Both Men and Women Prefer Dating Younger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Comments:

  1. 21
    Jadeite

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

    1. 21.1
      Tim

      money can and sometimes does level the playing field for men who are not as good-looking.    

      If the mating game was  equal and fair for men and women, these men could’ve just gone for the women who aren’t as good looking and not needed money to compensate for their lack of appeal.

      But you and I, the rational ones, know that women, even the  most mediocre ones, don’t  want their equals. The  below average looking, nerdy, overweight, insecure, boring, unpopular  women always  expect men who are better than them in every way and that’s fine.  Just wanted to  make sure this was pointed out.      Your analysis on men requiring money  couldnt be complete without this fact.
          

      1. 21.1.1
        starthrower68

        Tim, how many below average looking, overweight, insecure, boring, unpopular women are you keeping company with that you are so intimately acquainted with their dating habits? Because I don’t get the sense this is exactly a demographic that you would have any interest in.

        1. Henriette

          @ST68 – Don’t you realise that Tim comes to this blog ~ sometimes “disguised” (albeit ineffectively) as a woman ~ to helpfully remind men that women are all delusional, grasping and entitled?   Not a few women… not some women… ALL women.   If you keep this fact in mind, his comments will make more sense to you.

        2. starthrower68

          Isn’t that interesting?   He pretends like he has no ax to grind but the pretense is easy to see through.   

        3. Julia

          indeed, Tim is an MRA troll extraordinaire!  

        4. JennLee

          I am not familiar with him, so I didn’t know what to make of his posts. I am not even sure what his angle was in claiming that any woman can have sex with any man she wants to. You ladies know as well as I do that this simply isn’t true. Yes, we can sometimes have the cheap side of a relationship with a guy that is a few points out of our league, but he makes it sound like a 1 can get a 10 into bed any time she wants to. That’s totally absurd. And I have learned that one night stands and short term relationships with men out of our league isn’t helpful to us in the long term because it tricks our mind, and we start to ignore the men who actually want us long term. We start aiming above our long term dating pool, and refuse to accept anything less. But those men above our league are toxic, and wear us down emotionally with their refusal to commit. It never feels good to realize you were being used, so most of us deny it is true. Bah…why am even talking about it. I hate users. If I don’t sense that a man is interested in something long term, I ditch him pretty quick. Plus I like guys who say nice things, so PUAs/Neggers don’t have luck with me. I may be tricked at first, but as I think about it, I realize he was running game and I block his number before he gets a chance to call the first time. If I sense my self esteem being knocked down while talking with the guy, or after we part company, I know he was working that angle, and I block his number. If he uses another phone to call, I tell him to lose my number, then hang up before he can try to manipulate me. What’s weird is that it isn’t even average looking guys doing this, it is confident, good looking guys that seem to do it the most. Not all of them, but most of them. I’m finding the average guys to be far more genuine and honest in how they approach me and talk to me. I’, learning not to reject them on my first instincts, just as I am learning not to accept the PUAs/Neggers on first instinct. I think about it and internalize it, then make a decision regarding the man well after meeting him. I am learning that our first instincts aren’t really good at finding good quality guys for long term relationships. Mother nature tricks us into going after the hot bad boys, and they typically don’t make good boyfriends.

        5. Tom10

          @ Jennlee
          “But those men above our league are toxic, and wear us down emotionally with their refusal to commit.”
            
          I don’t get this. How do women get worn down emotionally by a guy refusing to commit? If he doesn’t want to commit just cut him off and move on to a guy who does want to commit. What’s the problem?
            
          It’s not that complicated: just ensure you get commitment prior to sex (as per Evan’s advice). It’s as simple as that. There’s no need to act the sleuth checking a guy’s “angles” and wonder if he’s using game. If he bails then you have your answer.
            
            
          That said, I agree with the general sentiment of your comment.

  2. 22
    Kathleen

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

  3. 23
    Paula

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

  4. 24
    Suzanne

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

  5. 25
    Frimmel

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

    1. 25.1
      Tim

      At over 40 and under 5ft tall it really sounds like Karmic has a rather skewed perspective of her league. More constructively

      At your height nearly all men are taller than you. Why are you even worrying about that?    

        When it comes to what women expect and require in men; has it ever mattered who they themselves are and what they have to offer?
            

          

      1. 25.1.1
        Pat

        “When it comes to what women expect and require in men; has it ever mattered who they themselves are and what they have to offer?”

        You picked poorly in the past and you got burned, but making sweeping and unfounded generalizations about an entire gender seems a little ridiculous.   

  6. 26
    Julia

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

  7. 27
    Ruby

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

  8. 28
    Jadeite

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

  9. 29
    Maria

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

  10. 30
    Vicki

    Most studies like these are simply observational, and only look at a small section of data from a single time period. A longitudinal study would be more interesting, as far as predicting trends. If 42% of men ages 30-49 would not even consider dating someone older in 2013, on the Are You Interested Facebook App, then what was the comparable percentage on Match.com 10 years ago (since, obviously, Facebook hasn’t been around long enough…).   I bet it has changed, but we can’t tell from the superficial nature of this study. Another recent study shows that gay people also prefer younger partners ) so fertility is probably not the real issue. I heard of another study recently that tied age preference in mate selection to the parental ages of the individual – if your mother was very young when you were born, you associate attractiveness with a younger face, but if your mother was older when you were born (or you were raised by your grandmother, which was not as much the case for Gen X, but seems to be trending up for their   kids these days) you would associate higher attractiveness to faces displaying characteristics of facial aging (it is a very interesting study which you can read here: http://www.alittlelab.stir.ac.uk/pubs/Perrett_02_imprinting_ageprefs.pdf). Since age preferences don’t differ between heterosexual and homosexual couples, I doubt that fertility is the overriding cultural factor. I think it must really depend on how old your parents were (or the person who raised you from infancy). Truly, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, at least in terms of mate selection preferences. Since Baby Boomers were born to very young women generally, it’s not surprising that Boomer men prefer younger women. Milllennials (and Gen Y and Z) are more likely to have had older mothers and/or to have been raised by their grandparents, and so are probably the reason why the whole “cougar” phenomenon in our culture has even been possible in recent years. Of course, none of that apply to you if you’re not pretty (see:

    1. 30.1
      nyxxx

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

  11. 31
    Karmic Equation

    @Kiki & Rose,

    Thanks for the support. I don’t have a problem with men expressing their opinions in the way they want to express them. I could see how John could take those comments as “bitchy” but I think it’s more because it struck some nerve and he lashed out because for men, anger is an acceptable emotion, whereas chagrin, embarassment, or other “softer” emotions are tougher to acknowledge or express.

    @John,

    I hope this doesn’t ruin our online camaraderie. I could see how you could take what I’ve said as bitchy, because I’m expressing an unvarnished truth that might have hit too close to home for you.

    Women do notice if a guy is cutting and pasting a message and not reading, or at least skimming, her profile. It’s unfortunate, but true, because online mirrors RL. The less attractive guys (I’m not saying you’re unattractive, btw, just a generic comment) need to work harder to get a woman’s attention, particularly if the woman feels her SMV is higher than the guy’s. There’s an easy fix for this. Skim the woman’s profile and mention something you can tell she is proud of. Telling me I have a “pretty smile” or that I’m a “classy lady” is way too generic even if they are true. Those adjectives can apply to any woman.

    My other point about income is that if a less-then-average looking man does indeed want to date out of his league, he needs to have the income to make him more attractive. That’s equivalent to your saying to me I have to look like Raquel Welch to have a chance at dating successful good looking guys in their 40’s. It’s equivalent. Beauty makes a woman more datable if she’s “too old” and money makes a man more datable if he’s less-than-average looking.

    The inequity in this situation is while an attractive woman would be willing to have a sex and/or relationship with an ugly, older, but rich guy. She’s pretty S.O.L. in being considered for a relationship with a successful, good-looking guy. That guy might bang her. But would he really marry her? Doubt it. Not if there are good looking 30-somethings messaging him. So that leaves an attractive 40+ woman to either settle for a less attractive man; an older man; or a younger, less mature, less successful man. Good looking, successful men will not have to compromise, ever. Good looking women, after a certain age, yes, she will have to compromise, a little to a lot.

    Regarding SMV – I think Chance has it right in that in due time we will all eventually find our equilibrium in the leagues we all play in. I’ve been lucky in that IRL I’ve been playing way out of my league since I was 25. So does that mean my league is higher than I think it is or that I’ve been lucky? Online SMV is TBD. I’m at a disadvantage because I’m not photogenic. The dates I’ve gone on thus far have all commented that “I look so much better than my photos”. They weren’t ugly guys with no income. One is lawyer with his own (2-man) lawfirm; one is a chef; one is a police officer; another one is a world-class power lifter whose steady job is with the Feds. With three guys there was not enough chemistry (on my side, they were interested in date 2). Third date upcoming with the one with whom there was a ton of chemistry. Additionally chatting with some interesting, employed dudes.

    @Chance 8
    You obviously were playing in your league, so you were satisfied. Most likely your league was higher than you thought it was 🙂

    Absolutely agreed with the 40 yo good looking man assessment. He’s the equivalent of a beautiful 20-something. The world is their oyster.

    I’ve discussed the age thing with one of my dates and he was totally with you on the age thing. Don’t lie. Men get very upset with that. Which I think is somewhat hypocritical since they lie about income, job, and height quite often. And yes, I’ve noticed that men pretty much disregard the age preference 🙂 One guy I msg’d had “healthcare” in his profile. When I asked him what he did, he said he was in “security”.<rolls eyes>. He was totally hot, but dumb as a brick. I stopped messaging him. Guys would not do this. That funny study Evan posted about a while back showed that guys would even date a hit-and-run murderer if she were hot. Another difference between the sexes. lmao

    I agree on the equilibrium 🙂

    Thanks for your comments!

  12. 32
    Girl in the Midwest

    Hm…   On a dating blog, I actually value the comments of men a lot more than the comments of women.   It’s sort of like a “know your audience” thing.   I’m not saying that what women have to contribute are not valuable, but I know that when I was younger, I’ve been often in denial, play the victim, or exhibit some kind of learned helplessness when it comes to my interactions with the opposite gender.  
      
    In my experience, women want to affirm each other and make each other feel good.   My female friends have always meant very well but they often (not always, there are some friends who are very frank which I appreciate) just tell me what I want to hear.   If I want to date men, isn’t it better to hear it directly from them?   So I appreciate the men on this blog if they are honest, but respectful.
      

  13. 33
    LC

    My Mom is 8 years older than my Dad, and at 72 years old, she still looks better, does more work, and has more energy than he does.   Both of my grandmothers were widowed for 25 years, as their husbands were their same age.   Yes, men typically do not like older women, but it makes sense to find a younger man so you’re not alone for so many years.   I never even knew that my Mom was older than my Dad growing up.   I found out when I had to put their names and birthdays down for filling out the forms to go into the Army.  

  14. 34
    devymetal

    Like several others in this thread, I feel really uncomfortable with John’s use of the word. “bitchy”. John, the way you express yourself is as off-putting and offensive as many of the “Men’s Rights” and PUA types trolling the internet these days. Most of us like the advice here because it invites an opposite attitude.
    I can’t speak for Evan, but as a long-time follower of this blog, IME the comments section is meant to be constructive, and not full of misogynist, angry name-calling. Your comments are often similarly insulting, and you degrade the useful exchange of information here because of the way you choose to express yourself. You seem to be trying to knock people back in line with your comments, rather than trying to debate with them in a well-reasoned way. Why?
    I don’t even want to comment in a thread where a woman who expresses herself, even in a way with which I disagree, is treated so poorly. Is this the way you speak to women in real life? If so, I can’t imagine any women with self-respect associating with you.
    As for the women-also-dating-younger topic at hand… I’m 32, and my SO is 27. We’ve been together for three years, and are committed to spending the rest of our lives together. I think it works because he is shockingly mature for his age, and I’m really youthful. I have found, however, that is isn’t the norm for younger men I’ve dated. If I were ever single again, I wouldn’t necessarily expect to ever find it again, actually.  
      
      
      

  15. 35
    Karmic Equation

    @Frimmel

    Agreed. My SMV could be way skewed. IRL I have guys hitting on me whom I feel are out of my league. I married a guy out of my league. IRL good looking 20-somethings and 30-somethings (as well 50-somethings) all hit on me. So either my league is higher than I think or those guys are not in the league I think they are. Now that I think about it, IRL there aren’t too many 40-somethings hitting on me. Hmmm…

    1) I want to date my age only because I think I’m supposed to. I’m happy to date younger because I like doing young things. For example, I’d rather go to Dave and Buster’s than some 5-star restaurant. I’m pretty happy playing video games or watch my guy play pick-up basketball or touch football. Touch football I would even try to get on a team myself. I’d rather watch sports center than lifetime. I am not the typical 46 yo woman.

    2) We all want to be liked for what we are. This applies to women. But men first decide if you’re attractive enough to be liked and if yes, then might chase you regardless of whether or not you’re actually likeable. OTOH most women (not this woman) first decide if a man is stable/successful enough to be liked and don’t factor looks too much into the equation. So in this sense a guy’s income can help him become more attractive, whereas there is nothing a woman can offer to a man to offset a woman’s lack of looks, unless it’s money to a male gold-digger. Online dating exacerbates this inequity because it all starts with pictures, right?

    3) Agreed

    4) Yep. I’ve come to that conclusion.

    5) I’ve found “short” guys attractive…But those short guys liked taller gals! I didn’t make the cut. However, generally speaking, the proportions of a short guy just doesn’t appeal to me. I like broad shoulders, but a short guy with broad shoulds looks weird. I like guys with legs slighly longer than their torsos, but on short guys either their legs are very short or they’re so long it makes their torsos too short. I can’t help it. If I can’t imagine myself having relations with him, why bother?

    6) Odds are they’re messaging out of their league so neither tailored nor cut and paste are going to work. There are two fixes. 1) Message within your league and 2) if you don’t know what that is, you can never go wrong by reading a woman’s profile and simply saying “Hi. I think you’re beautiful and the fact that you {example: rescue dogs as a second vocation} just makes you esspecially {appealing}.” Or something along those lines. A simple message. *Long* tailored messages give the impression you’re trying too hard. Short and sweet demonstrating you’ve *read her profile* (and not just looked at her picture) is more important. She may not answer you, but you’ve really not invested that much effort. If she finds you attractive, that opening is all she needs to msg you back. For the guys I’ve found attractive off the bat, “You’re gorgeous” was good enough. But for the on-the-fence guys, that extra little effort that showed he read my profile made him better looking. And for the ones I wasn’t attracted to, at least that little bit of effort garnered a response from me.

    And online dating is still marketing. While my sense of politenss almost demands that I reply to everybody, I also don’t want to seem over-eager and have “Replies often” next to my name. This is an online game and I know I need to play it well to have a chance of succeeding…so I sometimes don’t message back simply because I need to be shown as higher value by being “selective.”

    “Men want to be loved for who they are and not what they provide.” And women want to be loved for who they are not what they look like. So until men stop evaluating women on looks you can’t fault women for evaluating men on what they provide. It is what it is.

  16. 36
    The Redbreast

    @ Paula – 23
    “I really can’t stand when a man who is 40 is listing 25-35.”
    Did you ever think that maybe the 40 year old man is looking for a woman to have natural children with (i.e. not adopting)?   I’m a 39 year old man, never married.   I’d like to meet a woman, date and get married, and hopefully have at least 2 -3 years together (dating / engagement / marriage), traveling the world, etc., before settiling down and having kids.   Now if I start dating a 40 year old woman, that means she would be at least 42 – 43 before attempting to have our first  child together.   What do you think the  chances of success of that are?   Women have biological clocks – men don’t.   Deal with it.    Women AND men are both  entitled to their own  preferences – height, race, religion, income, and yes, AGE.
      
      

    1. 36.1
      Jenn

      I disagree with the notion that men do not have biological clocks. I think they do, but they just go on longer than a woman’s. I’ve seen this proof-positive in a man I went out with a few times. We had no chemistry and yet he still kept desperately trying to hook me in after I told him after our fourth date that I just wasn’t feeling it. He was 43, I’m 32 and he said on our first date that he really wants marriage and kids because he had yet to have those things. Also, just keep this in mind: is it women who are at fault because you decided to wait until middle age to settle down and have kids? I’ve read of a few new studies that just came out which show that a man’s sperm becomes deformed as he ages (specifically, the decline begins after 40). Meaning his little swimmers are  also able  to cause genetic defects in biological children. So you ain’t exempt from the Great Fertility Debate just cuz you’re a man. And you may be entitled to your preferences but so are we, so I hope you don’t get upset when the women you’re targeting don’t want an older guy.

      1. 36.1.1
        james

        Seriously??? Many Many men have wives 5 – 10 years younger than they are.     What you’re saying just doesn’t add up or make any sense.  

        1. kath

          James 36.1.1

          Many men do have younger wives but it is now known that older guys sperm has a higher risk of genetic defects. I also read autism is linked to older age of father .
          I would expect well informed women looking to have children know this .
            

    2. 36.2
      pat

      I absolutely agree that men and women are entitled to their own preferences, including age.   But a lot of men seem to think they have this endless amount of time to get married and start a family, just because they are biologically able to reproduce for life.   The problem with this is that not all young women (20s, early 30s) want to marry and start a family with a 40+ year old man.   You may have lots of things going for you (good job, “looks 10 years younger”, fit, etc), but how much more do you offer her over a 37 year old or a 34 year old, or a 30 year old?   

      I usually don’t discriminate too much on age when accepting first dates from men, but I’ve noticed that the older the guy was, the less I had in common with him.   Yes, they had tons of money, but for a decent, loving, non-gold digging woman, it’s just not enough.   I want someone who grew up in the same era as me with similar interests and memories.   I want a man who is young enough to run after our kids and be able to relate to them.   I don’t want to spend my middle age playing nurse to a man who is in old age or get widowed early.   I want a contemporary.   

      If you’re 39, still haven’t met “the one” and want a few years before you start having kids, you better get serious about finding someone fast.   Regardless of what men’s sites tell you, the older you are, the more your dating pool shrinks, because more people are coupled up.   Young women have tons of options and can easily shop around for high quality men in newer packaging.   I turned down a 37 year old, 39 year old, and 41 year old (all fit, “look young for their age”, make tons of money, etc) for a handsome, loving 28 year old who makes less money but I have more in common with.         

  17. 37
    Jadeite

    The Redbreast – While you’re telling Paula23 to deal with her own biological clock, perhaps you should deal with the fact that you should have started thinking about having children earlier.   You may not have been feeling your biological clock ticking, but it has been.   40-43 is not prime time to start  finally thinking about  having children, even in this day and age.   And dating isn’t perfect.   The likelihood that you will meet someone compatible right away to allow 2-3 years of time for courtship/dating then bam, let’s get married and the woman should be an instantaneous baby factory???   That doesn’t sound like as well thought out of  a plan as you might believe it to be.   The incidence of Down Syndrome as related to sperm age and health is 50% according to this one article on WebMD:   http://www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/features/age-raises-infertility-risk-in-men-too   But don’t just rely on this one article.   Do a search and see what you come up with.
      
    The reason many women in their 40’s become irritated about men wanting to date younger women for childbearing purposes is that men mistakenly think they have no relationship to the childbearing other than depositing some sperm.   And that is simply not the case.   You may find someone younger and still have issues having children because you waited too long.   Hopefully that won’t be the case for you, but there is a good likelihood that it will be.  

  18. 38
    bluewoman

    I have to agree with Girl in the Midwest.
    Men are honest and we confront or criticise them. I understand that we cannot like everything they say, but the reason we are all here is to understand men.
      
    It’s like your boyfriend stating he watches porn and you get really upset at him for watching it. You demand he stop immediately. What happens then? He will secretly keep watching it, but a) tell you nothing or b) lie to you about it if you were to ask him about it.
      
    You want to get to know men, let them talk. See what they have to say, even if it doesn’t suit your point of view.
      

  19. 39
    Karmic Equation

    @Skaramouche
    Thanks for the defense. What you wrote is what I meant.

    @The Redbreast 36

    You have a point. However, many of those men aren’t adding “seriously looking to get married and raise a family” along with their 25-35 in their profiles. I have yet to see that on any profile of 40yo men looking to date 25-35.

    What I find “ageist” are the men in their 60s listing 35 to 55, who’ve let themselves go, with no income listed. A 60 yo who lists 50-65; or at least 50-60, is more attractive, simply because he’s being appropriate and realistic.

    You can only use the fertility excuse up to a certain age, but only if the profile supports what you’re stating (“looking to get married”).

  20. 40
    Rose

    mens sperm isn’t so good as they get older higher chances of defomities.
      
    Personally don’t understand why men or women wait until 40’s to have first baby. Higher risks of deformaties plus grandparents more than likely not going to be around, higher risk of not being around so long for their own children and not being around to have any grandchildren themselves. And if choosing a much younger women leaving her a widow when she is in her 50’s.
    Unless you are rich good luck with finding a woman of 25 if you are 40.
      

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