I am a single gal who's struggling with an age identity crisis. I seem to only be attracting men who are three (or more!) years younger than me. I know it has a lot to do with how I spend my free time - going to parties and dancing at clubs; it's my way to unwind from a hectic work schedule. The attention is very flattering since I didn't do a lot of dating when I was in my early 20's. My mother would prefer I find someone who runs in a less "colorful" crowd. She's certain I need someone older with a "good" job, so that I can be the flashy one of the equation, a balance. To make me tick, I need inspiration and humor and the young ones do provide a fair amount of that. To settle on settling down bores me and I feel I'm just not ready for it. Am I regaining a youth I missed out on, or am I missing out on making more substantial connections? I am, for all intents and purposes, not getting any younger - but the boys are!
I applaud you on your open-minded attitude when it comes to dating younger men. However, two main points jump out at me as I'm reading. First, you seem to be very concerned with the way your mother views you. You understand your own needs better than she does (inspiration, humor, substantial connections) so don't doubt yourself, even for mumsie! When you're happy, she'll be happy. To tone down any over-bearing motherly advice, simply tone down the complaints and share only positive aspects of your love life with those who care.
Second, you seem to equate "inspiration and humor" with "young." As far as your ideal man, don't limit yourself! If you are "older" and enjoy a lighter relationship full of inspiration and humor, certainly there are members of the opposite sex your age who enjoy the same. I would even venture to say there are OLDER men who enjoy the same. This way you can broaden your dating experience to include more substantial connections, as you say, and keep the more inspiring, humorous, youthful connections coming your way as well.
Take some time to write a list of attributes that are important in a man, and leave the unimportant details (like age?) out of the equation. Also, it might not hurt to set some meaningful boundaries for yourself, so you don't get hurt or confused in the process, or wind up hurting anyone else who is, uh, less experienced. See what the universe comes up with! Life is an adventure, and there's no destination. You have only the journey, so enjoy the process!