When it came to finding love in New York, Amber Soletti, a 42-year-old who lives in the West Village, had no luck dating older guys or men her own age. While they were “well-established and articulate,” she wasn’t physically attracted to them and found they had too many issues.
So, six years ago, she started dating studs in their 20s and 30s — and she hasn’t looked back.
“Younger guys tend to be more active, have less baggage,” says Soletti, an event planner who regularly hosts dating mixers. “You’re less likely to date a younger guy who’s been divorced, has children or has sexual-performance issues.”
In 2011, she met Juan Cabrera, now 34, at one of her mixers and soon fell in love. The happy couple got engaged in March.
“Millennial men are career-focused and want to travel with successful women and conquer the world together,” says Soletti, who notes she’s seen an uptick of established women signing up specifically to meet younger bucks at her speed-dating events.
Such May-December couplings are no longer seen as relationship outliers — or indicative of deep-seated mommy issues. New French president Emmanuel Macron, 39, has a wife, Brigitte, who is 24 years his senior, while supermodel Heidi Klum, 43, has been dating art dealer Vito Schnabel, 30, for more than three years. Actress Gabrielle Union, 44, and her husband, Chicago Bulls player Dwyane Wade, 35, are often lauded as a power couple.
Experts say the dynamic makes sense.
“Older successful men are used to being in control of a woman, and that doesn’t sit well with modern women,” says Susan Winter, co-author of the book, “Older Women, Younger Men: New Options for Love and Romance.” “Younger men have grown up with working women and have worked for female bosses, so they’re more likely to treat women equally.”
Some in these relationships agree.
“When you’re an ambitious woman, it’s very difficult — you either have to subsume what you wanna do for somebody else, or live with the struggle to fight your partner on top of business survival, and it’s a very unhealthy relationship,” says Nicole Wipp, a 45-year-old attorney and entrepreneur, who found a perfect match in her husband, Marcus Sutherland, a 33-year-old paramedic. “Dating somebody younger than myself, there’s an acceptance of ambitious women — it’s more normalized.”
They met at the University of Hawaii in November 2002, when she was a law student and he was a sophomore undergraduate. They were introduced by Sutherland’s sister, who was one of Wipp’s law school classmates, at a beachside barbecue.
Wipp was immediately attracted to Sutherland’s youthful energy, which was a far cry from the cynical guys closer to her age.
“Older men tend to become cruel over time, and [Marcus] was so refreshing,” Wipp, who lives in Detroit, tells The Post. “[Younger men] don’t have the weight of the world [on their shoulders] yet.”
But initially, Wipp held off on dating Sutherland because she was wary of the numbers on his driver’s license.
“I wanted children. I really had a mental struggle dating someone younger than me,” she says.
When they began a romantic relationship in 2006, they faced judgment from family and friends.
“There were a lot of the ‘boy toy’ remarks, and I will say it mostly came from men my age — there’s a threatening aspect to a woman dating a younger man,” she says. “Everybody thought this was a little phase, that I was just having a crisis.”
But friends and family came around to accepting the couple after they’d been dating for a year and saw that Sutherland had serious intentions.
In April 2010, they got married at an intimate beachside wedding in Hawaii, and they now have a 6-year-old son, Marek.
“I love that she loves me so much, and that I mean a lot to her,” says Sutherland. “I can tell because she always makes me feel wanted.”
Alan Angal, 36, was attracted to his older fiancée, Jennifer Siegner, 45, for her stability.
Prior to meeting Siegner in 2012, Angal was a tour manager for a music company and had a lifestyle he describes as “sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll.” He mostly dated party girls in their 20s.
But when he was set up with Siegner by a mutual friend, matchmaker Sameera Sullivan, he says his life turned around.
“It was love at first sight,” Angal says of meeting Siegner, a buxom blonde who was a successful account executive at a graphic-design company at the time. And unlike his previous flings, Siegner wanted a serious relationship and was straightforward about her desires.
“With some women I dated, they wanted to play games, but Jennifer always communicated that she wanted something real,” Angal says. “I always knew where I stood with her.”
Soon after they met, he cleaned up his act and left the entertainment industry. He now works as a personal trainer, and the couple lives in Portland, Ore. They plan on getting married on her family’s farm in August.
“She’s just a unique woman, and there’s nobody like her,” Angal says.
Siegner says they bring out the best in each other.
“Even with the age gap, I’ve never quite met anyone like him,” she says. “Ironically, [this is] the most mature relationship I’ve ever had.