Both Men and Women Prefer Dating Younger

Both Men and Women Prefer Dating Younger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  1. 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.


    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!

  2. 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.

  3. 33

    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. 

  4. 34

    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. 

  5. 35
    Karmic Equation


    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.

  6. 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

      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

        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

      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.      

  7. 37

    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:  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. 

  8. 38

    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.

  9. 39
    Karmic Equation

    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”).

  10. 40

    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.

  11. 41
    Karl T

    Redbreast #36,
    I am also 39 and in the same boat as you.  I also have an age range of approx. 25-35 for the same reasons.  For someone like Paula to see that in a guy’s profile and still get angry at him without even knowing or having talked to him- well that says a lot.  Why she would be angry at a guy she don’t even know (just read his profile) shows that she has a grudge or anger inside her.  I would never date a woman like that no matter what age I am, even if I didn’t want kids. 

  12. 42

    Wow !!!! When will men who are 40 realize women in thier late twenties to very early thirties don’t want them. And please stop saying you look young for you’re age … You really don’t … Sigh .. Just be honest with yourself 

  13. 43

    Redbreast #36 
    There is a link of autism with older fathers. Logically it makes more sense that a younger guy will have healthier genes than an older guy. 
    Good luck with the younger women ….. because they prefer men their own age but maybe you can offer a great lifestyle with your income. 

  14. 44
    Karl T

    Zara #42,
    I am 39.  You seriously think a woman who is 32 is too young for me and doesn’t want me?  Really??  I’m a muscular guy who has been in shape for most of my life, I have a great job and own my own house and come from an awesome family.  I have no issues getting dates.  You sound like some jaded 40 plus year old woman who is all ticked off, just like Paula.  I’m don’t come to this blog for help…I come because I like discussing principles and reading other people’s comments.  I will continue to date 25 to 35 year old woman and if you don’t like it, too bad!  I’m not failing at it like perhaps you hope I am!!!  Maybe you should seek counseling on why this bothers you??
    Rose #40,
    It figures you go right to the lowest age listed.  Our range is 25 to 35…we didn’t say we go only for 25 year olds!!!  She could be 35 too.  However in my expreiences, I have met girls who were 26 who were really mature and I have met 32 year olds who still act 21 and party all the time and are not serious.  So therefore, I will keep my age range wide.  My age preference is probably 29 to 33, but I’ll take a mature 26 year old over an immature 32 year old anyday…..

    1. 44.1

      I’m an attractive 32 year old woman who is dating online and I take issue with guys who refuse to date women their own age, even when I fall into their stated preferences. What’s wrong with a 39 year old woman? Why can’t you date someone the same age as you? And if you’re going to use the old fertility argument, may I point out that there are plenty of women your age who can have perfectly healthy babies, just as there are lots of younger women who have a hard time conceiving and/or having healthy kids. And yes, you are too old for me. I prefer men within five years of my age either way. And the reason we zero in on the lower age is because we know that’s what most men are really after. We know that you will often even message females younger than your stated preference, because you just want the hottest, youngest girl who’ll have you.

    2. 44.2

      For what it’s worth, I’m a young woman and I don’t care if older guys want to date me (or even women younger than me!).  Everyone is entitled to their desires and policing or guilting men for being attracted to what they are attracted to is futile and unnecessary.  I’m a strong believer in that there’s a lid for every pot.  If a guy actively excludes you from his dating pool, because he has a strict age range – his loss! Move on!  Just the same as if a woman excluded a man for not being tall enough.

      That being said, I still do think men shouldn’t wait too late (37+) to be “finding someone” to settle down with and start a family.  There are obvious reasons: young women want a man who is young enough to keep up with small children, won’t leave her a widow prematurely, etc.  

      But the most overlooked reason is that older guys are more set in their ways, less malleable, have more baggage, can be socially inept/weird, etc.  I’ve noticed this a lot among the older men I have gone out with who were 37+.  I’m sure there are exceptions, but experience has shaped my opinion.  

      I do find it a little odd when guys have only seriously started their search for a mate once they hit their late 30s.  To me, you should have found someone by now.  There’s some reason why you didn’t make marriage a priority in your youth.  You were too fixated on school/career (these are issues that plague everyone, you don’t get a free ‘pass’ for it) or you were a player enjoying easy hook ups instead of meaningful relationships.  Either way, both of those things aren’t attributes desirable in a potential hubby.  And I don’t really want a man who squandered his physically prime years, but now expects to get mine.  These are the reasons why I chose my 28 year old SO over suitors that were a decade older.  To each their own, I guess!  Good luck with your search. 🙂   

  15. 45

    I think people keep forgetting that we don’t all see through the same eyes. A lot of people, especially the ones who believe most in the European (white, blond, blue-eyed, really skinny) beauty standard assume that it’s what everyone else must want(it also amuses me b/c as a non-white person, it’s about as far from my ideal as you can get).  It’s like everyone goes back to the hierarchy they followed in high school.  
    So I always find the talk about people trying to date out of their league or dating out of their league to be amusing.
    You could be average, ugly, or plain, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t men who look like Jon Hamm or Hugh Jackman who don’t look at you and think you are beautiful.
    So while we might be trained to assume that all 5’s must date 5’s, it ignores the fact that to some people those 5’s are 10’s.  
    If you dated men that you think were better looking than you, all it means is that whatever about you makes you think you are only average (if that is what you think) looked ABOVE average to them.
    Online, we stick to the rules, b/c we get beat over the head with the idea of what we do or don’t deserve.  Of course in IRL, since people approach you, you don’t have to go through the mental gymnastics of deciding if the guy you find attractive thinks you will be acceptable too.
    Even though the investment is low, it is funny how we are too intimidated to just throw a wink out there if someone is “too good-looking”  One of my friends reminded me that you don’t know what other people think or like so you shouldn’t do that.  It’s not about dating out of your league so much as remembering that you aren’t a psychic.  Only once did I get a really nasty email from a guy more or less going off about how dare I contact him and it was amusing b/c among the insults hurled at me were my age (he was my age) and my looks (he was only average looking himself, and beauty is subjective but I’ve never felt or been told I was flat out UGLY).  It was interesting for sure though.

    1. 45.1

      Sometimes you don’t even have to wink at them. Some will get offended at you for even being on the dating site if you have no SMV. It’s rare, but I’ve seen it happen.

  16. 47
    Sparkling Emerald

    Henriette @45
    Thanks for posting this, it is refreshing to not read another article yammering away at women, telling us that we aren’t married because we are so hopelessly flawed.

  17. 48

    I’m 45. I prefer dating men 45-55. I specified my age range when I was on match and I would still get emails from really young guys (19-30) and older ones (62 and up, like my father’s age….yuck!) A 19 year old once emailed me….and I felt compelled to respond, “does your mother know your online dating?” (and I have a 19 yr old….too funny)
    Luckily, you can specify an age range on POF and no one can email you if not within the age range noted.
    One reason I like dating my age and older, most likely any kids are older too. Mine are older and I’m not sure I want to visit the younger years again….been there/done that.
    I was recently contacted by a 38 yr old who asked me out…..and I know it’s only 7 years younger, but I’m feeling a little weird about it….? We’ll see 🙂

  18. 49

    Most of the men I date have already had kids and have no desire for more, or have long ago decided they don’t want them. We’re talking about men in their late forties to late fifties. Even so, most of them list age ranges up to 20 years younger, and many don’t go older than their own age. At this point, it’s more about these guys trying to hang onto their youth and virility through a younger woman than anything else.

  19. 50

    Well damn, I never would have expected to see such blowback to a man’s desire to date younger women.  This really puts a kink in my plans…. when my lady turns 40 one day, I was going to trade her in for two 20-year-olds.  It’s not what you think-I’ll need them to keep each other company if I fall asleep during sex.

    I think you’ll do well with the online dating because you appear to have thick skin, which is a must-have for that kind of thing.  At the end of the day, it dramatically increases your options.
    Back to the income thing-I do think it’s in your best interest to not read into it too much if a guy doesn’t list his income.  I have to think there are a number of guys like me out there who don’t list it because they don’t want to draw women in who are only interested in money.  Besides, if you’re finding that men are lying about it anyway, what difference does it make?  You should be able to tell quickly if he’s able to take care of himself.
    When I was online, I found that eharmony had much higher-quality prospects than okcupid.  A lot of women on okcupid seemed to be unemployed or underemployed.  So maybe it is the same thing as far as men go.  Perhaps there are more successful men on eharmony?
    Hope that helps.

  20. 51

    @Maria 29 …….. 6 yrs age difference is not exactly what I was talking about. It was the the 42 yr old women that get emailed by guys under 30. Or the the 49 yr.old women that get emailed by 35 yr. olds. See the difference?

  21. 52
    Sparkling Emerald

    Zara @42 – When will men who are 40 realize women in thier late twenties to very early thirties don’t want them.
    Maybe I am the exception, but in my younger days, I was often attracted to older men.  And a 33 year old and a 40 year is not much of an eyebrow raiser in my opinion. Maybe we aren’t the majority, but I think there enough women in their early 30’s  (and even late 20’s) who would appreciate a 40 year old, if he had the other qualities she was looking for. 
    When I was 29 I was head over heels crazy for a 42 year old.   We dated for a while, but he didn’t want to commit, (he used the freshly divorced excuse).  If he had been willing to commit, believe me I would have. (yes, he broke my heart)
    My first serious boyfriend was 24 (I was 17). One of my first summer romances was with a 21 year old when I was 16.    2 of these relationships violated the “half your age + seven rule” and one just barely made it in.  In my younger days, I was often drawn to more mature men, although my first husband was just 5 years my senior and my second husband was actually 2 years younger.  I did date men closer in age also, but there was just something about a mature man that I found irresistable. 
    Of course now that I am older, I prefer men closer to my own age, and in good health and reasonably attractive. I guess I’ve always wanted a “silver fox”, and I have finally grown into what I’ve always been attracted to. At my age, men my age are mature enough for me.  At this point in my life, I don’t want to have one good year, and then be someone’s nursemaid.  So I’ll stick to men within 10 years of my age. 

  22. 53
    Soul Sister

    I am enjoying reading this blog and here is my take on it….everyone has their preferences, age, attractiveness, income level, etc. and on-line dating is sort of like “shopping for men/women” so it gets a bit skewed.  But the real truth is once you meet, if the chemistry is right (both physical and mental), a lot of your list just doesn’t seem to matter.  So when I hear someone say “he is a really great guy, I just wish he were richer/taller/better looking, the chemistry is just not there.
    I did match, and had lots of dates (tons of fun if you have the right attitude and I am 52!), and who did I end up falling for?  The guy who was unemployed and overweight (and I am very well employed and in great shape)….why?  Because I find him very sexy and love the way I feel around him, and after two years, my heart still jumps when I see a text from him. 
    I do think women are pickier, and not just about looks or income, because we are looking for the whole package.  It reminds me of a funny saying: Women have a list of 49 things they want in a man, and he has to meet 47 of them….men have a list of 10 things they want in a woman, and if she is hot enough the other 9 don’t count…..
    So yes, looks and money are important initial factors, but to really understand your feelings, ask yourself if you would want to be stuck with this person on a deserted island with no BMWs and no makeup…and if the answer is yes, they are the right person for you.

  23. 54
    Soul Sister

    One other funny thing about the expectations of men sometimes….a guy I work with was telling me he met a really great woman on match but he just didn’t want to go out with her again, she was “loose in the caboose”….I asked him what that meant and he said “she is about 20 lbs overweight so her butt is bigger than I like”
    You should have seen his face when I eyed his significant gut and sweetly asked “oh, would that be anything like staunch in the paunch?” 
    Just sayin…!!

  24. 55

    Ah the age issue is always fun to discuss. My take on it is that it doesn’t really matter what any particular individual wants; it’s what they can get.
    I bought a house last year, and it took me about nine months of looking to get the right one. Like everyone else I wanted a big house in a nice neighborhood. Unfortunately these are expensive and out of by range so I had to buy a house that matched my budget. People with deeper pockets get to buy nicer houses. I used to get so frustrated when I saw the prices people were looking for, until I realized it didn’t matter what they wanted, or what I wanted – it’s what the market wants that will determine the price.
    The same applies in dating. An individual can want whatever they want but who cares what they want – it’s whether they’ve got the goods to get what they want that counts. Rich famous people date younger – because they can.
    If you want to date younger you just have to bring the goods that the younger person is looking for.
    Paula 23
    “I really can’t stand when a man who is 40 is listing 25-35”
    I don’t understand why it bothers you what they’re looking for really? Let them look for models if they want – we can all dream 🙂
    The same applies for women who only want men with certain attributes – let them look for those men, but can they get them is what matters.
    Kathleen 43
    “Good luck with the younger women…because they prefer men their own age
    Here’s the problem though: I’m a guy their age and what do I prefer? (slightly) younger women too!
    Karmic Equation
    I always love the way you roll with the punches so well here – I found your comments on your experience of online dating interesting. I’ve been thinking of giving it a shot myself too – I just don’t think I’d be able to cope with so many women though, ha ha.

  25. 56

    Soul Sister #53
    You are hilarious!!!   I think you have a future writing rap! Yes Ive noticed many overweight men specify not just younger but slender or athletic…the illusion of choice, right!
    I think you are absolutely right about just being open because for me finding a guy who I have enough chemistry and makes me feel good is so rare.  

  26. 57

    Honestly people ! People are entitled to what they want from a mate. Sure it may be unrealistic (ie fat man asking for slender beauty) and even unattainable but the proof of the pudding is in its eating.
    Unrealistic expectations will be met with zero responses. So if it is unrealistic for a 40+ man to only date 20 year olds, he will get zero responses and will have to adjust his expectations accordingly. The fact that he doesn’t means that he IS getting his 20 plus year olds. And if not, then he is simply not “desperate” enough to adjust his requirements.
    Moaning and groaning about the “unrealistic” expectations of others is totally unproductive and achieves nothing for yourself and does not bring you closer to your goal.

  27. 58

    well the article is a no brainer, of course we would prefer someone younger as you get youthful looks and vitality. Who wants to be widowed because they died of old age or end up a nurse maid.

  28. 59

    oops problem is you can meet people in real life, and assume they are within a certain age bracket and then discover once you have been going out with them a while that they are not. e.g. you join a singles group with a specified age range and find that people older join thinking it doesn’t matter that they are 5 , 10 , years older.
    and of course people online lie about their age. I met on guy online who lied about his age and I only discovered this because I googled his name and found a newspaper article from his local paper saying his age  and revealing he had had a heart attack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. 60
    Little Wing

    @ Androgynous
    That’s a very valid point you make!
    Men are free to request whatever criteria they like; it’s what they desire for a mate. At times, it may be obvious to anyone around him that it’s just not viable.
    Should the criteria be met, then good for him! But if he’s not getting positive results, then it’s definitely time he re-evaluate his criteria and re-assess his reality. Provided of course, he is self-aware enough to see that his particular criteria is limiting and the root cause of his singledom. 
    Sounds so obvious when you give the example of a 40+ male wanting a 20 something girlfriend, or a man with a staunch in the paunch seeking a fit woman.
    It’s harder to swallow when you apply the ‘time to adjust requirements’ and ‘open up your scope’ to our own dating lives, particularly when the criteria is not so obvious or visual 😉
    Tall, handsome, successful, smooth talker, ivy league, higher income, never married, no kids, older but not by much, a good cook, fit-ish, full head of hair, well travelled, etc etc.
    I will remind myself of this when I start picking holes through candidates. I’ll ask myself, am I being the 40+ year old man with a paunch seeking a 20 year old model? Could I let go of some criteria and stubbornness in order to open up the playing field? Would it be beneficial to cast a wider net?
    Yes 🙂
    Makes me wonder WHY men lie on their profiles. They think we won’t accept them as is. And it’s probably true.

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