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?

Penelope

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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Comments:

  1. 481
    Lisa

    Wow this comment section won’t stop! I think one should never discount an entire age bracket in dating because of course you never know.  Everyone has that unicorn story but those are not the norm.  To all the men posting that are 60 and dating or married to a woman in her 20s talk to me in a few years and let me know how it’s going.  Sure there are going to be men blasting me shortly about yes it’s been 30 years blah blah but I also think the reason this post causes so much anger with the older men is because they deep down are very insecure in their relationships.  Even presuming that the couples age gap does not cause personality conflicts the reality is we all age.  And while a 60 year old man may look 40 his body is still 60.  His sexual appetite will slow, his parts may fail to function even with medical help, he’s more prone to age related illness etc.  If you as a 20 year old want kids with a 60 year old man you need to accept the reality that you will likely be a single parent for most of your life.   Can a 20 year old drop dead tomorrow? Sure he can but the statistics show that’s a lot less likely and me I like to go with reality not fantasy.  You may have a great 10 years with your 60 year old until he slows down to the point he can’t keep up with your life but for some people that 10 years is better than 40 with another partner.    It’s an okay choice and you should not be judged for making it. However just reading the comments of both men and women in these relationships they are not living in reality.  They believe they are in a Hallmark movie not realizing it will soon most likely be a lifetime one!   I also unfortunately see a lot of older men get their hearts broken by younger women who toy with them and use them.  If I was a 60 year old and a 20 year old wanted to date me I would be suspect!

  2. 482
    anonymous

    I agree with EMK here “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?” He lists some of the possible reasons and the most compelling reason he says due to her daddy issues. 

  3. 483
    Kylie

    @buck, your wife is 45, not 22. There is a BIG difference. All of you can attack me all you want on my “vanity” or word choice, but no Karl, I made no mistake. Perverted is the perfect word for a guy over 45 who is creeping on 22 year old girls and “bitter” is the right word for all you that attack me because I don’t condone your sick behavior of dating girls who are too younger for me. you are also bitter that Marc has written the truth in this article, but you are taking it out on me since you find my brutally honest remarks offensive.

    And Buck, when you speak of “logical argumentation” and “critical thinking skills,” are you trying to say that I lack that because I find there to be a problem with a man in his 40s dating a 22-year-old girl? Challenge me on critical thinking all you want, but if you think a man in his 40s and a young girl are on the same level, I would love to hear that logic–we all know its superficial qualities that attract the old man to the young girl. Also, I don’t know why you don’t find it wrong for middle-aged women to cheat on their husbands with guys under 25. I think it’s gross and cheaters shouldn’t even be married in the first place.

    And because I called these older men who prey on young girls “perverted,” I am all the sudden a radical feminist? I have many male friends who would club a guy over 40  to death if he were to even think about pursuing their daughter–are they radical feminists too? And by the way, are you saying you are anti-feminist? You don’t believe in equal pay or equal treatment of gender? it’s not the 1950s anymore, dad, we are able to fight for our rights now. Hmm, maybe that’s why I get along better with younger men, they didn’t grow up in the sexist generation that you did.

    And yes, it would be rare for me to date a guy over 45, because a guy pushing 50 and I have nothing in common, I am still in my prime, which brings me to why Marc’s article is so true–I can get more from guys my own age (plus lets not forget that men die before women). And how many of you guys would consider dating a woman who is only 2 years older than you? Or the same age? not many I assume. So don’t hate on me just because the shoe is on the other foot now and I have rained on your sexist paradise by showing you that women can date younger men too

    Thanks CJ for understanding my point!

  4. 484
    Karl R

    Kylie said:

    “but no Karl, I made no mistake. Perverted is the perfect word for a guy over 45 who is creeping on 22 year old girls and ‘bitter’ is the right word for all you that attack me because I don’t condone your sick behavior of dating girls who are too younger for me.”

    This is going to be fun.

     

    Mistake #1

    I’m 47. My wife is 63. I’m attacking your points, because they are irrational.

     

    Mistake #2

    According to the dictionary definition of perverted: Of, relating to, or engaging in sexual practices that are considered abnormal or deviant.

    According to a study by the Austin Institute, the number of men who marry women 20 or more years younger than them is approximately equal to the number of women who marry men 10 or more years younger.

    You and your boyfriend are just as abnormal as the 45 year old man dating a 25 year old. My wife and I are a bit more abnormal. Welcome to the team … Pervert.

     

    Mistake #3:

    People in the 18 to 25 age range are adults. They can join the military, get shipped off to Iraq or Afghanistan and get blown up by an IED. If these young men and women are mature enough to make that decision for themselves, then they’re mature enough to decide who they’re going to date.

    Part of the responsibility that comes with being an adult is making decisions, including potentially bad decisions, then dealing with the consequences.

    And if CJ can’t trust her 20-something daughter’s judgment, and would rather commit violence than sit down and discuss the situation with her daughter … that sounds like a parenting problem.

    (On a related note, the legal age of consent in the U.S. is 18, slightly lower in some states. So by definition, people in the 18 to 25 range cannot be jailbait.)

    (On another related note, if an adult consents to sex or a relationship, then they’re not being “preyed upon”.)

     

    Mistake #4:

    You assume that the older men are dating younger women solely for “superficial qualities”.

    In describing the advantages of dating your 27 year old boyfriend, you named two. 1) You’re more aligned sexually. 2) He’ll live longer.

    Those are superficial qualities. So, apparently, you’re just as superficial as you claim the men are.

     

    Mistake #5:

    You’re assuming that your opinions are universal facts. If a 45 year old starts flirting with a 22 year old, and you believe that’s creepy, you can form that opinion … for yourself. The 22 year old gets to form his or her opinion, which won’t always match yours.

    If you can’t tell the difference between facts and opinions, then you truly lack the critical thinking skills that most highly educated adults possess.

     

     

    1. 484.1
      CJ

      I have a 21 yr old son and a 20 yr old daughter and I can assure you if a 45 yr old woman or man tried to crack onto them – both of them would think it was CREEPY AF.  All of their friends feel the same way.  You are a laughing stock of MOST of people that age if you are out there creeping on them, lol… If they aren’t creeped out by you (and it happens) then there is something disturbing in their self esteem that makes them not be creeped out by a fully grown adult whose been alive long enough to live two of their lifetimes wanting to take advantage of them.. Having met young girls with older men – this is always the case. They usually have drug addict parents or a bad childhood or have been sexually abused.  Healthy 20 year olds don’t succumb to creepy 45 year olds, as a general rule.  Or they are poor and you are their ticket out of poordom.  Sorry you just aren’t attractive to them at all.  Not the healthy ones anyway. My son is not attracted to old ladies who flirt with him and my daughter is repulsed by older men who creep on her.  Men who do this seem to lack a unique ability not to be able to see themselves with any semblance of reality.
      You seem really hurt Karl R that you are looked at like a creep because you want to be able to have sex with an 18 year old and you want her to think you’re attractive.  They don’t. believe me. I know plenty of young people in their 20s and it simply is not the case.

      1. 484.1.1
        Karl R

        CJ said:

        “You seem really hurt Karl R that you are looked at like a creep because you want to be able to have sex with an 18 year old and you want her to think you’re attractive.”

        Is there something wrong with your reading comprehension?

        I’m married. My wife is older than me. I don’t really care what people your kids’ age think of me, because I’m not trying to date them. Or have sex with them. I’m a big believer in being faithful to my wife.

         

        I always preferred dating close to my age. I was also willing to make exceptions (older and younger) for exceptional individuals. I made a particularly big exception for my wife.

        When people complain about a lack of dating options, I recommend that they be open minded about dating a broader ranger of ages (particularly the direction they seem least inclined to go). I am also happy to point out the drawbacks of a large age difference (when somebody inquires). I also point out that the trade-offs of an age difference may be easier to live with than other trade-offs that may occur. (There are always trade-offs, no matter who you date.)

         

        But I have no patience with people (like you and Kylie) who try to ram your prejudices down other couple’s throats. I have plenty of friends who are in successful long-term relationships with age gaps in the 12-30+ year range. We have healthy self-esteems. Our parents aren’t drug addicts. We haven’t been sexually abused. We aren’t poor.

        We also aren’t particularly interested in hearing your narrow-minded opinions presented like they’re God’s truth from on high. (Over half of those couples are gay, which I’m sure will creep you out even more.) We’re attractive to, and attracted to, our partners. That’s the opinion that matters to us.

        1. Marika

          Beautiful words, Karl R.

          Reminds me of that quote “Be yourself, everyone else is taken”.

          Enjoy your wonderful marriage and please don’t let the haters stop you from continuing to stop by and imparting your wise words. Many of us appreciate them 🙂

        2. Buck25

          Kylie,

          At it again, I see. Your reading comprehension is as selective as your outrage. Couple of corrections/observations on your latest comments directed at me:

          (1) She’s my girlfriend, not my wife; at least, not yet.

          (2) my comments on your lack of critical thinking and logical argumentation skills have nothing whatever to do with your positions, and everything to do  with the pejorative labeling, emotionally loaded (though misapplied and factually incorrect) words, personal attacks, and ad hominem arguments you use in a pathetic attempt to argue your points.

          (3) You’re not a “radical feminist” because you mislabeled older men who date younger women “perverted” (Karl has repeatedly pointed out your misuse of that word and others). I suggested you are one, because of the following: your blatant misandry, continued use of ad hominem attacks, willful disregard of facts, willful mislabeling of any contrary opinion, advocacy of violence, and last but not least the ranting about”the Patriarchy”. Attitudes like that are the typical calling cards of the lunatic fringe of the feminist movement. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck….Oh, by the way, with regard to your not calling out women (of the same age as the men you advocate violence against) having sex with boys of the same age as the women you call those men  “perverts” for even dating, much less screwing, you still have not, preferring to disguise your rather blatant hypocrisy by calling out cheaters, then suggesting I condoned them. Read what I wrote; I said I found their dating boys 20 years or more younger than themselves “neither disturbing nor surprising”; which in fact, it is not. I did not say I approved of their doing so if either party was married or otherwise in a committed relationship.

          (4) Nowhere did I conflate “feminism” with “radical feminism”.  YOU DID. I am not “anti-feminist”, simply because the lunatic fringe of the feminist movement likes to label as “sexist and anti-feminist” any man who dares challenge the toxic ideology, hateful screed, and willful misrepresentation that is the hallmark of radical feminism. You know perfectly well what I’m referring to, and what I’m not, so don’t be disingenuous, and, one more time, stop putting words in my mouth. You’ve done that to Karl, you’ve done it to me, and I suspect you’ll do it to anyone you disagree with.

          (5) Don’t you presume to call me “dad”! I’ve raised three daughters. I’m proud of them. All three are feminists. All three are college graduates. All three of them know how to argue with facts and logical argument, not shameless emoting, name calling, innuendo, unsubstantiated supposition, implied threats of violence, and continued misuse of the English language. They are adults, and act like adults. Not one of them is YOU, and not one of them acts like you have in this thread ! 

          (6)How dare you presume to know what age women I have been willing to date? Not that I owe you any explanation, but over the past four years, I have dated women  (at least casually) ranging in age from 25 to 77. I’m sure the first number fills you with rage, and the last surprises you. I don’t care!

          (7)As to as to your “many male friends who would club a guy over 40 to death if he were even to think about pursuing their daughter” (your exact words), there’s a legal term for that-murder. You’re not allowed to physically assault, much less kill, someone here in America, just because you don’t like something they think! More emotional hyperbole from you, or are your “many male friends” really that stupid? I presume it’s the former; if it’s the latter, you have some pretty questionable friends.

          (8) I shouldn’t have to say this again, but if you think you’ve “rained on my sexist paradise” (tsk, tsk, there you go with the hostility again), because you can date a guy ten years younger than you…think again. I already told you once, that you were neither old enough, nor mature enough, to date me. That one 25 year old  (I took her to dinner once, oh, the horror, the horror!), exhibited considerably more emotional maturity, class, and intellect, than you’ve exhibited in this thread. So one more time, date any consenting adult you like who will date you. I don’t care!

          That pretty much takes care of your comments directed at me, Kylie. Karl has dissected the rest of your irrational ranting in exquisite logical detail, and I see no reason to pile on. I’m done discussing this with you now, until and unless you can produce a rational (not emotive) argument with facts to back it up.

      2. 484.1.2
        SparklingEmerald

        You seem really hurt Karl R that you are looked at like a creep because you want to be able to have sex with an 18 year old and you want her to think you’re attractive.

        You need to brush up on your reading comprehension.  Karl R. is married to an attractive 63 year old woman.  He is in his 40s.  I really doubt he wants to jeapordize his marriage to sleep with an 18 year old.

      3. 484.1.3
        CJ

        Oops, `have a unique ability to not be able to see themselves with reality. haha…

        1. Janet

          True

      4. 484.1.4
        Dawn

        I agree with everything you said…it is creepy.  I’m 51 and was in a relationship with a 62 year old man who I met on Match.  Our relationship ended suddenly and a month later he was seeing someone else…MUCH younger — like 32 years YOUNGER.  Yes, he starting dating a 30 year old woman with four kids.  She was separated from her husband but wasn’t even divorced yet.  She moved in with my ex within 2 months of dating.  Of course, he thought he had found “true love” but she just used him for a meal ticket.  She moved out of his house after 5 months but still strung him along.  She’s now in a relationship with her tattoo artist.  Seriously, can’t make this stuff up.

        Karma totally took care of this man and he deserved it.  I’m not bitter, just happy to see some justice.  This man lied to me and told me that he and I had a future together.   He made promises and commitments to me that he had no intention of fulfilling.  The fact that he got used and discarded by a woman half his age is very well deserved.  That fact that he actually thought that would be a healthy and sustainable relationship is laughable.

        When I was 31 there is NO WAY I would climb in bed with an old man like that.  CREEPY is the only way to describe it!

         

      5. 484.1.5
        Richard Wilder

        Ive had many young girlfriends who were very attracted to me. You are not in touch with the current generation. They are all over the place in what they want. Age is just a number and you have not learned that. I didnt either until 6 years ago. It set me free.

    2. 484.2
      Katie

      Karl how long have you guys been together? Your story is sweet is why I ask. I’m older than my dude too.

      1. 484.2.1
        Karl R

        We’ve been married for a little over four years. Before that, we dated for a little over three years. We were introduced almost a year before we started dating.

  5. 485
    Steve

    I am probably in the rarest relationship with a stunning 23 year old woman, I have a low paid job and not a great deal to offer other than myself, we’ve been together almost two years now. I’m in pretty good shape though …for a 58 year old! Just a very lucky guy I guess?

  6. 486
    kylie

    WOW! Karl, you have a lot of time on your hands. I still don’t understand why you don’t think it’s creepy for a 45-year-old man to date a 22 year-old woman. maybe because you were never a woman. When I was 22, I was more mature and independent than girls my own age and still, I was NEVER on the level as a 45 year old man. NO 22 YEAR OLD GIRL IS. We are still growing emotionally at that age and still have so much life to experience. I haven’t even read through all your frivolous remarks, so I will respond to the ones I have read through so far:

     

    Mistake #2

     

    According to the dictionary definition of perverted: Of, relating to, or engaging in sexual practices that are considered abnormal or deviant.

    YES, SO I AM RIGHT! BECAUSE A 45 YEAR-OLD MAN WHO ENGAGES IN SEXUAL ACTS WITH A 22 YEAR-OLD WOMAN IS ABNORMAL!!!! Me dating a man 10 years younger than me when we are both over 25 is not abnormal, neither are you or your wife, as you are past 30.

     

     

    Mistake #3:

     

    People in the 18 to 25 age range are adults. They can join the military, get shipped off to Iraq or Afghanistan and get blown up by an IED. If these young men and women are mature enough to make that decision for themselves, then they’re mature enough to decide who they’re going to date.

    WRONG AGAIN! What the government defines as legal and what is morally or biologically rigth are two different things. The frontal lobes of our brains do not mature until we are 23. In RI, the legal age is 16, so do you think it’s right for a 45 year-old man to be with a 16-year-old girl then? Woody Allen fucked and married his teenage daughter, it was consensual–is that ok?

     

    And  CJ is totally right about her kids. I was repulsed by middle aged men who hit on me when I was 21, we aren’t even in the same stage of life. And the girls i know who go for older men have mental issues or are not attractive enough for younger guys.

     

    Mistake #4:

     

    You assume that the older men are dating younger women solely for “superficial qualities”.

     

    In describing the advantages of dating your 27 year old boyfriend, you named two. 1) You’re more aligned sexually. 2) He’ll live longer.

     

    THESE ARE NOT SUPERFICIAL QUALITIES, I POINTED THIS OUT SO YOU CAN SEE THERE ARE MORE BIOLOGICAL REASONS FOR ME TO BE WITH A YOUNGER MAN THAN THERE ARE FOR OLD MEN TO BE WITH MUCH YOUNGER WOMEN. FACT: WOMEN LIVE LONGER THAN MEN. FACT: WOMEN’S SEXUAL PEAK HAPPENS LATER IN LIFE AND LASTS LONGER THAN MEN’S. I am with my bf because he treats me like gold, cares about me, is always there for me and will take a bullet for me. At first I was not that physically attracted to him, so obviously I am not shallow—-if he were 22 and had these qualities, I would not consider him because he would not yet be mature–and neither are 22 year old girls.

     

     

     

    Mistake #5:

     

    You’re assuming that your opinions are universal facts. If a 45 year old starts flirting with a 22 year old, and you believe that’s creepy, you can form that opinion … for yourself. The 22 year old gets to form his or her opinion, which won’t always match yours.

     

    THIS IS A UNIVERSAL OPINION! LOL! Ask 100 22-year-old girls if they consider 45 year-old-men hitting on them to be repulsive and you will get a large majority saying yes.

    1. 486.1
      Emily, the original

      Kylie,

      Ask 100 22-year-old girls if they consider 45 year-old-men hitting on them to be repulsive and you will get a large majority saying yes.

      I’m not going to get into the whole morality issue (because a 22-year-old is an adult) but, like you, I remember being 22 and grossed out when a man twice my age hit on me. He was “that guy” in the club and my friends and I thought he was ridiculous. To be frank, we dismissed him. We couldn’t possibly relate to him and didn’t want to. Heck, at 45, I’m still slightly grossed out when men twice my age hit on me. I already have a father. About five or ten years younger or older is doable. Much beyond 10 years, you’re just at different stages in life.

    2. 486.2
      Emily, the original

      Kylie,

      HA. Men twice  my age would be 90. Just realized that! What I meant to say was 15 years older or more!

      1. 486.2.1
        Adrian

        Hi Emily,

        You said, “I was aware we were shifting into the deep end (as I said, women can tell).

        Yes Emily but unfortunately most men can not. Remember the main point of this blog is for women to understand men, so I know it may be hard for many women to believe this because they can read when someone of the opposite sex desires them accurately most times; however I hope that you believe me when I say that most men can not tell when a woman is attracted to him.

        Emily if you get a chance read a book called The Definitive Book of Body Language by Allan and Barbara Pease.

        In it they quote a lot of stats and research done on body language. One of the most interesting was the fact that research shows that women are 10 times better at reading the body language (feelings, wants, etc) of people than men are.

        In the context of dating:

        Men-on average-have a success rate of about 34% when it comes to reading the body language of women and discerning her attraction (or lack there of <just friendliness>) for him.

        Women-on average-have a success rate of about 96% when it comes to reading the body language of men and discerning his attraction (or lack there of <just friendliness>) for her.

        But women are more adept at reading the subtle movements of the body, changes in voice tone, context of the wording etc than men because not only can women read men, they can also read other women; and women are especially good at reading babies and children.

        1. Emily, the original

          Hi Adrian,

          However I hope that you believe me when I say that most men can not tell when a woman is attracted to him.

          Yes, I believe you, but as I wrote to Karl, an interested woman will make her interest known. Men throw out bait, usually a lot of it. If a women is interested, she will throw it back. Example:

          Man: Oh, you’re a Trekkie. There’s a new Star Track movie out.

          Woman: Yes, I saw it.

          Man: You may have to see it twice.

          Woman: Yes, I’d like to go. I’d see it again. When do you want to go?

          This was an actual conversation I had with someone a couple of years ago. If I hadn’t been interested, I would have said it wasn’t worth seeing twice and tried to extricate myself from the conversation.

          Also … sometimes women go out and/or join groups to make friends and be social. Looking for a date is not necessarily a primary motivation.

           

        2. Marika

          It’s a funny quirk of human nature that we are flattered when someone we consider on our ‘level’ of attractiveness or above hits on us (even if we’re not interested in them for other reasons) and repulsed when someone we consider ‘beneath’ us hits on us. I think it messes with our self-esteem “he thinks I’d be interested in him?!” “Whattt??”

          Emily, I’m a woman, but I still understand this: Like most people, men in their 60s want to be with someone they find attractive. And not everyone has a realistic view of their own attractiveness. You can’t expect that a man in his 60s who finds you attractive will say, “hmm, even though I’ve been approaching women I find attractive my whole life to ask them out, now I need to stop because I’m old and repulsive, or only target women a maximum of 5 years younger than me”. They are going to try! It’s how they’ve been getting women their whole lives. Even more so for men in their 60s and above, as I’m imagining they are from a generation when women never (or very rarely) made the first move.

          Just say a polite no thanks, and know it has nothing to do with how attractive you are, or them being a sleaze or whatever. They are just asking out a woman they find attractive. You don’t stop finding women of all ages attractive when you get older.

          If men had to read our ‘signs’ with accuracy before asking us out, I think the birth rate would plummet! People give out mixed signals all the time. Due to fear, social conditioning, having a bad day etc etc.

        3. Emily, the original

          Marika,

          and repulsed when someone we consider ‘beneath’ us hits on us. I think it messes with our self-esteem “he thinks I’d be interested in him?!” “Whattt??”

          I’m not repulsed, just not interested and not particularly appreciative of that fact that I have now been put in the horrible position of not only having to reject someone but having to reject someone I will see on a somewhat regular basis.

          I have one guy at work (he probably has some kind of social anxiety/extreme awkwardness). I had to train him on something, and he had a panic attack in the middle of it. He mistook my kindness for interest, and then confronted me face to face with his attraction for me. I was not expecting it and … boy was that awkward! Now I have to see him EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. He shouldn’t have said anything to me. I’m just there to work.

    3. 486.3
      Karl R

      Kylie said:

      “What the government defines as legal and what is morally or biologically rigth are two different things.”

      Biologically right? There is no such thing. There is biologically possible (or impossible), but there’s no such thing as “biologically right”.

      If you’re confused, it is biologically possible for 45-year-olds and 22-year-olds to date each other.

      Are you one of those right-wing types who claims that homosexuality is “unnatural”, because homosexual intercourse cannot result in procreation? Because 45-year-olds and 22-year-olds can reproduce.

       

      And since you’re claiming that not “morally right” for 45-year-olds and 22-year-olds to date each other, please tell me which religion, scripture and passage makes that claim.

      One of my interests is comparative theology. There are no religions that take a moral stance on 45-year-olds dating 22-year-olds. So when you claim it is morally wrong, you’re pretending that you know more about morals than all the religions of the world combined.

      You’ve got quite the ego, don’t you?

       

      Kylie said:

      “FACT: WOMEN LIVE LONGER THAN MEN.”

      That’s not a fact. Not unless you add the words “on average”. On average, women live 4 to 5 years longer than men.

      My father-in-law outlived his first wife (that would be a fact), who was younger than him (that would be another fact). It seems likely that he’ll outlive his second wife (that’s an opinion, but it’s based on the fact that she has end-stage Alzheimer’s), who is also younger than him (also a fact).

      Given that the range of human lifespans goes from zero to 110+ (for both men and women), your attempt to make a big deal of a 4 to 5 year difference in average lifespan merely demonstrates your inability to understand how meaningless that average difference is in practice.

       

      Kylie said:

      “THIS IS A UNIVERSAL OPINION! LOL! Ask 100 22-year-old girls if they consider 45 year-old-men hitting on them to be repulsive and you will get a large majority saying yes.”

      First, I said “universal fact” and you changed my statement to “universal opinion”. Are you implying that “facts” and “opinions” are the same thing? Because that was the underlying flaw that I was pointing out. You seem unable to tell those two words apart. And you further demonstrated this failure multiple times in your post (#486).

      Universal definition: “applicable everywhere or in all cases”

      You also clearly don’t understand the meaning of the word “universal”. For it to be a “universal” opinion, absolutely every 22-year-old woman would have to hold that opinion. Not just a “large majority” out of a sample of 100.

       

      Addressing to your specific example, that opinion is going to vary depending on which 45-year-old hits on them. Try it with Ricky Martin (45), Taye Diggs (46), Shemar Moore (46), Matthew McConaughey (47), Daniel Dae Kim (48), or Hugh Jackman (48). I believe you would struggle to find a majority of 22-year-olds who would be repulsed by most or all of those men.

       

      Further addressing your specific example, if we were to ask one hundred 27-year-old men whether they’d be repulsed if a 37-year-old woman hit on them, and if a large majority said yes (without seeing the hypothetical woman), should you be banned from dating your boyfriend?

      In my opinion, the opinions of a large majority of 27-year-old men do not matter. It’s the opinion of your boyfriend that matters. He’s the one person who is dating you.

       

      Kylie said:

      “YES, SO I AM RIGHT! BECAUSE A 45 YEAR-OLD MAN WHO ENGAGES IN SEXUAL ACTS WITH A 22 YEAR-OLD WOMAN IS ABNORMAL!!!!”

      There are lots of things that are far more unusual, uncommon or abnormal than that.

      Small excerpt of things more abnormal:

      Redheads
      Death by Parkinson’s disease
      IQs of 140 or higher
      Men who are 6’4″ or taller
      People making a living as a financial adviser
      People 90-years-old or older
      Vegans
      Seventh Day Adventists

       

      You could call all of those things “abnormal”, but it would be absurd to do so. By your standard, everyone is abnormal in one way or another. Including you (as I already pointed out).

       

      Emily,

      In general, I would recommend that older men avoid hitting on younger women, because it’s rarely well received. But there are still some men who will do it, because it’s occasionally well-received.

      But if we apply that concept more broadly, that describes all dating. Most women didn’t want to date me. I asked women out in order to find the few who did.

      If I had decided that I was going to avoid all risk of hitting on women who might be grossed out, I would never have dated. And I wouldn’t be married.

      That’s the exact opposite of the behavior Evan and I recommend. For the guys with no game, we recommend they take chances, without getting disheartened when they’re turned down (even if the woman expresses revulsion).

      1. 486.3.1
        Emily, the original

        Karl R,

        Most women didn’t want to date me. I asked women out in order to find the few who did.

        There’s a big difference with rolling the dice and asking out women out who you may have a slim chance with than asking women out half your age who you have almost zero chance with. Your age has already severely handicapped you. That’s a poor dating strategy. A man that much older isn’t on the playing field for most young women, even though so many think they are the exception to the rule.

        1. Karl R

          Emily said:

          “There’s a big difference with rolling the dice and asking out women out who you may have a slim chance with than asking women out half your age who you have almost zero chance with.”

          “That’s a poor dating strategy.”

          When men complain about their lack of success, I am happy to point out why their current method is ineffective, and how to craft a more effective dating strategy. You can see examples where I gave that advice earlier in this thread (#90, #92, #113 … all of which are old enough that they occurred before I started dating my wife).

          But some of these men are happy with their method -and- they are happy with their results. I’m not going to waste my breath advising them, because they are not going to take my advice. Their way works well enough … for them.

           

          Furthermore, I suspect that these men have slightly higher success rates than you imagine. They’re probably still very low (like 1/2% to 1%), but these men will hit on at least a dozen women (all out of their league) per night, multiple nights per week, every week of the year.

          Just running the numbers, they still end up with one woman (who would normally be out of their league) every month or two.

          Compared to the “nice guys” who get turned down six times, then give up on dating altogether … these “old guys” are walking success stories.

          Their method doesn’t work for me. But it’s hard to objectively claim that it “doesn’t work”.

        2. Emily, the original

          Karl R,

          Furthermore, I suspect that these men have slightly higher success rates than you imagine. They’re probably still very low (like 1/2% to 1%),

          That’s barely worth getting out of bed for. I don’t write that sarcastically. Just out of curiosity (because I’m not a man and don’t know), how many women does a man have to ask out before one says yes? In my own experience, I am part of a meetup group that has some women in their 40s but a majority of the women are in their 50s and older. The few men are all in their 60s. I, along with two other 40-something women in the group, have been messaged by the men in their 60s. The same men messaged all three of us at various times. All three of us said no. There are plenty of other women in the group, some the same age and some close to the age of these men. Why not ask those women out? Evan writes a lot about effectiveness in dating. Asking women out who are at least 15 years younger or more (and asking women out who are all friends and are surely talking with each other — meaning: we knew the same guys messaged us) is not effective.

          But these men will hit on at least a dozen women (all out of their league) per night, multiple nights per week, every week of the year.

          Yuck. That’s all I can say to that. A woman wants a man who has at least a shred of discretion. I guess if there are men who view those low odds as successful, more power to them.

        3. Karl R

          Emily asked:

          “Just out of curiosity (because I’m not a man and don’t know), how many women does a man have to ask out before one says yes?”

          That’s going to depend (very heavily) on the man who is asking, which women he’s choosing to ask, and how he goes about asking.

          Years ago (before dating my wife) a man on the blog asked that question. At that time, my odds of getting a first date in real life were 50%. (Everybody, including me, thought that was very high.) That was largely due to my ability to ascertain a woman’s interest level before asking her. For someone who was less able to read women, a range of 5% to 20% might be more normal.

          So if a man is hitting on 20 times (or 100 times) as many women as most men, a 1/2% success rate can still net better results.

          All else being equal, more opportunities = more results, regardless of the man’s odds. I’m not sure that these guys had the skills (or wanted to take the time) to improve their odds. Therefore, maximizing their opportunities was a very effective strategy.

           

          Emily said:

          “I guess if there are men who view those low odds as successful, more power to them.”

          Men don’t consider “odds” (whether high -or- low) to be “successful”. We consider success to be successful. That may mean marriage, first dates, no-strings-attached sex … whatever the man’s goal is.

           

          Emily asked:

          “There are plenty of other women in the group, some the same age and some close to the age of these men. Why not ask those women out?”

          Are you sure they haven’t?

          Most men aren’t going to be interested in every woman. But it seems unlikely that these men were only interested in you three. That means they asked out some of the other women also.

           

          Emily said:

          “Asking women out who are at least 15 years younger or more (and asking women out who are all friends and are surely talking with each other — meaning: we knew the same guys messaged us) is not effective.”

          Really?

          I dated the woman who introduced me to my wife. They’re both aware of that. It wasn’t really a secret that I had dated a few women in the dance community. I wasn’t hitting on women randomly, but most people were aware that I dated multiple women in my social circles over the course of a few years.

           

          When it comes to ages, I have said previously that the best dating strategy is to be open to dating a broad range. If these men were also asking out women who were around their age (or even older), then they were following the most effective strategy, by maximizing their opportunities.

          Why cut off at 55 or 50, if they could add a few more opportunities down in the 40s?

           

          You keep implying that the number of rejections a man gets is relevant. As long as a man can keep a positive attitude, the number of rejections is completely meaningless.

          That’s why you misunderstand this behavior.

        4. Evan Marc Katz

          Thanks, Karl. It’s a big part of what women, in general, don’t understand about men. They’re not used to putting themselves out there and getting rejected en masse. For men, it’s just the cost of doing business.

        5. Tom10

          @ Emily, the original
          “There are plenty of other women in the group, some the same age and some close to the age of these men. Why not ask those women out?”
           
          Lol. Cos they’d prefer to try and date out of their league rather than “settle”. Like every other single person in the world. Why would they date someone in their own league (i.e. their own age) when there’s always the possibility (however minute) that they’ll eventually snag one woman 15 years younger?  ‘Cos they only need one.
           
          “Yuck. That’s all I can say to that.”
           
          Lol again. You do realize that most guys (I reckon) who date on-line, actually, most guys who date, period, will hit on a vaaast array of women to see who bites? 

        6. Shaukat

          A woman wants a man who has at least a shred of discretion.

          Emily, you have no idea if the men you’re interested in have displayed your type of ‘discretion’ when approaching women, for the simple reason that you weren’t there to observe their past behavior and because they don’t have their history stamped on them.

          Asking women out who are at least 15 years younger or more.. is not effective.

          This is certainly true in the case of a 40 year old asking out a 25 year old. After all, a reasonably attractive woman in her mid-20s has plenty of options and can choose from men her own age. It becomes less the case when you approach your mid 40s. The 60 year old thus might have thought that it was in fact reasonable to roll the dice with a woman 15 years younger considering the circumstances. I’m not all trying to imply that you should settle for a man that age, just suggesting that he may indeed have thought that asking you out would be an effective strategy.

        7. Emily, the original

          Hi Karl ,

          Thanks for your detailed response.

          Years ago (before dating my wife) a man on the blog asked that question. At that time, my odds of getting a first date in real life were 50%. That was largely due to my ability to ascertain a woman’s interest level before asking her.

          Yes, I agree. I have always said that, if a man knows how to read the signs, he’ll know if a woman is receptive and face less rejection. Women who are interested in you will sense your interest in them and help you out with the process. We can usually tell when you’re pressing for an opening (forgive the double entendre). You throw the ball at us, and we’ll throw it back. Or sometimes we’ll throw it at you to see what you do!

          “There are plenty of other women in the group, some the same age and some close to the age of these men. Why not ask those women out?” Are you sure they haven’t?

          They very well may have.  

          “Asking women out who are at least 15 years younger or more (and asking women out who are all friends and are surely talking with each other — meaning: we knew the same guys messaged us) is not effective.”

          Why cut off at 55 or 50, if they could add a few more opportunities down in the 40s? Because all the women in their 40s (at least in this particular group) weren’t interested! As a general rule (and this has been discussed on this blog many times), women are interested in men around their age. Not all women, of course, and I realize your situation is different.

          You mentioned dating several women in your dance community. Were there women you really liked and asked out first? I’m not trying to be sarcastic, just wondering if you have a list in your mind and you hit the #1 choice first and go from there …

        8. Emily, the original

          Tom10

          Why would they date someone in their own league (i.e. their own age) when there’s always the possibility (however minute) that they’ll eventually snag one woman 15 years younger?  ‘Cos they only need one.

          Ok. Then I’m going to go out to the bars where the 25-year-olds hang out because I have a .0001% chance of picking up a hot  25-year-old. I only need one! (You know I’m pulling your leg a bit.)

          You do realize that most guys (I reckon) who date on-line, actually, most guys who date, period, will hit on a vaaast array of women to see who bites? 

          Yes, I have read that.

        9. Emily, the original

          Shaukat

          Emily, you have no idea if the men you’re interested in have displayed your type of ‘discretion’

          True, but, as I’m sure is true when you approach women, you can generally tell when meeting someone if they’ve had some success with the opposite sex. The level of confidence, the way the way they carry themselves. I had a friend in my 20s who I used to hit the bars with. I would just stand back and watch her work.

          It becomes less the case when you approach your mid 40s. The 60 year old thus might have thought that it was in fact reasonable to roll the dice with a woman 15 years younger considering the circumstances.

          What circumstances? Just for the record, although we all liked the men in the group, we all thought it was a bit ridiculous that they asked us out, given the age difference. One of the three of us has a serious boyfriend now, and he is close to her age.

        10. Karl R

          Emily said:

          “I have always said that, if a man knows how to read the signs, he’ll know if a woman is receptive and face less rejection.”

          There’s not a universal system of signs. Your signs are certainly different than your friends’ signs, or my wife’s signs. There will be some similarity, but less than you believe.

          In addition, men’s ability to read these varying signals … well … it varies. That ability may vary as much as the signals do.

           

          Emily said:

          “Because all the women in their 40s (at least in this particular group) weren’t interested! As a general rule (and this has been discussed on this blog many times), women are interested in men around their age.

          The men had two ways of knowing that you weren’t interested with certainty.

          1. They could attempt to read your minds.

          2. They could ask you out.

           

          You liked these guys. It can be difficult to tell the difference between a woman who likes me, and one who would like to date me. When there was doubt, I would ask the woman out. Either answer provides clarity.

          And general rules apply very poorly to specific individuals. Can you think of any general rules (for women, women your age, women in your profession, etc.) that don’t apply to you?

           

          Emily said:

          “Ok. Then I’m going to go out to the bars where the 25-year-olds hang out because I have a .0001% chance of picking up a hot  25-year-old. I only need one!”

          Your odds are certainly better than .0001%.

          If you were to hang out at bars with hot 25-year-olds and flirt, you will eventually get an offer. Probably just a booty call offer, but you will get an offer.

           

          Emily asked:

          “You mentioned dating several women in your dance community. Were there women you really liked and asked out first? I’m not trying to be sarcastic, just wondering if you have a list in your mind and you hit the #1 choice first and go from there …”

          It would be a list of two or three. Women would move on and off the list based on whether they were available, how much I was interested in them, and how much they seemed to be interested in me. My interest got more weight than her interest, because I was guessing at her interest. I knew mine with far greater certainty.

          Like your meetup group, the dance community is rather fluid (probably even more than the meetup group). There are constantly new people. You learn more about one than another. Lots of little things that keep the list fluctuating. And there were other groups that fed into the same list (church, yoga class, …)

           

          In general, I wouldn’t put to much importance on where on the list a woman ends up. If guys are doing what I recommend (asking women out before they get to know them well), then the list really functions as a “who am I going to get to know better first” list.

        11. Emily, the original

          Karl R

          There’s not a universal system of signs.Yes, I understand that, but, in general, at least on my end of things, I have a pretty good idea of when a man is interested. Most men aren’t all that subtle, which is good. I am by no means 100 percent right all of the time, but if I reciprocate his interest, I will say or do something to demonstrate my interest. He throws come ons out at me? I throw them back. He makes it a point of asking what I like to do on the weekends; I suggest doing a few of those things and getting together. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if the interaction is simply what I call a flaccid flirtation … so if what I say isn’t picked up on … well, I let it go. But if I’m interested, he’ll know. If he’s not sure, I’m probably not.
          The men had two ways of knowing that you weren’t interested with certainty.

          1. They could attempt to read your minds.

          2. They could ask you out.

          Of the two options, #1 would be preferable. 🙂

          You liked these guys. It can be difficult to tell the difference between a woman who likes me, and one who would like to date me.

          I remember one conversation with one of them where I thought to myself: I’d better end this conversation or he’s going to think I’m interested. Which is too bad, because I enjoyed the conversation but I was aware we were shifting into the deep end (as I said, women can tell).
          If you were to hang out at bars with hot 25-year-olds and flirt, you will eventually get an offer. Probably just a booty call offer, but you will get an offer. Hey, you never know. Maybe I’ll find my Aaron-Taylor Johnson (he’s 26; wife is 49).

           If guys are doing what I recommend (asking women out before they get to know them well)Why do you recommend that?

        12. Karl R

          Emily asked:

          “Why do you recommend that [men ask women out before they get to know them well]?”

          Primarily, it keeps them from getting overly invested (particularly emotionally) in a woman who may have zero interest in them.

          Second, it makes them appear more self-confident. They’re no longer acting like the indecisive guy who took five months to work up the nerve to ask for a woman’s phone number.

          Finally, it allows them to potentially meet someone in a situation where there’s extremely limited time (for example, when they are unlikely to randomly encounter this particular woman again).

           

          Emily asked:

          “if I’m interested, he’ll know. If he’s not sure, I’m probably not.”

          In many of the cases when you weren’t interested, the man was still sure that you were. Men are hardwired for optimism. (link to study here)

        13. Emily, the original

          Karl R,

          All your points are valid in favor of men asking women out they don’t know well, but there is the other argument that people, once they get to know each other better, become interested in each other when there was no initial interest upon first meeting. For example, at school or at work. It’s called “familiarity breeds attempt.”

           

           

          In many of the cases when you weren’t interested, the man was still sure that you were. Men are hardwired for optimism.

          That’s fine, but reading the signs, the woman in question and the situation will save everyone involved from an awkward situation. I understand that men do the majority of the approaching and that rejection is painful. I am not minimizing that, but having to reject someone, particularly someone you see on a regular basis (at work or in a social group), is difficult. Women are taught from a very early age to “be nice.” We agonize over having to reject someone. I just a couple of weeks ago spent an hour on the phone with a friend discussing how she should turn down a second date. Was she being clear? Was she being men? etc, etc. We do not enjoy rejecting someone.

        14. Katie

          Karl said “There’s not a universal system of signs. Your signs are certainly different than your friends’ signs, or my wife’s signs. There will be some similarity, but less than you believe.

          In addition, men’s ability to read these varying signals … well … it varies. That ability may vary as much as the signals do.”

          This is so true! Guys can be so adorably oblivious! I thought that it was obvious that I had a mad crush on this one guy. I mean we talked on the phone every day, texted each other music, played games online together, I sent him goofy selfies.

          He’s my boyfriend now! But he says that he had no idea I liked him like that until this one night I got drunk and told him I masturbated thinking about him….

          Classis classy Katie.

          I’m like, How could you not know??? I was being so obvious!

          He says guys can be incredibly oblivious.

           

           

        15. Emily, the original

          Katie,

          I’m like, How could you not know??? I was being so obvious! He says guys can be incredibly oblivious.

          That’s what I was trying to point out. An interested woman will make her interest known … sometimes very bluntly. Nothing wrong with that.

      2. 486.3.2
        Marika

        Karl R, Kylie, Emily, Buck et al.,

        I think the issue here is that we go into the dating world with our own set of values and ‘rules’, thinking that everyone agrees or should agree. I know I certainly did. I’m dealing with it right now. A guy I’ve been on one date with wants to be exclusive & take our dating profiles down. I think it’s too soon. Neither of us are right, but I need to fight my perception that I’m right. As just one example.

        The issue arises in my view when we get all upset and even outraged that people in the dating world see things differently from us. (Again, I speak from experience). Kylie, I think you’re upsetting people as you are using such strong & derogatory language. It’s coming across like an attack, and if you attack people, they get defensive. Be careful with your argument about brain maturity. There’s no exact age that all brain researchers agree on that the frontal lobes reach maturity, just that it’s somewhere in the 20’s or so (some researchers say mid 20s or even later) – this means your boyfriend’s frontal lobes may only just be reaching maturity (I work in neuroscience). So tread carefully using this argument to justify your points.

        To clarify, I have NO PROBLEM with you dating someone 10 years younger, more power to ya! But just be careful with your wording. There are things that are clearly wrong, child brides, rape, abuse; but age differences over the age of consent are not clearly wrong, unless one person is being forced into a relationship against their will. You could argue that all 22 year olds in relationships with 40+ year old men are being somehow forced, but I honestly feel that if a 20 something is repulsed by a 40 something, they are unlikely to agree to date them.

        That being said, I can completely understand parents of kids in their 20s not liking the idea of a 40 something old dating them, that protective thing is likely to kick in for sure. Having a problem with it when it doesn’t affect you, though, I’m sure you can understand, comes across as judgy.

        This is why I’m so impressed with people like Karl R and Evan, who were able to overcome their own ideas about what partner was right for them to actually find the person who was right for them. I’m still struggling with this and I appreciate reading their words of wisdom to help me overcome my own prejudices.

        I think maybe I speak for quite a few of us when I say on the other hand that reading comments that are arrogant & judgemental are less than helpful…

        1. Emily, the original

          Marika,

          A guy I’ve been on one date with wants to be exclusive & take our dating profiles down. I think it’s too soon.

          I have to agree with you. That’s too soon. I’d be creeped out a bit. Even if I really liked the guy, I wouldn’t press for exclusivity that soon.

        2. Karl R

          Marika said:

          “This is why I’m so impressed with people like Karl R and Evan, who were able to overcome their own ideas about what partner was right for them to actually find the person who was right for them. I’m still struggling with this and I appreciate reading their words of wisdom to help me overcome my own prejudices.”

          Thank you. Though it’s difficult for me to see my journey as anything particularly impressive. I was doing what was best for me.

           

          I’m trying to think through how I overcame my prejudices. I think it’s best summarized by something Evan often quotes: Would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy?

          When faced with a situation where my observations conflicted with my prejudices, it was generally easy to see that the prejudice had to be flawed.

          I say generally, because of the exception … when the prejudice was formed by my past experiences and observations. Those are far harder to break.

           

          I think that’s the trap Kylie has fallen into. When she was 22 (or younger) one or more older men hit on her, and it creeped her out. Therefore, she concluded that their behavior was perverted and wrong.

          Years later, she met a much younger man who cared for her, was always there for her, treated her like gold, and would take a bullet for her. Obviously, she fell for the young man.

          In a similar circumstance, I decided that my earlier prejudice had to be wrong. Kylie didn’t admit that her prejudice was wrong … but she also couldn’t consider herself to be the same kind of perverted creep that she labeled those men as. Therefore, she created an elaborate system that allows her to maintain her old prejudice without being a creep herself.

           

          According to Kylie:

          Someone who is 27 is an adult, someone who is 22 isn’t.

          A 10 year age gap when the woman is older makes the couple more compatible; a 20 year age gap when the man is older makes the couple completely incompatible.

          She is dating her younger man because he is mature and has wonderful qualities; the men are dating younger women because they are exploiting vulnerable women for sex.

           

          From personal experience, it’s a lot easier to see this kind of disconnect when it’s happening in someone else’s head. It will be far harder to recognize if it’s happening between your own two ears.

          I really haven’t given this a lot of thought before. I’ll have to run this through my brain a few times and see if I can come up with any useful insights.

           

      3. 486.3.3
        Adrian

        Hi Karl R,

        Welcome back to the blog! (^_^)

        We have not heard from you in a while and I for one missed all the great wisdom you brought to this blog and how well you represented things from the point of view of us normal men who aren’t the perceived stereotyped male that cares only about sex and not finding love and commitment; yet still having the balls to say that we men love sex and that doesn’t make us evil.

        …   …   …

        Karl R I would be interested to hear your opinion on why women (in general I know your wife was the exception) are so against dating younger guys?

        5 years seems to be the limit for most women and even then it is tentative. The majority of women who are 10 or 15 years older would not even consider a younger guy seriously. The only time you hear about it is on an online forum or blog like this where the women use it as a way of attacking men for desiring younger women; a sort of “we can do it too and do it better!” type of attack.

        If a guy is very attractive, has a great paying job, is in great shape physically, is stable emotionally as well as financially, and also has the same morals and values that she does; then why would a woman still choose a guy who does not have any of those qualities over the younger guy just because the other guy is her same age?

        Even once did a post on a research study showing that both genders value youth and beauty equally, yet it seems that women prefer to only date men who are their same age that just happen to look young for his age instead of also including younger men that have all the qualities they are looking for.

        It seems that if given the choice between two men, a guy who has every quality she wants in a partner but he happens to be 20 years younger verses a guy who happens to have only “some” of the qualities she wants in a partner, but he is her own age or very close to it- most women will choose the older guy…

        Why do you think this is?

        I am not talking about choosing between two equally qualified guys and one just happens to be 2o or more years younger; I am talking about choosing between two guys and one is clearly superior (according to what she desires in a long-term partner) but one is just much younger than she is.

        1. Karl R

          Adrian asked:

          “I would be interested to hear your opinion on why women (in general I know your wife was the exception) are so against dating younger guys?”

          If I asked five women that question, I would expect at least ten different answers.

          Speaking from my perspective, when I was 39, there was an 18-year-old at the dance studio who seemed quite interested in me. One of the reasons that I didn’t bother pursuing her was due to the lack of common experiences. Of all the formative experiences I’ve had in my life, half of them are ones that she hasn’t encountered yet.

          Guess which half of my experiences I remember better?

           

          Other possible reasons / concerns:

          1. Maturity differences (real or perceived).

          2. External social censure, or the fear of it.

          3. If the couple is at different stages of life, that will add stress to the relationship (the amount of stress varies with the couple).

          4. Family disapproval.

          5. The belief that the younger partner will eventually want to start a family (particular problematic for post-menopausal women).

          6. The fear that the younger partner will leave them for someone younger and hotter.

          7. The inability to address power imbalances between the partners. (As children we’re raised to respect and obey people our parents’ age. This conditioning can be difficult for some people to overcome.)

           

          Adrian asked:

          “It seems that if given the choice between two men, a guy who has every quality she wants in a partner but he happens to be 20 years younger verses a guy who happens to have only “some” of the qualities she wants in a partner, but he is her own age or very close to it- most women will choose the older guy… Why do you think this is?”

          I’ve never seen a woman faced with such a binary choice. It’s just never that cut-and-dried.

          However, if I were to see a situation that appeared to follow this pattern, I would strongly suspect that there were other qualities that the woman really wanted in a partner. Maybe not ones she even consciously admitted to herself, but qualities that she dearly wanted nonetheless.

          I would particularly start by looking at the intangible qualities, like how each man made the woman feel.

        2. Marika

          Adrian,

          I know you asked Karl, but I can provide an answer as many men 10-15 years younger than me have written to me online. Funnily enough, the ones who are much younger who contact me online are always very attractive. So attraction is never the problem.

          The reasons I say a polite ‘thanks but no thanks’ is that they invariably have a lot of party shots in their pics, with their mates and drunk women, which make me think that they are (understandably) in that full-on party phase of life, as I was in my very early 20s. I don’t want to hang out with a 23 year old & 7 of his friends every Friday night. I’m looking for a relationship. They also tend to say ‘hey babe’ or comment on my looks. Again, that doesn’t make me think they are serious about me or a relationship.

          If you want to attract older women, I would advise against party shots, definitely pics with other women in them (a mistake I notice a lot of very young men make) or superficial one liners. Also, if the woman says no, don’t write a petulant response that cements her view that you are too immature for her. Write a cute, witty response that may make her think twice (if you get the sense this is appropriate). I would also address the elephant in the room. When a much younger man contacts you like it’s the most natural thing in the world, it makes you think he’s either clueless, or indulging some fantasy. I would somehow comment on the age difference, in a cute, witty way.

      4. 486.3.4
        Kylie

         
        KARL–Morals do not have to be religious. So, a 50-year-old man and a 13-year-old girl can reproduce too, by your logic that would be moral for them to date. And by biologically right, I am talking about brain development, not the sex organ development that you are referring to.
         

         
        See, it is a fact that women live longer than men—you just said 4-5 years longer…obviously I mean on average
         

         
        And you can argue with me on verbiage all you want, I strongly doubt you are going to find many 22-year-olds that would like to date a 45-year-old. Celebrities don’t count, there is fame and money involved.
         

         
        You keep twisting my argument. A 27-year-old and 37-year-old couple are MUCH different than a 22/45 year old couple.  Marc’s article states that a woman in her late 20s can still get men her own age who have just as much to offer as a man over 45, so why would she want him? And I agree with him since my boyfriends have all been around my age or younger—but not generations younger like the men you defend.  I was using my example of women live longer than men and have a longer sex drive span than men as an example of benefits she can get from men her own age or younger—more reasons why she doesn’t need an older man.
         

         
        Also, whenever men date younger women, they are congratulated and idolized, like George Clooney, and when a woman like Demi or J-Lo dates a much younger man, she is belittled by being called a “cougar,” or attacked with opinions, like “that won’t last.” So now that there is an article claiming how these much older man/younger woman relationships are not common, I am attacked for agreeing with him that women commonly find more value in men in their own age group. I am fighting the sexism women had to endure for centuries by showing my experiences that the shoe is now on the other foot and guys get butt-hurt about it—well suck it up.
         

         
        I look forward to seeing more posts of you attacking my grammar so that you can hide behind the real issue.
         

         
        And BTW Emily is right. There are plenty of single females for an older man in the same age range—he doesn’t have to hit on much younger females, it would obviously be for physical reasons, as he would have more in common with women his own age.
         

        1. Karl R

          Kylie said:

          “whenever men date younger women, they are congratulated and idolized, like George Clooney,”

          I agree that this happens, largely because our culture worships youth. Personally, I think it’s a bit silly. Back when I was dating a woman who was 11 years younger than me, people congratulated me … without even meeting my girlfriend.

          But if you want to attack that concept, it will be far more effective to do what I just did. Point out the ridiculousness of congratulating someone for an age difference (especially when they haven’t met the person).

          But what you’re doing is an exact parallel. You’re attacking every individual who dates across this age gap … and you haven’t met 99.999% of them.

           

          Kylie said:

          “when a woman like Demi or J-Lo dates a much younger man, she is belittled by being called a ‘cougar,’ or attacked with opinions, like ‘that won’t last.'”

          Nobody attacks or belittles my wife. Our age gap is slightly larger than either of the examples you gave.

          I’ve always told people in a similar position to me: If you act like there’s nothing wrong or unusual with your relationship, people will follow your lead and treat you that way. However, if you act embarrassed or defensive about your relationship, people will follow your lead and treat you as if there’s something wrong with it.

           

          Regarding the “It won’t last….” Are you sure that wasn’t because it was Demi Moore’s 3rd marriage? And for Jennifer Lopez, she started dating the guy during her 3rd marriage.

          Neither situation screams “made to last” … especially for a Hollywood marriage.

           

          Kylie said:

          “Morals do not have to be religious.”

          True. Cultures can have morals.

          But you just made a big deal about our cultural morals going the opposite direction.

          So it’s not a religious moral. It’s not a cultural moral. It’s your personal moral … but you still feel justified in flagrantly insulting everyone who feels differently and decides not to follow your moral.

           

          Talk about a “holier-than-thou” attitude. You believe that you’re more moral than our culture, more moral than the scriptures, more moral than God. You’re even more moral than The Church Lady.

           

          Kylie said:

          “And by biologically right, I am talking about brain development”

          Why is  dating/marrying before frontal lobes fully develop “biologically” wrong? My parents got married when they were 22 or 23. They’re in their 80s now … and still married.

          If one person with underdeveloped frontal lobes is “biologically” wrong, shouldn’t two people be twice as “biologically” wrong?

           

          Just like I pointed out before, our society feels perfectly comfortable about sending 18 to 25-year-olds into battle where they kill and get killed. Our society feels perfectly comfortable holding them fully accountable for heinous crimes and executing them.

          But you think it’s a heinous crime if they decide to date someone older than them.

          I think your priorities are a bit out of whack. Dating a 45-year-old has a lot fewer negative consequences than fighting an insurgency in Iraq or Afghanistan.

           

          And as Marika pointed out above, “There’s no exact age that all brain researchers agree on that the frontal lobes reach maturity, just that it’s somewhere in the 20’s or so (some researchers say mid 20s or even later) – this means your boyfriend’s frontal lobes may only just be reaching maturity (I work in neuroscience).”

          If you are so committed to your belief that the maturity of frontal lobes should be the arbiter of who dates whom, are you going to dump your boyfriend now that you know that your boyfriend’s frontal lobes might not be fully mature?

          Like Marika, I could care less what age your boyfriend is (since he’s obviously legally an adult). I’m just sick of hearing you hypocritically flog the same argument.

           

          Kylie said:

          “And BTW Emily is right. There are plenty of single females for an older man in the same age range—he doesn’t have to hit on much younger females, it would obviously be for physical reasons, as he would have more in common with women his own age.”

          You’ve just reminded me of something that happened about seven years ago. It happened when I was six months into a relationship with a woman 16 years older than me.

          A new woman started taking classes at the same dance studio. Over the following three months, I got to know her fairly well. She had a lot more in common with me than my girlfriend. She was only four years older. She was closer in intelligence. We were in very similar fields. Her fitness and energy levels were closer to mine. In other areas (politics, humor) she was at least equally compatible as my girlfriend.

          On the other hand, even after 6 to 9 months of dating the older woman, I could tell that the relationship was easily the best I’d had in my life (at least up to that point).

          So, as a 40-year-old man, do you believe that I should have dumped the 56-year-old woman in order to date the 44-year-old woman?

           

          If your boyfriend meets a 30-year-old who has more in common with him, should he dump you?

          (I’ll make this simple. This is another question where I intend to call you out for hypocrisy.)

           

          Kylie said:

          “Marc’s article states that a woman in her late 20s can still get men her own age who have just as much to offer as a man over 45, so why would she want him?”

          If your late 20s boyfriend is as wonderful as you say, then he can get women his own age who have just as much to offer as you.

          But instead of sitting here quizzing you about why he would want you, I’m just going to accept that he does want you. In my mind, that’s the relevant point.

           

          One of my friends is in her mid-to-late 20s. Her long-term boyfriend (another friend of ours) is in his late 50s. He’s charming, considerate, funny, and a superb dancer. I would assume that those are some of the qualities that she finds attractive in him.

          I’m not going to grab they guy and ask him why his girlfriend “would want” a man his age. It would be a stupid question. She clearly does want one man his age.

           

          Just like your boyfriend, this woman has the exact same right to make that decision. Furthermore, she ought to have the right to date whomever she wants without being subjected to a never-ending stream of insults from you.

  7. 487
    Marika

    Thanks again Karl R,

    I can’t reply to a reply, so hopefully you see this. I’m also happy for anyone else to chime in on this issue if they have insights. Apologies for the long post, but I’m still grappling a bit with what is and isn’t reasonable to consider a deal breaker & how you can tell.

    In terms of the taking the profile down thing, it’s a non-issue now, as I politely told the guy (let’s call him Bob) I wasn’t ready to take my profile down at this early stage and he politely wished me well in my search (seeing multiple people at once isn’t as common in Australia). So that’s fine.

    But here’s what I’m interested in exploring further. Apart from the ‘it’s only been one date consideration’, the reasons I wasn’t ready to take down my profile were (and I’m being completely, totally honest here):

    – I live close to the city, and my work as well as all my socialising occur close to or in the city, whereas he lives 61 kms from the city and told me he never goes to the city. He owns his place, so he’s not moving any time soon. We met about 30 kms from the city (so about half way) the first time and I wouldn’t want to keep doing that as I’d be sitting in traffic for hours just to meet him halfway –I know that’s not a dealbreaker, probably just a prejudice I need to get over? I just couldn’t imagine how logistically that could work, though

    – His education levels were pretty limited – I’m aware that I’m being a total hypocrite here as I’ve posted previously that education levels are not that important, but if I’m being honest this is still a prejudice I have that I’m trying to get over & it factored into my concerns

    – He is politically the other end of the spectrum from me – as above

    – He sent me a text just before he found me in the bar where we met saying “I’m sorry, but I don’t think I can do this” – then he walked up and gave me a hug and said he was just kidding. I shrugged this off at the time, but it’s weird, right? Was he testing me? Has anyone ever done anything like this? Why? 

    – I’m also currently in communication with a guy who I’ve been chatting with for a while, but who is away for work. I find this man charming, good looking & funny. Interestingly, he is also politically on the other end of the spectrum from me, but with him I don’t mind as he has so many other qualities I like & admire – so I couldn’t commit to just seeing Bob exclusively in good conscience, as I have every intention of continuing to chat with this man & meeting with him when he’s back in town. Obviously I didn’t go into detail about that with Bob, though, as I think that’s in bad taste. I think that’s reasonable?

    Overriding all of this, is when I got the messages from Bob asking me to take down my profile and asking follow up questions about why I didn’t want to, I felt stressed and pressured & it sort of almost turned me off seeing him again. A friend asked me if I felt flattered & her take on it was that it was a nice gesture – but I didn’t feel flattered at all. More scared! I’m assuming that if you’re overlooking someone for superficial reasons related to your own prejudices, you don’t feel stressed out at the thought of seeing them exclusively.

    Karl when you were grappling with the age difference, or other people who’ve grappled with ‘trade off’s’ made in their relationships, did you still look forward to seeing that person? Did you ever feel stressed out by it all? I’m hoping my emotional reaction was a reasonable thing to go by, even if some of my concerns were more trivial. Not so much in this case, as it’s over, but in the future.

    Again, apologies for the length of this post! Looking forward with gratitude to any insights.

    1. 487.1
      Karl R

      Marika,

      Here are my thoughts on the various points you brought up.

       

       

      Being stressed out:

      You were about to have an uncomfortable conversation regarding a relationship (or potential relationship). Under those circumstances, feeling stressed is normal. Over the years, I’ve had a few of those uncomfortable conversations with my wife. I’ve had them with my serious girlfriends.

      But my wife and I have a very smooth relationship. Those conversations are few and far between (especially as the relationship has progressed). The stress mostly occurs when I’m thinking about it beforehand (and trying to figure out how I’m going to bring up the topic), and pretty much dissipates when we start talking.

      Don’t read too much into the stress levels. You didn’t want to have that particular conversation after just one date. That’s enough reason to feel stressed.

       

      The Text at the Bar:

      I would file that under, “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.” He told a joke, and it flopped. When people tell jokes, a few of them flop.

      Unfortunately for this guy, it seems to have been his first joke that was a dud.

       

      Distance:

      People who live in the country don’t think much about driving long distances, because everyplace is a long drive. I was out in the country this past weekend. It was a 30 mile / 48 km drive to pick up dinner … double that for the round trip.

      That kind of distance is inconvenient for dating (especially for those of us accustomed to city distances). However, if you were seriously concerned about logistics beyond the dating process, then you were thinking too far ahead.

       

      The Other Guy:

      When there are two (or more) potential boyfriends, it’s fairly normal to develop a preference. You will be more excited one, less excited about seeing the other.

      I think The Uncomfortable Conversation + The Other Guy explains your stress and lack of enthusiasm. Try not to read too much into other things.

       

      Your Emotional Reaction:

      This is going to be a little hard to explain, because it seems like you are simultaneously too much emphasis on your emotional reaction, and too little emphasis on it.

      It’s normal to like one guy better than the other, even if it’s for inexplicable or irrational reasons. It’s perfectly reasonable to choose one guy over another, purely based on how he makes you feel. However, it seems like you don’t want to make that decision (for one guy / against another) based entirely on an irrational or inexplicable feeling.

      You were choosing between two guys (which seems necessary in Australia). You had been on a first date with one, and no dates with the other. Your actions make perfect sense, particularly choosing based on how you felt about them.

       

      But it seems like you’re consciously trying to move from having an irrational feeling (which is fine, particularly if you recognize that it may be irrational), toward having a prejudice (which is not fine). You’re trying to justify the decision you made, by making something about “Bob” wrong. That is literally pre-judging … the root word of prejudice.

      Don’t do that. You had to make a decision. Relying on your feelings was better than going against your feelings, being deceptive, or relying on a coin toss.

      You already made this decision. You don’t need to justify it. It’s done.

       

      If you form a prejudice (in order to justify this decision), that will affect your future decisions.

      You don’t need to do that. Acknowledge that it was a decision based on feelings, necessitated by circumstances. There’s no way of knowing whether it was the best choice. That will keep it in proper perspective when you look back on it.

      1. 487.1.1
        Adrian

        Hi Karl R,

        I am much like Marika on this issue. I often feel guilty when I choose one potential person over another for purely superficial reasons.

        I feel like as an enlightened human I should automatically pick the smart, kind but homely looking girl over the sexy airhead that is somewhat bratty at times.

        When I do choose the sexy girl I feel guilty and disappointed in my lack of an ability to feel something for the homely girl.

        When I choose the homely girl I feel like I had to force myself to do do and I feel unmotivated or unenthusiastic about dating her.

        I feel like I am lying to everyone and myself when I say I want a smart kind girl or when I say that I place intelligence and kindness over outward beauty…

         

        This is why I can understand Marika trying to justify her choice.

        1. Karl R

          Adrian said:

          “I feel like I am lying to everyone and myself when I say I want a smart kind girl or when I say that I place intelligence and kindness over outward beauty…”

          Then stop saying that. Especially to yourself.

           

          If you’ve been on a few dates with someone, and you still feel unenthusiastic about her, then stop dating her. You’re not doing her any favors if you drag things out further.

          If you are a human being, then some of your reasons for dating your spouse will be superficial. My wife has a great waist-hip ratio. I can’t think of a single rational reason why that should matter to me. We’re not having kids. But on an irrational level, it’s part of why I find her physically attractive. Without a certain minimum level of physical attraction, the relationship would have gone nowhere.

           

          Adrian said:

          “This is why I can understand Marika trying to justify her choice.”

          Oh, I get it. You want to see yourselves enlightened human beings who never make major decisions based on superficial, shallow reasons.

          I would rather be happily married.

          I can either set criteria based on the person I wish I could be, or I can set criteria based on who I actually am. Since I want to be happily married, I chose the latter.

           

          As a human being, you’re going to have superficial criteria. If you want to succeed, you’re either going to have to meet those criteria, mitigate them, or circumvent them. But you can’t do any of those things if you’re not willing to acknowledge that superficiality.

        2. Emily, the original

          Hi Adrian

          I feel like as an enlightened human I should automatically pick the smart, kind but homely looking girl over the sexy airhead that is somewhat bratty at times.

          Pick neither! Why do you have to pick at all? Sometimes the best choice … is not to choose. Wait to meet the smart, kind and sexy girl.

           

        3. Marika

          Thank you Adrian & Karl R for your thoughtful responses

          Just to clarify: I know in this instance I made the right choice. Or more accurately, I made the only choice I could make under the circumstances. And to clarify, dating more than one person is common in online dating (likely the norm), but very uncommon when you meet someone in real life in Australia. Bob was new to online dating, & he doesn’t really understand that yet. So while I was somewhat sympathetic, I do think there was a neediness there, Adrian, as I very politely explained where I was coming from, but he couldn’t get past it & (in my view) pushed too soon for exclusivity or nothing in a medium where that is unusual after one date. Anyway, that’s done.

          My queries/concerns are more in line with what Adrian voiced. I don’t think I’m an enlightened, non-human being with a halo (;)), but what I’m asking about (not really trying to justify as such), but grappling with, is the concept EMK promotes of widening your search ‘criteria’, but then not feeling like you’re settling/uneasy when you do.

          I know logically that things like degrees, professional jobs, bad jokes & political affiliations are superficial considerations & not that important in a partnership, but the only time I can get excited about dating people who differ vastly from me in these areas is when they’re really attractive to me physically (Bob was only moderately attractive to me). I’m just not sure whether that’s an effective dating strategy.

          Ironically the week before I met Bob I met another guy who was of similar attractiveness to me, was also kind and easy to talk to, but who had a degree, professional job and lived near me. I would have been happy to be exclusive with him if he’d asked (which he didn’t, in fact I never heard from him again).

          I know we’re all in a similar boat with figuring this stuff out, but just curious of the people who’ve made a happy and conscious choice to marry /partner with someone, like yourself Karl R, whether and how you knew a trade off was reasonable v’s superficial? I was hoping how you feel emotionally could be a good guide, but as you pointed out, that isn’t always the case. I feel like if you don’t sort this stuff out, you could easily continue dating forever (which I don’t want to do)!

          Adrian, I’d be more than happy to help you with travel tips (plenty of!!), but I’m just wondering if there’s a safe /appropriate way to give me some contact details, as I doubt everyone else on here is interested in Australia travel tips 🙂

        4. Adrian

          Hi Marika,

          Did you lose your halo in the washing machine? I’ve done that a couple of times, and I on many occasions have accidentally washed my white wings with my red hat so now they are pink. (^_^)

          …   …   …

          When I first found Evan’s blog I was laid up in the hospital because of a snowboarding accident. So with nothing but time on my hands I ended up reading all his post on this blog (I refused to read the comment sections back then).

          Two years ago when everything was still fresh in my mind if you would have asked this same question I would have been able to easily point you to the right post because Evan did address the whole issue with widening your search criteria aka dating people you would normally not consider while at the same time not settling.

          Unfortunately I don’t remember which post it was. He mentions it in passing in a few different post but I remember one where he addressed the issue head on.

          I know that for me I have not been able to find that balance. I can see a person as being a GREAT catch logically but if I feel no attraction for them, I can never muster any enthusiasm about the date or if I do, the feeling never last for more than a few days.

          I know some men have said that they can go through the motions of dating a woman who they are not attracted to just to get sex but I am not one of them.

          Morally I would never string a person along that way because I would hate for it to happen to me.

          That is why now I only date women who I am really really am physically attracted to… Of course the problem with not just trying to have sex with someone is that then no matter how sexy they look, if their is no mental and/or emotional chemistry then my enthusiasm still fades.

        5. Karl R

          Marika asked:

          “I know we’re all in a similar boat with figuring this stuff out, but just curious of the people who’ve made a happy and conscious choice to marry /partner with someone, like yourself Karl R, whether and how you knew a trade off was reasonable v’s superficial?”

          I’m not sure if this is the same advice that Adrian was thinking of, but the piece of Evan’s advice that I relied on was, “Evaluate the quality of your relationship, not the quality of your partner.”

           

          First, identify deal-breakers: trust, someone who accepts you as you are, someone who you accept as they are, respect, no conflicting goals, etc. More to the point, anything you can’t live without (or with) can qualify as a deal-breaker.

          Beyond the deal-breakers, all relationships have trade-offs, so there’s no point in evaluating each one separately. Try the relationship out. After you’ve been in a few relationships, you can tell whether this one is easy, comfortable, perpetually difficult, unsettling….

           

          My relationship with my wife was smoother, easier and felt better than any of the other relationships I had been in. Even during the first month or two (when she was keeping her options open) it still had more forward progress than the average relationship. After that, no other relationship matched it.

        6. Adrian

          Hi Karl R,

          Like Marika, I would like your dating advice as well.

          What would your advice be to someone who hasn’t dated in almost 10 years and the dating they have done prior to that was mostly in high school.

          Should I date around a lot to gain the experience or should I settle down with the first good women that comes along?

          I had been with my deceased ex since my junior year in college and she passed away 3 years ago. However, now I feel like I am finally ready to date again.

          She was the 2nd girlfriend I had ever had up to that point the first being in high school. I flirted and talked with a few girls on campus in college before I met my deceased ex but those interactions never really lead to anything.

          I’m 30 now so I kind feel insecure dating women my age or older because it seems like most have had a few boyfriends and are more experienced than I am; and I just can’t seem form a mental connection with most women under 27.

          My ex was very sick and in the hospital for most of those years so it’s not like I even have a lot of relationship or even sexual experiences.

          Because of my looks, my job, and my kind guy with balls persona, many women think I am this great catch and therefore paint this fantasy of how great of a boyfriend they think I will be, it’s always so much pressure when a person thinks you will be or know how to etc etc in a relationship when in reality I have no clue.

          And whenever I try to tell them I am not that great or that I don’t know that much about how to make a women in a relationship happy so all I can do is be myself, most women just think I am being humble or modest.

          I hope you understand what I mean. Unless you live it you may not get what I mean, the pressure of a person thinking you are a perfect catch when in reality you feel more flawed then most men your age always makes me back out of those relationships.

          So would you just settle down with the first good women that came along and hope it last or would you date around first to gain some experience and then focus on settling down with one good partner after you feel like you have a handle on dating and relationships.

        7. Karl R

          Adrian,

          It would take a book to cover everything you asked in depth. I will try to answer all of your most crucial questions, but I’ll have to forgo the 2-6 paragraphs of explanations.

           

          1. Settle for the first great relationship you find, regardless of whether it’s with the first good woman you date. (I’ve had lousy relationships with great women.)

          2. If I waited until I fully got a handle on dating and relationships, I’d still be waiting.

          If my father-in-law (a widower) had passed up a great relationship in order to get more experience, he would have missed out on his 20 year marriage to his 2nd wife, often described as his soulmate.

          3. You’re not more flawed than most men. It just seems that way. You see all of your flaws, and none (or few) of theirs. You’re easily in the top 25%, probably higher. That makes you highly desirable.

          4. Unless you’re hanging around with idiots, the women don’t think you’re perfect. You’re mistaking compliments and flattery for expectations. They’re reserving judgment on the flaws until they get to see them.

          5. The women are hoping that you’re a great catch for them. They would like the chance to find out, one way or the other. If you’re dating the same kind of women that I did, most of them will still think you’re great, even after it doesn’t work out.

          6. The women expect to discover your flaws by dating you. You don’t have to be flawless. (More importantly, you need to stop worrying about appearing flawed.) You just have to be yourself.

          On the other hand, don’t reveal all of your flaws on the first date, because that makes for a really lousy first date. Plan to reveal them gradually over the first 2 to 3 months.

          7. You don’t need to make women happy in a relationship with you. Either they are happy in a relationship with you, or they aren’t. Date them until you find out whether you’re happy and they’re happy.

          You already know all of the basic information about being a good boyfriend, because Evan has repeatedly stated it in his blog.

          8. You’re backing out of dates/relationships because you feel insecure. (Like you, everybody started with well-deserved insecurities.) You’re allowed to feel insecure. Stop giving yourself permission to do back out for that reason.

          9. Sexual experience (whether it’s number of partners, or number of times) is overrated. Make pleasing your partner a priority. That will put you in the top 50% in bed.

          There are lots of books explaining how to be better at sex. Buy a couple that are more informative, rather than titillating. Read those. Combined with the effort to please your partner, you’ll be in the top 20%.

          10. Don’t bother telling women that you’re sexually inexperienced. Ask them what they like; what works for them. Every woman is a bit different in that regard, so it’s the kind of question that an experienced person asks … and it benefits the rookies even more.

          11. Stop trying to insult your own dating/relationship skills (when you’re talking to your potential dates; talking about it here is fine). Normally, I would tell men to just fake it until they make it. Since you have an excellent reason to be inexperienced, I’ll give you another alternative.

          You can tell them “I’m a bit of a rookie when it comes to dating. [Insert the brief explanation that you gave above.] I’m sure that I’m going to make some rookie mistakes. If you see any rookie mistakes, would you please point them out to me?”

          That’s all the explanation you need to give.

           

          A little of my background:

          Due (in part) to my insecurities in my teens and early 20s, I didn’t date much until my mid-30s. Before then, I had two serious relationships (each one lasted several months), a couple flings, and some one-night-stands. (The latter don’t provide any significant sexual experience. They’re literally one night of practice per woman.)

          I understand how it feels to start dating and feel like you have less experience than all of the people you’re getting involved with. While dating, I also met several women who were in a similar position for various reasons.

           

        8. Adrian

          Karl R Thanks for all the great advice, I really mean it!

        9. Buck25

          Adrian,

          Karl has already given you a great answer on the comments in in your 487.1.1. I’d like to expand on that just a little, and add a few additional thoughts.

          We all, at least if we are decent, well-socialized people, like to think we’re idealistic and noble, in both our actions and choices. We’re constantly given the message, that as good people, that’s what we “should” do, and in most things, it’s not bad advice to follow “the better angels of our nature” . In some cases however, to make choices solely based on that ideal can actually end up being hurtful to ourselves, and to someone else. The dating/mating game is one of these.

          Let’s first understand that despite the attempts of some to claim some moral high ground in this area, no one owes anybody else anything (beyond honesty, basic human decency and respect) in this process. GWTF made the point beautifully in an earlier post that all of us, men and women alike, are in this to get the best partner we can (as we see it at the time) for ourselves, and no one deserves blame or censure for that. She’s right; it’s not evil, it’s not mean; in fact, I can make a case that it’s not really “selfish” in the negative sense of the word. There’s nothing ignoble about choosing someone who you find attractive over someone who may be arguably a better, nicer, more evolved person, if you just don’t feel attracted to them; there’s no need to play the part of the selfless, noble martyr to prove how enlightened you are in a situation like that. In fact I’d argue that someone with a healthy amount of self-love, self-awareness, and self-worth, would refuse to do that, and rightly so; to do otherwise would be a disservice to oneself, and to the other party as well, as Karl illustrated.  Ask yourself this: if you don’t love yourself even that much, how can you possibly love someone else? We’re all inherently flawed, to one extent or another.  The plain truth is that most of us are a little less virtuous and noble than we’d like to hope we are, but not quite so wicked in the sight of others as we’re afraid we might be; the truth is usually somewhere in between. We just need to have a realistic acceptance of ourselves as we are and do the best we can from there. If it makes you feel any better, I don’t think you need worry too much about not being virtuous enough. We’ve had very different life experiences, and come from different times and different perspectives, and we often disagree; but I will say that in both actions you’ve recounted, and the attitudes you’ve displayed here, you’ve shown yourself to be as thoroughly decent a guy as any on here, and I have high hopes for you…when you finish growing up, that is. (You’re still a little wet behind the ears yet; don’t want you getting too full of yourself) 🙂

          What makes this even more difficult sometimes, is that some people use words like “superficial”, “shallow”, and “selfish” as attack words, with the intent of emotionally blackmailing someone else into behaving as the accuser would prefer, or at least, be shamed into feeling guilty about not doing do. It’s a tactic that usually is the province of the insecure,  especially those resentful that someone they are attracted to feels no attraction to them, being attracted instead to someone they see as of lesser value as a person. (It doesn’t actually matter if that last is true or not; for better or worse, as Evan says, “Dating is not a meritocracy”). Often these are people who lack the serenity to accept the things they can’t change, the courage to change what they can, and the wisdom to know the difference, to paraphrase the old “Serenity Prayer”; it’s easier just to lash out in anger and frustration, and so they do. There’s no point in any of us feeling a need to cave in to this, or feel the least bit guilty if we don’t, or even react to it at all. It’s nothing but an attempt to prey on the victim’s desire to be, (and be seen as) “a good person”, and in itself,  that is about as truly selfish an act as there is. There’s a line from an old Gordon Lightfoot song that kinda fits this situation, “…be calm in the face of all common disgraces, and know what they’re doin’ it for…”.

          We can choose between people we are attracted to, based on other characteristics of virtue in them, but it’s futile, and maybe more than a little dishonest as well,  to pretend we can force ourselves to be attracted to someone when we just …aren’t, no matter what anyone thinks we “ought to feel”. Shakespeare was right, “First of all, to thine own self be true, for then, ‘t must surely follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man“. As Karl so well pointed out, there’s a little superficial and shallow in all of us; might as well accept it and own it for what it is-not good, not evil, just…human.

           

    2. 487.2
      Adrian

      Hi Marika,

      He sounds like he had a low self-esteem or was needy/clingy (Google ambivalent/anxious attachment styles).

      Did you sense any of this?

      Did you explain to him that you like him but you just want to get to know him better first; you don’t like to rush into things?

      I know that people with low self-esteem and low confidence (insecure people) in dating would take your actions as a rejection of him. To him it meant that you do not seeing him as being good enough to date or to stop seeing other guys for.

      An emotionally healthy minded person (secure attachment style) would agree with your actions and work harder to win you over.

      …   …   …

      On a personal note I have promised myself to only date people who I really really am attracted to. I have noticed that people over look more and tolerate more from people who they desire extremely or at least very much.

      And for me I notice that I try harder and don’t lose interest as quickly with a person who I really want verse a person who I am going out with just because I am lonely.

      It has been discussed on this blog a lot that many women can date a guy who they only feel lukewarm or even medium attraction for but most guys (and many women) can’t do this.

      Bob is the perfect example. You were on the fence about your attraction for him so even the smallest negative things about him caused him to be pushed to the left side of the fence away from you.

      The other guy you admitted that you really like so he is already inside your fence; he has already been accepted in your yard. You admitted that you have already accepted or are willing to over look his flaws.

      …   …   …

      My over-all opinion of the matter with Bob is that you did the right thing. When you are not sure of your attraction for someone or when you are not “completely” attracted to someone, you don’t give them 100% of your effort.

      In the long run you would have hurt Bob more (I am assuming he is lacking normal healthy self-esteem) and you would have only wasted your own time and hurt your own self emotionally as well as mentally by dating a man who would have put you through your own personalized hell with his insecurity and ambivalent/anxious attachment dating style.

      …   …   …

      I plan on vacationing in your country this summer; any recommendations on what city to visit and what do for fun? Museums are interesting but not particularly fun, however I do not like night clubs.

      Do you have any suggestions Marika

      1. 487.2.1
        GoWiththeFlow

        Adrian, Marika, Emily, & Karl,

        Even though I don’t have any brilliant insight to contribute, I’ve really enjoyed the thread!

        Adrian & Marika,

        “I plan on vacationing in your country this summer; any recommendations on what city to visit and what do for fun? “

        LOL!  We will be in NZ the month of June.  This is a huge bucket list item for me and I’m brining the whole gang, plus my ex-BIL will tag along for a week 😉

        1. Adrian

          Hi GoWithTheFlow,

          I heard Karl R and Marika’s take on my question in # 486.33

          I would like your opinions on why would you not date a guy 20 or more years younger than yourself

          IF

          He possessed all the qualities you were looking for in a long-term partner?

    3. 487.3
      Joy

      One thing stood out to me – just my two cents worth.  He likes playing games and doing hurtful things for fun. That text he sent when he knew you’d have travelled to see him just to cause a dip in your emotions?  That right there shows someone who is willing to manipulate your feelings for his own pleasure.  Unless you know someone VERY well and you know how they’ll take you sending something like that – its shows a complete disregard for your feelings or more to the point a out and out desire to affect you in some way. I smell Narcissist.

  8. 488
    Charles

    Hello Crew.

    I am The Ancient Warrior, and at 70 never married, no children, no steady girl just daily day to day associations in the gyms I lift in,  I sometimes do flirt with the younger girls.

    Not in the gym.

    However today is Valentines day, and I am acquainted with this 23 year old only through grocery shopping at a store I go to once and awhile after the gym, and  we always have nice words for each other and that’s it.

    Today, she wished me a Happy Valentines Day, which is sweet, and then I just asked out of the clear blue friendly sky’s if she would like to go to an early dinner.  Well she says, not tonight, I don’t get off until 11 PM, oh I said, I will be in bed by then, but how about another time.  Early at the Outback seated by five pm, and then home.

    Fine she says.   Well she wasn’t kidding either.  So, I really don’t mind , I eat out alone and have a great time of it too, however I will enjoy the girl, and recommend a time, and if she let’s me pick her up, it’s a date.  In the meantime, I will just let it go until she mentions it.

    Now that I committed, she was not in jest, sincere instead,  so I have company for change. No harm done. Too bad it wasn’t this evening though, last impromptu date was Valentines day February 2013. That girl was 36,  I flirted with her in Whole Foods, and then, as a lark, asked her if she would like to go to dinner.  Oh Yah she said.  I really didn’t expect that , I didn’t want to take her, but I did, that very hour, and I had a great time of it much to my surprise.

    I’m not your average male date. I don’t, I don’t date period.  However once and awhile there can be that occasion where I wouldn’t mind having a daughter on my arm.

    It’s for certain no one is going to observe her and I out together as a date, but certainly we will be seen as a father with his  daughter out for the evening.  Maybe a divorcee and has the kid for the night.  I could always adopt her.

    Ciao,

    The End.

  9. 489
    Marika

    Thank you Karl R,

    That makes a lot of sense. Thank you for clarifying it all so clearly. Good mantra to use: ‘evaluate the quality of the relationship not the quality of your partner’. As I’m not really in a relationship as such right now, can I ask what drew you to your wife in the first place in the early stages of dating? Was it looks, dance style, your chats while dancing as she was funny/interesting (or all of the above)? I know you say she was keeping her options open..were you full on into her from the beginning, or were there things (other than age) that you had to weigh up in terms of potential concerns?

    What you said is very wise advice to assess for when things get off the ground. I (and I think Adrian) are interested in those early judgements that we all make (easier if you meet through friends or a common interest than online, understandably) where you’re thinking “is this enough for me to decline a second / third date”.

    I promise I’ll shut up about this after your next answer :)..Well probably..

    1. 489.1
      Karl R

      Marika asked:

      “can I ask what drew you to your wife in the first place in the early stages of dating?”

      We were introduced 10 months before we started dating, so a lot of the initial attraction occurred before we started dating. I’ll try to break my answer down into the time periods when they occurred.

       

      Introduction and shortly thereafter:

      We were introduced by a friend (so I was being nice to my friend’s friend). She was cute and friendly. She was a brand new dancer, but she showed a lot of promise for someone who had just started (she grasped some of the fundamental techniques far better than her average peer).

       

      During the subsequent months:

      She was one of my regular dance partners (along with about 200 other women in the dance community; it’s not a particularly exclusive group). She was enjoyable to dance with. She was fun to chat with, but our chats were all about 3 minutes long (the length of an average song). I thought she was about 10-11 years older than me, so I began thinking about asking her out … but I decided not to when I learned that she was 16 years older.

       

      We begin dating:

      We finally ended up having a long conversation (at least 2 hours) and discovered that we had a lot in common. During that conversation she directly stated that she wasn’t interested in a long-term relationship with me. She was interested in a long-time friend of hers (based on her description, I inferred that he just wasn’t that into her). But she also implied that she was open to a casual fling.

      Lacking better options that week, I decided that a fling sounded like a good idea.

      She was fun. The sex was good. So at the end of the week I decided to take a break from pursuing serious dating and enjoy the fling.

       

      The first two months:

      We started spending most nights with each other, so we got to know each other quite well. We’re both fairly easy-going, so dating was easy. Our mutual acquaintances started referring to us as a couple.

      On the other hand, my wife kept showing signs that she was keeping her options open. As someone who is aware of these signs, I compartmentalized. I enjoyed what we had at the moment, but I didn’t permit myself to invest 100% emotionally (for my own protection).

       

      Boyfriend and girlfriend:

      After explicitly becoming a couple, we started making longer-term mutual plans (like vacations, months in advance). During this time we were finding out all (the rest) of each others’ bad habits and deciding whether they were deal-breakers.

       

      Marika said:

      “I (and I think Adrian) are interested in those early judgements that we all make (easier if you meet through friends or a common interest than online, understandably) where you’re thinking ‘is this enough for me to decline a second / third date’.”

      That’s a somewhat different question. It would have been completely rational to break up with my wife after the first week in order to pursue a long-term relationship with someone else.

       

      When to accept a second/third date:

      If dating 1 person: You will enjoy yourself more with this person than you will if you stayed home and watched TV, cleaned your house, or exercised.

      If dating multiple people: Pick the 1 or 2 you look forward to seeing the most, and accept dates with them.

       

      When to decline a second/third/etc. date:

      1. This person seems dangerous/unsafe/[insert synonym here].

      2. There is an absolute, non-negotiable deal-breaker.

      3. Too many red flags.

       

      Deal-breakers:

      Anything that will eventually break the two of you up.

      Examples:

      She wants lots of kids, and I want none.

      One of us doesn’t trust the other.

       

      Red Flag:

      Anything that normally signals a fatal flaw or major problem for a relationship. Further investigation is required.

      Examples:

      She has a horrible work/life balance … but maybe this is just a really bad month at work.

      She lives with her parents. Why?

       

      Yellow Flag:

      Possible areas of concern or contention. These frequently get examined after becoming boyfriend/girlfriend, not during the first few dates.

      Examples:

      Can we manage a 16 year age difference?

      He doesn’t have a degree.

      We have very different political or religious views.

      She’s a vegan.

      1. 489.1.1
        Adrian

        Hi Karl R,

        You said, “On the other hand, my wife kept showing signs that she was keeping her options open. As someone who is aware of these signs

        1). Could you tell me what are the signs that a women is keeping her options open?

        2). If a woman is showing these signs how do you know if it is worth it to continue to court her instead of letting her go?

        3). How were you sure that you were not the guy she just settled for but the guy that she truly desired?

        I guess I am trying to discern the difference between being with a woman who doesn’t really want me verse the woman who is actually attracted to me but for whatever reason she is not is not ready to commit to me yet.

        Because you saw the signs with your wife but stuck with it, whereas if I thought I woman was not really into me I would let her go so we both could find someone that wants us.

        But it paid off in the end for you. I guess after spending so much time with someone and they were showing signs of keeping their options open I would be too worried that even though now we are in a relationship; I am just the guy she settled for because she couldn’t find anyone better at the time.

         

         

        1. Marika

          Adrian,

          I know a fellow over-thinker when I see one!

          The flavour I’m noticing with Karl R, Evan and other people I know socially who are in happy marriages is that they didn’t overthink things. It clearly goes against our nature, but I think this is the main message to take from this.

          Most people I know in great marriages weren’t that fussed either way about the person when they first met them, but things developed at an easy pace with no pressure or anxiety. I, on the other hand, have been drawn to those high drama, high emotions, movie-like, will they or won’t they type scenarios. Never works.

          You’re a young, good looking nice guy with balls who nursed your sick previous partner. You are a good catch. You’ll only be less of a good catch if you start showing up on dates all nervous and worried about what they’ll think and if you’re good enough. I dated a guy like that for a while – it was exhausting! I eventually said to him, “I feel like you’re giving me reasons to not date you”. I’ve been that person too, and it puts too much pressure on the other person.

          I wouldn’t worry about older women having more experience than you. If they were married in their 20s and divorced in their 30s and re entering the dating scene, they won’t have much more experience than you. Also, only a very shallow woman (who wouldn’t be a good match for you) would care that much about how many partners you’d had. I think you’ll have more in common with women in their 30s than 20s as you have been through a lot more than most 30 year olds and seem very deep.

          I think the people who are most attractive & do the best in dating don’t put too much thought or emotional energy into worrying what other people think. Karl R seemed to be able to get to the point where he could observe his wife not being fully invested at the beginning of the relationship calmly and knowing that if she wasn’t, it wasn’t about him & he had other options. While I personally would struggle with that, I think that general idea is a good one to keep in mind: try not to get too emotionally invested in any one person until it’s clear that they are committed.

        2. Karl R

          Adrian asked:

          “How were you sure that you were not the guy she just settled for but the guy that she truly desired?”

          First, I agree with Marika, that you’re really over-thinking things.

           

          Second, you’re not using the word “settle” in the same way that Evan or I do. If she stayed in a semi-relationship with a man who just wasn’t into her, just because she’d been carrying a torch for him for years, then she would be settling.

          If she stops chasing the barely available guy and gets into a relationship with someone who she may be slightly less interested in (initially), but whom acts like a boyfriend, then she has “compromised” her way into a far better relationship.

           

          Third, I’m dating someone who is intelligent and rational. She wasn’t going to get engaged or marry me just because she couldn’t find anyone better in 2009. If you date someone who is desperate to get married, there may be slightly greater cause for concern in that regard.

          If she was waiting for something better, either she would have broken things off, or she would have let the relationship plateau at a much less serious level (which would have eventually told me that I would need to break things off).

           

          Adrian asked:

          “Could you tell me what are the signs that a women is keeping her options open?”

          There are too many signs to easily catalog. But if she consistently introduces you to her friends/coworkers as her “friend”, rather than her “boyfriend”, that’s one very clear sign that you’re not her boyfriend (yet).

           

          Adrian asked:

          “If a woman is showing these signs how do you know if it is worth it to continue to court her instead of letting her go?”

          That depends. How long are you willing to postpone your search for a serious relationship? Also … how good is the sex?

           

          Seriously, if I had been in more of a hurry, I would have broken things off and asked another woman out. But my wife changed her mind while I was sticking around for the sex.

           

          Marika said:

          “Karl R seemed to be able to get to the point where he could observe his wife not being fully invested at the beginning of the relationship calmly and knowing that if she wasn’t, it wasn’t about him & he had other options.”

          You nailed it.

           

          There are a few other key points:

          1. When you over-think, you move away from what you have observed, into the area of speculation. Most over-thinkers take that speculation, then use it as a leaping-off point for their next speculation, then continue the process until their speculation is well separated from reality.

          A more productive use of over-thinking is to take the observation, brainstorm up all the possible speculations that tie to that observation (whether positive, negative, or utterly meaningless), then realize that you don’t have enough information to act on.

          2. In a relationship, the safest way to gain information is to wait and observe.

          3. If are going to gain information by asking questions, make the questions seem neutral, rather than suspicious or accusatory.

          4. If you under-react to possible negative signs, you’ll seem far more confident than if you over-react.

           

          Marika said:

          “I think the people who are most attractive & do the best in dating don’t put too much thought or emotional energy into worrying what other people think.”

          “Attractive” is the wrong word. Substitute “confident”.

          I also try to avoid putting thought or emotional energy into worrying about the things I don’t know yet.

      2. 489.1.2
        S.

        Thanks, Karl for your responses here.  I certainly appreciate your thoughtfulness and candor here.

        You’ve given me thought to think about men fifteen years older than me, but the main thing that gave me pause was the fact that I might outlive them.  There are  no guarantees in life at all. I could outlive someone the same age as me. I know this but when I see such great loves out there and hear you talk about your wife, I wonder if you ever gave that thought.

        I know one should live in the present, I know that.  I still wonder, though.

        1. Karl R

          S. asked:

          “You’ve given me thought to think about men fifteen years older than me, but the main thing that gave me pause was the fact that I might outlive them. […] I wonder if you ever gave that thought.”

          Absolutely.

          As best as I can tell, there’s about a 7/8 chance that I’ll outlive my wife. There’s no way to judge by how much. The range is so broad as to be meaningless, but the average would be around 12 years.

          In addition, my wife’s getting close to the age her mother was when she died.

           

          But no matter what, when my marriage ends, I’ll either be a widower, a divorcee, or a corpse. Which one of those should I be rooting for? I can potentially change the odds of which one occurs based on whom I marry, but there’s a 100% chance that one of them will happen.

          Given my choices, there’s a high likelihood I’ll need my dating skills again when I’m in my seventies. It’s part of the trade-off that comes with marrying my wife.

      3. 489.1.3
        S.

        Thanks Karl, for your response.  It’s a good reminder.  Some people are worth whatever time you get to spend with them. I hope you and your wife have a long, long while together. 🙂

        1. Karl R

          S.

          Thanks for the well-wishes. I hope so too.

  10. 490
    kylie

     
    KARL–You were 40 and she was 56, that’s more on the same level than a couple who is 20 and 40, also, these guys she is talking about are purposely preying on younger girls–who don’t even want them–and ignoring the ones their own age.  You aren’t doing that.

    I was in med school, a doctor told me about the maturity of frontal lobes. I would like to see where she got her information. Your parents were 22 and 23, they were in the same stage in life, as would be a 16 and 17 year old. A 45 year old man isn’t in the same life stage as a 22 year old girl —because she is just that—a girl, not yet a woman.

    Even if the 22-year-old girl is a rocket scientist, she is not mature enough to be with someone that much older. My cousin is that age and pretty much a rocket scientist. She carries herself like she is much older, more on the quiet side, looking to settle down, etc. on the surface she looks mature, but when you get to know her, you will see she is not experienced in life and I’m on a much higher maturity and experience level than she is, even though she is the quiet/responsible/braniac of the family. What the hell would she have in common with a middle-aged man, let alone a 30 year old? LOL! I could never picture her with a 45-year-old man, that would be absurd, plus she looks like a child—if a guy that old has the hots for her, then what’s to stop him from dating a teenage girl besides the law? They look exactly alike. My body matured when I was 14, very young—and I got middle-aged men talking to me. It disgusted me.

    You keep deflecting from the argument, using your experiences being 40 and falling for a 56 year-old woman. That is MUCH different from the ages 20/40s. a 40 year old is experienced, not a child anymore. Someone in their early 20s in still a child.

    Marc’s article is a generalization. Just because your 25 year old friend has a 50 year old boyfriend, that doesn’t make it common. My bf and I are only 10 years apart, not 20. I wouldn’t be attracted to someone 20 years younger, they look like children still and they lack life experience…I would like to see where your 25 year old friend and her 50 year old bf are 10 years from now—chances are, she will be over it

    1. 490.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      For fuck’s sake, “Kylie”: my name is EVAN. Says it at the top of the page and on every page of this website. Thanks for getting it right.

    2. 490.2
      Marika

      Kylie,

      You don’t like the idea of a 20-something with a 40-something. I get that. (I think by now everyone gets that). You didn’t like it when 40 year olds hit on you when you were 20 and you wouldn’t like it if it happened in your family. I get that too. A 20 year old with a 40 year old is rare. Granted. Where your argument falls down is saying that it’s morally & biologically wrong. That if you don’t like it, it’s definitely wrong and no one should do it. Can you see how that may bother some people?

      You’re also sort of implying that all 20 somethings with 40 somethings are somehow being forced into that relationship. That’s a bit presumptuous.

      I’m going to assume you’re not currently working in neuroscience, brain research or brain surgery. I’m also going to assume you did med school around 10 years ago. If you’re currently in medicine, you’d be aware that many theories, treatments etc. have changed in 10 years. If you were a doctor relying on your 10 year old training and doing no ongoing professional development, you’d be fired/sued/struck off.

      In brain research, things are changing much more rapidly, as the brain is so complex, it’s so difficult to accurately do research on it (you can’t crack open skulls of healthy people to look around and obviously brains of dead people and MRIs only provide so much to go by), brain research is relatively speaking in its early stages compared to other organs which are easier to study, there’s a LOT of individual difference in brain development etc. etc. If your lecturer 10 years ago said something, it may no longer be 100% current. I would imagine someone with a medical qualification could probably grasp that concept.

      I would also imagine they could cope with people disagreeing with them and perhaps word things less strongly and be less confrontational <angry> when they are really only stating an opinion.

    3. 490.3
      Karl R

      Kylie said:

      “Even if the 22-year-old girl is a rocket scientist, she is not mature enough to be with someone that much older. My cousin is that age and pretty much a rocket scientist. She carries herself like she is much older, more on the quiet side, looking to settle down, etc. on the surface she looks mature, but when you get to know her, you will see she is not experienced in life and I’m on a much higher maturity and experience level than she is, even though she is the quiet/responsible/braniac of the family.”

      Why don’t you show your 22-year-old rocket scientist cousin all of your posts, and all of my responses.

      In your posts, she’s immature, “still a child”“a girl, not yet a woman” who cannot reasonably decide to date someone much older. And she should be protected from making such a decision.

      In my posts, she’s an adult who, in all likelihood, will not choose to date someone that much older. But if she does, however, decide to, it means that she probably has a good reason to make that choice. And even if it turns out to be a poor choice, she’s an adult who can navigate her way out of a bad decision or two.

       

      Run your opinions and my opinions by your cousin. Let’s see which she prefers.

      (Just an educated guess, but I’d put money that she won’t appreciate your patronizing attitude.)

      At 22, I didn’t even want my mother trying to mother me. I certainly didn’t appreciate it if random acquaintances or strangers did the same thing. I’m fairly certain that 22-year-olds haven’t changed that much in the last couple decades.

       

      I have some friends down at NASA. Which department is your cousin in?

      (One of my buddies is a quiet, responsible, middle-aged braniac in the Telemetry department. Don’t worry. I’m sure he has absolutely nothing in common with your cousin.)

       

      Kylie said:

      “I would like to see where your 25 year old friend and her 50 year old bf are 10 years from now—chances are, she will be over it”

      That’s quite possible. I’m over the relationship I was in 10 years ago. I’m also over the relationships I was in when I was 22.

      But more than that, I’m glad that I had those relationships, even the ones which were complete and total mistakes, because they were learning experiences. They were part of what made me who I am today.

      And that wouldn’t have happened if people like you had continuously tried to coddle me throughout my early adulthood.

       

      Kylie said:

      “these guys she is talking about are purposely preying on younger girls–who don’t even want them–and ignoring the ones their own age.”

      Which “she” are you talking about? Penelope? The original letter writer?

      Penelope said: (original letter)

      “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?”

       

      Kylie,

      Where did Penelope claim (or imply, or even insinuate) that these men were “preying” on younger women. Where did she claim that they were “ignoring” women their own age?

      Where did she even describe these women as “girls”?

      (I posted her entire letter. It’s really short. It’s also really obvious that you’re trying to put words in her mouth that she never said.)

       

      It appears that all of the patronizing, demeaning, insulting and inflammatory language came out of your mouth. But now you’re trying to blame it on Penelope.

      Nice try.

       

      Kylie asked:

      “if a guy that old has the hots for her, then what’s to stop him from dating a teenage girl besides the law?”

      Aside from the law, what other reason does he need?

      I was driving out in the country this past weekend. I was driving 75mph instead of 118mph, because the law says the speed limit is 75. I don’t have a strong moral objection to driving faster. In several places it would have been safe to put the pedal to the floor and let her rip. I just don’t feel like paying tickets.

      I also paid my property tax last month, because it’s the law. I really don’t feel morally compelled to write large checks to the county tax assessor. It’s just preferable to getting thrown in jail.

      People obey the law, because it’s the law.

       

      The law protects teenagers. Adults (like your cousin) get to make their own decisions. Because the law says they can.

  11. 491
    Chad_E

    I am not sure how old this string is, but I want to post anyways.  My wife is turning 27 this year, and I will turn 42.  This is not how life was supposed to turn out.  My first wife, who is 1.5 months younger than me, left me for an older man after 8 years of marriage.  I have 3 children with her, 22, 19, and 17.  They all like my current wife by the way.

    My second wife was about 5 years younger than me.  We had a little girl about 6 years ago.  When our daughter was 6 months old, my wife was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer.  She died a little more than a year later.  I tell this story as an example that life happens.  People are talking about becoming a nurse to an older spouse.  News flash, but age is not always the culprit.  Just because there is an age difference, that does not always mean physical decline.  Is it possible?  Sure it is, but it is not guaranteed.  Some people are totally functional until the day that they die.  Did I think that I would be playing nurse to my 32 year dying wife and taking care of an infant?  Nope.

    I tried to date 2 women my age before I met my current wife.  They did not work out.  Out of the blue, my wife chased me down.  I cannot begin to fathom her reasons, but she was very persistent.  As Evan said, “Beats the shit out of me.”  We married after 2 years of dating, and she is the only mother that my daughter has known.  She has recently had a hysterectomy due to some medical issues, so she will never have a biological child of her own.   We are a good complement to each other.  In her words, I keep her grounded.  She does her part to help me see and explore and live.  We dont take many pictures on vacation, primarily because she likes to enjoy the moment.  Live in the now.

    My point in all of this, finally, is that if 2 people love each other and accept the flaws/faults in the other, then you can’t let fear of what may happen later in life stop you from enjoying what you have and who you are with now.  I would not have gotten married the second time because my first ended badly.  Nor would I have gotten married a third time, because I might lose another wife to breast cancer.  Instead I have found a partner who wants to experience life with me today.  Not that we dont discus or plan for aging, but that is not the focus of our life.  We travel and laugh and go out and have sex and raise our daughter.  In short, we try to embrace the life we have, not fear the life that might be coming.  We have issues, but communications are the key to overcome them.  Being a child of divorce and having been divorced myself, I am a firm believer that marriages only fail if both parties are not fully invested.  People can grow together, or they can grow apart.  I believe that we all have the ability to influence that outcome.

    If age is your main focus on how to find a partner, I think that you may not be allowing yourself the opportunity to find someone amazing.  I am not talking about looking for a particular age, but I am saying to be open.  Living exclusively for the maybes or could-bes seems to result in a lot of wasted time and effort.

    1. 491.1
      Karl R

      Chad_E said:

      “Out of the blue, my wife chased me down.  I cannot begin to fathom her reasons, but she was very persistent.”

      That’s a good example that illustrates the disconnect in the string above. Many people (particularly women) haven’t experienced the situation where the much younger woman is the more active pursuer.

       

      Chad_E said:

      “If age is your main focus on how to find a partner, I think that you may not be allowing yourself the opportunity to find someone amazing.  I am not talking about looking for a particular age, but I am saying to be open.”

      Well said.

       

      Chad_E said:

      “I am not sure how old this string is”

      The most recent posts are less than one week old. The oldest ones, eight years or more.

    2. 491.2
      Marika

      Just wanted to say thank you, Chad_E. Balanced, thoughtful, positive comments about real life experiences like yours help us all and warm my heart. Appreciate your contribution and wish all the very best to you and your wonderful family 🙂

  12. 492
    Michael nitsch

    hi i just want to say i am 66 a Nam vet and i do date and in love with a 22  year old woman and she loves me. in fact i am going to be proposing to her soon even though i am a millionaire i know it is true love between us.

  13. 493
    Steve mazza

    I am both understanding in one way and in the other, a little upset. Both myself and my EX are good people with good hearts. Still even cuddle very shortly.  Just should have got to know each other before moving in together 8 years ago. She loves baseball and has always loved this artist guy. Friend always for her. Hands down. She is Stand Up. She always wanted more but wasent honest with herself. So I let her go to games the bar and so on for baseball. Had her checked out still stand up.

    Ok  at almost 50 got to a point of hey we love each other but dont like each others company much.

    Thats after I completely remodeled her house. Got her 6 k on the back side. Always been a good christian guy. Love her still.

    Happy No.

    Here is where you all wont like me but to bad. I am and always will be 420 friendly. By the way no prob with the ex.

    I met a 25 year old degree holder who with no manipulation on my part have just sorta fell for each other over 6 months.  I am almost 50 a good nice man. and finally smiling. I have many friends that married or are with someone many years younger.

    For me

    Never planned it but its happening and its ok.

    Nice to be loved via emoji dinners time together or whatever.

    Life is short Live Laugh Love. If your friends are not saying dang u look happy. somethings wrong.

    People are different dont hate or judge.

    On another note of course. She will go any place with me any time. we love wine and like things.

    You who may judge. I hope you have what I do after being heartbroken. I am worth it and deserve it.

  14. 494
    Kay

    I am 21 y.o I really like dating man in there 30-35 year old. They are mature and wiser . They perfectly understand me . Sex is great . Everything, way better. Some of them are ready for something serious, I think that’s great.

  15. 495
    Greg

    I’m 60. My girlfriend’s 42. We live together and have a GREAT time together. Wouldn’t change it for the World. We’re planning on being together till it doesn’t work for us anymore. It’ll be awhile. Time is luck. Time together is miraculous. We just surf the wave and don’t let an age difference get in the way.

  16. 496
    Christina

    If you looking for a partner with certain qualities  then age is of course  a consideration.  Men of tge same age are all still very different people.

    I’m involved with a much older man who  does not compare to any other man.  I love everything about him not because or despite his age. But because of who he is.

  17. 497
    Scott

    Personally I’ve noticed that the only countries that show issues with gender gap dating are those in Australia and America; the juvenile countries of the world. Europe has no such bigotry. I am an Australian male and I’m married at 45yrs of age to a 32 yr old darling and we have 2 great and wonderful children together. We are both well travelled and this is our observation.

    1. 497.1
      Richard Wilder

      I agree!

  18. 498
    John c

    Been with a woman 15 years younger than I.  I am 63, she is 48.  I was 40 and was 25 when we first started dating.  Finally got married.  What a trip.  She was overweight when we first got together, not that I have any issues with that.  Look I loved her.  We connected in a great way…her a widow, me a widower. It worked for awhile.   Till this day I love and care for her…but she lost a lot of weight and now…well she thinks she is God’s gift to men.  I am not mister all american…never said or claimed I was.  She seems to believe that she is now in a position to get what she wants whenever she wants and from whomever she wants.

  19. 499
    Jones

    I am a 46 year old female and my Friend is 60 we met in the gym.  We enjoy the same things and the sex is amazing.  I don’t have daddy issues or princess issues.  I was attracted to his physical appearance, and wanted workout tips from him.  The more I talked to him the more I realize we had many things in come.  He asked me out and we have been dating for about a year.

  20. 500
    WILL

    It amuses me that the new French President’s wife is 23 years older than him. Comments I’ve heard from girls 25 to 30 years old, range from ‘brilliant’ to isn’t that ‘amazing’, she must be ‘incredible’.

    Something of a contradiction to some of the comments I’ve read here! It takes the French to prove that love is above all!

    1. 500.1
      Emily, the original

      Will,

      Comments I’ve heard from girls 25 to 30 years old, range from ‘brilliant’ to isn’t that ‘amazing’, she must be ‘incredible’.

      Comments I’ve heard from other women are “predator” and “grooming” since she met him when she was in her 40s and he was about 15. There are no contradictions.

    2. 500.2
      Henriette

      “….the French… prove that love is above all!”   Mais, quoi alors?  It amuses me that you so thoroughly mis-understand the French.

      Most of my gallic friends (both male and female, including those who voted for En Marche!) find Brigitte Macron creepy and unattractive.  A few are close to believing that persistant rumour that she’s Emmanuel’s beard.

  21. 501
    Beck

    I am a 24 year old female, and I have met the most amazing 53 year old man. We worked together at a lumber company, and things have just grown. it started as casual work talk, then we would text if and when work was, what time to be there etc, then more as friends. He liked to talk a lot, and asked a lot of questions about myself and my family. He wanted to hear about my day (SHOCK)!!! I find him extremely handsome, and we can talk about anything. I enjoy his presence, and I hate when he is not around. He helps me with anything, and I help him. We are a team. The sex is AMAZING, the best I’ve ever had. He is a lover, and always puts me first. For those who say a younger woman cannot truly love an older man, are beyond wrong. I’ve never felt a love like this, with any other man I’ve ever been with. it is all about being able to connect. If you connect with someone on such a deep level as this, age suddenly doesn’t matter.

    1. 501.1
      Richard Wilder

      Congrats!!

  22. 502
    The Professor

    Ok. I’ve got some very entertaining personal dating anecdotes for you.  As I write this I have recently turned 60. I’m a college professor with one child that is 27, and I’ve been divorced for nearly 25 years now, never remarried.  I am very athletic and generally considered a pretty good looking guy, say like a cross between Eric Roberts and Paul Walker. In the 25 years since I’ve been divorced I’ve been around the block, so to speak, several times.  Generally speaking in that time span I’ve dated women that were reasonably close to my age but there have been exceptions.  First let me say no, I have not ever dated any of my students.  There have been many, many very beautiful college girls ranging from 20 to 40-something that have hit on me or just plain physically grabbed and kissed me (not complaining, just saying).  I can understand the attraction that a coed may feel towards even a not so attractive college professor but there have also been other similar situations that I have found myself in, totally unrelated to the college.

    I am in no way a “player” or serial dater. In fact I have gone for multi-year intervals without even going on a date.  And I’ve been perfectly content doing my own thing, raising my son, etc during those time spans. I really hate the bar/club scene so I almost never go to those sort of places. But on the rare occasions when I do, Its not unusual for me to get a lot of attention from women that are much younger than myself . I also like to go out to eat at nice restaurants, normally with my friends, and I have been hit on and flirted with by much younger women many times in this setting as well. I’m talking women that are perhaps 20 or more years younger than me.  Granted this doesn’t happen all of the time but it happens enough of the time that it’s very noticeable by my friends (male and female) as well as myself.  All I can gather from this is that there is a substantial number of women that are attracted to older men.  I make a decent living but I’m not rich, nor do I do not dress up to any extent either. In fact, I prefer to wear shorts and a T-shirt if at all possible.

    I have also used a number of different online dating applications, with varying degrees of success. In one case, When I was 52 I was scanning through the profiles and I noticed a very beautiful woman from nearby that was 25. Hey, she was really beautiful so I figured what the heck I would just send her a complement.  To my surprise a day or so later she replied and was interested in meeting me. Long story short, we met and hit it off spectacularly. She was smart, beautiful, athletic, had a good job and really liked me.  Of course with a 27 year age difference it was bound to not last forever (off and on for two years wasn’t too bad), but we are still friends today.

    Most recently I was dating a woman that was 52 years old and I have to say she was perfect.  I bring her up mainly to emphasize that there are amazing, beautiful women of all ages out there. Honestly, she was as beautiful and perfect as any 30 year old. A finely tuned athlete, divorced with no kids, good job…  and I really fell deeply in love with her. But for reasons beyond my control she slipped away from me.  I am still trying to get over her and maybe I never will.  But I digress.

    At this point I considered shutting myself off from women and relationships for the for seeable future once again.  Who needs the pain and aggravation, right? But then I also thought to myself  “Hey, idiot. You’re 60 years old. What are you going to do, wait until you’re 70 to go out again?”  So I decided to take the plunge back into the frustrating and depressing nether-world of online dating sites. I got a lot of winks and likes, and even sent out a few myself, but the one that I found most intriguing was from a woman that was 39 years old.  She’s an officer on active duty in the military, deployed somewhere I won’t elaborate on, never married, no kids, she’s very beautiful, and in general is quite intriguing. She’s well aware that I am 21 years older than her and I’ve sent her multiple pictures of myself taken within the last week or two, not all of them flattering either. In spite of this, she likes me and wants to meet when her deployment is over to see where things go. Hey, I’m going for it. Maybe we will have amazing chemistry and it will be awesome. Maybe we’ll just end up friends. Maybe I’ll end up with another broken heart.  Who knows?  But in any case it’s going to be another adventure. And I really love adventures!!!

    So, what’s the take away from all of this?  In many respects I do think that age can be just a number.  It all depends on context.  It is very possible to maintain a high level of physical attractiveness and fitness even beyond 70 years of age. Some of it is lifestyle related and some is genetics.  I have to say that if you spent a large part of your life drinking and smoking and getting fat and out of shape, the chances of you being attracive to younger women, once you are into your 40s is quite low.

    It is also been my experience that women of all ages are attracted to intelligence.  And sometimes intelligence is even more attractive than physical appearance.  If you happen to have both then consider yourself fortunate.

    And of course having money is a good thing as well. But I’ve never been interested in women that seem to be all about money anyway so I can’t really comment on that.

  23. 503
    SJ

    Here is a message for the young ladies (although I doubt any of them will listen).  If you marry a man who is alot older, they will almost certainly die LONG before you do.  You may think that is ok, if he dies at 80, I will be 60 and won’t need anyone. (Speaking as someone who is almost 60 I can assure you that is not the case).  And after your husband dies, you will be dumped into the worst dating odds of your life. Just read the comments from the men on this site.  They are disgusted when woman naturally age. They will not want you anymore.   So young ladies, I would advise when you are young and do have choices, to pick someone who is your age.   Marry well and stay married.  Grow old together. Not one grow old and leave the other one behind.  And for the ladies my age…hang in there.  We don’t have great odds.  But I agree with Evan, where he says pick someone who values you.  I was fortunate to find someone my age and am happy.  But I dated for quite awhile.  So I know what it is like, online dating being a woman in your fifties.  I want to see things get better for my sisters out there.  And am rooting for them.

    1. 503.1
      Ricardo

      Really? That sounds like bullshit. Meeting someone who one connects with is more important than who’s gonna die before. Anyone can die any day of ransoms events.

  24. 504
    Dawn

    I am 51 and was in a relationship with a 62 year old man who I met on Match.  Our relationship ended and then he moved on with a 30 year old woman with 4 young kids.  He always told me that he likes to “rescue women.”  So he got to rescue an entire family.  She moved in with him after 2 months and then their relationship ended.  As it turned out, she was using him for a place to live while she got divorced.  He took her on vacations and all that stuff.  Then she left him for a more appropriate aged man.  She basically used him and discarded him when she didn’t need him anymore.  My point is…the only reason a 30 year old woman would crawl in bed with an old man is because of what he can offer her.  And this man got exactly what he deserved. Normally I wish my exes well after we break up, but this man was a liar and has no respect for women, he’s just a dirty old man trying to validate his rapidly aging ego.  Looks like Karma took care of it too!

    1. 504.1
      DeeGee

      Dawn, I am sorry to hear that you went through such an ordeal.  Unfortunately it seems to happen reasonably often.  I also know of the same situation with the sexes reversed, older women who date men that are significantly younger, typically because they want the hard bodied young stud, or are fearful of hitting the wall.  People use other people all of the time.

      1. 504.1.1
        Dawn

        Hi DeeGee, thanks for your response  — it’s good to know I’m not alone.  I guess you are right about people using each other and it’s really sad but true.  The older man I was in a relationship with told me that he wanted a life with me and he was planning a future for us.  I was very happy and thought I found the person I had waited for.  Then it appeared that he was still perusing the Match.com website after he made a commitment to me.  I questioned him about it and it basically ended the relationship.  He got angry and hostile and deflected it back on me like I was the bad guy.  He didn’t even care that I needed reassurance.  He just shut me out for days.  Of course, the relationship ended with no closure or decency on his part.  A few weeks later he met this MUCH younger 30 year old (he is 62) and she quickly moved into his house with her 4 kids.  LIke I said in my earlier post, their relationship ended and she did use him — she got a free place to live while her divorce was finalized and she got some nice vacations.  He took her to all the places he WAS going to take me.  Ironically I didn’t care about his money or where he could take me for vacation, I truly cared about him and I really got hurt.   The fact that he moved on so quickly makes it worse.

        I guess that’s why I feel vindicated that she used him and discarded him too.  A man like that needs to get a dose of his own BS!   Hopefully it doesn’t make me a bad person but I’m truly glad that he got what he deserved.  His lies and deception to me were shameful.

  25. 505
    Richard Wilder

    You are wrong. I am 47 and have been dating girls 18-25 for the last 6 years. Many young girls want someone older and will marry them. I was engaged twice but that previous emotional damage rears its ugly head and they wont get help. Its an epidemic in todays world. Young girls dont have much from their pool of dating that are interested in a monogamous relationship.

  26. 506
    Denise Halvorson

    I am 64.  He is 74.  Am I the younger woman?  We are both widowed.  No children.  No fantastic money, either.  He was married 40 years.  I was married 25.

    Yes.  My first husband was 25 years older than I.  Would not have traded the experience for anything.

  27. 507
    Old fashioned mom

    My ex is 63 and now dating a 25yr old. Mind you our daughters are 22 and 19. I’m totally repulsed.

  28. 508
    Ricardo

    What a rubbish articule. Written only from a financial/daddy’s issues perspective.

    There are older men with more zest for life than many youngsters.

  29. 509
    Billy

    A 40-50 year old is gen x.

    A 25-35 year old is a millennial.

    When it comes to us men, there are major differences between the two generations.

    The millennial is basically a grown up child. Millennials like to smoke weed and play video games. Most have never read a book and some still live in the parents basement. They grew up on participation trophies and safe spaces so they have to get their own way all the time.

    You really can’t blame any 25 year old woman who would prefer to be with a man in his mid-forties.

  30. 510
    Jaylin

    I’m a 35 year old woman dating a 72 year old man. Huge age difference I know but we started out as friends with lots of great conversation and one day ended up in a relarionship. Sex is great, life is great and I am completely in love. We have the same interest, hobbies etc which helps alot…of course tgose tgings help no matter the age gap.

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