Okay, Evan, I agree mostly with your opinion on younger men/older women. What do you say about the reverse? I mean, I can see why an older man would want to date a younger woman – physically, that is, but why would a 28-year-old woman be attracted to older men and want to date a man 45 or more?
Beats the shit out of me.
I can totally understand why older men go for younger women. There’s no denying that they’re, for the most part, in better shape, with better skin and less baggage from broken relationships. Time creates wisdom – but it also creates responsibilities and complications — mortgage, kids, career, etc. All of this makes dating more and more complex as we get older.
It’s a lot easier for a man to take out a carefree, responsibility-free, baggage-free, wrinkle-free 28-year-old, which is why so many men try to go in that direction. I’m not condoning this. I’m OBSERVING that it happens.
Still, most of them fail miserably, for the exact same reasons that I think Penelope is suggesting. Older men want much younger women, but rarely do much younger women want older men. Put another way, if a woman has an array of other quality options closer to her age range, what incentives would she have to date an older man who is SEVENTEEN YEARS OLDER?
She doesn’t NEED an older man who’s 45. She can find that same amazing guy at age 30. Or 35. Or 40.
Not many, I’m thinking.
Before any 40+ people get all hot and bothered about this — I am not judging. There is nothing wrong with aging. I do think people improve with age (my wife is nodding). But let’s not pretend that we, as a culture, don’t worship at the altar of youth. If you’re over the age of 40 and have ever said, “But I’m told I look five years younger than my age,” then you’re not immune to it yourself. But see, for men who covet younger women, it’s not whether you look good for your age — it’s what age you really are.
Because it’s competitive out there for all of us, people have choices. And nobody has more choices than a 28-year-old woman. If women prefer to date a guy who is 6’2”, makes $400,000+, likes skiing, is within ten miles of her house, and five years of her age, you know what? She could probably find him. All she has to do is go on Match.com, and wade through a few thousand applicants. The point is, she doesn’t NEED an older man who’s 45. She can find that same amazing guy at age 30, 35, 40, or younger. She doesn’t need an older man who will be taking Viagra when she’s sexually peaking at 43.
Don’t get me wrong. There are advantages in a 45-year-old guy. I’ve been there. He’s a man. He’s got the job and the home and the car and been divorced with a kid already. So if a woman finds it more appealing to just step into that world of huge age gap — to jump from the prolonged adolescence of the late 20’s into full-fledged settled-down womanhood — that could make sense.
Most of them are completely creeped out at the prospect of dating a guy who was alive when JFK was alive.
There are many other things that are attractive about older men. Older men embody wisdom and stability. Older men can afford nicer restaurants and vacations and have cultivated greater tastes in the arts. Older men are more experienced, more chivalrous, and more likely to want to settle down than twentysomething younger guys or party boys.
And yet, they probably resemble Penelope’s dad more than they resemble her brother…
This is the most compelling reason why younger women might be attracted to older men: they’re daddy substitutes. An older man is going to be the strong, nurturing guy who takes care of her, teaches her, and treats her like a princess — the kind of relationship that she probably lacked growing up.
Hey, I’m no psychologist — just your friendly, neighborhood dating coach. But I do know women and have coached many women in their 20’s. And the truth is that most of them are completely creeped out at the prospect of dating a guy who is closer in age to their parents. Whether we like it or not, there is nearly a full generation age gap between 28 and 45. A few women may bridge this gap for lust or money or dimestore psychological reasons, but most of the 28-year-old women I know would prefer to date a great, stable 30-40-year-old.
Okay, older men – tell me why I’m wrong. But don’t forget, you and your younger girlfriends are the exceptions. I’m writing about the RULE.
By the way, my wife wants it on record that she would totally have slept with Harrison Ford when he was in his 60’s. So there’s that.