When in April 2012 Katreen Hardt is dumped by her boyfriend, a man who confessed his undying love for her on their third date, seducing her with talk of marriage and starting a family together, she is devastated. After three years, and two failed rounds of IVF, as well as a series of painful events, including the death of her father, he ends the relationship – no explanation given. Thus at the age of forty-five, she has no other choice but to move out of the house they shared and begin her life anew.
With the encouragement of her girlfriends, all of whom are married with children, she decides to return to the dating scene in search of love.
She experiments with the dating app, Tinder. Despite the superficialness of it all, it is entertaining, and a whole new world opens up to her by simply adjusting the search to include (or exclude) a certain generation. But it is not just through Tinder that she is being introduced to men decades younger than herself. In real life, too, she is meeting men – through friends, on the street, in hotel saunas, while on holiday to the Canary Islands – all of them boosting her with compliments.
There is Jakob, 27, a personal trainer, with his bright blue eyes and strawberry blond curls, who offers to train her for free for an upcoming Tough Mudder challenge. Then there is Ben, 39, with his rugged yet classy look, who tries to sneak his business card into the pocket of her bathrobe when they first lock eyes at a spa on the Baltic coast. Then there is Tristan, 32, who she quickly discovers has a cuckolding fetish. Then there is Milo, 35, with his well-crafted physique, who she meets one Christmas Eve while lying naked alone in a hotel sauna.
Sex with them is the most exciting sex she has ever had. Their bodies are honed and beautiful and, at that age, their sex drive insatiable. The act itself is spontaneous and wild. She feels desired like never before. On the cusp of her fiftieth birthday, she is radiating confidence, happiness, and vitality, as well as having the time of her life in bed.
But her relationship with these young men isn't just about sex. Katreen finds herself falling in love with Jakob, who can't wrap his head around the fact that she is twenty years older, and continues to hurt her by breaking things off, then starting things up again, over and over. She also finds herself falling for Ben, who has a live-in girlfriend. Even if he does leave her, she'd never be able to trust him knowing he'd managed to keep his affair with her a secret for so long.
Then at a Christmas ball in December 2018 Katreen meets Alexander, a handsome forty-four year old architect, who immediately sends her heart aflutter. He is like no man she has ever met: as soon as they get to talking she realises he has a stutter. On their first proper date, she is so nervous she can't look at him without blushing. She finds Alexander authentic and funny. They wait until mid-January before having sex for the first time. Wanting it to be special, they book a superior double room at a spa. The sex is slow, tender, like the connecting of two souls. Finally, she has met the one, a man seven years her junior, who makes her feel good about the woman it has taken her over fifty years to become.
An up close and personal look into the phenomenon of why older women are drawn to younger men and told through the eyes of a woman who, at the age of forty-five, sets out to find Mr Right and ends up dating and falling in love with a slew of hot men decades younger than herself.
Although it takes place in Germany, it not only reflects the attitudes of German millennial men, but compares their inclinations to those of their British and American counterparts.
Katreen Hardt has been a freelance journalist for 15 years and an actress for over 20 years, performing in theatrical productions across Germany.
She has written regularly for leading UK women's magazines including Grazia, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Look and Marie Claire, as well as the newspaper the Daily Mail. Other women's magazines she has written for include Fabulous, Healthy, Woman & Home, Easy Living, Reader’s Digest, Woman, Woman's Own, Best, Reveal, Mother & Baby, Pregnancy & Birth, Eve and Buzz.
Katreen specialises in real life stories, from the tale of an Afghan r...
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