one who described a date without telling me the guy's age first."
As Schwyzer says, "The problem is largely cultural at this time. ... (There will be) jokes about robbing a cradle. The expectations are somehow that (a woman is) not capable of being with a grown man and has thus chosen to date someone who our society thinks of as a boy."
In October, London-based video blogger Emily Hartridge, 28, posted a video about the benefits of dating a younger man. The comedic vlog listed reasons such as "younger guys try harder to please you" and "you get to feel more in charge" among the perks.
Another plus for some career-driven, powerful women in their 20s and 30s, Schwyzer said, is that millennial men tend to be more open about gender roles.
"For decades women have moved into traditionally male spaces," he added. "With some millennial guys ... we're not seeing more guys who are feminine, but flexible."
For my friend, the best thing about dating a younger man -- at least her younger man -- is that there's no noticeable age difference at all.
I can pick on her all I want for dating someone the same age as my younger sister. And I'll probably continue to do so -- out of love, of course. But truth be told, there's less of a cultural gap between her and her younger beau than there was between my last boyfriend and me. At six years my senior, he was behind the wheel of a car while I was still riding around the neighborhood on my Razor scooter.
At least my "cougar" friend and her juvenile boyfriend can both recall growing up listening to cassette tapes, playing video games on the original PlayStation, and watching Bill Clinton deny that he had "sexual relations with that woman" -- even if one of them wasn't quite sure what that meant at the ripe old age of 6.