Why Do Older Women Like Younger Men and What Do Guys in Their 20s Want With Women in Their 40s?

If you’re an older, wiser, and a more mature woman. dating a younger man can be great. They’re cute, energetic and do not carry the same baggage as middle-aged men. But the question remains: what do younger guys want with women in their 40s? Conversely, why do older women like younger men? Does an age difference matter? If so, how much of an age gap is acceptable before there’s a huge generation and culture gap?

First off, there’s no set formula for dating younger men. Every guy is different. That said, there are some main things to keep in mind when dating someone younger. You must have a thick skin because it goes against society’s norms and expectations. However, don’t let the stigma of being a ‘cougar’ deter you from finding a new love connection.

Whether you’re seeking a casual relationship or a long-term commitment, the older woman/younger man dynamic offers a distinct set of benefits. Only a tiny percent of relationships with 10-year age gaps turn into marriage, so the best way to approach dating younger men is with an open mind and realistic expectations

Key Takeaways:

  • Possible reasons for younger men to date older women
  • When to keep or stop the older woman-younger man relationship

Keep reading to learn more.


I am in my mid-forties, and I have been online dating off and on for about 2 ½ years and dating in general for 4 years. I am a year and a half out of a relationship, and in that time, I have found only one guy I was interested in. But he did the vanishing act. I have probably more dates than the average woman, and I just can’t seem to find a guy I want to date.

I am often told I am beautiful and I look about 10 years younger than I my age. I get contacted by a fair number of younger men in their 20’s, and most I don’t respond to because I just feel it won’t go anywhere. Recently, however, I was contacted by a younger guy in his mid-twenties, and I was impressed by his profile…he’s mature, intelligent, articulate, and attractive.

I started up a correspondence with him. I was curious about dating a younger man. But I still feel that maybe it’s a mistake…what do I really have in common with this guy? After all, I am twenty years older than he is. In your opinion, what do younger men (guys in their twenties) really expect and/or want when contacting an older woman? The youngest guy I have ever been out with is 33. 

Ready for Lasting Love?
Ready for Lasting Love?

Thanks for your insight. I really enjoy reading your blog, and I feel that of many so-called dating experts that you are right on!

~ Carla

Thanks, Coug–, uh Carla. As a so-called dating expert, I really appreciate the kind words! Which is why I’m sure you’re going to be completely receptive to this:

You’re wasting your time with this kid.

Okay, that’s not fair. Let me use more words to say it: If you’re looking for a long-term relationship, you’re most likely wasting your time dating a younger man. 

However, if you feel like you’re looking for good, clean (and not-so-clean) fun with a young stallion, you can have an amazing time.

If you’re looking for a long-term relationship, you’re most likely wasting your time with this kid. However, if you’re looking for good, clean (and not-so-clean) fun with a young stallion, you can have an amazing time.

In fact, I would encourage you to date young men. And take lots of pictures.

Why Dating a Younger Man in Your 40s is a Doomed Relationship

See, I’m not here to set the rules for society. I’m here to observe society and report back to you how things USUALLY work out. And for every Demi and Ashton (Celebrities, They’re Just Like Us!), there are thousands of other instances of cross-generational relationships that die a quick, painless death.

Why? Because he was born in the 80’s, right about the time that you were losing your virginity in college. Because he’s been in the workforce for oh, about four years. Because he may be a great communicator, mature for his age, and relationship-minded, but he’s also, y’know, a BABY.

Do you know how I know this? Because I’M that guy. I’ve ALWAYS loved older women. I was with a 35-year-old woman when I was 20. As a younger guy, I used to flirt with my mom’s friends. And when all my friends would make fun of me and say, “Why would you date an older woman when you could be dating a younger woman?” I’d say, “Why would I be dating a younger woman when I can date an older woman?” As far as I’m concerned, every woman is better at 28 than at 23, better at 33 than at 28, and so on.

Now, there is a flaw in this system – the biological clock — which is much worse at 38 than at 23. This is a valid concern to men looking to have families, so let’s not overlook it. But still, I’m a big proponent of life experience and wisdom. Older women are AWESOME in this guy’s book.


So even if this young man’s interest in you is completely pure, even if he wants to have a real relationship with you despite an age gap of 12 years, your relationship is most likely doomed. If he wants to have kids. Or go clubbing at night. Or switch careers a few more times. Or do normal things like twentysomethings do. You’re at the home buying, 401K saving, family planning phase of life — for MOST 46-year-olds. Hey, if you still have the juice to hang with kids, go crazy.

It just seems far more likely that:

  1. he’s bragging to his friends that he might get to sleep with a woman 20 years older than himself, or 
  2. you guys really might be compatible if only he were significantly older or you were significantly younger. But he’s not. And you’re not.

Put another way, there’s a very good reason that you don’t see many 25-year-old men with 45-year-old women. According to Wikipedia, only 1.7% of marriages have a wife who is 10+ years older than her husband.

There’s a very good reason that you don’t see many 25-year-old men with 45-year-old women.

A Caveat Which I Must Acknowledge…

However, if neither of you desires a family with children, then you have a far better chance. But presuming he does, if I were you, Carla, I’d probably have some fun dating a younger man

Date younger men with your eyes open and appreciate the experience for what it is — a dalliance with the youthful exuberance of your past. 

Enjoy it while it lasts.

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