Both Men and Women Prefer Dating Younger

Both Men and Women Prefer Dating Younger

Add this to the annals of studies that confirm things we already know anecdotally.

A piece in Time Magazine cites numbers from the Are You Interested Facebook app that concludes that, among 35,942 users ages 30 to 49, a woman was five times more likely to show interest in a man who was five years her junior, rather than one who was five years older.

Men’s preferences are shaped not just by looks but by fertility, which is why many have 35 as a cutoff.

Similarly, among 26,434 men ages 30 to 49, 42% wouldn’t even consider a woman if she was older than him. However, if contacted by an older woman, men wouldn’t necessarily turn her down. The data shows that a man is only 22% less likely to respond to an older woman than a younger woman if she initiates contact.

This is the exact same observation I make in Finding the One Online. Namely, that if you look at a typical 40 year old man’s search preferences, it will generally read 27-35. And if you look at a typical 40 year old woman’s search preferences, it’ll generally read 35-45. However, men’s preferences are shaped not just by looks but by fertility, which is why many have 35 as a cutoff. And while women will write 35-45, they will almost always prefer a man her age or younger.

There are WAY too many exceptions to this for us to fight about, so please, let’s not. Let’s just agree that women, like men, prefer dating younger, that men are receptive to emails from all sorts of women, and that both genders are equally driven by youth and beauty. The difference is that women also care about money, career, education and height, which makes their dating pools shrink proportionately.

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  1. 1
    Karmic Equation

    Hmmm…Very timely topic as I’ve recently decided to try online dating.

    Some initial experiences and thoughts.

    1) Even though my listed target ages are 38-53, men well below that target are contacting me. However, if I like a man’s picture, I respect the age preference listed in his profile, and if I see my age is outside their target, I move on. Are you saying I should ignore men’s stated preferences, Evan? That seems desperate.

    2) I only look at income if the guy is not great looking to determine whether or not how much he makes offsets his lack of looks. Lol. Does that make me shallow? To be fair to myself though, no guy has made enough money for me to deem him good looking if my initial thought was that he wasn’t. Now the curious thing to me is that a whole lot of not-so-good-looking men in their late 40s/50s are leaving their income unlisted, so my question is why are they leaving this important field blank? If they’re making good money, they could potentially become better looking in most women’s eyes. OTOH, if they have no income and aren’t good looking, then they may be doomed to perpetual disappointment in online dating, unless they’re willing to date women who are at or below their league in looks and/or older than their stated age preferences.

    3) I’m actually trying to date age-appropriately, but the men who’ve shown interest to me at age 45+, look mid-50’s to mid-60’s to me. So are they lying about their age? Or did they just age badly? So in additon to lying about height and probably income (if listed), they’re lying about their age, too? And trying to date younger and out of their league?

    4) Curiously, I’ve garnered 0% interest in men at age 40-45. It’s like I don’t exist. Could be because they’ve only filtered to below their ages so I don’t show up in their search? Should I lie about my age to get into their searches? Not sure that sits well with my desire for honesty in a partner if I can’t exhibit it myself.

    5) I’m just under 5 ft. I’ve had a few dates with men stating they’re 5-7 to 6-6. It seems that the under-6-ft guys are definitely adding several inches to their height. The 5-7 guy was probably 5-4. The 5-9 guy was 5-7. The 6-6 guy was definitely 6-6. So now I do mental calcs to men’s heights and subtract a few inches from their listed height if they’re under 6-ft. Why is this important? I know it shouldn’t matter, but I don’t find the proportions of a man at 5-4 to be appealing. So now I’m not considering guys under 6′, because he’s probably really 5-9, which I do find appealing.

    6) So men with average to sub-par looks aren’t listing their income, which could potentially offset their lack of looks or age, are sending me generic cut & paste intro messages, which shows me they really didn’t bother reading my profile. I feel both sorry and exasperated by these men. They need to know their league and/or up their online game if they want to play out of their league.

    7) Now, OTOH, the few good-looking men my age whom I find attractive aren’t finding me attractive, possibly because of my age and more likely because THEY are looking to date attractive women in their 20’s and 30’s, because they can. So that leaves me the “cubs” (23-35) looking for cougars. I can’t say it’s a hardship filtering through them to find the ones worth getting to know. I’m not looking for a “relationship” but “fun” so this works for me. So the “free sites” are alright by me. But if a woman is serious about marriage and family, I don’t know if the free sites are conducive for that. I have two friends who met and married through their dates on Match. So assuming the women here are serious about relationships, she has to pay to find it. For men, they can find it on both free and paid sites.

  2. 2
    Karmic Equation

    Forgot to add this:
    Conclusion — My opinions only –

    -Free or paid (“any”) online dating is a boon for good looking men of all ages looking for sex
    -Any online dating is a boon for good looking women in their 20s, perhaps even in her early 30s
    -Any online dating is good for average-looking men making good money.
    -Any Online dating will be a struggle for the average-looking, low-income man looking for either sex or a relationship
    -Women in their 30s and above, or average-looking women in general, who are looking for relationships or marriage, will probably need to use paid dating sites to achieve that goal. I don’t see how the free ones will help, especially if her clock is ticking.

  3. 3

    When I was online, I wanted nothing to do with men under the age of 29 (at the age of 31) and found myself regularly messaging men 5-10 years older than me. For me it was about maturity rather than looks. Men in their 20s are rarely in the right place to get into a serious relationship. So I am an exception, I guess.

  4. 4

    My own experience with paid vs. non-paid sites. As a woman who dated online at age 30 and 31 and attractive, I found the free sites were goldmines and the paid sites were full of no-follow up. I used OKCupid and eHarmony, I never tried Match because it seemed like Match was full of men who were also on OKCupid, why pay when you can meet them for free. I would say all the men I met were probably relationship oriented. I only went out with successful professionals. I met lots of doctors, men in finance and finally my boyfriend of the last 10 months, an ivy league lawyer on the free site. I think OKCupid is better in urban areas and tends to attract a younger, hip, liberal demographic than the other sites as a whole.
    I think the best advice is to try everything but do it well. If you aren’t messaging the men you want to talk to, don’t expect them to find you. You have to be proactive to be noticed online.

    1. 4.1

      True love they say is hard to find.

      1. 4.1.1

        Handsome early 40s, look 10 years younger, fit etc, desire wife 10 years younger, never had children, would like someday. 
        Fertility is an issue for me.

  5. 5

    Karmic Equation (2):  I’d beg to defer with the following:  Women in their 30s and above, or average-looking women in general, who are looking for relationships or marriage, will probably need to use paid dating sites to achieve that goal. I don’t see how the free ones will help, especially if her clock is ticking.
    I’m 44 (told often I can easily pass for 35) and started internet dating 2 years ago.  I stopped a few months back.  I could have dated myself into exhaustion on the free sites.  Before the 14 year rule was implemented on POF, OKC, and sometimes Match, I had guys 25-28 contacting me almost every day, although it was rare that I would return an email from someone that young or even younger than 35.  My general dating preference was men in their 40’s-early 50’s.  But then again, my clock hasn’t been ticking for years.  And my goal was to meet new people and see if we meshed (with relationship being my purpose).  I actually kept a spreadsheet at one point about a year back and determined that to meet just two-three people I was even remotely interested in dating more than once, I would have to sift through about 130 emails and meet about 15-20 people.  I finally decided that I would have to get out in the big bad world and meet people so I deleted all my profiles.
    So far, the big bad world is working waaay better.

  6. 6

    I am sorry. I cannot believe we are the same in this regard. Yes, both sexes like health and attractiveness and vitality…yes. But I do not believe we are the same in our drive for them.
    I feel women are much more tolerant of age issues then men.  Maybe a woman would rather have younger but if she finds a man she likes who is older she will “deal” with the age issues much more compassionately than a man.
    Why do I think this?  Well the stats in the article show it.  Many more men have a cut off younger, a hard cutt off, where the women will go older. 
    This is one thing I do not like about males. In general I like men but not on this issue. They are not loving when it comes to aging.
    They are also “aging hypocrites” where they feel they are great at whatever age they are at but will often reject women their same age even if the womean is great is as well.

    1. 6.1


      I am like most men, I prefer women younger than I am. I did, when I was younger…like most men, open up to dating older women. But I had no long term interest. I did carry on a relationship with a woman 9 years older than me when I was 28 and she was 37. She was OLD!!! Hot, but old. Now, I say that tongue in cheek because for me, and I believe it is likely true for most men, what is old to us is relative. I am 50. So now, a 37 year old is a young hottie to me. When I was in my teens, I wanted a girl within a couple of years of m age. I didn’t care if it was older or younger, but face it, when you are in your teens you look good. There are no real age issues at that age when looking for someone within just a few years.

      In my twenties, especially early twenties, I preferred close to my age, but would date much older. But I emphasize the word DATE. As I started hitting mid to mid late 20’s, I noticed how hot the girls in their late teens to early 20s looked. So I was open to dating pretty much down to 18. From there, my primary focus has been women my age to about 12 years younger, and it has locked in that way.

      That said, I am now talking to a 27 year old Brazilian girl, ex-model. How did I meet her? Not online Well, we talk on facebook right now but we were introduced by a Brazilian lady at my church. We both now know that she did not know how old I was…thinking I am much younger. The reward for working nights most of my career in the Navy. I have zero wrinkles and good even skin. Truthfully, I wear a beard so that I appear more my age, with the white hair. Even my hands do not look that old. I really do think it was not being a sun seeker that helped me, plus not smoking, doing drugs, or drinking much alcohol. When she told me she was 27 I was disappointed. I was hoping she was mid to late 30s, not late 20s. i told her my age. She was incredulous. Couldn’t believe I was 50. We both agreed that our match maker, a mutual friend, likely does not know how old I am. I told her we could just be friends, but she was emphatic that my age was not a problem. So we continue to talk. I don’t expect anything to come of this, but then, who knows.

      Anyway, i will agree with you to an extent…yes most of us men just aren’t open to dating women who are older than us. Sorry…you are right…it is crappy of us, and yet, I have no desire to do anything about that. I prefer women my age or younger. I guess I feel like I make so many other compromises that this is the one thing I am not. And at the same time, I feel there are things people can easily alter when it comes to finding a mate, but there are other things that aren’t going to be as easily changed. This is one of them. In some ways I wish I could flip a switch. Do you know how many sugar momma types contact me? Hundreds each year. Women making big money. But I don’t feel it. It would not be fair of me to even answer one of those emails because I just don’t feel it. It’s not really any different than the way you women feel when a man who you feel to be way too old, tries to contact you. I know how you women look at it. You saw “eeeww” and delete his email. Well our curse as men…most of us, is that we feel that way about women who are just a bit older. Again, I will admit that I only feel that when thinking of long term.

      People are stubborn. I don’t see this impasse going away. I see a lot of people remaining single for the rest of their lives

  7. 7
    Karmic Equation

    I don’t think we differ at all in terms of prospects in the cub-range.
    In fact you made my point. The 40 and 50 year olds we both wish to meet for relationships we need to meet other than on free online dating sites (unless you’re saying you were getting the same results with the paid sites?). We’ve just chosen different routes to solve the problem. You’ve decided to give up online dating to date IRL, and I’ve decided to give up serious relationships and take advantage of what online dating does offer ;)

  8. 8

    @Karmic Equation
    “Now the curious thing to me is that a whole lot of not-so-good-looking men in their late 40s/50s are leaving their income unlisted, so my question is why are they leaving this important field blank?”
    Interesting.  When I was dating online, I left my income blank because I was afraid that listing it would attract the wrong kind of women (not that I’m wealthy or anything).  I never would have guessed that there are women out there who figure that if a guy doesn’t list his income, he must not make much money.  I guess my strategy worked, and I was satisfied with the results I had online anyways.
    “Curiously, I’ve garnered 0% interest in men at age 40-45.”
    Nothing to be curious about there.  That’s pretty much how it works.  A successful, decent-looking guy in his early-40s is going to have his pick of the litter…. which would be a younger woman.
    “Should I lie about my age to get into their searches? Not sure that sits well with my desire for honesty in a partner if I can’t exhibit it myself.”
    I’ve read your posts before, and you seem like a smart woman.  So, I think you know the answer to that question.  Think about how stupid and desperate the guys that lie about the height/income look.  Besides, whether you show up in their searches or not isn’t really relevant.  Guys will message anyone they are interested in, and even quite a few women that they’re not really interested in.  If a guy in his late 30s/early 40s wanted a woman in her mid-late 40s, he’d message her… and he would make sure his search criteria captures that.
    “So men with average to sub-par looks aren’t listing their income, which could potentially offset their lack of looks or age, are sending me generic cut & paste intro messages, which shows me they really didn’t bother reading my profile. I feel both sorry and exasperated by these men. They need to know their league and/or up their online game if they want to play out of their league.
    …Now, OTOH, the few good-looking men my age whom I find attractive aren’t finding me attractive, possibly because of my age and more likely because THEY are looking to date attractive women in their 20′s and 30′s, because they can”
    I have this theory, that with more and more people dating online and sending messages to one another, that it is becoming an increasingly efficient market.  That is, I believe it is becoming harder and harder to really date out of your league (say, in contrast to the way you could amongst a circle of acquaintances where the options are much fewer).  People may have expectations that are out-of-whack at first, but that should quickly fall back into equilibrium once they experience enough evidence that shows the people they’re interested in aren’t interested in them. 

  9. 9

    Just remember ladies men will always email, date, and “do” older women if they’re attractive for “snicks & giggles” but 99% of the time they will have serious relationships and/or marry women their own age or younger. So don’t take the fact that you get emails from much younger men to mean anything. Some men especially online noobs or under 35 will email every women they find attractive no matter what the age is or what they say they want. They don’t know any better.
    At 49 I usually email 5 yrs down or up as they are the ones more likely to respond and rarely go outside of the range. Lets face it, everyone likes younger but everyone is “younger” to someone older….LOL

  10. 10

    I think there’s a certain level of flattery that comes for women when a guy 5 years her junior is interested in her.  As we’ve already established, even if you’re a smart, funny, cute 37 year-old woman, there are heaps of smart, funny, cute 32 year-old women from whom a 32 year-old man could pick.  I imagine that there’s also a level of flattery felt by men when they get the interest of a younger woman.
    As mentioned in various other threads, it does seem that the average 55 year-old woman will be in better physical condition than the average 55 year-old man.   When I look online at the over-40 set, it appears that women understand the importance of a good profile picture, of going to the gym, of keeping clothes and hairstyle somewhat current and flattering.  I’m amazed by how many over-40 dudes seem to let it all go to the dogs.   Most 55 year-old men I see online appear a good 5 – 10 years older than the average 55 year-old woman.   I know that males are said to be the more visually-aroused sex, but Come On, Fellows!  Women DO care about the packaging at least a little bit.

  11. 11

    If everyone got their way, according to this article, no one would ever go out on any dates. Someone has to be older, or younger or the same age as the other person. 
    What I find perplexing is that many men my age and even 5-7 years older won’t consider me (I’m 55) but guys who are 45-48 for example, are often interested. It’s highly unpredictable, but having an open mind allows for more possibilities. One thing I struggle with is when I’ve dated older, like 60-62, the men seem really downcast and sort of worn out. It’s not fun to be around that energy on a first date. 

  12. 12

    Karmic Equation,
    Normally I like your posts but you really are coming across as bitchy. This comment is offensive and absurd:
    “I feel both sorry and exasperated by these men. They need to know their league and/or up their online game if they want to play out of their league.”
    So because they aren’t great looking and prefer to keep their income private, you feel sorry for them? And then you have the attitude of “how dare someone who isn’t good looking and doesn’t have a high income contact me! ”
    That is seriously effed up. Just to bring you back to reality, here is another comment you made and my interpretation of it:
     “Curiously, I’ve garnered 0% interest in men at age 40-45. It’s like I don’t exist. Could be because they’ve only filtered to below their ages so I don’t show up in their search”
    Nice try , but they are indeed doing searches of women that are your age. They are just not finding you attractive enough to contact you.
    Looks as though your market and SMV is only worth ugly guys with little income since those are the only ones giving you attention. And the young bucks who are in their 20s? They are contacting all women in their 40s so don’t feel so special about that either.

  13. 13

    @Jadite #5
    “So far, the big bad world is working waaay better.” Do tell!  Tips?

  14. 14

    Interesting…however, I’m the opposite. I’ve done quite a bit of online dating, and younger guys rarely appeal to me. I think it’s a maturity thing and where I am and want to be in life (at least in the next 5 years). I’m turning 30 this year, and I found it difficult to even talk to guys that were a year younger. But somehow, I am now in a very happy relationship with a guy who is exactly 2 years younger than I am. Funny how things turn out. 

  15. 15

    As a twice-divorced, now happily married father, I agree with Amy. Honestly, when I was first divorced, I didn’t know what to expect. I had trouble finding a date being around so many women who are older or younger. I wasn’t attracted to any of them, and I didn’t even know where to start. It was just really hard to find someone right for me.

  16. 16

    I see the thought police is after you this time :-).
    I am really surpirsed how the male readers here explode against women; they take your preferences, observations, and (ok, that was mine) sometimes lame sense of humor as a personal offence, and seek to personally humiliate you with their responses.
    Shall we recommend to Evan a “women only” section to avoid being called bitches from total strangers?

  17. 17

    I listen and observe carefully in real life for anyone man or woman who refers to women as bitches or the c word as ared flag to not to get involved with and get my energy well and truly away from them. Women are not bitches

  18. 18
    Little Wing

    I think some are failing to see how many times A DAY women on this site (including OP’s), post something along the lines of:
    Men are immature in dating
    Men are unrealistic in marriage
    Men are unfaithful in relationships
    Men only use women for sex
    Men don’t treat me well
    Men never call me back
    Men are the reason I am single
    Men are the reason I’m not married
    Men are the reason I am divorced
    Men are the reason I gave up
    Evan, who is a man, deals with it most patiently and diplomatically. 
    He has said it many times, but it still rings true… A few posts back when the OP was a guy, everyone applauded the advice and comments that were dished out. They were harsh but fair. Anytime the same is done to a woman’s OP or comment, you get stoned. Women say they want help and clarity, but it seems many only want acknowledgement, and not to be challenged in order to grow.
    We should be so lucky to have men taking the time to read and share their experiences and thoughts on this blog!
    Rather than taking on the role of ‘victim’, see if you can listen to what the men here are revealing, and use it to understand them better, and in turn, use it to help your relationships with men. Even if it’s to learn what to stay away from.
    If Evan kept this site ‘for women only’ would you learn anything? Would it expand your point of view? Would that mean Evan couldn’t comment either?
    How about if we keep the entire world ‘for women only’, would that make your life easier to deal with? Be careful what you wish for. 

  19. 19

    Little Wing,
    even if there were no men (readers) on the blog, there would be a lot to learn.
    I find the stories and opinions of women fascinating. As for the opinion of men – Evan’s is always respectfully presented, even when he disagrees, and obviously, he is the reason we are all here.

  20. 20

    I rarely defend Karmic because 1) we are typically on opposite sides and 2) she doesn’t need it but I feel compelled to say something now.  Her arguments are generally well reasoned and have a point whether I like it or not and whether I agree with it or not.  Having read her other posts, I don’t think she meant some of the things you understood from her latest messages. When she said “I feel sorry for them”, I didn’t sense any outrage from her that she was being contacted by them.  I think she truly meant – “I feel sorry for them because they really don’t know what their market value is and they’re contacting women they’re never going to hear from”, etc.  I don’t think she is putting them down for the sake of it.  I see her point.  Every person brings something to the table, man or woman.  What you ask for in return has to be equal, more or less to what you are offering.  If you want more than what you are offering, you have to increase the value of your package or you are never going to get it, especially in the world of online dating which is rife with choice.  This is equally applicable to women who chase after men “out of their league”.  
    Coming from someone else, the comments may have been offensive.  But from Karmic, I really think they weren’t meant to be.

    1. 20.1
      Karmic Equation

      TY, Skaramouche :)

  21. 21

    John (12) – Bad form.  Bad.  Several months back, I dated an older man (66 – who I met in the real world) who started, about the second date, referring to women in his area of town as bitches.  By the end of the third date, I had figured out why he thought they were and why he’s been single for the last 20 years. 
    Women can become just as disenchanted with the dating process as men, and often it happens much sooner in the process.  We don’t want to date a bazillion of you, we just want one.  Really we do.  And we want one who will do what men are supposed to do – Steve Harvey said it most succinctly: Profess, Protect, and Provide.  See… “provide” is 33% of that equation or a third of the pie.  Karmic Equation stated realistically what women look for.  Women who look at income aren’t necessarily gold diggers, but are being realistic about what it takes to hold a good relationship together.  We may all wish that money doesn’t count so much, but it does.  As a woman who has supported two husbands and one long term live-in, I can tell you… N.E.V.E.R. A.G.A.I.N.  Money DOES count, and women who look at this issue realistically are more likely to be happy in the end.  We may be able to support ourselves just fine, but we do want you to be able to afford to do things such as pay for dinner or exchange nice Christmas gifts, or give us flowers for no reason if you decide you like us that much… and all without complaining about it, dragging your feet and making excuses, or overdrawing your bank account.  Women want men to be generous and those who say they don’t want these things are just downright lying.  And if women don’t want these things, she doesn’t have a very developed sense of self, or she is 19 and wasn’t taught any better.  Quality women who want a quality future with a quality man DO look at income (even if we don’t admit it you).  If you are not posting yours, you might be missing out on some quality women. 
    Additionally, money can and sometimes does level the playing field for men who are not as good-looking.  Again, Karmic Equation was stating the truth.  Men may not want to be wanted for their money, but you can bet that all those geeky types (and I do love me some geeks) who couldn’t get a woman in high school, but who are rolling in the dough right now, aren’t turning down the women flocking to them because of it.  Smart men know and accept that money IS an equalizer and they use it to their advantage. 
    It is rare that I’ll date a younger man, but I happen to be exclusively dating someone 2 years younger right now (yes, in my book, this is a younger man since I’d prefer someone in his late 40’s-early 50’s, just my preference).  He was not originally the type I’d be attracted to.  That’s not to say he isn’t attractive, he just wasn’t originally attractive to me.  I friend-zoned him, but even as a friend, he’s come through for me at every turn.  He knew he had to get through the door somehow and he’s done the 3 P’s (profess, protect and provide) beautifully so far.  Athough he might not be considered rich by reality TV standards, he’s certainly not hurting financially and is extremely generous to me.  He also communicates extremely well, but that’s another post entirely… 
    Karmic Equation – I had equal types of responses on Match, OKC, and POF.  And many of the men I was interested in were on at least two out of three.  I also had zero interest in younger men and was bored and unresponsive to that type of attention.  So… why pay for an iffy experience?  I finally decided to get offline after an especially heartbreaking 3-month romance (where I actually fell in love with the guy – a rarity for me – but we couldn’t make it work because of bad communication and various other crazy dramatics) because I figured either my picker is seriously broken and/or the selection is bad.  From my results offline so far, I’d say the problem online was 40% my iffy picker and 60% really iffy selection.  I still have an iffy picker but have found that it’s much easier for me to go slowly into exclusivity when I don’t have to worry about competing with a bunch of other faceless women online.  Also, it started to be difficult to date just one guy at a time, and I didn’t like that about myself.  I don’t subscribe to the thought process that women necessarily need to date a bunch of men at one time and not have a favorite, but it’s easy to do online.  And personally, that doesn’t lead anywhere good for me.  I agree with you that, if you are just looking to date and enjoy some temporary dalliances for a month or three here and there, online dating is a total boon.  And it will stroke your ego like nobody’s business! :)

  22. 22

    Im 54 
    I get occasional guys in their 20s contacting me offering to be my love slave and boy toy. Good looking men in their early 40s contact me The more good looking, the more quickly they suggest I drive over and hang out at their place ….(Yeah Ill be right there and shall I pick up laundry and dinner ? LOL) 
    Many guys my age lie about their age by a large range. Actually its so prevalent that I always clarify it after they are communicating with me. On Match it seems half the guys over 50 have a range of women below 50. What I find ironic are that many of the guys over 50 looking for the youngest range are completely unremarkable , out of shape, poor writers and there seems nothing exceptional about them. Im beginning to see some of these guys complain in their profile about women wanting younger men. 
    Ive dated mainly men 15-10 years younger because guys in their 40s seem more open to me than guys my own age. Id love to meet a guy my own age who is in good shape but they are rare.
    Then there are the guys who are 60-80 year olds  contacting me  They also want women under  50 so I always respond that Im far too old for them.  
    What works for me is I list my headliner age as 49 and disclose 54 in the body of profile. My photos are great so thats seems to neutralize my age No one seems to care how I present my age this way

  23. 23

    Ling Wing, you write
    Men are immature in datingMen are unrealistic in marriageMen are unfaithful in relationshipsMen only use women for sexMen don’t treat me wellMen never call me backMen are the reason I am singleMen are the reason I’m not marriedMen are the reason I am divorcedMen are the reason I gave up
    These are all true statements for women. And I’m sure men can apply some of these statements to themselves. The difference is that a woman is not calling a man an insulting term, like an asshole for example. Calling a woman a bitch or saying she is bitchy is being emotionally immature. 
    I have noticed that the childishness works both ways on this page. Some men seem to react to what a woman jokes about. I think this was on a few past posts. Maybe it’s the medium but if someone is being sarcastic, it helps to put the smiley face. I do it all the time on line since I tend to have a dry sense of humor. 
    Anyways, back to the blog post. The good thing I see if the occasional man listing a high max age like listing 25-99 or something like that. I really can’t stand when a man who is 40 is listing 25-35. I think Evan said the same thing on some previous post but a man that age needs to be realistic. I am in that age range and want a peer as Evan has commented. 
    It’s easy to get discouraged with trying to find a suitable life mate. This works both ways and I think men just don’t talk about it as much as women do

  24. 24

    Kiki @16,
    “Shall we recommend to Evan a “women only” section to avoid being called bitches from total strangers?”
    Nobody called anyone a bitch. Saying that someone is acting bitchy is quite different than calling them a bitch. Perhaps English is your second language, but most adult women should be able to tell the difference between the two comments.
    I love the male opinion on these matters. If you want a “womans only” section, then you will not learn a thing since most women unconditionally agree with each other regarding men. I happen to agree Karmic Equation is acting self entitled.  Not because she has preferences- we all have them. But to say it is in such an inflammatory way will garner the male wrath and I don’t blame them.
    To say that a sub par looking guy has to have a posted high income to justify sending her a message? Not cool at all. Maybe she didn’t mean it that way, but that’s the way it comes across to me and obviously other male readers who are entitled to read and comment here.
    As for the article itself, I agree men prefer younger women. But it doesn’t mean they wont date women their own age. And if you aren’t getting messages from men your own age, it has nothing to do with their search criteria. They just aren’t digging you enough to make the effort.

  25. 25

    At over 40 and under 5ft tall it really sounds like Karmic has a rather skewed perspective of her league. More constructively.
    1)Men don’t get approached much on dating sites. Being out of his age range (especially under 3 years) will not be the determining factor in messaging you back or not. Some guys may have a hard line that they hold to without bending. But I tend to find interest in me always earns consideration.
    2)Any number of reasons but mostly guys want to be liked for who they are not what they can provide and if they’ve just been divorced despite having been a good provider like they were raised and told to be…
    3)Everyone ages differently. They’re probably not lying. Stress does bad things to your appearance.
    4)Don’t lie about your age. If you’re lying to get in the search as soon as the lie is discovered you’re nexted. It indicates an undesirable mental frame.
    5)At your height nearly all men are taller than you. Why are you even worrying about that? Short men are probably the only ones who feel pressure to fudge it. Men are expected to be protectors. Small isn’t very protecting. Men can’t be weak and being short automatically marks you as weak. Most women want to go out with guys at minimum as tall as they are. Presenting themselves as taller is the male equivalent of women trying to present themselves as thinner.
    6)They’re sending cut & paste messages because they’re not getting results with tailored messages and are just throwing a lot of stuff out there to see if anything sticks.
    Men want to be loved for who they are and not what they provide. Divorced men who found themselves so against their will despite having been the providers they were taught to be are likely quite susceptible to this. Again I recommend “Why Men are the Way They Are” by Warren Farrell.

  26. 26

    @Little Wing
    Rather than taking on the role of ‘victim’, see if you can listen to what the men here are revealing, and use it to understand them better, and in turn, use it to help your relationships with men. Even if it’s to learn what to stay away from.
    Well said. I usually read men’s comments and think they are mostly just frustrated with the dating process, or maybe have learned to get over the frustration in the dating process.(something I feel like I’ve learned myself) Most of the men who comment here seem like good guys though. And then I read comments and think to myself “That is exactly what I want to avoid.” Indeed the contributions of the men here are welcome.

  27. 27

    My experience with online dating has been:
    People often don’t list income as it’s a private matter. As one man told me (who made a six-figure salary), “if I wouldn’t tell it to a stranger, I’m not going to post it online. Besides, I want someone who likes me for me, not because of my income level.”
    You’d think a paid site would be more worthwhile, but I’ve found little difference. Many of the same people on both paid and unpaid.
    Women are MUCH more open to age differences than men are. The article does confirm this, too. LOOKING youthful does help, though.
    Women can be picky too, though, as in, I’m 4’11, but won’t date anyone under 5’9″ tall.
    As been stated repeatedly, online dating encourages buffet-style dating. No one wants to settle for lest than what they’ve deemed “the best” they think they can get. And with so many choices, how do you ever decide what “the best” is?

  28. 28

    Lily #13 – To answer your question…
    Mostly, dating in the real world is about just being me and not “editing” myself all the time.  Not even always putting what I think is my “best (most perfect) foot forward”.  Instead, I just put my most realistic foot forward.  I noticed that if I get all dolled up and think I look really awesome, men are less likely to talk to me.  So I started doing the more natural thing with my hair and makeup and less fancy clothes, and instead just being myself.  If I don’t like something, I say so.  If I want to give a big laugh at something or give a compliment, I do.  If I’m feeling reserved that day, I let myself feel that way.  If I don’t feel like wearing makeup or fixing my hair, or I want to wear the cut off jean shorts instead of the cute little dress up black skirt, even though I don’t think that’s what someone will like, I do it anyway.  It’s about being the most authentic me I can be.  Once I started doing this, I noticed that men approach me more.  Maybe it’s because I’m more relaxed with myself so they feel they can relax with me.  Maybe men just like mystery and find this new behavior intriguing.  Who knows?  I’m anything but an expert on men at this point, lol.
    I also stopped actively “looking for ‘the one'” when I got offline.  I felt like looking so hard was part of the problem.  I went out of my way to meet so many people and to try to be so perfect and do what I thought would be just the right thing all the time every time, that I ended up stressed out with the process (even though it was fun and empowering at first).  In the end, I fell in love hard and fast with someone, and despite our strong feelings and amazing chemistry, we couldn’t make it work for a variety of reasons.  And I decided that, those reasons being only 50% my fault, I was tired of apologizing for all the misunderstandings and trying to be so perfect.  And I was tired of moving on again and again after what I usually considered a not so positive experience.  I did have some positive experiences online and made a few interesting and caring friends, one or two who are still around.  But in the end, with my heart broken, I just couldn’t continue to do it and needed to do something different, even if it meant being alone.  Since I’ve given myself a break and I’m not looking, I figure maybe the men who have actually been looking for mehave the opportunity to find me now.  One of them has definitely found me, and so far he seems to be of much higher quality than 99% of the men online. 

  29. 29

    @ JB # 9 I am 31 in a relationship with a 25 year old man.  I am pretty sure he does not JUST want to date me in the mean time. I am pretty sure there are men out there who do not mind age gap at all. He is saving up to buy a house in a couple of years. He told me he knows I want a house with two stories and he said he does not think he can afford one. I told him I did not mind it. See? We have not talk about marriage yet as we are only together 9 months but I know he takes us very seriously

  30. 30

    Most studies like these are simply observational, and only look at a small section of data from a single time period. A longitudinal study would be more interesting, as far as predicting trends. If 42% of men ages 30-49 would not even consider dating someone older in 2013, on the Are You Interested Facebook App, then what was the comparable percentage on 10 years ago (since, obviously, Facebook hasn’t been around long enough…).  I bet it has changed, but we can’t tell from the superficial nature of this study. Another recent study shows that gay people also prefer younger partners ( so fertility is probably not the real issue. I heard of another study recently that tied age preference in mate selection to the parental ages of the individual – if your mother was very young when you were born, you associate attractiveness with a younger face, but if your mother was older when you were born (or you were raised by your grandmother, which was not as much the case for Gen X, but seems to be trending up for their  kids these days) you would associate higher attractiveness to faces displaying characteristics of facial aging (it is a very interesting study which you can read here: Since age preferences don’t differ between heterosexual and homosexual couples, I doubt that fertility is the overriding cultural factor. I think it must really depend on how old your parents were (or the person who raised you from infancy). Truly, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, at least in terms of mate selection preferences. Since Baby Boomers were born to very young women generally, it’s not surprising that Boomer men prefer younger women. Milllennials (and Gen Y and Z) are more likely to have had older mothers and/or to have been raised by their grandparents, and so are probably the reason why the whole “cougar” phenomenon in our culture has even been possible in recent years. Of course, none of that apply to you if you’re not pretty (see:

    1. 30.1

      Thank you, Vicki. Highly interesting, logical and deductional.

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