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


Okay, Evan, I agree mostly with your opinion on younger men/older women. What do you say about the reverse? I mean, I can see why an older man would want to date a younger woman – physically that is, but why would a 28-year-old woman want to date a man 45 or more?


Dear Penelope,

Beats the shit out of me.

I can totally understand why older men go for younger women. There’s no denying that they’re, for the most part, in better shape, with better skin, and less baggage from broken relationships. Time creates wisdom – but it also creates responsibilities and complications — mortgage, kids, career, etc. All of this makes dating more and more complex as we get older. It’s a lot easier for a man to take out a carefree, responsibility free, baggage free, wrinkle free 28-year-old, which is why so many men try to go in that direction. I’m not condoning this. I’m OBSERVING that it happens.

Still, most of them fail miserably, for the exact same reasons that I think Penelope is suggesting. Men want much younger women, but rarely do much younger women want older men. Put another way, if a woman has an array of other quality options closer to her age range, what incentives would she have to date a man who is SEVENTEEN YEARS OLDER?

She doesn’t NEED a guy who’s 45. She can find that same amazing guy at age 30. Or 35. Or 40.

Not many, I’m thinking.

Before any 40+ people get all hot and bothered about this — I am not judging. There is nothing wrong with aging. I do think people improve with age (my wife is nodding). But let’s not pretend that we, as a culture, don’t worship at the altar of youth. If you’re over the age of 40 and have ever said, “But I’m told I look five years younger than my age”, then you’re not immune to it yourself. But see, for men who covet younger women, it’s not whether you look good for your age — it’s what age you really are.

Because it’s competitive out there for all of us. People have choices. And nobody has more choices than a 28-year-old woman. If she wants to date a guy who is 6’2”, makes $400,000+, likes skiing, is within ten miles of her house and five years of her age, you know what? She could probably find him. All she has to do is go on Match.com, and wade through a few thousand applicants. The point is, she doesn’t NEED a guy who’s 45. She can find that same amazing guy at age 30. Or 35. Or 40. She doesn’t need a guy who will be taking Viagra when she’s sexually peaking at 43.

Don’t get me wrong, there are advantages in a 45-year-old guy. He’s probably a man. He’s got the job and the home and the car, and been divorced with a kid already. So if a woman finds it more appealing to just step into that world — to jump from the prolonged adolescence of the late 20’s into full-fledged settled-down womanhood — that could make sense.

Most of them are completely creeped out at the prospect of dating a guy who was alive when JFK was alive.

There are many other things that are attractive about older men. They embody wisdom and stability. They can afford nicer restaurants and vacations and have cultivated greater tastes in the arts. They’re more experienced, more chivalrous, and more likely to want to settle down than a twentysomething party boy.

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

This is the most compelling reason behind why younger women might go for older men: they’re daddy substitutes. An older man’s going to be the strong, nurturing guy who takes care of her, teaches her, and treats her like a princess — the kind of relationship that she probably lacked growing up.

Hey, I’m no psychologist — just your friendly, neighborhood dating coach. But I do know women, and lots of women in their 20’s. And the truth is that most of them are completely creeped out at the prospect of dating a guy who was alive when JFK was alive. These women were born in the EIGHTIES. They grew up with computers. They’re contemporaries with Britney Spears. Whether we like it or not, there is nearly a full generation gap between 28 and 45. A few women may bridge this gap for lust or money or dimestore psychological reasons, but most of the 28-year-old women I know would prefer to date a great, stable 30-40 year-old – who also knows what Snapchat  is.

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

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

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  1. 561

    To all the people I have been with my wife for 15 years we have been married 13 years I was divorced for a few years when I met her she is 36 and I am 53 we have a girl 10 we have a great life my wife is very smart and beautiful she works out constantly guys leave notes on her car saying she is a 10 and ph but she shows me I am not very rich but happy and satisfied I think it is the person they can be ugly or pretty and still be a bad person honesty in both is what makes it work I think a girl is 10 years smarter than a guy therefore she needs someone on same level sad but most young men now only care about self don’t want to support there self besides a women and ps we have great sex live she is more jealous of me ,

  2. 562

    My wife is 47 years younger than I am. She was born in 1995. Laugh! We are and we do every day.

    I am retired. But not bad looking. Not a lot of money but lots of fun.

    It’s been 3 years knowing and 1 year married.

    She worked for me.

  3. 563
    Monte Craig

    Some food for thought:

    Long story short , my girl is 33 and after two failed relationships she started looking for someone older, more mature and faithful. BOOM! she found me on a dating sight, I don’t look my age, more energy than I know what to do with and married twice faithfull all 49 yrs and ready to start a new life including children. We emailed for 4 months were married right after meeting. She flys the world over, has her own company, I’m retired and we will be settling down next month in Australia and raise 2 to 3 children. Her interests   are me and mine are her.   Our love is fantastic and wide. By the way I’m 62…

  4. 564

    My wife is 15 years younger (She is a widow and I’m a widower).   What a mistake.   She was a bit overweight when we met.   We finally married after many years together.   She lost a lot of weight after we got married (health issues) and now she thinks she is God’s gift.   She flirts every chance she get and constantly threatens to find someone else.   We used to have a good life together but now…is becoming a nightmare.   Time for me to move on.

  5. 565

    Well written article.   I am what could be considered good friends (lunch dates, visits to each others offices, etc) with a 30 year old female who is recently divorced and I am 48, never married.   She was assaulted as a child by her father and what you said about daddy replacements makes a lot of sense.   I would love to date her but I will tread lightly and slowly.

  6. 566

    This is a very difficult question to answer for me.

    59.. distinguishedly attractive, young at heart .. fun & funny. Grounded.

    Four successful college grads children.

    Divorced in early 2000.

    Its been difficult to find that soark again w women my age.. I look, i converse, Im a gentleman.

    I ve been lonely.. when a young attractive woman late late 20’s opens a conversation.. i engsge..No pick up lines.. just “life lines”…

    I am not agressive by nature.. its so refreshing to talk to an interested younger woman..   so much valuable life wisdoms to spin into conversation.

    I dont make me feel “cool” or “look at me” .. it make me feel like a man.

    Respectfully treat her, dressed up dinners… no stress no drama no expectations no pressure..

    Ive had all the sex i need in life.. its about the person to person interaction & the banter of a woman

    I am forward.. no long term (we have no future.,   you have a full life ahead). no relationship.. love without jealousy..

    Time together to enjoy each others company.. if people gawk & stare.. thats we both recognize it’s gonna happen.. incorporate thst into the fun.. & have fun with it..

    My kids roll thier eyes now.. smile.. wisecrak.. but they no it fills an emotional void only a woman can fill.

  7. 567

    Just got an email from a 20 yr old, I am 61. She wants to meet and go out.Now if you were to see pics of   both of us, you would be surprised. She looks very mature, but not old, and well me, I am probably   in better shape than most of her male friends, and rugged, masculine looking.( handsome, maybe, I guess). I have done the husband thing 3 times, good provider,good dad, good to my women. I would   be crazy not to try and be with this gorgeous young lady. My drive and stamina, are right up there. Not gonna as worry.

  8. 568

    Some of these comments are laughable….. Im 27 and my partner is 56 I have been with him for 5 years and it has been the best years of my life longest relationship I have been in… ..   He is devoted to me and loyal he doesn’t get his head turned by a slimmer more friend appropriate lass… I have had relationships with boys my own age or round about and they dropped me at the drop of a hat because their ‘friends’ didn’t think I fitted their group. … I don’t want children and neither does my partner we both want the same things in life and enjoy spending time with each other we do things he enjoys and things I enjoy and we love each other dearly that’s all that matter

  9. 569
    Sassy Sailor

    I’m actually the happinest I’ve been with a man 23 years older than myself. He’s a marine veteran and I grew up in a VERY rural community. We’ve become accustomed to the awkward glares and stares from most people but in the end, we’re genuinely happy.

    He’s divorced from a single marriage and I’m separated from a precious engagement. All in all, we compliment each other. In ways I can’t contribute, he does and vice versa.

    I would mainly recommend steering clear from forums and angry peers, follow, in my case – God, but mainly your heart!

    We’ve beat all of the odds and many doors of opportunity have opened for us both as long as we continue to hold our bond and love each other.

    Stay happy and stay positive, beautiful people! â¤ï¸

  10. 570

    This definitely depends on the individuals involved. In my own case (34/F) I have always been attracted to older men. Only older men. Even in my teens I was lusting after 30/40+ year old teachers rather than any boys in my class. I’ve only dated men 7+ years older (the biggest gap being 23 years) as I had zero attraction for anyone my age. I still talk to my own father who has been there since my birth (no abandonment issues). My parents are not divorced. I’m not looking for a father figure. If anything, I like to take a very dominant role in the bedroom.

    I think for me the main reason is that older men tend to know who they are, know what they like, be willing to tell you upfront without the games, and are generally happy to experiment more (which for me is a big plus). Many of them are also not bothered about having lots of kids, which works for me as I come from a huge family and never cared about being a mother myself.

    However, the one thing that all the older men I date have in common is that they do not look their age. They all kept their hair (even if they dyed it), were in good shape physically, led active lives (gym, biking, swimming, whatever) and could therefore keep up with me. I would not date someone who was overweight, bald/ing, or very sedantry, regardless of age. Our lifestyles would clash too much.

    Some people argue that cultural references in age gap relationships are an obvious issue. However, I had a fairly conservative and religious childhood and was raised on music and films from decades before (since a lot of modern stuff was considered a bad influence). This changed in my early teens after my parents left that church/community, so I quickly caught up. I was also the eldest child among all of my siblings and cousins and for a while only had adults to talk to. So again, my cultural references were incredibly varied compared to most of my same age peers.

    Lastly, I moved away from home at a very early age and was self reliant in another country at 16. I reached a lot of milestones in my teens that most people don’t reach until their mid-late 20s if at all. Mentally, I was a decade ahead and still am. I am now watching my peers going through situations that I faced years ago.

    I have tried and failed to date men closer to my own biological age. We have very little in common, want different things, and it feels incredibly unbalanced. Aside from the lack of physical attraction, I don’t click with them psychologically; I imagine due to my odd upbringing.

    I should also add that age gap relationships are not uncommon in my family, our community, or the area where I live. Unless the man looks 30+ years older or the girl is still in her teens/mid 20s, then people don’t care.

  11. 571

    I just have to say I don’t agree with this since, I am 29 years old and I actually am dating a 45 year old man and I honestly have to say I’m not doing it for materialistic things, I actually enjoy being in his presence. We seem to make each other happy and to me age is nothing but a number. I honestly feel older men are much mature and attractive since they have there stuff together and for the most part seem to know what they want. He makes me feel happier then I have ever get in my life and truly happy I met him…

  12. 572

    I am 61 years old and engaged to a 35 year old woman who I love dearly.

    I asked her the question.

    Does our age gap bother you?

    Her reply was.

    Not at all I have never been happier in my entire life.


  13. 573

    I am 21 years older then my female partner and we get along absolutely great I may go to bed a little bit earlier but everything else is smooth

  14. 574

    The biggest problem here is people judge others. Its like a favorite past time. If your happy with your relationship don’t listen to anyone who is negative. Everyone always thinks there smarter because they criticize or they think others will think so because they do. Shut up and live your own life.I would rather have a good relationship with someone to old by critic’s or to young than have a bad one by someone in the perfect range. 5 good years are worth so much more than 30 not truly happy ones! Also being alone and single is much better than wishing you were alone and and single!

  15. 575

    Evan, may I ask how old ‘you’ are? You say “she doesn’t NEED a guy who’s 45. She can find that same amazing guy at age 30. Or 35. Or 40.” How is 45 so substainally older than 40?

    Everything you’ve stated here is just an opinion and everyone’s entitled to one. I’m 45, and prefer dating women my own age. I can’t click with anyone younger than 30 no matter how attractive they may be.

    I look about 30 and YES that ‘absolutely ‘ goes a LONG way. Why? From my experience, you jive with someone or you don’t. If you meet someone, do you think it’s going to become a deal breaker that you’re older than she after she’s fallen in love with you? Unlikely!





    1. 575.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I am now 46. When I wrote this, I was probably 36. And yes, when women in their early 30’s have options, they usually prefer to date men within 5 years of their age. You may be the exception, but that’s the rule.

  16. 576

    After reading about half of the responses, it became quite apparent who the young males are who don’t have enough intellect to spell 5th grade words correctly; or the courage to admit they aren’t motivated enough to move out of mom & dads house and get a decent job. They don’t know how to open doors for ladies, or walk on the side of traffic to keep their lady protected, they don’t pull out chairs, or buy flowers for no reason. They just don’t know how lucky they are to be able to date a young, beautiful, intelligent woman, I’ve even seen videos online showing they think it’s ok to hit a woman back. They’re bitter because the mature men who appreciate and respect a younger woman, are taking the quality women away.

    The woman who posted “it’s not natural” obviously pulled that out of a dark hole because from the beginning of time, the mature men who were fit and could better provide for a woman, ended up with the most beautiful and bright women, because it’s a win win relationship. I am quite fit and very active, most women near my age either can’t keep up with my adventures or don’t want to. Women my age are set in there ways and can be quite demanding, and controlling. Typically older women aren’t willing to change any of their ways to make a relationship work out. There are beautiful, fit, and active 50 some year old women, but they are rare, and usually conceited, because they are a rarity.

    I’m 55 and my wife is 37. We have had a long, happy, adventurous marriage and most of our time is spent with her beautiful, loving children. There aren’t many younger men who are willing to love and support a woman with three children. I looked at it as a true bonus because I love fatherhood and felt blessed to have the love of a young beautiful woman with three awesome kids. Yes, I’ll die sooner than my wife, but I will leave her a nice inheritance to live on in comfort and fun.

    We have a wonderful marriage that has been a true gift from God. We almost never argue. We surprise one another with gifts, or a kind gesture. She does do many kind things for me and I’m at the age that I just want to see all her dreams
    come true, so I do all I can to help her achieve them, and that makes me happy.

  17. 577
    No Name To Give

    Jack, this will come to you as a surprise, but your wife WILL get older. Everyone ages. It’s inevitable. I mean, good for you, that you’re happily married, but many of us are the same person at 50 that we were at 20. Life experience, physiological changes, and all kinds of things shape us. I’m a lot more easy going now than I was in my 20’s and 30’s because I have a better grasp of what’s really important in life. I wouldn’t *demand* anything from a man or try to *control* him. I’d would just walk away if I saw things not working out. And most women know we’re not going to forever remain the 20 year old nubile, supple sweet thing forever. Women don’t have the market cornered on that, BTW. You are most likely the exception and not the rule. Most people don’t age like a glossy magazine photo.

  18. 578
    No Name To Give

    *Aren’t the same person, I intended to say.

  19. 579

    Hi All,

    I am a 41 year old woman and in a relationship with a 57 year old man.  Our relationship its like a roller coaster but not bcuz of the age difference. We have amazing chemistry and I believe that even with him needing Cialis, the chemistry gets us going pretty good. I love being with an older man bcuz of the maturity and how much wiser they are being that life experiences has taken them there (I would hope).

  20. 580

    I’m 38 and my boyfriend is 55. We live together and have been together for a few years. I wish I never moved in. All relationships are hard but it’s really hard being with someone that’s 17 years older than you. He is old and set in his ways. There’s never a discussion, only stubbornness. I have to deal with ED all the time and it’s not fun. I’m kinda grossed out by him, too. Oh, and he physically abuses me, talks down to me, rapes me and etc. When I see older men check me out, I get grossed out.People should be attracted to people in their age range. I know I sound like a hypocrite and I know now that age does make a difference. It’s terrible!

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