Why Do Women in Their 30s Not Want to Date Men in Their 40s?

I’m a 42 year old single male who recently left a 5 year relationship for various reasons, but mainly because I wanted kids and she did not. I thought that since I was an attractive, fit, well-educated, financially and emotionally secure guy that I would have no problem finding a woman in her mid 30s to settle down with and start a family. I have tried a combination of online dating, speed dating, professional singles events, volunteering, happy hours etc. and have had very few dates over the past year. I thought that online dating would be great since you are essentially pre-screening people for dates. I have found that I get no responses from any women online and the only women who respond to my ad are usually much older and don’t meet any of my criteria outlined in my profile.

I am told that women want to settle down and have kids, etc., but their actions seem to be to the contrary. At singles events, women come in groups and are reluctant to talk to men. In online situations, women say they want desperately to meet a nice guy like me, but never answer my response to their profile. I am trying to remain positive, but two things are really bothering me. One, that younger women are no longer interested in dating men who are even just slightly (3-5 years) older than them and sometimes want to date men 5-10 years younger then them. Two, women seem to be content in the fact that they are independent and self-sufficient and have a career, family and friends that fulfills them and don’t seem to be interested in truly finding a relationship. I find the latter hard to believe, but find this mantra in every profile of every professional woman online. Any advice on how to navigate these new paradigms in the dating world?

Adam

Dear Adam,

You came to the right place.

And to directly address your email, I have to divide my response into two different parts: 1) What You’re Getting Right and 2) What You’re Missing.

Let’s start with What You’re Missing. We’ll do What You’re Getting Right next week.

Why Do Women in Their 30s Not Want to Date Men in Their 40sWhat you’re missing is that what you want has absolutely no relation to what women want. We’ve addressed this before, from an older man who couldn’t possibly fathom why a younger woman wouldn’t want to be with him. This isn’t all that much different. We can complain that the opposite sex is unrealistic and passing up great opportunities – and we’d be right – but it doesn’t change that people want what they want. It’s not fair. It’s not right. It just IS.

From 25-34, men play around a lot. Why? Because they can. They have a lot of dating options, they’re building their careers, and there isn’t a clear urgency to settle down.

Once a guy crosses 35, however, he (theoretically) tends to get more serious.

What you’re missing is that what you want has absolutely no relation to what women want.

Alas, the women with whom he wants to get serious are 27-34. This gives men time to court, fall in love, travel together, move in, get engaged, and enjoy a few years of childless marriage before starting a family.

The problem is that many women from 27-34 are independent professionals just like their male peers. They, too, have a lot of dating options, are busy building their careers, and don’t have a clear urgency to settle down.

Then she hits 35. Theoretically, this is when she starts to get more serious. This is also when all the problems start.

Because 35-40-year-old men who are ready to settle down still want to have time before becoming dads. Thus, their target market remains women, 27-34 – who may not be ready to settle down quite yet. These women still have money to make, places to travel and oats to sow.

The 35-40-year-old women who ARE ready for marriage, unfortunately, are roundly ignored by the men they desire – their 35-40-year-old peers. These women are youthful and find themselves far more attracted to men in their 30’s than their 40’s.

…the bigger takeaway is that ALL of us are very judgmental on age.

Which brings us to you, Adam. You say you’re looking for a woman in her mid-30’s. That’s perfectly fair. But if none of them are looking for you, your wheelhouse is going to be women in their late 30’s to early 40’s:

Find the people who want you. It’s the same exact advice I give to women in their early 40’s who want men in their early 40’s…except men in their early 40’s want women in their 30’s.

And around and around we go.

I’m being a bit unfair, Adam, because there IS a market for a 42-year-old man – and you can certainly be doing better than you’re currently doing. Pick up a copy of www.findingtheoneonline.com and it should make a difference. Seriously. But the bigger takeaway is that ALL of us are very judgmental on age. To a 34 year old woman, 42 sounds OLD. To a 42-year-old man who wants his own biological children, anything above 36 is getting into risky territory. The lesson to all of you younger readers: take your love life seriously when you turn 30, instead of waiting until you’re 35 or 40.

40
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Comments:

  1. 511
    Paragon

    @ EMK

    “BOTH parties have EQUAL power at ALL times.”

    They may have equal power, but they do not tend to have equal options.

    “Showing that women online find more men unattractive is not proof.”

    It IS proof that they are more selective in assessing mate attractiveness.

    Is this a determinant in mate choice?

    Consider: “A new study of romantic attraction by two Northwestern psychologists suggests that men and women are equally

    inspired by physical attraction.”

    http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2008/02/partners.html

    “In other words good looks was the primary stimulus of attraction for both men and women, and a person with good earning

    prospects or ambition tended to be liked as well,” said Eli Finkel, assistant professor of psychology at Northwestern.

    What this tells me, is that since physical attractiveness was a limiting factor for BOTH sexes, and women are MORE selective in assessing attractive males – women are MORE likely(than men) to cull prospects according to assessments of physical attractiveness.

    “Showing that women initiate divorce more is not proof.”

    In their study titled “Child Custody Policies and Divorce Rates in the US,” Kuhn and Guidubaldi found:

    “women anticipate advantages to being single, rather than remaining married.

    When women anticipate a clear gender bias in the courts regarding custody, they expect to be the primary residential parent for the children and the resulting financial child support, maintaining the marital residence, receiving half of all marital property, and gaining total freedom to establish new social relationships.”

    Thus, the causal factors contributing to divorce filings, clearly have higher specificity from the female side.

    While this isn’t specific proof that women are more selective in choosing a marriage partner, it suggests that they are more selective in which marriages they maintain.

    “In trying to misappropriate studies to make your case, you ignore the fact that over 90% of people get married eventually.

    Which means that whether you’re short or fat or pretty or ugly or young or old, you eventually find a lid for your pot.”

    Maybe that used to be the case, but that IS changing:

    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0763219.html

    As you can see, not only is number of never married individuals increasing over time, but there is a trend where male never married are increasing out of proportion with females(we do not know enough to say if this is merely a tempo effect of delayed onset of marriage – but I am confident that when the data is in, it will show that the proportion of never-marrieds ARE increasing over time)

    “Even if tall men DO reproduce more (fine by me) and even if Dr. Mazur SAYS “women make the choices”, that does not at all

    prove your original premise that women make all the choices.”

    This is a strawman.

    1. 511.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Paragon

      1) It’s certainly not YOUR place to say who has what power or options in a given relationship, much less all relationships.
      2) You’re ignoring that women will often marry less attractive men who are smarter or wealthier. Online photos are a flawed way of sorting. And I’m an online dating coach.
      3) Women are not more selective in assessing attractive males. You’re saying that they are because it suits your biological evolutionary theory. The OkCupid study showed mostly people under the age of 40 on a free online dating site, assessing photographs. It said nothing about intelligence, manners, values, personality or all the other factors that matter in mate selection.
      4) You found a study to back up your theory. Congrats. The real reason that women leave relationships is that men are more likely to be abusive, unfaithful, drug users, alcoholics, poor communicators, deadbeat dads, and so on. So they initiate 2/3 of divorces because they’re not content with that status quo. I think we’ve gone beyond the bounds of “mate selection” with this one.
      5) You showed a study that said that, in their early 40s, 87% of women have been married and 80% of men. That’s still an overwhelming majority of people finding each other, despite your claims that women all hold out for tall, rich, men.

      This is your religion and you’re working very hard to defend the things that aren’t fitting neatly into your theory.

      So, Paragon, you may cease posting studies now, as you’re not coming any closer to convincing those who aren’t blind adherents to biological dogma. Good night.

  2. 512
    Paragon

    @ Ruby

    “The embodiment research shows that our physical activity and psychological processes interface in ways that are outside our conscious awareness,” Finkel said. “In conjunction with this previous embodiment research, our speed-dating results strongly suggest that the mere act of approaching a potential love interest can boost desire.”
     
    All this suggests is that when courtship behaviors are manipulated by experiment, the non-rotating sex tends to assume a more selective role(the most plausible explanation being that the non-rotating sex is tending to infer interest from the approaching party more frequently than the reverse, and thus anticipating more options from which to choose).
     
    Of course, since males tend to assume the burdens of courtship(ie. they tend to make the approaches) – this is just further evidence that women are, in fact, more selective.

     @ EMK
     
    “Similarly, I’ve never seen anything that illustrates that tall men have more children, despite the fact that women, in general, prefer tall men. They may have taller children, but MORE children? The average height of men in China got to be around 5’6″. Lots of kids there.”
     
    Different populations – given their options, women there may very well be favoring taller prospects. 
     
    “2) You’re ignoring that women will often marry less attractive men who are smarter or wealthier.”
     
    We don’t have any evidence to quantify just how ‘often’ women marry men who are less physically attractive(But, studies surrounding the ‘self-seeking like hypothesis’ suggests that this is rare).
     
    In either case, regardless of how often it happens it CAN’T say anything against women being more selective than men(so why bring it up?).
     
    “The OkCupid study showed mostly people under the age of 40 on a free online dating site, assessing photographs. It said nothing about intelligence, manners, values, personality or all the other factors that matter in mate selection.”
     
    No, it didn’t.
     
    But, it occurs that none of these other criteria actually matters, where physical attractiveness is a limiting factor.
     
    “You showed a study that said that, in their early 40s, 87% of women have been married and 80% of men. That’s still an overwhelming majority of people finding each other, despite your claims that women all hold out for tall, rich, men.”
     
    I didn’t make that argument, but, again, my contention was that women are more selective(which isn’t challenged by the fact that the majority of individuals in older age cohorts have married), remember?
     

    “So, Paragon, you may cease posting studies now”

    How else should I support my arguments?

    “as you’re not coming any closer to convincing those who aren’t blind adherents to biological dogma.”

    Let’s give others the opportunity to draw their own conclusions.

    1. 512.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I’m pretty done with this thread. And I’m pretty done with the men who continually hijack these threads for their own personal agendas. I am not daunted by arguing with you. I am bored by it. As are the majority of our other readers. You don’t represent my readers, nor do you represent the men that my readers would like to date. You represent socially awkward men who fare poorly with women and therefore cling to biological explanations to justify your rejection. You justify your closeminded shallowness under the guise that men have no choice but to pursue young, hot, virginal women because this gives them a better chance of spreading their seed. And so on and so forth. Except modern man has – and does – override its biological impulses all the time. In fact, it’s a cornerstone of 21st century society. Lots of fat people with children. Lots of poor people with children. Lots of marriages between ugly folks. So, do SOME men only hold out for Jessica Alba? Yep. And most of them are either single, lonely or chronic masturbators. Do SOME women ONLY hold out for George Clooney? Yep. And I rail against that philosophy, as well. That’s right, Warhammer fans, I encourage women to give dorky guys like you a chance. And eventually, even you will reproduce and keep your fingers crossed that your sons don’t resent women like you do and feel the need to go to the Phillipines to find a wife.

      So, Zaq, Paragon, St. Stephen and the rest of you men who embody what women hate about guys – boys masquerading as men under the cloak of intelligence – you can take your philosophies elsewhere.
      Life is too short to spend arguing with strangers. I wish you all the best in finding a blog you can agree with and in finding a woman who appreciates you as you are. But I can assure you that your disdain for most women and your lack of chivalry and self-awareness will be, as Paragon is fond of saying, a “limiting factor”. Good bye and good luck.

  3. 513
    Zaq

    Ruby

    I have quoted that study. It is saying something that is very doubtful considering the huge amount of evidence that we already have.
    Please go and read what other scientists are saying about it.

    Its a bit like the study showing neutrinos travelling faster than light. Was that likely to be true given all the evidence we had before.

    I must say I am disturbed by the mention of  the word “religion”. There is no faith in science. No agenda. Criticism is encouraged. Its the only way we can build robust models. And it really doesn’t care what people want to believe.

    As we get more data our understanding will increase, but it is highly unlikely to lead to a U turn similar to saying we now think the sun goes around the earth.

    I agree with Evan on women not being more selective on physical characteristics. It is probably the need to have a host of other qualities in their mate that is causing the problem. They are in a better position to compromise by concentrating on other attractive characteristics.

    70% of the men being drug users and deadbeats. Not likely to be true is it.
    If women have an in built dissatisfaction for most men it is far more likely to be a contributory factor in divorce

  4. 514
    Saint Stephen

    Zaq beat Evan hands down.

  5. 515
    Ruby

    Paragon #536
     
    “All this suggests is that when courtship behaviors are manipulated by experiment, the non-rotating sex tends to assume a more selective role(the most plausible explanation being that the non-rotating sex is tending to infer interest from the approaching party more frequently than the reverse, and thus anticipating more options from which to choose).”
     
    As I posted, that’s not how the researchers interpreted the findings. BTW, the studies you reference are also “manipulated by experiment.” 
     
    It’s the same with other study by Finkel that you cited: 
     
    “”In other words good looks was the primary stimulus of attraction for both men and women, and a person with good earning prospects or ambition tended to be liked as well,” said Eli Finkel, assistant professor of psychology at Northwestern. “Most noteworthy, the earning-power effect as well as the good-looks effect didn’t differ for men and women.””
     
    However, if you are a gender essentialist, then your mind is already made up, IMO.

  6. 516
    Selena

    xoxo Evan.

  7. 517
    Joe

    @ Evan #525:

    Come on, man.  You know better than to use an argument like that.  It’s clear that Zaq was referring to men and women in the same population.  In general, Mexican women aren’t going to be dating Chinese men, and Orthodox Jewish women aren’t going to be dating, well, anyone (although they will be marrying only Orthodox Jewish men).

  8. 518
    Paragon

    @ EMK
     
    “You represent socially awkward men”
     
    The fact that someone is not a man-whore(despite opportunities) and is willing to consider women from cultures who place a higher value on social monogamy than our, doesn’t make them socially awkward, does it?
     
    “who fare poorly with women”
     
    I’ve found the love of my life – how much ‘better’ can one fare?
     
    “You justify your closeminded shallowness under the guise that men have no choice but to pursue young, hot, virginal women because this gives them a better chance of spreading their seed. And so on and so forth. Except modern man has – and does – override its biological impulses all the time. In fact, it’s a cornerstone of 21st century society. Lots of fat people with children. Lots of poor people with children. Lots of marriages between ugly folks. So, do SOME men only hold out for Jessica Alba? Yep. And most of them are either single, lonely or chronic masturbators. Do SOME women ONLY hold out for George Clooney? Yep. And I rail against that philosophy, as well.”
     
    Actually Evan, I’ve presented evidence from research surrounding the ‘self-seeking like theory’ of assortative mating, which observes a correlation between long-term mates and assortative mating(which also extends beyond facial similarities, in other studies I can link).
     
    http://www.epjournal.net/articles/narcissism-guides-mate-selection-humans-mate-assortatively-as-revealed-by-facial-resemblance-following-an-algorithm-of-%E2%80%9Cself-seeking-like%E2%80%9D/
     
    However, research also shows that while assortative mating is operating on (long-term)mate choice – it appears to be mediated by a male bias only.
     
    Thus, It would appear that there is some selection bias on the part of males for pursuing like-resembling partners(perhaps owing to preferences aligning to expectations, where they assume assortative partners will be more receptive).
     
    On the other hand, females do NOT share this bias, so we should assume that female choice is skewed by alternate factors(such as long-term benefits independent of male resemblance).
     
    But, clearly, this is an instructive observation for any woman looking to maximize her liklihood of finding a long-term mate.
     
    And supports much of what you are actually observing about people who ‘settle'(so hopefully you will allow this comment through).
     
    My only contention, is for those people who REFUSE to settle(where questions of selectivity become THE relevant concern), we should expect they are more likely to be female. 
     
    “That’s right, Warhammer fans, I encourage women to give dorky guys like you a chance.”
     
    You nailed that one – I LOVE Warhammer.
     
    But, as my photo suggests, I am anything but ‘dorky’.
     
    “And eventually, even you will reproduce and keep your fingers crossed that your sons don’t resent women like you”
     
    I have no reason to resent women, but I am wary of any culture that breeds this kind of resentment through the sexual marginalization of ‘losers'(which is effecting an increasing proportion of males, as time progresses) – you should be wary of this too, given that this dynamic is clearly a measurable trend over time(and thus speaks to systemic problems, rather than personal ones).
     
    Convention observes that the men women SAY they want, and the men they ACTUALLY choose, are frequently different quantities.
     
    Ever heard the term: ‘the men women LOVE to hate’?
     
    But, it is irrelevant, as I am ‘taken'(as I keep telling women).
     
    “boys masquerading as men under the cloak of intelligence”
     
    I’m as much man as anyone, and I’ve never met a man with balls big enough to imply otherwise to my face(if you actually knew me, personally, instead of relying upon some kind of bizzare caricature that you have constructed in your mind, I don’t think you would be making these assumptions).
     
    “you can take your philosophies elsewhere.
    Life is too short to spend arguing with strangers. I wish you all the best in finding a blog you can agree with and in finding a woman who appreciates you as you are. But I can assure you that your disdain for most women and your lack of chivalry and self-awareness will be, as Paragon is fond of saying, a “limiting factor”. Good bye and good luck.”
     
    I AM chivalrous, and what you mistake for disdain, is just dispassionately expressed conclusions bornre of critical reasoning  – which is, in fact, the BASIS of my relationship success.
     
    But, I’m not one to overstay my welcome(especially when the blog owner has asked me to leave).
     
    For my part, I bear you no ill will, good luck with the blog, and thanks for your time, and some interesting discussions.
     
    Farewell.
     
    @ Ruby
     
    “As I posted, that’s not how the researchers interpreted the findings.”
     
    As Zaq pointed out, the finds of this particular study represent an anomaly that cannot be unified with a wealth of contradictory evidence.
     
    But, let’s ignore that for the moment, and pretend, for the sake of argument, that this problem does not exist, and consider these findings at face value.
     
    What does this imply?
     
    Since a lower female tendency to initiate is an expected consequence of their greater selectivity, these particular findings may be a special case where experimentally manipulating (evolved) behavioral tendencies are affecting cognitive systems that, in some unspecified way, are mediated by them. 
     
    But, good luck on manipulating these behaviors outside of an experiment, so the findings are moot to a default state of nature where women can be observed as more selective.
     
     “BTW, the studies you reference are also “manipulated by experiment.””
     
    It’s the same with other study by Finkel that you cited: 
     
    “”In other words good looks was the primary stimulus of attraction for both men and women, and a person with good earning prospects or ambition tended to be liked as well,” said Eli Finkel, assistant professor of psychology at Northwestern. “Most noteworthy, the earning-power effect as well as the good-looks effect didn’t differ for men and women.””
     
    Yes, my point in referencing that study was to show that (single)women hold physical attractiveness as a dominant consideration(just like men), when making a choice.
     
    The difference, of course, is that women are less likely to consider any given man(physically) attractive, than the reverse.
     
    Where’s the controversy?

    1. 518.1
      Tyrion Lannister

      @Paragon,

      “Actually Evan, I’ve presented evidence from research surrounding the ‘self-seeking like theory’ of assortative mating, which observes a correlation between long-term mates and assortative mating(which also extends beyond facial similarities, in other studies I can link).”

      First, correlation of facial resemblances among some partners does not imply causation. Yes, there are some couples with some facial similarities but this does not mean that it is a result of male cognitive bias leading to find a self-resemblance female mate. You’re also ignoring that this process would require the courtship acceptance by the desired self-similar woman; but according that theory, she is not mediated by this own-traits attraction bias. And the mating behavior experienced by an malefrom females exerts a regulatory influence on his own mating strategy.

      It is well-known that indiviuduals have little awareness of own attractiveness [See Feingold 1992, Diener et al. 1995, Bleske-Rechek & Lighthall 2010. Hence it seems even more unlikely that there is a high awareness of own phenotypic traits that would allow for to seeking a physically similar partner. So what would be the nature of that facial self-similarity processing system?

      The real mechanisms that produce within-pair similarity of physical attractiveness are [Kalick & Hamilton 1986, Lee et al. 2008, Courtiol et al. 2010, Hitsch et al. 2010]:

      1) Courtship Rejections
      2) Strategic Courtship and
      3) Tentative Relationships

      It has been proved that two other previously proposed mechanisms (homotypic preference and phenotypic correlation)were wrong:

      A) Homotypic Preference: This means that individuals prefer partners of similar attractiveness to their own. Scientists premised homotypic preference for a long time [Walster et al. 1966] until empirical research proved that people prefer individuals of high attractiveness rather than that similar to their own [Walster et al. 1966, Huston 1973] (see also Asendorpf et al. 2011, Back et al. 2011; Hitsch et al. 2010, Shaw Taylor et al. 2011], Okcupid Blog, etc).

      B) Phenotypic Correlation. Within-pair matching for a feature may arise even if people pay no attention to this feature in prospective partners, if the feature is correlated with a trait of homotypic preference. For example, the homotypic preference for body height results in matching on the length of arms [Crow & Felsenstein 1968]. Because people perceive faces similar to their own in a positive way, matching in physical attractiveness may result from seeking a physically similar partner [Lee et al. 2008]. However, the preference for selfsimilar faces pertains largely or exclusively to own-sex rather than opposite-sex faces [DeBruine et al. 2008, Watkins et al. 2011, but see Fraley & Marks 2010]. Furthermore, facial attractiveness is non-monotonically associated with many traits, and peaks at their medium, not extreme, values. For example, facial attractiveness increases with the averageness of facial proportions [Rhodes 2006, Kościński 2007], and women prefer men with moderately masculine faces [Kościński 2007, Scott & Penton- Voak 2011]. This weakens the influence of a possible preference for self-similar partners for within-pair matching on attractiveness. Manipulated images of other-sex faces are judged as more trustworthy by the participants they were made to resemble than by control participants. In contrast, the effects of resemblance on attractiveness are significantly lower. In the context of a long-term relationship, where both prosocial regard and sexual appeal are important criteria, facial resemblance has no effect. In the context of a short-term relationship, where sexual appeal is the dominant criterion, facial resemblance decrease attractiveness.

      Humans are sensitive to the costs and benefits of favouring kin in different circumstances, therefore cues of relatedness have a positive effect on prosocial feelings, but a negative effect on sexual attraction. Facial male self-resemblance serves as a kinship cue that facilitates cooperation between kin.

      1. 518.1.1
        Martin Cruz

        @ Tyrion  Lannister
         
        “First, correlation of facial resemblances among some partners does not imply causation. Yes, there are some couples with some facial similarities but this does not mean that it is a result of male cognitive bias leading to find a self-resemblance female mate.”
         
        Then explain why you come to contradict yourself later in your post?
         
        “You’re also ignoring that this process would require the courtship acceptance by the desired self-similar woman; but according that theory, she is not mediated by this own-traits attraction bias.”
         
        The assumption is that the concerns of agreeable females are apparently favoring investment resources, and other quantities of long term value(perhaps given a dearth of compelling alternatives) that say nothing of self-seeking attraction.  
         
        “It is well-known that indiviuduals have little awareness of own attractiveness [See Feingold 1992, Diener et al. 1995, Bleske-Rechek & Lighthall 2010. Hence it seems even more unlikely that there is a high awareness of own phenotypic traits that would allow for to seeking a physically similar partner. So what would be the nature of that facial self-similarity processing system?
        The real mechanisms that produce within-pair similarity of physical attractiveness are [Kalick & Hamilton 1986, Lee et al. 
         
        2008, Courtiol et al. 2010, Hitsch et al. 2010]:
        1) Courtship Rejections
        2) Strategic Courtship and
        3) Tentative Relationships”
         
        And here we come to your contradictions – strategic courtship following from courtship rejections implies a heuristic process which depends on abstract thinking with some basis in self-awareness(this should be obvious to everyone).  

        1. Tyrion Lannister

          @ Martin Cruz,
           
          “The assumption is that the concerns of agreeable females are apparently favoring investment resources, and other quantities of long term value (perhaps given a dearth of compelling alternatives) that say nothing of self-seeking attraction.”
           
          Honestly I doubt that they are apparently favouring investment resources, and other quantities of long term value. Since most women display the opposite pattern in the current mating framework, prevaling male physical attractiveness in their mate choices.
          (and in both sexes, face attractiveness predict overall attractiveness more strongly than
          did body attractiveness, and this difference was significant in males. http://www.mta.ca/~raiken/Courses/3401/Labs/Lab%20Papers/sym6.pdf
           
          This is because physical attractiveness is the strongest and most robust predictor of mate choice (Walster, Aronson, Abrahams, & Rottman, 1966), and mate choice is in turn the most important social judgment humans make with respect to their reproductive fitness. Somewhat tautologically, we tend to mate with individuals to whom we are attracted, so there is a seemingly self-evident advantage to being attracted to individuals of high genetic quality.  From this perspective, facial attractiveness is simply a cue to reproductive fitness, and evolutionary psychologists studying attractive features have typically asked what aspect of reproductive fitness particular features signal (e.g., Cunningham, 1986; Cunningham, Barbee, & Pike, 1990; Penton-Voak & Perrett, 2001; Perrett, Lee, Penton-Voak, Rowland, Yoshikawa, Burt, Henzi, Castles, & Akamatsu, 1998; Perrett, May, & Yoshikawa, 1994; Rhodes, Hickford, & Jeffrey, 2000; Thornhill & Gangestad, 1999; Zebrowitz, 1997).
           
           
           
           
          Moreover let me say that you’re who are contradicting yourself when you’re arguing against those thoughts you held time ago (which I share). Quoting some of your own comments (as Paragon):
           
           
          “And because of the economically prosperous, systemically mediated welfare state dynamic that prevails in developed world populations, economic and ecological pressures no longer mediate their mate choices to the extant they did in the past. One consequence of this is that erotic capital (physical attractiveness) has supplanted other forms in the stratification of male status with respect to mate availability. So, being a high status male (with respect to mating) now says less about material wealth, than about physical beauty.”
           
          “relaxed ecological pressures marginalize the paternal investment advantages in offspring success that would otherwise hold female sexual selectivity in check by favoring larger, more inclusive male breeding populations) as female sexual choice focuses on an increasingly small pool of ‘choice’ males.”)
           
          “Firstly, you all need to appreciate that females are the reproductively limiting sex (rate limiting in reproductive success) – which manifests in *all* dimensions of mate choice(in other words, females are more selective in all their mating considerations).”
           
          females have shown to be more critical in judging male attractiveness than the reverse (meaning that they are *more* likely to find a receptive partner, regardless of their own relative attractiveness).”
           
           
          Although the different experiment on facial resemblance led to contradictory results on male preferences (not females preferences),  it seems that facial resemblance increased attractiveness judgments of same-sex faces in males more than other-sex faces supporting the hypothesis that men use facial resemblance mainly as a cue of kinship more than as a clue for mate choice.
           
          Assuming a false presumption where men would prefer women with similar faces: In any case if females are the limiting sex; and they have shown to be more critical in judging male attractiveness; and if most studies have proved females do not show any preference for similarity -they prefer the most attractive male faces-. Then, we would expect those males resembling facially to their desirable females targets would more ineffective in their mating effort (comparing their mating success with regard to dissimilar women). And therefore decreasing their attractiveness as potential suitor-and not eliciting appropriate cognitive and emotional responses in members of opposite sex with similar facial traits.
           
          “And here we come to your contradictions – strategic courtship following from courtship rejections implies a heuristic process which depends on abstract thinking with some basis in self-awareness (this should be obvious to everyone).”
           
          I do not perceive any contradiction in my argument.Well an awareness of own attractiveness is important for strategic courtship, where lowly-attractive individuals accept relatively unattractive candidates, and for tentative relationships, where lowly-attractive people refrain from dropping an unattractive partner to form a tentative bond with a more attractive alternative.  We may expect that natural selection has developed psychological mechanisms for accurate evaluation of own attractiveness. But nobody is talking about awareness of own phenotypic features, neurological mechanism that would have to occur to producing within-pair similarity of phenotypic traits.  Which would be a necessary factor for proving your self seeking like” hypothesis.

  9. 520
    Greg

    I am a 49 year old Male I have been single for 3 yrs now I love my age I am dating women in the 30 to 38 year  old range and I am having a lot of fun .I can,t understand why this guy at 42 is having any problem. Perhaps it,s the women I have been meeting  or what ever ,But I find women 33 to 35 are best for me we think a lot a like and get along well.

  10. 521
    David T

    I am a 45 y.o. male, and when I still had my profile up I was meeting and going out within my stated range of 35-55.  Was meeting a lot and going out on 1-5 dates each depending but I could feel I was not ready to do more than just go out on dates so I pulled out for a while.
     
    The actual ages of the women I went out with ended up being late 37-38ish to 50.  Could not tell you if that was due to my selection of ages or who said yes or whatever, just kinda worked out that way. 
     
    I did meet one woman not through online dating who is 33-34.  We clicked in alot of ways, and she will be a dynamite partner for someone someday, BUT she is just in a different place in her life.  Has done less introspection, less aware of herself and  . . . I don’t know.  There is something there that I have a hard time describing in words, but Not A Good Match and it was pretty clear to both after just 10-12 hours together and on the phone.
     
    My point is that is it more about where people are in their lives and self development than an absolute number. The number is useful for sorting through profiles because there is a correlation, between age and stage in life. (For instance, one 50 y.o. i went out with was hopelessly wrapped up in insecurity and paralysis and people pleasing) and while we are all ‘adults’ at 18, I think we change in many ways (if we work on it) throughout our lives.

  11. 522
    franko

    i am a straight man of 58 years old, and it is just so very hard meeting women around my age to date. even if i meet a woman that is ten years younger than me, that would be okay for me. i guess many women just feel that they should date men their own age.

  12. 523
    Nicole

    As a 36 year old woman who was told yesterday by an 18 year old that she thought I was younger than her, I am not so thrilled about dating older men. There was one guy trying to date me that I was working for once and his daughter (early 20’s) was very pissy with me because she could tell her father liked me and she thought I was her age. When I go out with older men, I often don’t find them attractive. I’m more trying to give them a chance because I want to find someone. However, I find that they are very rude to me. When I go out with younger men, they aren’t rude to me. They don’t boss me around, speak to me like I’m stupid and so on. I CAN and HAVE attracted men in their 20s, so, it’s hard to have patience with the middle age man who is comparing me to 20 somethings when men that age DON’T.

    As for no age given online, the problem with that is that men use old pictures where they look younger and then they show up and you’re thinking YUCK, he looks OLD.

     

    1. 523.1
      Dark

      You people are nuts! lmfao!!! just get offline and the men/woman younger or older will come into your life sooner than later. As for me, I got this update in my inbox, so I though I should comment.

      You’re 36? that’s old to me, and I bet you I can tell you are older as well. You’re 36 and won’t date older men?? strange. Why not? you’re knocking at 40 in a few years.

      I like older women, that act their age, not a 30 something that acts like she’s 20!
      What state do you people live? because here in NYC and L.I. women like the older guys. So I am a bit curious. You people are searching online, pulling up and pasting up studies about this crap! lol!! come on guys, just get out their and find the woman guy you deserve!

      I do find that women that don’t date men their own age or older, are afraid of growing up, and getting older. They want to date younger, to feel younger, until the younger guy leaves them for a woman his own age. Sad but true. :(

  13. 524
    TheQuickStarFish

    I’m a 35 yr old woman.  In my experience, older men don’t keep up their body, health, and looks.  They just let themselves go.  I need be to attracted a man physically too. Growing older is not an excuse for letting go.  The youth is wasted on the young.  I don’t get why men waiting until they look like a blimp ..blob and then want to seek out a LTR.  smh

  14. 525
    Anathema

    Kathleen 544
    “Interesting article from LA times today ….Maybe another reason a woman in her 30s may prefer a man around her own age if she
    wants children”

    The most salient point of interest for me, was where they reported older women as risk-factors for down-syndrome(which, unlike autism, is an obvious form of genetic incompetence, and not merely a subjective attribution to human behavioral traits outside the ‘normal’ range) – all the more reason for reproductively minded men to favor younger
    women.

    But on the topic of interesting articles:
    http://www.ergo-log.com/continuous.html

    The moral, of course, is that a man’s sperm quality can no longer be taken to be a trivial assessment of age.

    Nicole 548

    “I CAN and HAVE attracted men in their 20s”

    Then what’s the issue?

    Or does the prospect of being a FWB or baby mamma somehow not appeal to you?

    “it’s hard to have patience with the middle age man who is comparing me to 20 somethings when men that age DON’T.”

    But, of course they do – why do you think younger men seek out older women to begin with(if not because of their reputation for being easier lays)?

    TheQuickStarFish 549

    “I’m a 35 yr old woman.  In my experience, older men don’t keep up their body, health, and looks.”

    From my observations, men age ALOT better than women(for every fat dude out there, there’s an even fatter woman – the difference is that the fat women seem more likely to think they are entitled to an athletic partner, despite themselves).

    “They just let themselves go.  I need be to attracted a man physically too.”

    So, what’s the problem?

    From your tone should I be assuming that your are fit and attractive?

    If so, there is no need to concern yourself with fat guys(you should have plenty of slim suitors to choose from, given that fit and attractive women are even more of a rarity in your age cohort).

    But, if you tending to attract only fat guys, then this must be saying something about *yourself*(and your evident market value).

    “Growing older is not an excuse for letting go.”

    Assuming their physiques are a symptom of ‘letting go’ to begin with(the issue of age related endocrine decline is beyond the scope of this discussion, but suffice to say that older people WILL tend to put on fat, for reasons that are quite outside their control).

    1. 525.1
      Dark

      Great post! spot on! lolol!!!!

  15. 526
    Kathleen

    Anathema 

    Im curious how old you are. 

    Interesting that your observations conclude that men age better. Im 53 and just got back from a 18 mile canoe race in Hawaii. My observations are that how people age  is not so much based on gender. Its seems to me that exercise is a huge factor amongst other things

    Also since Im 53 should I conclude from you that I have a reputation for being an easy lay since Ive dated younger men? I wasn’t aware that promiscuity was age related but thanks for enlightening me.

  16. 527
    Anathema

    Kathleen

    “My observations are that how people age  is not so much based on gender. Its seems to me that exercise is a huge factor amongst other things”

    As we get older, we all experience age related endocrine dysfunction – we produce less anabolic hormones, and more catabolic hormones – a sure recipe for fat accumulation by way of declining metabolic rates.

    And since women have lower reserves of anabolic hormones to begin with, and are more sensitive to catabolism, they are more predisposed to putting on non-lean body mass as they age – this all agrees with my personal observations(allowing for particular exceptions).

    “Also since Im 53 should I conclude from you that I have a reputation for being an easy lay since Ive dated younger men? I wasn’t aware that promiscuity was age related but thanks for enlightening me.”

    This reputation generally applies to middle-aged women, but I would suspect the effect would extend somewhat beyond middle-age years(since it would lend to a generalization concerning the sexual behaviors of older women).

    “Women ages 27 through 45 report not only having more sexual fantasies (and more intense sexual fantasies) than women ages 18
    through 26 but also having more sex, period. And they are more willing than younger women to have casual sex, even one-night stands.”

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2007422,00.html#ixzz26rTLxbTN

    Another interesting study suggests that long term relationships with significant age gaps(favoring older men, and younger women) produce more children(obviously of little concern to women beyond child-bearing
    years).

    “Last year, a study of Swedish census information suggested a 4 to 6-year age gap is best, but new research has found that in some circumstances a surprisingly large gap – 15 years – is the optimum.”

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13497-why-men-should-pair-off-with-younger-women.html

  17. 528
    Kathleen

    Anathema 

    Im disappointed you didn’t disclose your age

    Since I did very well selling an FDA approved testosterone Im well aware of the effects of hormones. The market for replacement in men is growing very rapidly since so many men over 50 have low levels. (Im not sure if its personally useful for you to know viagra doesn’t work well if your testosterone is low.) 

    Since the women over 50 I hang out with are athletic my observations aren’t the same as yours.  Many of the problems associated with old age are similar to those of   immobility/inactivity as Im sure you’ve already researched. While my friends and teammates are in great shape I see plenty of young people who are very overweight.  

    Your description of middle aged women being “easy lays” sounds derogatory. If I applied this description to men it would be amusing and silly .Younger men have told me they appreciate women who are sexually confidant, emotionally secure and know what they want.  I guess they might know something that you don’t…but Im sure you can find another study …on something…

  18. 529
    Sigh

    I’m a youthful 32 year-old woman who isn’t quite ready to settle down, but won’t even consider dating a man below the age of 35. Single men in their early to mid 40s are delicious– grounded but fun. An elusive combination among the younger set. Also, ruggedly handsome, comfortable with themselves and their physicality, and on and on…

  19. 530
    Anathema

    Kathleen

    “Im disappointed you didn’t disclose your age”

    I am below middle age.

    “Your description of middle aged women being “easy lays” sounds derogatory.”

    Sorry, that was neither my intent, nor my own personal opinion, but merely an acknowledgement of popular assumptions that men
    hold regarding the sexuality of older women.

    “If I applied this description to men it would be amusing and silly”

    Only because you would be stating the obvious.

    “Younger men have told me they appreciate women who are sexually confidant, emotionally secure and know what they want.”

    In this particular context, ‘sexually confident’ is a euphemism for being sexually ‘available’, and betrays the assumption that older women are more willing to ‘give it up’.

    So when men say things like this they are communicating their sexual motivation (even if they are savvy enough to embellish their presumption by appealing to female vanity, and notions of independence).

  20. 531
    Carmen Childers

    I’m a woman in my early thirties and there’s many reasons that I’m reluctant to date a man over the age of forty. First of all for a forty year old man who’s never been married, I really don’t want to waste my time dating someone who may not have a genuine interest in settling down…ever. I realize this may be an unfair assumption to make about bachelor’s in a particular age group, but hey, we all make unfair assumptions from time to time. Another reason that I’m looking for someone close to my own age is that I’m looking for someone to grow old with. If an older man is not willing to love a woman who is in his own age group, what is he going to do with me when I’m in my forties and fifties? I’m not a used car, and this societal attitude that women lose value as they age disgusts me. I feel that I owe it to all of the older beautiful single women I know to date within my age group. It’s a collective effort on my part. The last and biggest reason I’m hesitant to date men in their forties is that I’m tired of being the proverbial shoulder to cry on in my dating relationships. Nothing is a bigger turn-off than meeting someone who brings up their ex within minutes of meeting them. My name is not Dr. Phil. I’ve run into a few bitter older men in the dating world. I received a request to chat recently from a man in his forties with the handle ‘girls-r-icky’. Seriously? Sounds like a keeper. I do admit my avoidance of forty year old bachelors is more of a guideline than a rule. I am open to the possibility that I could meet a nice man in his forties who has forgiven his ex(s) and is ready to settle down but I’m not holding my breath. For now on I’ll just stick with my own age group.

  21. 532
    Kathleen

    Anathema

    Let me try to help you understand a simple concept

    A sexually confident woman is more likely to be relaxed. She isn’t self conscious, experiences things fully, doesn’t obsess about rejection or failure. That is not the same thing as being sexually available.

    Of course men may be appealing to female vanity because they are sexually motivated That is stating the obvious and that is not something new to me at mid age  

  22. 533
    Anathema

    Carmen Childers

    “First of all for a forty year old man who’s never been married, I really don’t want to waste my time dating someone who may not have a genuine interest in settling down…ever. I realize this may be an unfair assumption to make about bachelor’s in a particular age group, but hey, we all make unfair assumptions from time to time.”

    You might want to reconsider this in around 10 years time(because I have a strange suspicion that you will still be here).

    But, if you realize that this is a faulty assumption, why are you even making it?

    “Another reason that I’m looking for someone close to my own age is that I’m looking for someone to grow old with. If an older man is not willing to love a woman who is in his own age group, what is he going to do with me when I’m in my forties and fifties?”

    Nothing – you’ll never be an age peer(no matter how old you get), so you have nothing to fear from him hating women in his age group.

    But, did it ever occur to you that older men may find themselves pursuing younger women for reasons that have nothing to do with age?

    In these cases, your reservations would be completely unjustified.

    Kathleen

    “Let me try to help you understand a simple concept
    A sexually confident woman is more likely to be relaxed. She isn’t self conscious, experiences things fully, doesn’t obsess about rejection or failure. That is not the same thing as being sexually available.”

    Actually, sexually confident women are more likely to be ‘available’, for some of the very reasons you specified.

    And guys are very cognizant of this(which takes us back to that original assumption that you seem to find so objectionable).

  23. 534
    Fiona

    Kathleen, Carmen, there will always be the Anathema people in this world. I choose to ignore them as I am as likely to be as uninterested in listening to their skewed views on why women should seek mates generations older that they have nothing in common with in real life as I am on this blog. I find that people spouting this sort of nonsense in real life tend to be the guys with no social skills you would be uninterested in anyway. I am also not at all clear about what point they are trying to make. The question was why women in their 30s prefer not to date men in their 40s. Evan nailed the answer so why they waste their time trying to convince women that they should want to date much older men when most simply don’t beats me.

    I am also getting tired of reading comments that, at 37, I have “no” or “low” market value and therefore should just accept someone much much older, obese and/or totally uneducated when I am none of these things myself. Clearly I am not going to do this so I find such comments as unhelpful as they are spitefully revelling in my misfortune. I don’t mind dating someone a bit older, a bit overweight, a bit less well educated but at a certain point it just becomes obvious that the differences are far too great to make any sense.

  24. 535
    Ruby

    I think “Anathema” is really “Paragon”, hence the name!

  25. 536
    Kathleen

    Fiona 

    You are absolutely correct. I can’t imagine why the Anathemas of the world would spend time on a dating site geared for women and then insult the audience, unless they were not successful with women in the first place and had to vent their anger passively.

    I suspect that if I saw him in person that would explain it all LOL

  26. 537
    Jennifer

    Ruby #560
    I have very similar suspicions!
    Like Kathleen and Fiona have said, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes I think I must be living in a *completely* different world because the attitudes and beliefs that men like anathema/paragon espouse are not something I run across with any sort of regularity in real life. Thankfully.

  27. 538
    Nicole

    @Ruby, I think you are correct.  Same kind of overly long comments that attempt to sound intellectual, and yes, same kinds of insults towards women (again veiled in the same failed attempts at logic).  

    And just like he does when he signs off as Paragon, he’ll probably jump in again to a)insult us and b)brag about how successful he is with much younger, hot women.   

  28. 539
    Anathema

    Fiona

    “Evan nailed the answer so why they waste their time trying to convince women that they should want to date much older men when most simply don’t beats me.”

    I don’t think any guy here honestly cares whether younger women date older men or not – I personally couldn’t care less.

    It is simply interesting to deconstruct the faulty rationalizations that certain posters use to justify their positions.

    Jennifer

    “Sometimes I think I must be living in a *completely* different world because the attitudes and beliefs that men like anathema/paragon espouse are not something I run across with any sort of regularity in real life.”

    You’d be surprised.

    These kinds of topics aren’t generally discussed offline, and within mixed company – it is considered impolitic.

    Online discourse is frequently less inhibited and more honest.
    Welcome to the internet.

    Kathleen

    “I can’t imagine why the Anathemas of the world would spend time on a dating site geared for women and then insult the audience, unless they were not successful with women in the first place and had to vent their anger passively.”

    You will find naysayers(your comments are no exception) in every topic, clashing with prevailing sentiments – does it stand to reason that they are all ‘bitter’ and unsuccessful.

    But, I really haven’t insulted anyone – offense is always taken, never given.

    So, if you find yourself insulted, you should ask some hard questions about yourself.

    “I suspect that if I saw him in person that would explain it all LOL”

    Yes, it is very interesting, if highly irrelevant, to speculate on the relationship between physical appearance and motives, for anonymous posters.

    Yourself included.

    Nicole

    “And just like he does when he signs off as Paragon, he’ll probably jump in again to a)insult us and b)brag about how successful he is with much younger, hot women.”

    I don’t see many insults coming from the dudes around here – it seems mostly one way traffic.

    So, your comments have poor predictive power.

    But, why do you care anyway?

    You speak as if someone personally ate your baby, lol.

  29. 540
    Jennifer

    Thanks for the welcome, but I’m not new ;-) I meant that not only are the types of views you hold not verbally expressed to/in front of me, but also that they aren’t bourne out in my life or the lives of my friends. 
    My only surprise comes when people *insist* their worldview is the only valid one, even when sizable evidence to the contrary is staring them in the face.  I don’t see what people get out of that. But, to each their own.

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