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. 91

    You haven’t been raged against because you don’t insult older people.  It’s hilarious to me that people insult those who are older (men or women). As if they themselves will retain their youth/middleage for ever.
    We won’t (unless we die first).  I’ve seen people under 40 be hit my stage 4 cancer, motor neurone disease, and sudden death.
    As for fertility, a friend of mine is a cancer nurse for young people.  Chemo will often knock out a boy or girl’s fertility.  It can bring on puberty at age 8 and menopause at age 22.  Does it makes those people unmarriageable?  Men and women at all ages will struggle with fertility.  Some couples do – they may individually be fertile but they don’t combine well. 
    I know many women who have conceived naturally in their forties.  I suspect that many who struggle in their forties would have struggled in their thirties too, and even their twenties.  They just won’t know.
    Ultimately, there is no guarantee that your wife or husband can give you healthy children and the bottom line is – do you love this person? 
    my father looked after my mother when she had a stroke, until she had to go into a nursing home.  A friend of mine in his 80s cared for his wife with dementia until she had to go into a nursing home too. (And before any of you rail, they really could not be looked after at home anymore).  My brother looks after his wife who has a severe mental illness.
    Neither sex has a monopoly on love. If he/she is  with you primarily because of your hair/ perky boobs/ six figure income/ fertility/ age/ status they don’t really love you.

  2. 92

    What feels creepy to me with old men and young girls is it is more like Daddy/daughter than husband/wife. And that feels creepy to me.
    Or Mummy/son the other way around. Not healthy IMAO.

  3. 93

    @Rose 93.  You make joint decisions about life together with your wife.  You give your daughter advice on how to be independent.  It’s very different.  Also, there are formalities in marriage, LTR’s that are not there with children.  I my experience, if you want brutal honesty from the people who know you best of all, ask your children.  Doesn’t happen quite like that with a spouse.
    @MaryMary  Thanks.  Care giving is inevitable over decades.  The ability to offer each other unequal measures of support and still have a relationship is part of the deal in marriage.

  4. 94

    Thanks for those tips Karmic. Crikey, the prospect of facing these hordes of voracious women is almost a bit scary – but I’m intrigued so I’ll try it sometime and report back to you.
    Sparkling Emerald and Lia
    I enjoy both your comments too, but every time I read them I feel a small pang of guilt – because your messages remind me of how shallow I am, and how I judge women on the wrong criteria…until I go out at the weekend and get shot down a few times and realize once again how difficult it is for everyone. Hmm, I should really work on that.
    “How could people be so uppity about what others do with their personal lives???”
    I agree. I’ve never understood why people waste their energy worrying about what others want, or who they choose to date. As Chance noted #66, I think it usually stems from that person’s own insecurity on the particular issue.

  5. 95

    @ Evan #86:
    I can’t relate to a woman under 30.
    Well, that’s you.  Since you’ve now been married for several years, and IIRC now out of your thirties, you probably don’t even have any reason to relate to women under 30.  Before you met your wife, didn’t you date any women in their twenties?
    Also, I think people having common interests–no matter their age–can relate to one another.  Sure, a 25-year old and 40-year old who don’t have any common interests but are attracted to each other are unlikely to succeed at a relationship and probably shouldn’t date, but if they do have common interests, why shouldn’t they give it a shot?

    1. 95.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Joe – To answer your question, I’m on record of stating that common interests are the LEAST important part of a relationship.

      The fact that you and a 25-year-old both like to ski will not save your marriage if she is in her career-building, oats-sowing, going out with friends, need-to-see-the-world phase of her life and you’re in your “let’s settle down” phase of life. It won’t save you if she has never held down a job for more than two years, if she’s never had a serious relationship before, if she doesn’t know how to fight, if she doesn’t understand the meaning of compromise, if she doesn’t have the humility to put her selfish needs aside, blahblahblah.

      As for me, I always preferred older women. I ONCE had a younger girlfriend and broke up with her largely because she was too young. I was 35, she was 25. My next girlfriend, who became my wife, was three years older than I am. I want an equal; I’m guessing that most men who prefer 15 years younger don’t have the same priority.

  6. 96

    Its interesting to the the prowess of the 40 year old guys claiming they can get the 25 year old, and good luck to them, but I wonder how long they can sustain that relationship. Joe must be young because he doesn’t seem to understand what sustains a relationship over time.
    Im curious how long the relationship span is for a never been married 40 year old guy (or older as I see on Match), looking for a 25 year old woman. Guys who can’t sustain relationships of more than 1.5 -2 years are a red flag for anyone looking for a commitment and I actually see that as a bigger issue than his age preference.

  7. 97
    Karmic Equation

    Look, I think we’re not really addressing the elephant in the room. Men looking to date 25 yo’s aren’t looking to date them for marriage or fertility. They’re not looking partnership. “25” is euphemism for a hot, firm, bod and a pretty face.
    I have yet to see any profile by a 40 yo man saying they’re looking for “a little extra to love no matter the size ” when they’re seeking 25-35.
    The potential for sex with a young body is what they’re looking for. Common interests, fertility, marriageability, is just sugarcoating. Call a spade a spade, guys, and you won’t get the blowback.

  8. 98

    When I was 29 looking for men in Match, I was looking for men age range from 28-35. However, I got all sort of men contacting me. I could not believe when men who could be my grandfather were contacting me….seriously? why on earth will I date someone as old as him? 40 year olds were not in my range either. 

  9. 99
    Karl T

    Wow, so much for giving an age range.  I believe it was both Redbreast and I who said our age RANGE was 25 to 35, we are both 39.  Suddenly everyone harps on 25 as if we said that was out specific target age.  Like I said that is just a RANGE.  Don’t be fooled, I have met women who are 32 and still run out and party all the time like they are 22 and are NOT serious about life.  I have also met 26 year olds who are too serious and are through with partying.  Like I said before, it all depends on the individual, that is why I put a RANGE of ages.  If the girl is going to be 25 then she has to be a very mature 25 or else forget about it.  It does not mean I want only 25 year olds or am focusing on that age group.  My preferable age would be 32 if I had to put an exact number on it.  It’s funny how everyone just loves to argue and immediately assumes 25.  I am 39, I turned that this year.  Evan for you to say a girl even in her early 30’s thinks of me as old is quite weird.  To me anyone- man or woman- who is within 5 years of each other, I don’t even recognize as any significant age difference at all.  My range is up to 35. Evan, you really think even say a 33 year old (you said early 30’s) is not interested in me?  Really, just a 6 year difference??  I’m not in my forties, I’m not even turning 40 until mid 2014.
    As for you I now understand- you prefer older women so it makes total sense that you feel you can not connect with a girl even in her early 30’s. 
    To me it’s all based on the individual person. 
    And BTW I have dated older women a few times.  I dated one I really connected with and she was 7 years OLDER than me!!  I was 34 at the time and she was 41.  The main issue in why we broke up was because she just lived way too far away from me (almost a 2 hour drive each way).  However, she also wanted to have a baby like tomorrow!!!  Way too pushy..I don’t need that.  It lasted a little over 2 months and that was it.  She pretty much broke up with me when I wasn’t fast enough to move in with her.  You don’t make a life change after seeing someone only a handful of times (remember she lived far from me so we didn’t see each other that often)!!!

    1. 99.1

      “My range is up to 35.  Evan, you really think even say a 33 year old (you said early 30s) is not interested in me?  Really, just a 6 year difference?” 

      I’m an early 30s woman who is taken, but if I were to return to the dating pool, yes – I would hesitate to date a 39 yr old, even if it was just a 6 year difference.  It’s not the age difference that causes apprehension – it’s the fact that you’re 39.  Assuming you started your adult dating life at 18, you’ve been on the dating market for over 20 years and still not managed to find someone.  

      There are either major reasons why you chose not to settle down (workaholic, player, addictions, not marriage-minded, etc) or major reasons why women didn’t want to be with you (personality disorder, abusive, socially inept, etc).  Either way, there are red flags that require some real consideration.  If I were a young single woman with options – I’d be more interested in men in their late 20s to mid 30s.  I’d probably only consider 35+ if I were 35+.

      This isn’t meant to be discouragement – you can want whatever you want.  Just understand that this might be the mindset of some of the women you’re approaching and it might be helpful to understand their perspective.  Best of luck!

      1. 99.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        That’s fair, Pat. Just want to ask if you feel that every 39 year old woman who is still single is also a workaholic, addict, personality disorder or socially inept? Or is it just men?

        1. pat

          Hi Evan! I believe that “red flags” are equal opportunity. 🙂 If a woman is 39 and single, there’s definitely a reason for it – it could be that marriage wasn’t a priority to her (workaholic, unrealistic/too picky/too set in ways, etc) or character flaw preventing men from dating her.

          I never said that this was a problem limited only to men and I am confused as to where you got that from? I was responding to a male commenter, so that’s why I phrased my comment in terms of older, single men. But I feel the exact same way with older, single women. In fact, I worked with a woman who flitted between relationships with cute bad boy after cute bad boy. She finally hit 45, realized she wanted a family, and went into code red desperation mode. There are reasons why people stay single for prolonged periods of time on the dating market and it’s up to potential suitors to determine if those reasons are red flags are not. I was just letting the male commenter know that I would look at a single man approaching 40 with a degree of suspicion, just as many men seem to do with women their own age (regardless of whether they want kids or not). A lot of older men seem to think that they are cat nip to younger women and it’s not always true. I’ve gone on dates with a few older men and i’d rather stick with my own age or slightly younger. To each their own and I certainly do not presume to speak for all women, but older men should likewise not presume that all younger women will be into them.

  10. 100

    LOL, Karmic Equation #99, and SO TRUE.
    At the age of 24, I dated a 36 year old.  I thought he was practically an old man.  He was very sweet but not my type physically.  However, I was very happy spending his money. We were together on and off about 3 years and the search for the perfect diamond finally shut it down for me since I could never picture myself married to him. 
    As long as men are aware that the younger the woman, the more likely they both are to be using each other towards their own means and not necessarily as a cohesive couple and they accept, usually for the time being. that they are both getting something they want, it’s all good.  But it’s not necessarily a recipe for a relationship leading to marriage.  You might eventually marry the silk purse, but she will probably still think you’re a sow’s ear. 

  11. 101

    @Jadeite same here. When I was 28 I dated a very handsome and wealthy 41 year old man. He was interesting, I enjoying going on dates with him and our discussions were fascinating but there was never a real match. As soon as I met a man my age I dumped him. I knew he wasn’t long term potential because he was busy dating women in their 20s! I do think a 40 year old man can reasonable expect to date women in their mid-thirties though and find success in building a relationship.
    @Karmic right on, let’s call a spade a spade. Both genders who want to date that far down are in it for the physical aspects and the young ones are probably in it for the financial. So if you’re a 42 year old lady who just wants to have fun with a 27 year old man, that’s fine just expect that you will be footing the bill and its probably not long term.

  12. 102

    Karl T @84
    I wrote on post 23
    “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”
    Okay so tell me how this sounds angry? I start out by saying a positive, ie there are smart men who are not limiting their options on age. Then I say I can’t stand a man who is 40 and listing 25-35. To me that clearly signals many things, one possibility that he isn’t truly wanting a meaningful relationship but fun ie sex. There is nothing angry in my post and in no way am I denying what I said by saying I do not sound angry. Some people clearly are projecting their issues onto my simply words and distorting them because of their own insecurities. Okay. Fine. I stand by what I say and certainly will not change how I feel about the matter. Seriously if you insist people are angry when they are not or call them defensive, when they are not…this is known as gaslighting. Healthy relationships do not involve projecting emotions onto people that aren’t there. I don’t go around thinking all men want sex, all men are angry, all men are scared, etc. This is demonstrating low emotional intelligence and is very unhealthy.

    1. 102.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Paula – You’re missing it. Karl – for all his anger – is correct. You have no real right to get angry when a man who is 40 is listing 25-35. It’s common sense. If he wants to have his own biological children, it makes a lot more sense for HIM to look for younger women than to have to rush into marriage/kids the way I did (and I got LUCKY with two kids and FOUR miscarriages).

      Whether you like it or not, you DO sound angry because you don’t like male preferences. There’s a huge difference between looking for a younger woman who is fertile and a younger woman who has a tighter body. And you seem to have ruled out the former explanation, which is unfair of you. I LOVE older women and I was looking for 25-35 when I was on Match as well.

  13. 103

    @Kart T.  I think if that is your range and you are meeting women in it, happy with your options, so be it.  My best male friend is your age (tall, handsome, ex-athlete and very successful) and probably has the same age range.  He is perpetually single because he wants younger AND a total catch.  There are a lot of nice 25 year old girls who would date him (not the hottest, smartest, charming, totally together ones) and he doesn’t want those.  He wants the girl who has it all who is probably 28-30.  I have lots of mid 30s friends who are the total package (looks, fun, smart) and would love to date him but he refers to them as OLD.  I know other late 30s/early 40s guys who are more flexible and as a result have more options. They are happy dating the 20s girls who are hostesses, aspiring actresses etc. or average looking.  My girlfriends in their 20s who have it all together (even the 30 year olds) who are hot have turned down my friend.  I think people can want whatever they want and if they are successful who cares.  If they aren’t getting the type of people they want then expanding age ranges can be one way to get more successful. Although I’d love to date a man my own age, I date a lot older and get a lot more dates.  I pick from who is willing to pick me.  Often that is older and sometimes younger (I don’t seek out younger men, but if they are a few years younger and ask me out online I go for it).

  14. 104

    Said “old man” got a heckuva lot more out of the arrangement then you did ;).

  15. 105

    SAL9000 – I’d ask how you could know that but I daresay you’re right.  LOL 🙂

  16. 106
    Karmic Equation

    To the 39+ dudes who are looking to date 25-35…Have you actually had 25 yo’s contacting you first? Or do you have to contact them first?
    If they’re contacting you first, then it means you’re worthy to date 25. But if you’re dating 25 and YOU had to contact them first, then you’re not really 25-worthy. Just saying.
    My profile was originally set to 35-55 and I had to adjust down to 35-50 because the 50+ yo’s contacting me looked like 60 yo’s. If there’s a 50+ yo that I’m interested in, I’ll msg him first. As John and Frimmel had indicated guys don’t look at a woman’s age preference if he likes the way she looks, so while I’m not searching for 25+ men, they’re contacting me. But, yes, they might think they can get easy sex from an old gal like me. If they’re hot enough, sure it’s gonna happen, but I’m under no misconceptions of what’s going on. Hasn’t happened yet, but definitely contemplating.
    I have to say that after following this thread, I’m feeling pretty good about myself. At 46 I’m getting interest from hot 40+ yo’s now, so I know my new pix are doing their job and I’m competing well against the 25-35’s.

  17. 107

    Karmic Equation in #109
    “To the 39+ dudes who are looking to date 25-35…Have you actually had 25 yo’s contacting you first? Or do you have to contact them first?
    If they’re contacting you first, then it means you’re worthy to date 25. But if you’re dating 25 and YOU had to contact them first, then you’re not really 25-worthy. Just saying.”
    “Just shaming” is more like it.
    Who made you the arbiter of a man’s worthiness in the eyes of other women?

    1. 107.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Frimmel – Reality makes Karmic the arbiter of a man’s worthiness. If you’re “worthy,” 25-year-olds are writing back to you. If you’re not, they’re not. Nothing you say or I say or Karmic says has any impact on reality.

  18. 108
    Karmic Equation

    Hmmm…I’m qualified because I was once a 25 yo woman? When were you one? When I was 25, and I was a mature 25, btw, I thought 35 was old. 40 was ancient.
    Not shaming. But relaying a reality. If you’re contacting 25-yo women and they’re saying yes, it could be because you’re all right and don’t creep them out. And they could be dating you to see what you’re willing to do for them or to say they’ve tried dating “an older man”. It doesn’t necessarily mean they think you’re all that.
    But if 25 yo’s are bursting your inbox with initial contacts…cuz you know they’re doing that to the hot 30 yo’s — then sure you’re 25-worthy.
    Look, I’m not saying you can’t contact 25 yo’s if you list 30-40 as your target range. 30-40 is just more appropriate. What would you think of a 40 yo woman listing 25-35 for men? Consider that for a moment. Unless she looked like Catherine-Zeta Jones, you’re not going to have a favorable view of her.
    Just as you mentioned (or was it John?) — if someone outside your age range thinks your age is something they’re ok with, they’ll capture your range in their search criteria. That works the same for women as for men.
    Doesn’t sit well with you when the shoe is on the other foot?

  19. 109

    @Karmic. ROFL! Catherine ZJ is of course, quite happily married, so far as can be known, to Michael Douglas e who is 24 years older than her. He has cancer from HPV-16 infection and she is sticking by him.  I hope to meet them sometime and congratulate them on their example. They have a house near me.

  20. 110
    Karl T

    Karmic #109,
    To answer your question.  I have almost never had women contact me first all of my life!! LOL..  This goes for when I was 25 looking at 23 year olds or 27 looking at 24 year olds or 32 looking at 27 year olds!!!  As a man you have to make the effort and go out and get them.  Where I come from (Boston) there seems to be a lot of competition.  Even girls who are 35 pounds overweight have been rude and snobby to me for no reason at all and I have always been in shape and had a decent job all of my life.  The only women who ever contacted me first were ones who were single moms and had 3 children and were looking for a daddy for thier kids or a source of money!!! LOL.  So, I hope that answers your question.
    And you want to know another surprising fact???  And this goes back to even when I was 34-35……
    I actually had better luck with 26-28 year olds than I did with 31-34 year olds!!!!  It seemed the 31-34 year olds were very snobby and looking for perfection or money where the 26-28 year olds were more easygoing and friendly.  It might be an area related thing, though.  I can attest for it because when I travel to a different part of the country suddenly very attractive women out and about are much more friendly and kind and it takes me by total surprise because I am not used to that.  Most of the ones in this area scoff at you if you even think of approaching them and I have always been a little bit shy in person so I’m not some aggressive arrogant jerk approaching them.  One time at a bar this semi-attractive girl kept walking past me for about 20 minutes.  I finally got up the courage to say something to her and what did she do?  She didn’t even look at me and put her hand in my my face as to say “I don’t even want to acknowledge you and to shut me up”.  This type of attitude seems to be quite common in my area, unfortunately. 

  21. 111

    Do you know Catherine ZJ very well then?  Its great to know she has shared how happily married she is with you and that you know the intimate details of the strength of their marriage.
    Like some of the other women here, I was mature enough to some to the US by myself at 23 and have a job/visa lined up. I dated a guy of 35 yrs for 6 months. He wasn’t rich but he had been a world class surfer in Hawaii and I like athletes . Over time he just seemed old to me , and I felt in some ways out of my depth and in other ways like I had so much more potential than that guy. I never saw him again after I broke up with him.    

  22. 112

    @Karmic Equation #79
    “I think that women feel it’s bad form for an out-of-shape 40 year old to think he can date a 25 yo. It’s not fear, but incredulity. Now if he were in shape, we women would just lament him following the wrong head”
    I’m sure they do feel it’s in bad form, and for good reason.  However, have you ever noticed that people are more likely to take a vested interest in other people’s “bad form” when they themselves fall outside of other people’s preferences?  I have.  Generally speaking, I don’t see very many men, or young women, rushing to point out these guys’ bad form when they express their preference for younger women.  Similarly, I don’t notice many women and tall/wealthy men pointing out the bad form of short, average looking women expressing their preference for wealthy men that are at least 6′ tall.  The zeal with which these women have responded strongly suggests that a chord has been struck.
    “Look, I think we’re not really addressing the elephant in the room. Men looking to date 25 yo’s aren’t looking to date them for marriage or fertility. They’re not looking partnership. “25″ is euphemism for a hot, firm, bod and a pretty face….
    …Call a spade a spade, guys, and you won’t get the blowback.”
    I believe that you’re right up until that last sentence.  I think if a guy came out and said “Look, I prefer to date younger women because they’re much better-looking”, he would still get blowback.  A lot of it.  I say this because I’ve seen it IRL all the time.  I think the Mother Elephant in the room is that this strikes closely to the deep-seated fear that a woman’s mate value falls as she ages, and a man’s mate value rises he ages (to a certain age).  When a man is successful, and good-looking to boot, there is nothing women can do about this perceived fact.  However, if the oft-mentioned fat guy with no income expresses his preference for younger women, older women see the green light to pounce.

  23. 113

    Btw Karmic, I’m not trying to single you out.  I enjoy the fun, healthy debate… and you’re good at the give-and-take:)

  24. 114

    Chance #116
    I think you hit the nail on the head with this comment. I have been quite surprised at the visceral reaction of so many normally rational women about this issue – again I’ve always wondered: why does anyone care? Because it is in the interest of these women to care – they are trying to stigmatize men so that they can control their behavior.
    I’ve mentioned this point before – men used to stigmatize women by calling them ‘sluts’, so they wouldn’t sleep with other men thus reducing the chances they’d get pregnant by those men. The women here who get upset over the issue by laughing at men who like younger women, are trying to stigmatize men because they have a latent fear themselves of being dumped for a younger woman.
    Funny what you say about the height thing – the fact that women like tall men never bothered me at all – but I would say that being 6’3” I suppose.
    I’m expecting a lot of blowback to your comment.
    Ladies: if you are secure in yourself you won’t be bothered by someone else’s preferences, and won’t try to shame others for their preferences.

    1. 114.1

      I was a young 20-something once, but never nubile. I will never be that again so I don’t sweat my lack of SMV.  If you’re not what someone wants, who cares? I’d rather be passed up than to be settled for.

  25. 115

    [email protected]
    Didn’t you write this blog post a while ago? Isn’t this addressing the very issue I am talking about?
    I don’t understand why people are misinterpreting my words. Clearly this disappoints me. I have said a few times, men can have their preference, but they are just that – preferences. Doesn’t mean they are going to get it. Like the song says, We Can’t Always Get What We Want. As Dr Phil says, you choose the behaviour (in this case, preferences), you choose the consequence.

    (Yes, but you don’t have the right to be angry about it – EMK)

  26. 116
    Karl T

    Paula #119,
    You’re all over the place.  Plain and simple, you said  “I really can’t stand when a man who is 40 is listing 25-35.”  How are we misinterpreting that???????????
    What myself, Tom10, and others are confused by is, why does it even bother you at all?  Like Tom10 said “who cares?!”. 

    1. 116.1

      There are lots of us ladies who really don’t care. We just don’t care enough to say we don’t care. 😀

  27. 117
    Sparkling Emerald

    I totally agree that everyone’s preference are just that THEIR preferences and nobody else’s beeswax. 
    It’s one thing to point out to someone that their rigid criteria may be hindering their romantic life, but it’s another thing to get all up in arms and hurling insults.  (not directing this to anyone in particular)
    That being said, I invite you to review this blog post, and see the venomous responses to women (such as calling them STUPID)  who have a height preference.  ( I don’t really have a dog in this fight, as I am pretty short, and don’t really care about a man’s height)
    Some men on this blog routinely state that women who aren’t getting many dates, e-mails online etc,  probably aren’t “attractive enough” and they say this to women sight unseen.  I suppose “not attractive” could be anything, weight, shape of the nose, spacing between eyes, a neck that’s too short, erc.  A culmination of the changeable and the not so changeable.  I say people really don’t choose who they are attracted to, you can only choose to act or not act upon an attraction or lack of.  To me, insulting someone who prefers women with big boobs, or men with broad shoulders, is like insulting people who are gay for their “lifestyle choice”  It’s none of your business, and it’s not a conscious choice.
    I say everyone has the right to their own attraction preferences.  I really don’t get men who claim that right for themselves, but call women “stupid” for their preferences.
    I’m 58, little boobs, extremely red hair (which I love, and men either love it or hate it) cutesy, but not classically beautiful.  I don’t expect gobs of  men to be attracted to me, and I understand that.  And I don’t resent it.  I wish some men would understand that for women, attraction isn’t just a switch we can flip, just  because the physical attribute is something beyond the control of the man.  I wish some men would accept that about women too.

  28. 118

    I think it is not unreasonable or uncommon for a 40 yo old to attract younger women ( at least over 25).  At 40, men still look and act relatively young and appear to be in their prime to many women.   What men do not realize, is that at 45+, many men physically no longer look young and many age poorly.  So, while a 28 yo woman may be intrigued by a 40 yo man, it is far less common for a 35 or 40 yo woman claiming to really dig 50+ men.  And this seems to be the age where men refuse to let go of th illusion of finding a much younger woman and looking in the mirror and getting a reality check.  If they are still getting the younger ones, fine, but most are not, and are on the same dating  sites year afer year.  Just my observation.

  29. 119

    @ Sparkling Emerald # 89
    I have a wonderful group of women friends who I admire greatly.  You would be a welcome and valued addition to such a group.
    @ Marymary # 92
    A pleasure as always and spot on.
    @ Karl T 
    I don’t judge 40 year-old-guys for dating younger women… because I never look at them. 🙂 That being said when I look at the men in my age bracket who want to date want to date much younger, I try not to judge but it is reeeeeallly hard not.  It comes across so hypocritical and I find THAT hard to swallow. If he doesn’t want to date a person his age why should I want to date a person his age?  Does he really believe that he is too good for women his own age?
    Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t think that men should date women that they are not attracted to (no woman wants to be with a man who doesn’t find her attractive) but what if the love of their life is their age or a year or two older?
    I know a man who helps out at the weekly community dinner in the town where I live.  A few months ago, when I was “window shopping” on Match (meaning I was skulking about with a hidden profile) I saw his profile.  He is 59 (which surprised me because I thought he was younger) and the age range he wanted was 45-54.  Now I am not saying that was bad or wrong, certainly not nearly as bad as some, but he was discounting women his age.  
    While helping out at the community dinner he met a woman who was volunteering too and they eventually started dating.  He lights up around her and she is positively glowing when she is with him.  Until he started dating her, I never saw him smile.  He always had that cop look on his face… you know the one they wear when they ask you, “Do you know how fast you were going?”   Well now he is happy and in love and is love by a woman who thinks he is all that.  Here’s the funny thing…  She is 60.
    Karl, I don’t care what age bracket you want to date in, and if you want kids then I can see why you think it would behoove you too look for younger.  I wish you luck in finding someone who you love and who loves you.  
    Tom10 # 55
    “….it doesn’t really matter what a person wants; it’s what they can get.”
    Well said!!!
    Tom10 #118
    “Ladies: if you are secure in yourself you won’t be bothered by someone else’s preferences, and won’t try to shame others for their preferences.”
    I gave your post some thought and I do think that for me personally that that would have some truth to it.  However, I am more sad about how I let my body go these last three years than I am about my age.  I am making fast progress in losing weight and getting back into shape. 
    I like who I am as a person now much more than who I was at 30.  I have lived so much more, became softer and kinder.  I can see other people much more clearly and love with greater ease and less judgement.  Less judgement but not zero judgement.  I have not progressed that far, but I still work on that.
    I will be a much better partner now than I ever was in my twenties and thirties.  I have so much more to offer.  Even getting back into shape and having been blessed with good skin (and an esthetician for a sister) I will never look 25 or 30 again.  But the blessing in that is I will never have to date men in their twenties or thirties again.
    I like men who have experienced more of life, who have loved and lost and have the courage to try again, men who have had children and know what it is like to love another human being and have that vulnerability that comes from loving and caring so much.
    So though there may be the moment now an then when I think a wistful thought about how my body use to look, I am so grateful for where I am now, as a person and as a woman.  

  30. 120

    Thargirl #122
    “What men do not realize, is that at 45+, many men physically no longer look young and many age poorly.”
    I agree to an extent. I think on balance, women probably do take care of themselves better than men and this becomes noticeable later in life.
    “When I look at the men in my age bracket who want to date much younger, I try not to judge but it is reeeeeeallly hard not to.”
    I think I understand the sentiment.
    I don’t want to dip into racial territory but it serves a point. I live in a fairly homogenous white society (well not as much any more) and I remember when I was younger seeing a white woman dating a black man and how it raised eyebrows. At the time I just thought how wrong it was for others to be bothered – it’s nobody else’s business who she wants to date.
    I also remember reading a comment from an Asian guy on a blog once (it might have been here) where he said a white guy could never possibly understand what it feels like to see the ‘best of his tribe’ (his words) date outside their race. My point is; I suppose it’s easy for me to say “don’t judge” when I’m not being affected by the judgement.
    However, I think acceptance and non-judgement must trump any instinctive reaction to condemn others for wanting what they want, not what we feel they should want.
    The second part of your comment is what gives me a pang of guilt. You seem like such a nice, caring, feminine woman Lia. Your words would soften the heart of the hardest man and I’m sure you will soon find someone to have your back with your caring attitude.
    I accept your point that you have learned a lot through your life and are now in the position where you would make a great partner.
    Intellectually I know that these are the qualities I should be looking for in a woman, yet when I try to meet women my ‘lizard-brain’ keeps screaming at me: looks and age, looks and age, LOOKS AND AGE! This is one of my character flaws which I suspect I will have to fight all my life. Hopefully I will indeed mature at some point.
    I wish you well on your journey back to getting back in shape and meeting men again. I suspect you will do well.

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