Why Would a Younger Woman Want to Date a Much Older Man?

Okay, Evan, I agree mostly with your opinion on younger men/older women. What do you say about the reverse? I mean, I can see why an older man would want to date a younger woman – physically that is, but why would a 28-year-old woman want to date a man 45 or more?


Dear Penelope,

Beats the shit out of me.

I can totally understand why older men go for younger women. There’s no denying that they’re, for the most part, in better shape, with better skin, and less baggage from broken relationships. Time creates wisdom – but it also creates responsibilities and complications – mortgage, kids, career, etc. All of this makes dating more and more complex as we get older. It’s a lot easier for a man to take out a carefree, responsibility free, baggage free, wrinkle free 28-year-old, which is why so many men try to go in that direction. I’m not condoning this. I’m OBSERVING that it happens.

Still, most of them fail miserably, for the exact same reasons that I think Penelope is suggesting. Men want much younger women, but rarely do much younger women want older men. Put another way, if a woman has an array of other quality options closer to her age range, what incentives would she have to date a man who is SEVENTEEN YEARS OLDER?

Not many, I’m thinking.

Before any 40+ people get all hot and bothered about this – I am not judging you. There is nothing wrong with aging. I do think people improve with age (my 38-year-old girlfriend is nodding). But let’s not pretend that we, as a culture, don’t worship at the altar of youth. If you’re over the age of 40 and have ever said, “But I’m told I look five years younger than my age”, then you’re not immune to it yourself. But see, for men who covet younger women, it’s not whether you look good for your age – it’s what age you really are.

She doesn’t NEED a guy who’s 45. She can find that same amazing guy at age 30. Or 35. Or 40.

Because it’s competitive out there for all of us. People have choices. And nobody has more choices than a 28-year-old woman. If she wants to date a guy who is 6’2”, makes $400,000+, likes skiing, is within ten miles of her house and five years of her age, you know what? She could probably find him. All she has to do is go on Match.com, and wade through a few thousand applicants. The point is, she doesn’t NEED a guy who’s 45. She can find that same amazing guy at age 30. Or 35. Or 40. She doesn’t need a guy who will be taking Viagra when she’s sexually peaking at 43.

Don’t get me wrong, there are advantages in a 45-year-old guy. He’s probably a man. He’s got the job and the home and the car, and been divorced with a kid already. So if a woman finds it more appealing to just step into that world – to jump from the prolonged adolescence of the late 20’s into full-fledged settled-down womanhood – that could make sense.

There are many other things that are attractive about older men. They embody wisdom and stability. They can afford nicer restaurants and vacations and have cultivated greater tastes in the arts. They’re more experienced, more chivalrous, and more likely to want to settle down than a twentysomething party boy.

And yet, they probably resemble Penelope’s dad more than they resemble her brother….

This is the most compelling reason behind why younger women might go for older men: they’re daddy substitutes. An older man’s going to be the strong, nurturing guy who takes care of her, teaches her, and treats her like a princess – the kind of relationship that she probably lacked growing up.

Most of them are completely creeped out at the prospect of dating a guy who was alive when JFK was alive.

Hey, I’m no psychologist – just your friendly, neighborhood http://www.evanmarckatz.com/coaching/. But I do know women, and lots of women in their 20’s. And the truth is that most of them are completely creeped out at the prospect of dating a guy who was alive when JFK was alive. These women were born in the EIGHTIES. They grew up with computers. They’re contemporaries with Britney Spears. Whether we like it or not, there is nearly a full generation gap between 28 and 45. A few women may bridge this gap for lust or money or dimestore psychological reasons, but most of the women I know would prefer to date a great, stable 30-40 year-old – who also knows who Limp Bizkit is.

Okay, older men – tell me why I’m wrong. But don’t forget, you and your younger girlfriends are the EXCEPTION. I’m writing about the RULE.

By the way, my girlfriend wants it on record that she would totally sleep with Harrison Ford if he should be reading this. So as a gift to both of them: Sure, why not? Happy 66th, Indy!



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  1. 61

    to hunter you said women want to be worshipped in bed why not or are you one of the old guys just do your thing and get off and don’t satisfy your mate since you are a decade old that is why we choose younger guys to cater to our bodies and will get more partcipation in bed how is your luv life must be boring you can’t keep it up

  2. 62

    to biggleggz,

    I can’t keep it up?….LOL!…how funny!…hhmmmhh

  3. 63

    I am 18 and the man i am falling in love with is 30. Things are going great and all. I dont really care much for his age other than the fact that i am still learning to cope with the real world and he’s already in it. I am not really that domesticated…my life is just starting and his is already going…he wants a family and things that i want to give him but cant and am not ready to give him at this stage in my life. Any advice?

  4. 64
    Megan D

    Age is just a number it what you have in common and how you fit together I am 18 and my boyfriend is 38 we have been dating for 6 months and so going we make each other laugh and smile we never have a dull moment. and for most people that think younger women only date older men for finical support is not true because I look for the inner beauty not how much they make or what martials they can get me our relationship is strictly love and chemistry! I love him to the bottome of my heart!

  5. 66

    Dating an older man. I’ve always found older men more attractive.

    It’s all about maturity. Now are there very immature old men, you bet, are there very mature young men, yes. but generally they are the exception to the rule.

    Older men listen and know how to treat a woman. Instead of a bar playing beer pong they are ok with a beer or two and conversation. In the bedroom it’s an amazing experience; they slow down and there goal is to give you as much pleasure as possible, and they derive pleasure from your pleasure.

    As far as personality, men’s personality is diverse no matter what age.

    I started my family young, I have two kids.

    It’s all about the maturity and the ablity to talk things out. I don’t see myself not dating older men. As far as attraction goes, the hottest movie stars out there are over 40, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, and yes Harrison Ford.

    I think age is too much of a focus. If two 20 year olds date, and they break up people just accept it, but if a 20 year old and a 40 year old date and they break up, people say it was “the age thing”, and in both it’s about incompatability in whatever form it came in.

  6. 67
    Harry W Smith

    Megan D
    38 is not old. Have you ever dated a man in his sixty?


  7. 68

    I have been reading all of the comments and they all hold true. All people date other people for different reasons. I have dated men 9 years younger, my age, and am now attracted to a man 15 years older. If the relationship is about security, money, and a younger better looking body it probably will fail age difference or not. The trick is if you really are attracted to the other person physically as well as mentally don’t let any reason keep you from going for happiness. Also, all the best relationship I witness is where people stay true to themselves. There was a comment about the older person not being as active. That doesn’t mean you can’t. My friends that have husbands the “same age” as them go on vegas vactions with just the girls’. Those friends have good marriages.

    As far as when he gets “old” and the woman has to take care of him. Seriously, none of you know anyone who had to take care of thier spouse dying of cancer or other medical issues in thier 30, 40’s or 50’s. I have watched people take care of each other and they do it because they truly love that person. I want that kind of love. May not find it with someone 15 years older, but I am not missing a chance.

    As far as the men being only concerened about “3 holes”. Those type of guys are in every age braket. That is lucky for us, how else would we get through “dry” spells. :)

  8. 69

    i’ll be 22 in March, and my fiance just turned 48(his bday is in Sept) we plan on getting married by 2010.. age doesn’t matter when it comes to matters of the heart.

    1. 69.1

      Ash, if you take good care of yourself which by the way your husband is not going to encourage you to do (BTDT), my husband wanted me to drink myself to stupor and gain some 30lbs. Anyway as I was saying, you will still be physically attractive at 42 and can attract men 10 years younger or older if you have other things going for you like good personality, kind, smart and self reliance. Your husband will be TWO years shy of 70. Picture that. 

  9. 70

    Im 55, the girl is 23. I must say its fun being togeher. We expect nothing more from each other than just that. If she wanted to, I woud settle down in a heartbeat. I offer to do material things for her because it makes me happy to see her happy. She is happy at the thought of me treating her as an individulal, and not a sex object. I see younger couples with less than 5 years age difference, not enjoying each other as much as we do. While I suspect that we may never marry, nothing could destroy our presonal committment of trust and friendship. The years between us is just that, a space of time that has somhow bridged us together. Being older does not nessecarily mean I will pass on before she does. I am comforable with her doing the ‘younger’ things that’s grounded in her age group. Together, as a couple, we respect the age difference, and it has never came in to play, sexually, activitly, or socially. We truely have a great relationship. In her own words, ‘…being with you and around you is wonderful, I truely feel satisfied that you are in my life .’ I feel the same. While everyone throw out the pros and cons about the age difference, I’m glad that, no matter how long ours last, we enjoy each other to the fullest.

  10. 71

    There is no commonality with a woman in her 20’s and a man in his 40’s or 50’s. He looks more like her father than her husband/boyfriend. Any kids he might have are embarassed by his advanced age and by people asking if he’s their grandfather. Older men are not physically attractive and their sperm declines after 35, cause chromosomal problems. The only thing they have going for them is money and resources, which women gravitate to. This is why the only women you see with much older men are those men with tons of money. What does this say about Mr. Dec./Ms. May? As far as the older man being truly attractive to the younger women, both parties know the truth.

  11. 72

    Like many others, I met my husband when I was 28 and he was 42. We always did a lot of physical things together, such as hiking, walking, swimming, travelling, biking, etc. When he got into his 50’s he developed heart issues and many of these things are now out of the question as he gets overexerted. I am still young enough to take part in these activities and often do so alone now, as I still have excess energy at 42. Age becomes more of an issue as the man and woman get older and the woman still wants to lead an active life as opposed to being a couch potato.

  12. 73

    You expain about men in their 40s and 50s with younger woman, but not about those in their 60s and 70s who can still have sex. All the man has to do is go to a fitness center and get on the treadmill,and a buy a penis pump.A penis pump exercises the penis. I have a penis pump, and it works very well. My penis has gotten longer. I don’t fall a sleep while doing it on top of a younger woman.Go to a health store. There are people there who can help you find herbs for the penis. Buy a book and dvds on how to exercise the face muscles, by Carole Maggio. The face also has muscles. the man would look much younger. The only men in their 60s and 70s who can not have sex anynore are the ones who smoke, drink,take drugs given by a doctor. I seen older men on treadmills running faster than me. That a lot of BS that that older men in their 60s and 70s can’t have sex. These older men know how to please a younger woman, and they take their time do it.


  13. 74

    Evan, one obvious answer might be that no matter what a woman’s age, a certain percentage of the male cohort is out chasing even younger women. I hear of 24 year old men dating girls in high school.


  14. 75

    I am 48 European, she is 26, Chinese. We met in China. She has lead a hard enough life to date and clearly never found anyone who cared about her. (which I can’t understand as she has a beautiful soul and is very pretty). Bizarrely I foud myself with a beautiful girlfriend when I wasn’t looking for anyone.
    I am starting to age (under the eyes) a bit more than I’d like (Although I plan to get some surgery for that at some stage). Apart from that, I am active and fitter than most. My family (males+females) tend to live into their late 80’s. Problem is, I will be 70 when she is my current age. (Although at 70, my own father and uncles were still very fit – capable of cycling and walking for many miles daily).
    However, I can imagine that at 40, being married to a 62 year might not be too appealing for her if my health is failing or my skin ages too rapidly.
    My thinking now is that I want to be with her as long as it lasts between us but I reckon that she may wake up some day and look at the old man in bed beside her and wonder what she has done.
    Even so, I am living in the moment. I will marry her and we will have a child. I will do my best with facial surgery and hair dye not to look like a totally old git for my child to be. As a previous contributor remarked, a high percentage of marraiges end in divorce anyhow.
    I see a number of older European male/younger Chinese wife in daily life in China. I am wondering do such marraiges have a higher chance of success in China? Has anyone direct experience of this?

    Alan´s last blog post…Why Doesn’t My Emotionally Unavailable Girlfriend Take Me Back After I Cheated On Her?

  15. 76

    Since I was 19 I have been with a man that is 21 years older than me. I was totally in love with him…I still am, but I do see him slowing down and me speeding up (I’m 27 now, by the way). Luckly I moved a few years ago and I still see him when I visit my hometown, but I think me moving prevented a break up so now we are just good friends with benefits. I don’t think I had any daddy issues, my dad was a very supportive father who came to my games for school and stuff; he still is supportive.
    Personally I wanted someone who was responsible and reliable…I still want that in a partner. If I can move 1,000 miles away from my family, pay for a 4 year degree on my own, and now have a job making 30 to 40k a year why would I expect to settle for something less in my partner. I also wanted (and still do) a sexual partner who knows how to give as much as he gets, who understands how girls sexual organs function, and who realizes that if sex is going to be fun for both of us then he is probably going to have to make me orgasm first. I also wanted/want someone who has decent manners, not like old people manners, but a man who knows how to shake hands and isn’t afraid to open a door for a lady on occasion. I’ve dated one guy my age and a guy two years younger than me since my older guy and I parted and they both sucked! They were rude, unintelligent, poor with money, had no thoughts about were they wanted their future to go, and most importantly they really, really, really sucked at sex. I can safetly say that I have no desire to consider dating someone less that 30 any more.

  16. 77

    I’m 30, and I’m always getting e-mails from men who were entering their first marriages when I was watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. It annoys the hell out me.

    That said- I wouldn’t say no to a fling with Bob Dylan.

  17. 78

    I was dating a man who was 20yrs older than me and it was a rollercoaster ride. He’s been married and divorced twice and has kids and grandkids. We broke it off a few days ago because things were going downhill. I had problems with his kids and we were in different stages in our lives. He offered me the world but at the same time it was on his terms. He went to bed on the weekends before 11p and sex with him was like a chore. Sometimes I was ashamed to be seen with him around people my own age. although the relationship lasted 5yrs it was the worst 5yrs of my life. I will never again date someone that much older than me, it was like my life was in a time warp. My advice stay away from the nursing homes.

    1. 78.1

      Best advice I have heard on here!!!

  18. 79
    Michael Ejercito

    I was dating a man who was 20yrs older than me and it was a rollercoaster ride. He’s been married and divorced twice and has kids and grandkids. We broke it off a few days ago because things were going downhill. I had problems with his kids and we were in different stages in our lives. He offered me the world but at the same time it was on his terms. He went to bed on the weekends before 11p and sex with him was like a chore. Sometimes I was ashamed to be seen with him around people my own age. although the relationship lasted 5yrs it was the worst 5yrs of my life. I will never again date someone that much older than me, it was like my life was in a time warp. My advice stay away from the nursing homes.
    Maybe it was the fact that he had kids and was divorced had much more to do with it than his age.

    1. 79.1

      Don’t we wish that was the truth?

  19. 80
    Up North Ted

    Seems like you folks have a lot of time to debate this issue. Must not be dating. My philosophy is let people find the one they are happy with. As in any relationship, if they find a way to make it work, then they’ll be happy. However, my observations of some of the on-line dating sites is that young woman often complain about unstable, unreliable, don’t want to work, idea of fun is computer games, etc. young boy friends. Do not see that about older boy friends. Spend time in the Atlanta airport and you will regularly see woman walk by with a 15-20 year older husband and a baby or two. Wonder why that is……….

  20. 81

    I just had to write that I have always been attracted to older men. Even in high school, my boyfriend was in college. I always agreed that younger men were into partying and goofing around and not that serious. But, now that I am in my mid 30’s, I have a boyfriend that is only 8 years older. What a change! Now that I am older, it is nice to have a man closer to my age. They are mature at this age AND we have so many more common interests. So, for what it’s worth. . . if you have always liked older men and now you are no longer in your 20’s or early 30’s try one close to your age! It is really nice : )

  21. 82

    I’m 19 and my boyfriend is 30. Our relationship to many is odd because of his experience and his lack of. I’m a sopmore in college he’s got a job a house a car and plans for his long term life. Meeting me just made him want to include me into those plans. And well have to wait a bit. Many of the advantages were listed above. The wisdom and stability that he. Brings forth is definitely great. The maturity is even better. I love him and I know he loves me and wants to build a future with me as do I with him. Older men younger women… It doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t work because there is a decade between us. It just means we have to be a little more patient and work a little harder when it comes to certain aspects of our relationship.

  22. 84

    wow…very insightful comments.

    I am currently in a relationship that has a 12 yr age gap…him older. And admit that it does create incompatibilies. I am 43 and he is 55. Yes, I have always been attracted to older men. But, just because you are attracted to something doesn’t make is a good choice long term. I’m also attracted to Lays potato chips. :)

    This is my 2nd relationship with this age gap…my long term one before that was a 3 yr gap. I did not actively look for an older man…they were just the ones that “happened” with me.

    So, yes, I am attracted to maturity, masculinity, stability. But am finding that there are incompatibilies with sexual drive, sensual range, depth of intimacy and openness to evolve thinking/behaviours. Being “set in your ways” is a fact. And…older men are more….sexist. That’s just a fact. The stereotypical sexual roles of male/female are alive and well in an older man….he has adapted ofcourse…or a younger woman wouldn’t go there…but after the infatuation stage wears off and you get down to the nitty gritty of the foundation requirements to sustain a long term relationship…well…the polarities are magnified.

    Yes…he will get old before me..in fact is already so….and is already a concern… He problem solving skills are not as advanced as mine…nor is motivation to adaptation or change. He’s in the coasting phase…and I’m just getting started…

    Do I see it lasting? honestly? No. I do think finding someone from the same generation offers more chance of success long term. It’s hard enough finding compatibility on a good day…adding the age gap issues only make it that much more difficult.

  23. 85

    Love is ageless; it simply is just there. In my past, I fell in love with a man 26 years my senior. No Kidding. He was my intellectual equal and has repeatedly stated that I was his intellectual equal- , and yes he is very successful, powerful etc. It has nothing to do with a daddy figure (at least in my case) as I have a great relationship with my father (who was 45 when I was born.) I think his love is amazing, thats why I fell for him.

  24. 86

    I’m happy for you Maria…you say past….you are not with this man anymore? My first thought was….did he die? lmao…oh…I’m sorry…that was very very insensitive…but bet more than me thought it. Hey..we need a sense of humour in all things.

    I don’t deny that love is ageless. I love this man I’m with…very much. I wouldn’t be there otherwise. I also loved my ex husband…but…unfortunately, love is never quite enough…you have to have a foundation of compatible values, etc… We all know it’s not black and white..but…if there is a statistic of disolution of relationships, I bet it’s higher in this area.

    fromonewhoknows´s last blog post…A Cute Foreign Man Is Flirting With Me. What Are His Motives?

  25. 87

    Since I was age 40 I have had 12 young women all pretty and in their early 20s hit on me. They were all very obvious so as to leave no doubt of their intentions. Some were too sexy to print here. When I was young (I am now 53) this never happened. I believe it is because I now fill a category for young women who like much older men in good shape. As an an anology I use bodybuilders. Most women were turned off by the physiques of the professional bodybuilders I knew, but the women who liked them liked them a lot and sought them out. As a result these men had lots of girlfriends. There is only a small minority of young women who like much older men, although in a country of 300 million that is thousands of young women. It is best for men to look for the signals interested young women will give them. Then the men can approach them with less chance of being embarressed by the rejection of young women who are “grossed out” by much older men. Their is nothing inherently immoral about an age gap relationship no matter how large the gap as long as it is moral and legal. Their were couples in the Bible who were ages apart. Rob

  26. 88

    #86- No he did not die. He felt that by becoming involved with me he would “rob” me of life experiences (i.e. having a young family, the white picket fence dream, etc.) As I stated, his love was and is amazing. He always gave me room to grow, explore and just be.

    #87- I am not “into” older men, but have (as I have stated) fallen for an older man. It depends on the person, our connection and chemistry. I think it’s best to judge each person and relationship on it’s own merits. I am an equal opportunity dater, excluding sexual orientation (they must be hetero!!)

    1. 88.1

      Maria, now that is a good man. 

  27. 89

    I am a 50 and I first noticed the alluring shape of women when I was in the 2nd grade. This was before I learned anything about sex, relationships, etc. The point is we are wired from the start to appeal to the opposite sex prior to any imposed social norms. This is always changing anyway. Till this day I’m still attracted to the alluring shape and fitness of younger women. For me it is about curiosity. What is she like? What would it feel like to touch her? I am a very shy and mild mannered person and was brought up to be nice to girls.

    Lately I’ve been thinking about wanting kids. But how does a 50 something find a healthy woman to have kids with? If I could I would love to find a healthy 34 yo and give it to her hard and have some babies. I’ve had quite a few women show interest in me but the age difference does bring up some issues for me even when the chemistry feels right. I think deep down I feel that it would never last. But then I felt this way when I was in my 20s. So really nothing different. Still hoping for a successful marriage with a beautiful feminine woman who will let me do that one thing I’ve always wanted to :)

  28. 90
    Karl R

    Ricky asked: (#89)
    “how does a 50 something find a healthy woman to have kids with?”

    I think you’re screwed.

    Based on what you’ve said, your lack of self-confidence sabotaged every relationship that you’ve had since your 20s, and you haven’t done anything to fix that. You’re “hoping for a successful marriage with a beautiful feminine woman” without making the necessary changes to give you a chance to have any chance at a successful long-term relationship.

    As Evan says, “Nice guys without any balls finish last.”

    Grow a pair.

    Ricky said: (#89)
    “If I could I would love to find a healthy 34 yo and give it to her hard and have some babies.”

    Why a 34 year old? If you’re that anxious to immediately start a family, you can find a 40 year old who is much more interested in having a child immediately.

    I’m dating a 48 year old who is more fit and has a better figure than most 20-somethings (and I know several 50-somethings in equally good shape).

    Reality check:
    There are lots of 50 year old men looking to marry healthy, beautiful and feminine 34 year old women. There are far fewer 34 year old women looking for 50 year old men to father their children. Unless you stand out from the crowd (which isn’t likely since you’re very shy), you’re toast.

    If you want to start a family in this lifetime, you might want to rethink your dating strategy.

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