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.

Read the full article here and share your comments below.

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Comments:

  1. 121
    Frimmel

    Evan at #112
     
    No argument from me on that. I’d actually said something to that effect but left it off because it seemed a bit too combative.
     
    Besides the shaming (pointed out also by Tom10 in #118) the other problem I had with KE’s comment is that men are expected to initiate no matter their age and no matter the age of the woman. (Pointed out by KarlT in #114) I recall a thread where I was reminded of that. The things you have to do to get dates don’t much change no matter which women reality deems you worthy of.
     
    And for reasons not worth going into I’m a bit touchy with regard to women other than the one I want to date deciding who I can date.

  2. 122
    Cat5

    I don’t find all this — why does it bother you at all and you have no right to be angry — discussion to be…well…helpful.
     
    I have a lot of clients who come in and are very angry.  I don’t say to them why does it bother you at all or you have no right to be angry.  It’s very invalidating and minimizing to a person – male or female.  It is important to remember that anger is a secondary emotion, usually used defensively, to cover for the primary emotions of hurt, sadness and fear.
     
    What I generally say to them is…I know…you have every right to be angry.  But, right now is not the time.   Let’s face it, the anger is covering for other emotions like hurt, sadness and fear.  I can understand why it’s hard to face those emotions and easier to be angry, but you have to if we are going to move forward with your case in a constructive manner.  So let’s put the anger aside for now, and deal with the real issues.
     
    See how much more helpful that is?  If you can’t understand why a woman – who is in her 40s or 50s and wants to date within her age range (=/- 5years) — would be scared and fearful that she might not be able to find someone to be in a relationship with that is in her desired age range and at the same stage in life as she is, then you are missing the point.
     
    I believe I told the story on here a few months ago about the man in his mid-50s I was going out with who was at the same times was dating a woman in her mid-30s.  Despite how well things were going with us, he chose her because she was still fertile and he thought he wanted kids.  Of course I was hurt, sad, and fearful.  And I was angry for a time also.  Who wouldn’t be?   I would have liked to have to continued the relationship.  But, after a while the anger faded as did the hurt/fear/sadness, and I was ready to move on and start dating again.
     
    FYI – Fast forward a few months — the mid-50s man & the mid-30s woman have broken up, and guess who is sniffing around me again to see if I might still be interested.  Dumbass! He had his chance.
     
    Make no mistake…it is still scary to me because the vast majority of the guys who want to go out with me are 35-39 and 58-62 men, neither of which are in the same stage of life as me (at age 50).  The 35-39s still want to have kids and the 58-62s are getting ready to retire.  It would be really nice to get more interest from 46-54 men, but by and large they want to date the 25-40 women.  It’s very disheartening, but I keep trying anyway.  And I’m sure that from time to time in the future, when I’m really scared, sad, or hurt again, I will feel angry about it.  And then that’ll fade…and I’ll pick myself up and go try again.
     
    Hopefully, you get my point.  :)

  3. 123
    Julia

    @Tom10 #124
    Intellectually I know that these are the qualities I should be looking for in a woman, yet when I try to meet women my ‘lizard-brain’ keeps screaming at me: looks and age, looks and age, LOOKS AND AGE! This is one of my character flaws which I suspect I will have to fight all my life. Hopefully I will indeed mature at some point.
     
    Tom10, forgive me because I don’t know how old you are. I think you have tuned into something inside of yourself that you should reflect upon. I also want to point out, as a woman in the age group that many of you are referring to (25-35) we also think Looks and age! Right now you might still be attracting younger women, I certainly will date men older than me but you must understand that you will probably always be attracted to women in their twenties and thirties but every single day you and yes these young women, are getting older. At some point you will entirely age out of this population or you will meet a younger woman and one day she will be 50. What do you do then? Do you base relationships on mutual attraction but also compatibility and life goals or do you always chase looks and age?

  4. 124
    Stan B

    Do you ladies also think is equally hypocritical of women (like Karmic for e.g) to refuse dating men their own height? 
    Attraction is not a choice. Men are attracted to young and  fertile females. Women are attracted to tall, successful men who posses confidence and status. Unfortunately most men who embody these qualities happens to fall in the older range category. With all that said, at least we can now start to understand why men value rise as they age.
    But hey, at least women can take solace in knowing they can have their choice pick of men when in their youthful age. Men below average height aren’t blessed with that same option. They practically struggle with dating all through their life.

  5. 125
    Karl T

    #123 Lia,
    Thank you for your post.  I always enjoy your unbiased and honest opinions on this blog.  Tell me specifically what you think of me- I am 39 and will be 40 in mid 2014.  I agree if I go out with a girl who is 25-30 that is a good deal younger than my age.  But If I date a 32 to 34 year old, I don’t really even consider that much away from my age.  That would be 5 to 7 years younger.  To me that is barely even off my age.  You don’t view that as weird do you?  If so, how specific is a person supposed to be when looking for a girl, aree we supposed to limit the search to plus or minus 1 or 2 years from our own age??  That is way too narrow in my opinion.  I bet many women on here have date guys who are easily 5 to 10 years out of their age range.  I do not view that as too weird, especially when people get older and we are all adults.

    1. 125.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Karl T - Since you don’t consider 5-7 years to be “barely off” your age, you shouldn’t find it too odd to date a woman 5-7 years OLDER, which is also “barely off” your age. If YOU cringe when you think of dating someone 5-7 years older, you can be sure that some women ALSO cringe when thinking of dating you.

  6. 126
    Karmic Equation

    @Chance 116 & 117

    No need to apologize. I enjoy the debates :)

    But you’re not picking up what I’m putting down…

    A 40-yo below-average looking man, with no income listed or without a job listed that a woman can figure out makes good money, who lists 25-35 as their preferred target and “short-term dating, actitivity partners, casual sex” as what they’re looking for will be SCORNED by or laughed at by the 25-30 yos who have self-esteem and no daddy issues.

    That same man who lists 30-40 as his target will probably STILL be ignored by the 25-30, BUT he will appear to be SELF-AWARE more mature and genuine to those 25 yo as well as to those “picky” 30-35 yo you say you want to date but won’t date you.

    It’s the same as a 60yo man who looks like Santa wanting to date a 40-55 yo woman. That 60yo is looks foolish by the 45yo. He changes his target to 50-65 and now he appears like a genuine and good person and not an old man who has no self-awareness. If a 40yo woman is attracted to him SHE KNOWS she can contact him and he would be receptive. 25 yo women know the same thing about contacting attractive 40yo men.

    I don’t care that a GOOD LOOKING 40yo is looking to play with 25 yo’s. I say more power to him and admire him. The unfit paunchy 40yo is just delusional, sorry, UNLESS he writes something like “don’t mind children or extra curvy” women or some such in his profile because then a 25yo MAY contact him because he seems open and accepting of her full figure.

    The reality is a paunchy 40yo man shows himself to be a fool by listing 25-35 if he’s not ACTIVELY looking to get married. If he wants to appear the fool to the 30-35yo’s who would would make good partners for him, that hurts him and not me. But that man then says the “30-35 yo’s are ‘too picky’” — Yeah they are. They want a man who is self-aware and not delusional.

    “I think the Mother Elephant in the room is that this strikes closely to the deep-seated fear that a woman’s mate value falls as she ages, and a man’s mate value rises he ages (to a certain age).”

    Inaccurate. A man’s value only rises if his INCOME or PRESTIGE rises along with his age as his looks decline. An average looking 50 yo man who makes $40000 in a dead-end job has little value to most women except the indigent or those in desperately need of a baby daddy. An UGLY 50 yo man making 150,000 will get play from 25+. A HANDSOME 50 yo man who makes $150,000 or millionaires into their 80′s (Hugh Hefner and that guy who married Anna-Nicole Smith anyone?) – well, only the law stops him from getting play from as young as wants to. That’s reality.

    “However, if the oft-mentioned fat guy with no income expresses his preference for younger women, older women see the green light to pounce.”

    You men kill me with your selective understanding of the age thing.

    Regular rules for common folk like you and me don’t apply to the rich and/or famous and/or good looking.

    Michael Douglas is a good looking man in his own right. Even if he were not rich or famous, he could have found decent play amongst young women. But you add to his good looks his fame and fortune, he can have any woman he wants and he got her.

    So women are not “pouncing” on the fat man who prefers to younger women.

    We just don’t apply the rules of normal folk to the rich and famous. A normal fat man can prefer all he wants to date out of his league, but he appears unworthy to those actually in his league and even more unworthy to those in the league ABOVE him.

  7. 127
    Kathleen

    Cat5 #126
    Thats an insightful and compassionate way to look at it. It reminds me of the quote 
    “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
    For me at 54 I know I have to just look as darn good as possible , be confident and happy . Sorry to hear of the (‘Dumbass”) guy you were dating but its probably validating that he’s coming back to you to try again :-) Sounds like he was on the rebound or married for a long time perhaps.
    Right now Im trying an experiment . If you can’t beat them join them. Ive dropped my range below my own age so that I get less mail from the 60-85 year old range.  My other experiment… I changed my preference to black guys only… but that made no difference in the contact I got ….:-) 

  8. 128
    Lia

    Tom10 #124
     
    It is NOT that the men I am interested in don’t want women my age, (remember I like older men as a general rule) the men I am looking at usually include my age but not women THEIR age.  As I wrote in # 123 “It comes across so hypocritical and I find THAT hard to swallow.  If he doesn’t want to date a person his age why should I want to date a person his age?  Does he really believe that he is too good for women his own age?”  It is the hypocrisy that I find unpleasant.  I do understand that that is a judgement and I recognize that I need to take responsibility for that judgement.  But there is some discernment that comes into it as well.  
     
    Tom, as for the second part of your post, I suspect you are much harder on yourself than is warranted.  I can’t remember reading any of your posts where I thought you were shallow or lacking in character.  Of course you are attracted to beautiful young women, they’re… well, beautiful. I doubt your “character flaw” is anything more than just a natural attraction to beauty.  That isn’t something you fight, it is just something you acknowledge.  It is NOT a lack of maturity that gives you appreciation for beauty, it’s nature.  If, however, that was your ONLY criteria for choosing a partner, that would be unwise and life would probably teach you that lesson with a significant amount of personal pain.
     
    As I wrote before there are moments when think about how my body use to look, but there is a burden that comes with being twenty or thirty something and being beautiful.  (Read Evan’s post on Pity the Pretty)  Because it in truth it is not the woman inside that attracts it is the outer shell, and no matter how much she does or does not identify with that outer beauty, it is not about who she really is.  And we all just want to be loved for who we really are, even if we like to be admired for what is on the surface. 
     
    Thank you for your kind words.  I hope for the best for you.

  9. 129
    Soulsister

     
    True story:  My father married my mother when they were both the same age (young), both good looking, he was in the army so income was average.
     
     
     
    Dad leaves mom in his 30s for a woman, both are good looking, dad is just starting his business so income is average.
     
     
     
    Dad is in his mid 40s, leaves same age wife who is looking older (although aging well) and starts dating 25 yr old, his business is booming, he is a very wealthy man.  We actually wondered what he saw in her, as he is very smart, was very handsome, and rich….she was young and ditzy and low class….but mystery solved when we saw her in a bathing suit.  Plus, because of her youth, she deferred to him on most things, he got to call all the shots.
     
     
     
    They have been married for many years.  She is my age (50s) and he is in his later 70s. I am sure she has not had sex with her old man in a long, long time.  She grew up and became less dependent and more vocal, and today she does her own thing and leaves him at home.  She has never had to work and her future is secure when he is gone.  He would have traded her in for a younger model too if he still had the energy (which he doesn’t) as she looks worse today than I do. 
     
     
     
    She used her youth to secure her future, he used his money to secure his pliable arm candy.  He is not the nicest guy, women his own age held him to a higher standard of behavior and he did not want to be held accountable.  They both got what they wanted, but IMO she earned every penny of that secure future. 
     
     
     
    All women my age have many stories like this….when a man wants a much younger woman, he has to have something to trade for it ($$).  When a woman wants a wealthy man, she better have something trade for it (youth or better looks than him).  I think giving away your youth is a higher price to pay than giving away your $$.  Those women who traded it 20 years ago may have a bigger house and no financial worries, but  I get to have sex with a man my age who can still get an erection and I get to enjoy that  his biceps still bulge when he lifts his arms. 
     
     
     
    As for the online dating, which I have done successfully on and off for years….if you met me in person you would not believe my age, so a man who filters out women younger than himself who is my age missed out on me on line.  Because I ALWAYS looked at his age range.  If he discounted anyone his age or up to about 5 years older, I automatically deleted him. Period.  It said a lot about him, and while I know he would have made an “exception” for me, I didn’t want it.  And I know if some of those men met me in real life, they would have been bummed they missed out on a chance with me just because they limited their options. 
     
     
     
    So everyone can do whatever they want, but why would someone want to purposefully limit their options in any direction?  I love a man who is overweight….if I only looked at the “athletic and fit” men,  I would have missed out on him.  I would rather open up my options and then filter down my opportunities, than not have the opportunity in the first place because I threw away the option.
     

  10. 130
    Karmic Equation

    @Stan B

    I feel for the short dudes and understand their travails. I had one date with a man who listed his height as 5’7″. I thought he had a great personality and was fun and funny. But I couldn’t envision myself have sex with him. I just couldn’t. So I declined a 2nd date.

    I have been attracted to short men, but I’m only attracted to very good looking short men. And those short men want to date MUCH taller than me. I can’t go out with someone who doesn’t ask me out.

    For a man it’s different. My best friend, who happens to be a man, said the only thing men really have to qualify a woman for dating is “Can she make him hard?” If the answer is yes, then he can date her. So if you’re all saying ONLY 25-35 yo’s can make you hard. Ok. Then only date them. But you know that ain’t the truth.

    OTOH dating is what the market will bear. I’ve been on dates now with men 6-2, 6-6, and with a TBD date with a 6-8 muddder, handsome face, and you can imagine how fit mudders have to be. My first question to him was “Ummm, you know that I’m almost 2ft shorter than you, right?” And his reply was “Yes, I know. But I’m ok with it as long as you’re ok with it. Sometimes my height intimidates petite women.” Of course I said, “Nope, don’t mind at all”. I love tall, especially if it comes with a handsome face and a banging bod. (Didn’t say that last bit, but I could have. Didn’t want him to know I was drooling at my computer.)

    I can attract tall men. So I date tall men.

    If you can attract 25 yo, then date them. I’m just saying listing that as an acceptable age doesn’t mean that age will actually come a-running to you. OTOH raising that age won’t deter a determined 25yo woman who’s attracted to you. What that low number does is lower your value to the leagues above you (which 25 yos are if you’re 40). Of course this doesn’t PREVENT you from SEARCHING for 25-35. List your ages at 30-45, and SEARCH for 25-35. It’s just better MARKETING to the women in the leagues above you.

    If there is any “fear” there appears to be an illogical fear by men that listing higher than 25 will somehow deter 25yos. That’s just silly.

    In this online dating world, women aren’t shy about contacting men they’re attracted to if they are *that* attracted. IRL I would NEVER have gone up to a good looking man to say hi. But online, I’ve said hi to quite a few. I would add that I almost exclusively contact men that I feel are WAY OUT of my league. For the men in my league, I simply visit their profiles :)

  11. 131
    Aisling

    @Cat5 #126 : I hear you, sister.  You summed up my feelings quite nicely.  I am 52 and look good for my age, and  I know I don’t look 25 or 30. It is disheartening to see the few men within 5 years of my age that are in decent shape and reasonably employed consistently go for the late 20s-mid-30s women.  And these women invariably want to have a baby, so these guys sign on for a second tour of diaper duty. I know some men who have followed this pathway to their regret.
    Sure, people are permitted to want what they want.  But do some of these men ever stop to think that they would not be dating the younger hotties if they didn’t have the $$$?
    But no one likes a bitter middle-aged woman, so I try to keep a positive attitude and not compare my life with others’.
    Like Cat, I really don’t want to date a man who is more than 5 years older.  Most men my own age are already in rough shape. And I don’t want someone who is retired.  I am nowhere near retirement (by my own choice), so we would definitely be in different life stages.
    I agree with many of the posters here that yes, you have to be flexible and expand your criteria.  I really get that.  However, at some point, at least for me, it is better to stay single than to completely abdicate my preferences. If I were younger and in the baby hunger phase I would probably feel differently.
     
     
     

  12. 132
    Aisling

    @ Lia #123:  Youth is wasted on the young.  I wish I could be 25 again knowing what I know now.  As some of the men here have pointed out, that is when women have the most “market value”.  I could kick myself for not realizing how much power I had back then.  But I was way too immature to realize it.
    Like you, I believe I would make a far better partner now than when I was 25 or even 35.

  13. 133
    Karl T

    Evan #133,
    Like I said I did date a woman who was 7 years older than me back when I was 34.  We actually connected with each other pretty quickly- she was extremely warm and affectionate, very caring, and the sex was like we could read each others minds.  She dumped me because she basically wanted to have a baby almost immediately and for me to quit my job and move in with her (she lived almost 2 hours away) and she felt I wasn’t moving fast enough..LOL (I spent one week and 2 weekends with her, LOL.  I was willing to try the long distance thing out for 4 to 6 months, but she was unwilling to wait another week…..crazy).  Around her I did not even feel like she was 7 years older- it felt like I was dating someone my own age.  The reason I want 7 years younger or so is because I want to have kids, but I wouldn’t marry a woman until about 2 years or at least 1.5 years because marriage is a huge deal.
    Karmic #130,
    LOL.  I think an attractive and smart 28 year old woman would laugh at an out of shape 28 year old with no job too!! LOL.  Having no job and not taking care of yourself is unattractive at any age!!!!! 

  14. 134
    Karmic Equation

    @Karl T
    Of course that is true. But that doesn’t make the 40yo less laughable. A 28 yo SHOULD be dating someone in his 20′s. A 40yo, depends.

  15. 135
    Julia

    @Karl
    She dumped me because she basically wanted to have a baby almost immediately and for me to quit my job and move in with her (she lived almost 2 hours away) and she felt I wasn’t moving fast enough..LOL (I spent one week and 2 weekends with her, LOL.  I was willing to try the long distance thing out for 4 to 6 months, but she was unwilling to wait another week…..crazy).  Around her I did not even feel like she was 7 years older- it felt like I was dating someone my own age.
     
    Paradox-She showed you her immaturity in her desire to shack up and have children immediately yet you feel you were the same age….hmmmmm.

  16. 136
    Jadeite

    Karl T #138 – “We actually connected with each other pretty quickly- she was extremely warm and affectionate, very caring, and the sex was like we could read each others minds.  She dumped me because she basically wanted to have a baby almost immediately and for me to quit my job and move in with her (she lived almost 2 hours away) and she felt I wasn’t moving fast enough..LOL (I spent one week and 2 weekends with her, LOL.  I was willing to try the long distance thing out for 4 to 6 months, but she was unwilling to wait another week…..crazy).” 
     
    I’m sorry you had that experience.  It does seem in the online dating world that some people want to move at hyper speed.  I hadn’t really dated around before online dating (having only serious relationships, not dating several people at once) and it was a real eye opener how people will act.  I now know that anyone who wants to move that quickly is living in Red Flag City and I disengage pretty quickly (which, unfortunately, was happening more than I cared for).  Regardless of her older than you age status, she wasn’t acting very mature.  I guess she thought she could get a sperm donor just about anywhere? Yikes. :)

  17. 137
    Karl R

    Lia said: (#123)
    “when I look at the men in my age bracket who want to date want to date much younger, I try not to judge but it is reeeeeallly hard not.  It comes across so hypocritical and I find THAT hard to swallow. If he doesn’t want to date a person his age why should I want to date a person his age?  Does he really believe that he is too good for women his own age?”
     
    When my wife and I started dating, she commented that she had only dated one man in the previous twenty years who wasn’t younger than her. Every other man had been two to fourteen years younger.
     
    Should I have avoided dating my wife (at her age) because she was unlikely to date a man who was her age?
     
    Karmic Equation said: (#109)
    “To the 39+ dudes who are looking to date 25-35…Have you actually had 25 yo’s contacting you first? Or do you have to contact them first?
     
    “If they’re contacting you first, then it means you’re worthy to date 25. But if you’re dating 25 and YOU had to contact them first, then you’re not really 25-worthy. Just saying.”
     
    I wouldn’t have contacted my wife if I’d seen her profile on Match.com (due to the age gap). I would have politely turned her down if she’d contacted me. Does that mean she’s “not really 43-worthy”?
     
    Karmic Equation,
    Your question reminds me of when I was 38. On my 38th birthday, I had a first date with a woman who was 27. She had initially been reluctant to date me because she thought I was younger than her.
     
    After she broke up with me (for reasons unrelated to age), I started dating a 33 year old woman whom I’d met while still in my previous relationship. She later admitted that she’d been disappointed to find out that I was taken when we first met.
     
    After that relationship ended (for reasons unrelated to age), I dated another woman who was 27. She turned 28 and I turned 39 while we were dating. I ended that relationship because of the maturity gap (which hadn’t been an issue with the other 27 year old).
     
    I didn’t have to be gorgeous or super-athletic or wealthy or successful in order to date women who were in the 25-35 range. I don’t think my ability to date in that age range vanished when I became 39+. (My availability ended, since I started dating my wife that year.) It does not seem strange to me that other men around the same age may find some women in that age range who are happy to date them.
     
    However, if they’re looking to find a great partner, I’d say they will shorten their search if they stop limiting their range to 25-35.
     
    The advantages of dating older:
    These advantages apply whether you’re male or female.
     
    If you look at the comments by women (#1, 5, 11, 22, 48), you’ll see a common pattern. They have an age range that they’d prefer (around their age) which tends not to generate many dates. There’s an age range older than them that is interested, but the interest is not mutual. There’s an age range younger than them that is also interested, but that age range is too young to generate candidates for a serious relationship.
     
    A very similar pattern exists for men.
     
    For a moment, forget about your preferred age range. Regardless of your preferences, you can only date the people who want to date you. If you hold out for the people who don’t want to date you, you’ll just frustrate yourself endlessly.
     
    Regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman, your odds (of finding an attractive partner who is interested in you) increase dramatically if you’re pursuing someone who is older. That’s because they (like you) would prefer someone younger.
     
    Kathleen said: (#22)
    “Id love to meet a guy my own age who is in good shape but they are rare.”
     
    Would you rather date someone your own age, or someone who is in good shape?
     
    Seriously. When dating older, I found I could be more picky about attractiveness and still be successful. You can take advantage of people’s preference for dating younger to snag someone great … who is older.
     
    My wife is 16 years older than me. Dating someone her age wasn’t some great sacrifice on my part. It was a trade-off I made in order to get someone terrific. Click on the link on my name and you can see my wife and me. You can form your own opinion about whether I “dated down” by dating someone older.

    1. 137.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      And THAT, my friends, is how you conclude a discussion on this blog. Game, set, match @Karl R!

  18. 138
    Karmic Equation

    @Karl R 142

    First of all, you have that nerdy-cute look that is a look some women go for. So you’re not the “below average looking guy” we’re talking about. Also you’re lean and obviously you dance. I imagine that when you dated younger, those women were also dancers? Nerdy-cute dudes who can dance are probably in high demand. Shoot, any dude who can dance like that are probably in high demand. So you had two pluses going for you. You’re not even the “average” dude, dude.

    “I wouldn’t have contacted my wife if I’d seen her profile on Match.com (due to the age gap). I would have politely turned her down if she’d contacted me. Does that mean she’s “not really 43-worthy”?”

    No, you just made my and Evan’s points. It doesn’t mean that she wasn’t 43-worthy. It means you would have been a knucklehead to dismiss meeting your future wife simply because you felt she was too old to date. Obviously, you would have been wrong. You are the cautionary tale of limiting the search in the UPPER range.

    “Regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman, your odds (of finding an attractive partner who is interested in you) increase dramatically if you’re pursuing someone who is older. That’s because they (like you) would prefer someone younger.”

    Isn’t this a paradox? If I’m pursuing OLDER to increase finding an attractive partner, then how am I satisfying my desire to date younger? Only one person in this equation is having their preference satisfied. And it isn’t me.

    I think you need to explain this differently because I’m not following your drift here.

    NON-SEQUITUR: You and your wife look like a happy, compatible couple and look well-matched. Congratulations. She’s a babe at 59. You’re the lucky one! lol

  19. 139
    SAL9000

    @Soulsister #134
    That imagined karmic equation doesn’t work – you’re not “winning” or any such thing, and otherwise “he” isn’t missing out by you rejecting him after he already in effect rejected you ;).

  20. 140
    Peter

     I used to use women’s age preferences as behaviour predictors rather than Go/No GO filters. Here simplified are the predictors.
     
    She wants only younger men  = She wants sex quickly.  If i score higher in appearance she’s mine tonight!
     
    She wants men about the same age.  She is confident and serious.  I need to score on a lot of points to make an impact.  (sometimes simple age was a blocker but not often).
     
    She wants substantially (>10 years as the lower limit) older men.  This woman lacks confidence or is desperate for a result.  She could get very clingy.
     
    In all cases I would ignore her stated preferences in my contact decision. 

  21. 141
    Tom10

    Julia #127
     
    “Tom10, forgive me because I don’t know how old you are. I think you have tuned into something inside of yourself that you should reflect upon…you must understand that you will probably always be attracted to women in their twenties and thirties but every single day…you are getting older.”
     
    That’s the thing Julia; I’m only 29 and already thinking like this – that’s why I’m cognisant of what I’ll be like when older. So when I read the comments from women like Lia and Aisling I remind myself of the qualities that will really matter.
     
    “as a woman in the age group that many of you are referring to (25-35) we also think Looks and age!”
     
    I suppose everyone does it then.
     
    Lia
    Ah I see I slightly misinterpreted your point. Rather than complaining about men preferring a bit younger, it’s that fact that they won’t even consider women their own age while simultaneously expecting you to date older that irks you. I suppose the lesson here is that men should indicate a broader age range to extend above their own – even if in reality they would only accept younger.
     
    Cat5 #126
    “See how much more helpful that is?”
     
    Yes I see your point. Some of the men on this board inferred the comments as a slight on their personal preferences, whereas actually you (women in general) are lamenting the situation generally rather than judging individuals.
     

  22. 142
    Karmic Equation

    That is SOOO interesting Peter. You used age preferences as behavior indicators and women use them to make some inferences on character.
     
    So when you decided to make contact with women your found attractive using those predictors, how accurate were you? How successful were you in getting dates with them?

  23. 143
    marymary

    What I get from Karl R
    Not every person older than you is unattractive
    Some older people are more attractive than some younger people.  At the extreme, compare Michelle Pfeiffer, Yasmin Le Bon, Liam Neeson to some of the, erm, less well groomed 25 yos you may know.  
    Given that most ppl prefer younger, the smoking hot older person will consider you a catch even if you’re not as attractive as them.  Also, they aren’t getting as many offers simply because they are older. So your chances of getting an attractive person increase if you will increase your upper age range.  Continuing to increase downwards isn’t increasing your chances at all.  
    By attractive I mean the whole pkg: sex appeal, confidence, wisdom, humour, maturity, tolerance, relability, trustworthiness, honesty.  
     

  24. 144
    Soulsister

    SAL9000 #145
    Sorry, I wasn’t clear, they had contacted me first, so they were not rejecting me, then I looked at their preferred age range regardless of how old they were or if I was in their range…
     
    For example:  45 yo man contacts me (50) because he likes my picture, but his age range says 30-40.  Delete.  Now if he contacted me and his range said 35-45 or 35 – 48, even tho I am outside his range, I might respond anyway because he is willing to consider someone his own age even before he saw my picture. 
     
    Or 55 yo man contacts me, but his age range is 40-50, I would delete him even tho I am in his range.
     
    Probably personal opinion, but I just don’t like the attitude of a man who thinks he is too good for someone his own age, regardless of what that age is.  It is like a fat man only wanting to date someone slender….he isn’t even good enough for himself!  I think someone’s filters just say something about them – even they wouldn’t fit their own filter!  And I don’t think I mentioned winning anything, just that as we narrow our options we could miss out on opportunities so why “negotiate” with ourselves and lock out options before we even get the chance to consider them? 
     
    Again, it is just a perception.  On line dating is marketing.  Everything on our profile sends a message.  Per Evan’s advice, I made a comment about a dish I made well (I don’t like even like to cook but I was coming across too professional, ie not nurturing)….the emails went up noticeably.

  25. 145
    Karl T

    Karmic #139,
    “I’m surprised you said this “A 28 yo SHOULD be dating someone in his 20′s. A 40yo, depends.”
    What if I said you should be dating short guys since your are very short…..
     

  26. 146
    Kathleen

    Karl R 
    OK Im sold!… Very persuasive argument. Id rather date someone in shape and I raise my range based on your reasoning.  Cute couple you both are on your link!   
    Peter  146
    Gasp… If thats what most guys think… its an emergency!!!… Im raising my upper range asap.!! I haven’t dated older guys since Ive been single. Ive found guys to very aggressively want to get sexual with me very quickly , and since I was married for decades I assumed this was the new norm. Maybe not based on what you are saying 

  27. 147
    Chance

    @Karmic
    Oh, I picked up everything you laid down, and judging by your response, I think we’re speaking at cross-purposes.  Pretty much everything you say is accurate, but it doesn’t address the real issue, which is why on earth do women get so worked up about it (not to worry, I addressed it in my earlier post).  When I was dating online, I often passed over women because of preferences that came off as unrealistic for them (e.g., only wanted men who were 10″ taller, only wanted men who were at least two years older, etc.) even if I fell within their preferences.  They came off as lacking self-awareness, so we’re in agreement there.  However, their preferences didn’t make me upset and I didn’t laugh or scorn at them for it.  I didn’t give it much thought after that, actually.  That’s the difference.
     
    “That same man who lists 30-40 as his target will probably STILL be ignored by the 25-30, BUT he will appear to be SELF-AWARE more mature and genuine to those 25 yo as well as to those “picky” 30-35 yo you say you want to date but won’t date you.”
    I think you’re getting your people mixed up.  I never said that.  Women in the 30-35 age range are older than me.
     
    “A man’s value only rises if his INCOME or PRESTIGE rises along with his age as his looks decline.”
    Yes, and an unattractive twenty-something female’s value won’t decline very much as she ages since she supposedly didn’t have much to begin with.  We’re speaking in general terms here.  More importantly, I never said that a man’s value rises with age and a woman’s value falls with age.  I said that it is a fear that many women have, so arguing over whether it is true or not is a moot point.  I don’t think it’s true, for the record.
     

  28. 148
    Jadeite

    Karl R – In reference to:  If you look at the comments by women (#1, 5, 11, 22, 48), you’ll see a common pattern. They have an age range that they’d prefer (around their age) which tends not to generate many dates. There’s an age range older than them that is interested, but the interest is not mutual. There’s an age range younger than them that is also interested, but that age range is too young to generate candidates for a serious relationship.
    (And this also kind of applies to Peter #146)
    In #5 above, I actually said I preferred to date older than me.  I had no problems at all dating online; I just grew tired of the process.  I had dates in an age range of 28 (rare, but great fun when I was in the mood) to 64 (very rare, we had one date because we had similar interests but there was zero chemistry), and I was often contacted by men my age.  However, most of the men my age were generally less mature than I preferred, especially if they had never been married.  And if they had been married, they were really into spending lots of time with their children….something one can hardly fault a great parent for.  Maybe it’s just that for me, my preference is really late 40s – early 50s (although I’ve always preferred older men) because they weren’t looking for a baby factory but to have fun and concentrate on each other, especially if they were healthy.    So, while I agree that dating up in age is something I’m all for, it certainly doesn’t indicate that I’m insecure and clingy as Peter’s post suggests.  In fact, I tended to notice the men in the 38-44 range as most likely to be clingy, when that happened.  My most successful relationship (and we are friends and stopped dating regularly only because I moved from Austin to Houston) came from a man on POF, who originally lied about his age.  He said he was 41 when he was 54.  He could pass for 45-48, is in awesome shape, super active, and a great c/w dancer (he used to teach).  And I really liked him before figuring out that he was older.  Did I care then?  And would I have discounted him if he would have listed his real age?  Nope.  His reason for not listing an accurate age is that he wanted to date a younger acting woman who is active and his age range doesn’t seem to be what he’s interested in.  Other than the age lie, he is an up-front honest guy and is now a great friend.  We’d probably be dating exclusively by now if we weren’t 3 hours apart (neither of us wants to do long distance, although I do see him just about every time I visit Austin every 6-8 weeks).  We get each other and that means a lot.  So I agree very much with Karl R., look at what I would have missed out on if I would have discounted someone older.

  29. 149
    Jadeite

    And Karl R – Great couple and awesome dancing! :)

  30. 150
    Karmic Equation

    @Karl T 151
     
    I’ve said it MANY times. I’ve found short guys attractive, but I like really attractive short guys. Like if they were tall, they’d be a 10 kind of attractive. But those really good looking short guys are dating women MUCH taller (and much prettier!) than me. They don’t consider me. So if a short guy I find attractive doesn’t ask me out I can’t go out with him. You want me to kidnap them or something?
     
    Really that’s akin to me saying to you. There are plenty of FAT 25 yo’s would LOVE to date a 40yo slender man. So she’s 25, why aren’t you dating her?
     
    Tell me you’ve dated a fat 25 yo and I’ll STFU, I’ve dated 5-5 and 5-7 guys (but the 5-7 was really only a 5-4). I really can’t date shorter than that because I’d chew them up and spit them out if they were to piss me off. A tall guy would survive my Liliputian fury. A short guy wouldn’t.

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