Table talk with my girls is always guaranteed to perk a few ears. Our topic of discussion last night: dating younger men. We’ve heard that 40 is the new 20 — but does that meandating a 20-year-old also applies? When I see my girlfriends in relationships with younger partners, I think it’s like getting a pet. Most women encounter a mid-life crisis as they near their forties — and what’s the common solution? Finding a puppy ready to be cared and provided for, in need of guidance, training and discipline. (But, for what it’s worth, it’s sure to keep you active and entertained.)

So what is it about a younger man that attracts an older woman? As my friends and I chatted, it was interesting to hear their different perspectives. One divorcee started dating a 26-year-old shortly after finalizing the legal process. She explained that being married to a man who was 15 years older than her contributed to their split; while she had fallen in love with a man who was established, successful and capable of providing for her, he lacked the stamina to keep up with her faster-paced life. Now she’s making up for lost time, reliving her earlier years with late-night outings, spontaneous tattoos and well … other things that align with a young mindset.

In contrast, we have the “cougar” of the group who only dates younger men. Her reasoning: She likes to have full control, adding that it makes her feel sexy and powerful to be with someone nearly half her age. “He keeps me young — and if it means I have to pick up the tab, then so be it,” she adds.

Personally, I don’t think you can expect a lot when dating a younger guy. It’s fun to live vicariously through my dear friends who consider age nothing more than a number. But call me old-school: I still think the riper the fruit, the sweeter the juice.