Your partner may contribute to increasing your longevity more than blood relatives do.
In some ways, you don’t have to do anything to add years to your life. Can you imagine in your wildest dream or scariest nightmare how older men having relationships with young women benefit you? Scientists have theories about it.
If someone wanted to know the best way to estimate life expectancy, what would you say? “Genes”? That’s how most people would answer. After all, we learned it in school. Recent data analyses of hundreds of millions of people create a wrinkle in that teaching, though. Researchers present a not-in-the- blood relationship factor that raised my eyebrows.
Non-genetic relationships play bigger roles than you thought.
One of my friends says she’s only attracted to fit, sculpted men. Six-packs and bulging biceps make her tingle all over and purr with delight. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. But I did when I told her fit, sculpted men are attracted to fit, sculpted ladies — people who prioritize health and fitness like people who do the same.
Scientists refer to that as “assortative mating.” It means humans with similar traits are more likely to pair up. Assortative mating also includes socioeconomic factors, like wealth and educational level.
Calico Life Sciences and Ancestry compiled data from 54-million family trees. Those family trees represented over 6 billion relatives.
The researchers found that spouses’ life spans were more similar than siblings’ life spans. They theorize that if you value a long life, you’ll likely choose a mate who shares traits important for long life.
The researchers believe earlier studies overestimated genetics’ influence on longevity. Those studies considered the life span of blood relatives. In doing so, they estimated genes accounted for 20 to 30 percent of your life span.
“However, spouse life spans correlate as much or more than those of genetic relatives, raising the possibility that correlated environments and/or assortative mating have confounded those estimates,” according to their study. After analyzing the Ancestry.com data, researchers discovered the heritability of longevity is actually less than 7 percent.
When accounting for assortative mating and/or living in the same house, genetics don’t influence longevity near as much as once thought. Similarities between you and your spouse may affect your life span significantly more than your blood relatives do.
Feel younger than your friends who feel old.
Many of my friends feel old. Years ago, when they turned 40, they started talking “over the hill” nonsense. I avoid negative aging conversations because I know the creative power of words. Perhaps my hill is higher than my friends’ hills. I’m still enjoying my extended trip to the top.
Do you feel younger than your chronological age? Science says most middle-aged and older adults do. (The scientists didn’t survey my friends).
A recent study in the American Psychological Association found benefits to feeling younger. It can provide a cushion from stress, lessen inflammation, and lower hospitalization risks. Feeling younger can also help you live longer than your friends who feel old.
Scientists ask, “How old do you feel?” to calculate your subjective age. Your answer seems sufficient for predicting your future health.
Researchers associate feeling older than you are with a decline in functional health. And the older you get, the steeper the decline.
“Subjective age might indirectly affect health by operating as a psychosocial compensatory resource that counteracts and buffers the detrimental effects of various health risk factors,” writes the researchers.
The study leaves several unanswered questions. Yet it’s clear,
“The younger individuals feel compared to their actual age, the longer they tend to live.”
Even if your friends feel old, do what you can to feel younger than the age on your birth certificate. Enjoy it. Some older men master ii — or maybe feeling younger is in their genes.
Chase young women, date older men.
My guess is that you have strong feelings and opinions about older men who date much younger women. Some researchers do too. They theorize that your lifespan increased because of what older men who opt for younger women have done for society.
What have they done?
Male scientists at Stanford University and the University of California, Santa Barbara, presented data and compiled records looking at the “realistic patterns” of male/female mating. They suggest males choose fertile females because males remain reproductive much longer than females.
According to their findings, the differences in the male and female reproduction patterns later in life affect the population. As long as males reproduce, the population’s life span should continue to gradually rise, the researchers theorize. They suggest it’s because older males provide protection against cell-damaging mutations longer than post-menopausal women can.
The choices of others don’t make you less attractive.
When older men pursue young women, it makes the men feel powerful, lively, relevant — like “I still have it.” Also, as noted, feeling younger can increase longevity.
Plus, seeing stamina in others can make younger men believe aging is not so bad, that it has benefits.
Before you reach your boiling point and throw your reading device across the room, I hear you. “Younger women are only attracted to sugar daddies. Older men use the ladies to make themselves feel powerful.”
Maybe you’re right.
Is it any different from young, beautiful ladies chasing professional coaches or aging musicians? Is that also about money and status?
May/December relationships make some older women angry. It makes them feel undesirable when men their age don’t choose them.
One thing you can be sure of: The choices of older men don’t make mature women less attractive.
The choices of another don’t diminish your qualities.
I learned a long time ago that many men prefer skin tones other than mine. I also learned their preferences have no bearing on who I am. Besides, no one is everyone’s desire.
Some older men prefer young ladies. So be it. But that’s not true for them all.
May/December relationships don’t increase the life span of the man. However, when older men reproduce, it gradually increases the life span of the human race — according male researchers.
Increasing your longevity isn’t all about diet and exercise.
Although longevity runs in families, genetics may not be the main reason. And if you feel old, spend time with people who don’t feel like that. Doing so might help you feel younger and live longer.
A group of male researchers has a theory about the older man/young lady relationships. Imagine the conclusion had female scientists participated in the research.
There’s much more to increasing your longevity than a healthy diet and regular exercise. You can enjoy adding years to your life — and in some ways, it takes less effort than you expected it to.