Why Would a Younger Woman Want to Date a Much Older Man?

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 want to date a man 45 or more?


Dear Penelope,

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. 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 a man who is SEVENTEEN YEARS OLDER?

She doesn’t NEED a guy 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 she wants 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 a guy who’s 45. She can find that same amazing guy at age 30. Or 35. Or 40. She doesn’t need a guy 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. He’s probably 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 – 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. They embody wisdom and stability. They can afford nicer restaurants and vacations and have cultivated greater tastes in the arts. They’re more experienced, more chivalrous, and more likely to want to settle down than a twentysomething party boy.

And yet, they probably resemble Penelope’s dad more than they resemble her brother….

This is the most compelling reason behind why younger women might go for older men: they’re daddy substitutes. An older man’s 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 lots of 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 was alive when JFK was alive. These women were born in the EIGHTIES. They grew up with computers. They’re contemporaries with Britney Spears. Whether we like it or not, there is nearly a full generation 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 – who also knows what Snapchat is.

Okay, older men – tell me why I’m wrong. But don’t forget, you and your younger girlfriends are the EXCEPTION. I’m writing about the RULE.

By the way, my girlfriend wants it on record that she would totally sleep with Harrison Ford if he should be reading this. So as a gift to both of them: Sure, why not? Happy 66th, Indy!

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  1. 271

    I ´m in love with a man ho is older and I dont have anny father issue, My dad were never home stuff.
    I never had a relationship with a older man or a crush on a older man before.
    I just falled for him and he falled form me. And yes I have thought about when Im 35 he will be allmoust 50. But if you like some one you dont think about how they look. Young people dosent allways look good. And I wont to be with someone that has a gret persinality than it all about the looks.
    A relationship can be as bad and as good what ever age different it is. And I gues alot of people think that every young and older date it must be somthing wrong with them. But thouse who date in the same age is nothing wrong with. I can say that I have been more sad when I dated in my same age.
    You dating a person not a age so the relationship is a relationship, but its easyer to blame a breakup on the age of someone than saying it dident workout.

  2. 272

    Okay, I am definitely the exception to the rule, then.  I haven’t read all of the comments but I bet some commented that they are also the exception to the rule.  I am 28 years old and for me, since I was 7, the ideal couple has always been Chaplin/O’Neil.  I have a great relationship with my dad so the “daddy substitute” doesn’t apply. 
    “An older man’s going to be the strong, nurturing guy who takes care of her, teaches her, and treats her like a princess.”  Don’t most women want this?  No, I’m not looking for a sugar daddy.  I just like this idea and for me, older guys have always looked a lot better than their younger counterparts.  End of my rant.

  3. 273

    Unfortunately many much older men (I’m talking men in their 60’s and 70’s) ARE horny all the time but they just cannot seem to do anything about it.  Even with the help of those little blue pills, some of them, or even a machine.  It’s really kind of disgusting having an old guy pawing at you constantly, bugging you for sex when they can’t even get it up.  When you try, all it does is pop off after like 25 seconds, making a mess.  Then, they get all bent out of shape because that thing just doesn’t work anymore and some of them actually blame YOU for it not working. 
    Relationships with old men are NOT fulfilling!  All some old men have going for them is that they MIGHT have money to counter balance the fact that they are practically useless in bed. But that’s not always so either, so if you jump into bed with one and he latches onto you, you are SOL all the way around.
    Sorry for the harsh comment, but it’s the truth.

    1. 273.1

      Sorry for your experiences. I am only 59 but let me tell you there is a solution called trimix that is not well known available though a urologist only that make even 80 year old men as hard as an 18 year old and it lasts for over 2 hours. But it does sound like you have had some thoughtless lovers, not all men are the same. My GF of 4 years is 12 years younger and we have a great relationship.

  4. 274

    Many young women nowadays are very obsessed with much older men that have money since there are much more younger women that are nothing but Goldiggers today.

    1. 274.1

      The truth is the truth, it will set one free or keep one bound… there is a reason why we prefer men that is older with status, and its not his wisdom, biceps, or nicely trimmed french mustaches. No diffetence whenbprofessionals athletes ended of marrying groupies… # denial is not healthy

  5. 275

    Men are shallow horn dogs. If the woman is young, they feel young. Even when that is not true. Women are realists. Men don’t like realists. They like adoration. They don’t want to be peers. They want to be superior. Their definition of sexy is extremely limited. Extremely. Women find a wide range of appearance, age, and experience sexy. Sooner or later you have to have a conversation. Beauty fades. Worth lasts. Assholes. 

    1. 275.1


  6. 276

    Women want a man, not a self centered frat attack. Girls on the other hand want what their girlfriends want as they aren’t confident enough to define their own values. Men can entertain either but will have to be forgiving of the girls.

  7. 277

    I’m 48 and I’m seeing a 30 year old. Yes I’m 18 years older but the sad part is I still look better, I’m in better shape and more sociable than most 20 or 30 year olds. This is true for some women as well. I’ve seen women in their 40’s that would put 20 year olds to shame. The truth is our society is churning out obese, out of shape, intellectually sterile, cell phone staring zombies. Yeah there may be a lot of 30 olds to chose from but the quality isn’t there and its only getting worse. At the end of the day, women want men, not  video game playing, skinny jean wearing, iphone texting  chubby little boy.

    1. 277.1

      And your cash and stability.  No problem with that but don’t kid yourself.
      You see I was once a beautiful young thirty year old with beautiful young thiry year old friends.  The only ones that go out with old guys are the ones with daddy issues.  Sorry

      1. 277.1.1

        That is the biggest crock of shit I have ever heard. Are you telling me your friends at that age wouldn’t chop off their own arms to date the rock? The rock is 41. I guarantee you they all would. So would any 19 year old. It has nothing to do with money. It has to do with looking incredible and being jacked and buff. Remember my dear, age isn’t stamped on your forehead, your friends would have no way of knowing how old someone is. They only go by appearance and if a guy looks good, has a well built body, that is what they go by.

  8. 278

    I give this article 10 thumbs up!  Men tend to assume that I am in my late 30s, but I am actually 52.  However, you should see their reactions when they learn the truth.  Some how they find away to quickly end the conversations.  Ironically, they appear to be my age even when they are younger, but it doesn’t matter that a woman looks good; most men are dumb-stuck on her numerical age.
    Also, I have dated men who were 10 and 12 years older, and I regret it because in addition to the fact that they are more likely financially stable, they are also very controlling and jealous of younger men.
    Finally, I have 2 friends who married men 20+ their senior. One can’t conceive a child and yearns for a house; her husband has 3 children already and he doesn’t want anymore or a house  The other friend’s husband suffers from congestive heart failure.  When you see these families together, each of the husbands appear to be the father or grandfather. 
    Men think that by hooking up with a much younger woman they will appear younger, but actually it makes these fools look their age and older.

  9. 279

    I married someone less than ten years older than me and we had two children. He used to go to bed at nine never wanted to do anything, only wanted to speak about domestic duties, no understanding, no companionship, no communication, no connection. I am early forties and have since meant someone 20 years older.  We have the same professional background are totally at ease with one another.  The bedroom department is truly amazing and he takes me to places I have never been.  I am a professional woman with my own money. I know he will slow in time but he is charming gentlemanly, funny, clever ,  and I want to  be with him. I know I might end up his carer but it would be worth it to even have one year with this amazing man   I am independent but I want him and I want to love him and look after him and enjoy him for as long as I can.  He totally takes my breath away .  I don’t need his money, I need his love and his companionship And I need to love him.

  10. 280

    There’s a guy in our town that’s a little bald dwarf well known for throwing his money around, owns a large winery, vacation homes,etc.  After a number of failed relationships, including his third wife and mother of his three sons, he took up with and married a girl 35 years younger than himself.  He is 64 and she is 29. She’s younger than his two oldest sons and about the same age as his youngest. The boys must be thrilled with their new stepmother. Now no one is publicly criticizing the relationship, he’s too rich to do that but most people do wonder about her motives. It just must be LOVE.

  11. 281

    I was 55 when I met my girlfriend of 4 years who was 43 at the time, so now we are 59 and 47, sexually I am way more active than she could ever probably be, mostly because I take testosterone.  However I can see that in 10 years the age difference will become a problem I will be 70 and she will be my age, I don’t think I would want a 70 year woman, I have been seriously thinking about parting ways, yes staying friends and still see each other but frankly a woman closer to my age would be a better fit as I age. Also a younger guy would be a better fit for her. I think I am being fair to her. My Mom was 13 years older than my Dad and they passed away with months of each other. Cruel to think about but it is a reality. I would rather part as best friends than have hard feeling later.

  12. 282
    Paul Johnston

    Evan Marc Katz. Do you promote/percieve yourself as intelligent and insightful? Consider this statement: “She can find that same amazing guy at 30.” “Same” guy at a different age? Uh, no, Evan, that would be a different guy.  Apparently, for you, and for the sort of woman who might be receptive to your “advice,” the subtle and meaningful indices of individuality can take a back seat to generic attributes: height, wealth, proximity, or, to take the cue from your strange statement, discounted altogether. This from a person ostensibly skilled in the intricacies of  relationships! What happens if a younger woman finds herself attracted to an older man before superficial/ mercenary considerations assail her? If she has a modicum of depth, she will defer such considerations until she has a deeper understanding of who the man who attracts her actually is. ” Who he is” is a function of all he is – including how old he is.  “Who he is”  is not a garment which can be removed from an older man and placed on a younger, not unless the exercise of finding a partner is, from the first meeting, not an exercise in discovery, but an exercise in satisfying a roster of specifications, that is to say, an exercise in depersonalisation.  Now,  I  realize that I will be seen as misunderstanding what you are saying.  You’re not suggesting that genuine individuality isn’t important, right?  You’re merely saying that if a young woman feels a spark for an older man – and feeling a spark for another of any age is not an everday occurrence – she should, in the interest perhaps of maximizing her odds, suppress the spark, that it might be felt for a man who is part of a smaller pool of possible partners – or might not be felt. Wow. Talk about going with your heart. And, talk about a voyage of discovery! Frankly, I think you should consider a new line of work.

    1. 282.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Let me guess, Paul. You’re an older guy who is offended that younger women may not be attracted to you. I get it. But you’ve completely and willfully misinterpreted my advice – as if I’m telling women to deny their spark for older men. The fact is that most younger women DON’T have a spark for older men. I would suggest you restrict your dating search for either women your own age (which you won’t) or accept the fact that a much smaller percentage of women want to be romantic with men a generation above them. Please don’t shoot the messenger.

      1. 282.1.1

        Marc, based on my experience, I think many young women would date THE RIGHT older guy wether they realize it or not.  I have dated much younger women and they all tell me they never thought they would have dated a much older man.  These women NEVER would have responded to a Match.com profile of a guy my age.  But they met the real me; BEFORE knowing my age.  I guess a problem with online dating is you see all these facts (like age)  before meeting the person.  I meet girls in the “real” world.  I guess that makes all the difference.  I agree that many women will not date much older guys, no matter what.  But many will date and be in relationships with the right type of older guy.  Maybe much more than you realize.  Peace.

      2. 282.1.2

        My apologies.  I see your first name is Even, not Marc.  Sorry ’bout that!

      3. 282.1.3

        I mean Evan. Trying to type too fast!

  13. 283

    Why Would a Younger Woman Want to Date a Much Older Man?Even I am at my 50, we may like a younger woman at their 20s or 30s. I feel itz all as man wants to prove and a younger woman wish to settle or due to lack of parental love. in either case it may keep both temporarily happy thatz all.in either case it happens due to lack of vision

  14. 284

    In the end, there are no rules regarding age – based relationships. But, age will certainly be a consideration, so will race, social status, money, power, and physical attributes. But, anyone who proclaims to have discovered hard and fast rules (I.e., daddy issues) is more narrow minded then they may realize. We don’t need to point out the “obvious” generalities, but insightful nonjudgmental understanding is what separates a more desirable personality from those who wish to force their mental molds on a world that is far richer and diverse than their imaginations can behold.

  15. 285
    jim morrison

    Not sure what world you live in, but in this world, women love older guys.  They have since the beginning of time.   And you say that it doesn’t matter how you look, it only matters what age you actually are.   Well, how do you women know how old you are?  They can only go by your appearance, right?  It’s not about why would a younger woman want an older guy, it’s why not.  Women just men are visual creatures.  We go by what we see and what we are attracted to.  If a girl sees you, thinks you’re good looking, whether you have a built body, maybe she likes your tattoos, whatever.  She is going to want to date you.  Remember, a person’s age is not stamped on their foreheads.  We all go by appearance.  So if you look young and fit, guess what people are going to think when they see you?  that you’re young and fit.  

  16. 286

    Women recognize and LOVE powerful men. This is a contributing factor as to why women like tall men, as taller men are “perceived” as being more powerful and more of a leader. Considering that power and wealth are positively correlated with age, it should also be no surprise that many women fall for older men. President Cleveland coupled with a 21 year old when he was 49 (she being the youngest first lady); Bill Clinton and Monica (uh hmm); President John Tyler at 54 had a 24 year old wife. Numerous celebrities have had significantly younger females on their arms: Buzz Aldrin, Paul Anka, Jim Carrey, Bing Crosby, Jeff Goldbloom, Andy Griffith and Frank Sinatra each had women who were 30 years younger (not 17 years younger, but 30). I understand that not all men offer the same level of prestige or ladder climbing opportunity for these women, but these examples readily demonstrate that age is not a determining factor.
    Having a younger girlfriend is not reserved for only the most powerful. Younger women are keen to the status of each and every potential “catch” that swims in their ocean. If you have a higher social status than the guppies she has been entertaining, then she will take notice. Will it ever end in marriage you ask? Well, the fact is that almost 10% of all married couples in the US have an age disparity of TEN years or more between them. There is also an outdated rule limiting the youngest age in which to date by ½ the man’s age + 7. So, buy this rule, a 54 year old could date a 34 year old women – wow, President Tyler fell a full decade outside of this rule (so much for social acceptability).

  17. 287

    You must be young. I am 40 and have dated 2 older men – one 9 years older and one 7 years older and both had to use Viagra due to decreasing testosterone due to age… physiology 101. My girlfriend is 50 and dates a man who is 50 and he can’t get it up or keep it up for very long due to his age. He dated her girlfriend who is 35 before her and she reported he had the same problem. It’s called Erectile dysfunction!

  18. 288

    Every man is different. I don’t take anything and can get it up instantly repeatedly multiple times during any given day. I am 54 and have NEVER had any issues in this area as I have naturally very high testosterone. Only complaint was that I went too long. Physiology may address norms, but don’t confuse averages with absolutes.

  19. 289

    I don’t think daddy issues, or wanting to be taken care of are the only reasons a woman might choose to date an older man. In my case, it was about maturity. I am 21, and my boyfriend of two years will be 38 next month. I had certain qualities in mind while looking for a partner, and it just worked out that the man who fit the bill happened to be 17 years older than me. If I had found a 21 year old guy with the qualities that I was looking for, I would have dated him. I didn’t set out looking for a man in a certain age range. 
    I think that if you find someone that is compatible with you, age shouldn’t matter.

    1. 289.1

      Women your age show plenty of interest in this 54 year old. They actually are attracted to my body. I am in great shape and just did 280 pounds on the pec-deck. They also comment on my long full head of hair…the high T again.

  20. 290

    I am a younger woman & I DO DATE OLDER MEN for financial security/stability & its no secret. My requirements are the same. It doesnt matter if he can/cannot perform sexually. There are men who have NO problem with this arrangement. Everyone has their preference, its not a right/wrong answer. When two adults know what they want. 

  21. 291

    I’m 24 and have had an amazing year-long relationship with a man who is 51. I love and cherish him very much and despite the large age difference, we get along fantastically. Occasionally he loans me a sum of cash, but I always pay him back in full. I think I’m decently attractive, but I don’t feel used for my appearance. He adores me even when I look rather alarming. I have never wanted to have children or even get married, so this eases the way quite a bit. We have an excellent connection and a lot in common. I’m absolutely thrilled with him and hope we are together for a long time to come. But as Evan said, this is an exception.
    I must say that being with an older man is absolutely not something I sought out. I found myself falling in love with him and I figured, why not give it a try? So far, it’s been great and near perfect, but I still proceed with caution. We acknowledge the fact that we are in different stages of life. If we end up parting ways, I wouldn’t purposely try to date someone who is so much older. If it happens, it happens but I think for most people, it makes much more sense to stick to people closer your own age. 

    1. 291.1

      The most intelligent and balanced response so far.  You are lucky to have found what you have, no matter what the age difference.  

  22. 292

    I’m 61, never been married, currently single and looking for a few 30 to 4o year old women to have brief encounters with before getting into a long term relationship with one.  I’m on Match.com and Facebook and find that it’s pretty difficult.  No connections yet. 

  23. 293

    As I post this, I just received a second response from a prospect on Match.com   After complimenting the 37 year old woman whom I find attractive about her beautiful smile, she simply responded, “Thank you. Good luck in your search.” 

  24. 294

    Well, I’m glad you at least acknowledged, in your last paragraph, that there are exceptions.  I am in my mid 40s.  Since my marriage ended 5 years ago, I have mostly dated women much younger than me (BTW, I have no problem dating a woman closer to my age).  It honestly surprised me at first, that young attractive women would be so into me.  They have ranged from 14 to 26 years younger.  These girls are educated, secure, and have no major “daddy issues”.  Out of curiosity I have asked these girls what they see in me.  They all say the basically the same thing.  That before meeting me they didn’t think they would ever fall for a guy my age.  But they all say I am an exception.  First of all, and I know this will sound cliché, but most people guess my age to be about 10 years younger.  But it’s more than that.  A young woman I am currently seeing said that, unlike most guys she meets, I am “balanced”.  She said that I am mature and responsible, but I still am fun.  She told me she likes that I know when to be like a big kid and when to be “serious”.  Another thing she and others have told me is that the sex is better.  Go figure.  Anyway, when I am with these girls, neither of us feel the age difference.  Societal rules are pretty arbitrary in my opinion.          

  25. 295

    I have noticed that a guy who wants a 30yo woman when he’s 50, may want a 30yo woman when he is 60 as well.  There are 2 types of older men – those who perpetually want to be with a woman of a particular age and those who want a younger women relative to their own age.  A man prejudiced against women in their 40s starts looking at his wife differently when she hits her 40s – no matter his own age.

  26. 296

    I prefer older men because I’m looking for maturity.  Most men around my age play more games than the NBA does.  Plus, they are set in their ways and my choice if I want to deal with how they are.  I don’t want to change anyone.  And no, I don’t have daddy issues either.  By the way, I’m 34 and men in their 40s are more attractive and as long as they don’t look like they are about to die.  

  27. 297

    I am 26 years old and my boyfriend is 44; things just happened between us  I’ve always dated guys 6-8 years older than me and he had gotten out of a 4 year relationship with someone who he had a 22 year age gap with.

    I don’t have daddy or material issues; I’m independent & had a wonderful, realistic boundary setting father. I’ve always had a more mature outlook on life since I started working at 13.

    Mzybe we are the exception. 

  28. 298

    I’m a 62 above average looks guy and seeing a 45 year old bombshell, why I’m not sure. i’m almost destitute. I think men are so masculine in their early years they dont give a thought how women feel, certainly I was like that. As I aged I knew I had to be more loving to women to make up for the lack of testostrone or nothing would make me attractive.
    Women on the other hand are more mature and although they understand why young men act the way they do sucumb to charm and intimacy of an older man. Obviously there is a crossover where this can be maximised but you get what I mean

  29. 299

    I am 17 years old and I mostly get attracted by at least 28 years old guys, I think I am because I need to feel protected, to be with a fully developed man that has experience , I consider myself to be a pretty ” masculine ” type of girl because of my muscled body, deep voice and tall height but I still want to  feel like a ” real ” feminine woman when I’m with a guy, I want to feel small and vulnerable like the other girls and I think thats the reason why some girls like me get attracted to older men

    1. 299.1

      Sarah, I wish you luck. I hope you don’t find yourself in a situation where you are powerless, please beware of men that much older than yourself, not everyone is bad but you can become vulnerable, not in the way it seems you want. You are still very young.

  30. 300

    I have recently dated a man my age. (56)  I am very slim and fit and spend a lot of time and money trying to look good. For the last 2 years I have been single, and looking around I see very few men who look good, even 20 years younger.  I realised I should ‘grow up’ and not be so obssessed by appearance and so dated a man who was slouchy, stooped, in poor condition,  grey hair,  a gut that looked as if he was 4 months pregnant and a pair of jeans which looked so out of date, I would expect Noah to have turned his nose up at them. (Patched Oxford Bags) The things that I liked abot him was his wit and his zest for life.  On our 4th date he admitted that he was still hung up over his ex, who was 25 years younger than him, she had been seeing her ex behind his back and was now back with her ex.
    I had to stop seeing him as I felt ashamed to be seen with him, I could not bear to kiss him or put my arms around him for a cuddle.  Now if I felt like that,  and we were the same age, how could a woman 25 years younger bear to be with him?  He is very rich. But then I’m not short of a penny or 2. From what I could gather she was after his money and marriage, and as this bloke is a committment phobe (he didn’t even marry the mother of his children)  she would have cut her losses and cluttered off back to her ex after a couple of years.
    But now… this man thinks he is entitled to a much younger woman and is holding out for one. .. he actually said to me that men age better than women… he doesnt ‘d’o fat women or unattractive women etc etc.  But isnt this typiacl ? Look on any dating website and you will see over and over again, not so in shape men (OK, downright ugly)  looking for women who are 10- 15 years younger. 
    I’ll have to stay single I guess.

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