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. 581

    Suzy 580 said “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!”

    Suzy – The problem isn’t the age difference, it the fact that he is an abuser. Although I am puzzled how someone with ED could rape you, but whatever.

    1. 581.1
      Yet Another Guy


      “Although I am puzzled how someone with ED could rape you, but whatever.”

      That one does not compute.

    2. 581.2

      Below is the department of justice definition of rape:

      “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

      As the definition above indicated, a penis doesn’t have to be inserted for it to be rape.

  2. 582

    Suzy, it is good that you are self aware enough to know this relationship is bad for you, and you should leave. Have the confidence to date a hottie who is your age or slightly older. I always thought that dating a much older man is weak- like setting your goal so low, that it is ‘of course’ achievable.

  3. 583

    I’m a 29 years old woman dating a 57 years old man we love each other to the moon and back, our sex life is amazing he is diabetic but that doesn’t affect the sex at all. He takes his medication on time he eat well I don’t complain. I’m happy

  4. 584

    The author, like many people, makes the logical fallacy of projection. The author feels a certain way about something and then projects that feeling onto others. That is an error.

    For any group of men or women there is a range of characteristics they as a group find attractive.

    There are certainly young women who do not like older men, but I have found there are a whole lot of younger women who do like them as much as younger men, and many that prefer older men. Up to a 15 year difference seems ok for most. But I personally know many happy couples of 20 and 30 year age differences.

    I have asked some of these women who prefer older men why they have that preference. I have heard everything from they are more financially capable to better knowing what they are doing in bed (this tends to come from women of college age). But it really comes down to evolution, in that men are wired to want women who can have many children and women are wired to want men who can provide and protect. Older men have more experience and usually a whole lot more money. That means they have more power, and power in a man is sexy.

    1. 584.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Thanks, “Betty.”

  5. 585

    Well I myself have just started dating a younger woman, I am 55 and she is 25. It hasn’t been long but things are going pretty good. Not really sure about all the negative comments in the article about “why would a women younger want an older man”, doesn’t matter what others think or want to put their psychological spin on it, has nothing to do with books and what you have learned, it is what is in each other’s hearts and I think if the couple can sit down and discuss and be honest with one another, it will work. I will let you know how things progress, but as of now, we both enjoy one another beyond belief! Thank you for allowing me to share!

  6. 586

    I am 25, currently interested in a 40 y.o. man with former relationships from guy 21-mid 30s. I am a single mom of 2 kids with a ton of mental issues. We have a lot in common, such as writing. No man my age or otherwise has ever taken an interest in my talents or took special notice. I love his confidence and could care less that he is 15 years older. He expresses himself without fear, doesnt complain about my flaws or make up, doesnt make fun of women. He doesnt judge me on my ability to rearrange my face shape with contouring products and makes me feel beautiful. Attraction is a mere spark that lights the flame. It’s all about respect and 0lay and bringing out.the best & worst on each other. If he is good for you, good to you, works hard and thinking of you; do you just walk away? If he is full of knowledge and discipline, able to teach you and help you grow; why not be eager to learn and broaden your horizons?

  7. 587
    Justine G

    I’m 38, my husband is 54 and is better shape than most men half his age. We have sex 4-6 times a week and it’s great! He works out and eats healthy which I think is his key to sexual vitality. He has a bit of grey hair but it looks sexy. We are deeply in love and have been for 12 years. We goof around like kids a lot, but sometimes we go out to the theater after a very nice candlelight dinner. We hike, ride his Harley, fish, camp, garden, etc. We have so much fun together and he treats me like I’m a royal princess. I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful man as my husband. I wouldn’t have it any other way, and I rarely have anyone ask about our age difference, but I always get compliments on how good it is to see a couple so deeply in love. All the advantages of being married to an older man are listed above so I won’t reiterate them, but to those with negative comments….you don’t know what you’re talking about!

    1. 587.1
      Susan Thompson


      I sense quite a bit of envy. Maybe an older man took one of your women away because you’re a starving blogger who probably “doesn’t have time for the gym”. You probably don’t know how to respect women or treat them as special. You are probably like most young men, too in love with yourself. Yes, you’re not mature enough to handle the truth when it doesn’t include you. Older men have so much more to offer, but I understand why that’s a tough one for you to accept as the RULE.

      1. 587.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        None of your projection is true but thanks for playing. Sounds like that’s who you want me to be in order to discredit my observations.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Plus, I am 46 now and wrote this 10 years ago. I still stand by every word.

  8. 588

    Maybe you should re-evaluate after 10 years then, it looks like science has got it wrong again, every situation is different and you can pin the same tag on everyone, we are all different and special in our own way.

    1. 588.1

      Here are the facts about age gaps in heterosexual married couples, according to the 2013 US population survey:
      – 76.7% are within a 5-year age difference
      – 91% are within a 9-year age difference

      Sure, every situation is different and special. But for most heterosexual marriage situations, the overwhelming norm is to partner within a reasonably close age range.

  9. 589


    If I went by stats, I was probably supposed to be dead. You can’t live by stats and junk like that. I trust the Lord to bring the right woman along and right now, I believe I have found her and she believes she has found the right man. Human theology gets me no where, I trust the Lord before stats and human intervention. Plain and simple.

    1. 589.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      You and the Lord should probably find another blog to read. This one’s not for you.

  10. 590

    Apparently you need to find the Lord, because you surely don’t have a clue, that is a fact you could chew on…

    1. 590.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      You may need to look up the word “fact.” Bye now.

      1. 590.1.1
        Yet Another Guy


        You are dealing with a man who is absolutely clueless. A thirty-year age gap is beyond ridiculous. It says more about the maturity level of the older man than it does the younger woman. A 55-yeard-old man is stealing a 25-year-old woman’s future. He will be long gone or in a nursing home by the time she is his age.

        1. Sandra

          I believe these scenarios rarely work out, but she is willing, Maybe they will be a rare exception. If so, great. If not, she will be bitter. Her choice.

  11. 591

    Yet Another Guy,

    It is a decision made by both of us and not anyway involves yours. I could do laps around men half my age… so for what you think is ridiculous, does not dictate the same for me and my girlfriend. She came after me and the rest is history. You will probably be in a nursing home before me.

    1. 591.1
      Yet Another Guy


      You are writing a check that your butt cannot cash. I bet that you could not do laps around me and I am 58. I would love to see you snatch at least a 12kg (26.46lbs) kettlebell 100 times with each hand in 20 minutes or less without passing out (I can do it with significantly more weight). The kettlebell snatch is a test of aerobic and anaerobic capacity because it is a ballistic movement that involves almost every muscle in the human body. The guys who are half of my age who train with kettlebells can easily pass that test in half that time with a kettlebell that weighs at least 32kg.

      I have encountered a lot of guys like you in my life, most turn out to be more bravado that substance. The hiding behind Jesus thing is a big red flag that screams “paper tiger.” The reality is that you are more than likely an immature man who preys on younger, inexperienced women who lack the BS filter women your own age possess. You are robbing that young woman of her future. I have a friend who is a divorce attorney. He has a saying when one his female client’s soon-to-be ex-husband runs off with a woman half his age; namely, 25 goes into 50 more times than the reverse. By that, he means that a 50-year-old man will be needing a penile implant by the time a 25-year-old woman is his age, that is, if he lives that long. The reality that you are failing to appreciate is that the probability of developing erectile dysfunction increases at a rate of 10% for every decade of life. So, a man who is 75 has a 75% chance of having erectile dysfunction severe enough that he cannot rise to the occasion even through masturbation and, in most cases, the PDE5 inhibitors and injectable drugs no longer work, leaving him with no option other than to undergo penile implant surgery in order to keep up with his much younger wife. You can live in a fairy tale land where you believe that you will be part of the gifted 25%. I prefer to educate myself to realities ahead of me and spend my time with a woman who understands the male aging process because she is dealing with the female aging process. The right peer-age woman is a beautiful thing that no younger woman can match. I know because I was married to a significantly younger woman and my current girlfriend is a few years older than me. However, I suspect that Evan and I are wasting our breath on you. One can lead a horse to water, but one cannot make him/her drink.

  12. 592

    This is so ridiculous. There are so many reasons for younger women to go for an older man. My husband is 12 years older than I am but I thought he was only a couple years older when we met. He’s a firefighter so he’s in excellent shape too. I hated dating men my own age. They are (the overwhelming majority) superficial, pretentious, immature, selfish boys who don’t know how to act like a man, let alone treat another person with respect. Especially in my (millennial cusp) generation, there are slim pickings in my own age range. And let me tell you, they are not any more active, in shape, or better looking than my 47 year old husband. So this article is hogwash.

  13. 593
    Jason M

    If he’s 6’2″ and make $400,000 a year, he’s the one who’s doing the picking and choosing, not the 28 year old, regardless of whether he’s within 5 years of her age or 20.

  14. 594

    I am 21 years old and I spend my time with a wonderful man 44 years my senior. we talk about our lives growing up and our neighborhoods. we talk about past relationships and occupations. we usually go out, but we sometimes stay in. I would like to think that he enjoys my company and softness. I enjoy his soft tone and the passion in his words. I don’t open up much about it with friends; I understand the issues they may have. Still, our time is truly intimate and sincere. I couldn’t ask for a better evening. call it what you want, but it works for me.

  15. 595

    There seems to be a ton of focus on sex, which seems really narrow-minded to me. I mean, some people have sex twice a day, some people have sex twice a month. Some people like it every day for a few weeks, and then once a week for a while. But even if it’s daily, that’s only one small part of the day for most people. My online match settings, when I was active on those sites, was set to 18 to 48. I’m 45. I’ve spent time with women from 19 to 37 in recent years. If someone has an education and good career (or making solid strides in that direction), is cute, fun, and kind, I talk to them. But I think as women get closer to 30, they are just simply more likely to have found someone good by then, if they are a ‘good catch’ for lack of a better term, and have been actually open to connecting with someone. So it seems like to me, there are just simply fewer women out there closer to my age who are single and interesting. Not because there is anything wrong with that age, but because most attractive, well-rounded, easy-going women usually find someone and get married given a few years of looking. Plenty of people are divorced, but alot of times they have parenting habits that are not aligned with your own, and that’s a really challenging thing to compromise on. And, if someone is single and has their life together, and they have hundreds of guys messaging them every day, they only have to take the time to pick someone. So if you’re an above average looking guy with an above average education and career, you might just not make the cut. So to me, it’s not really about seeking someone younger. It’s just a matter of widening your search. If you find someone who just happens to click well with you, and they just happen to be young, then so what? There are thieves, liars, addicts, and a bunch of other rough people you can end up with which could certainly be a worse scenario. I mean, my grandparents were having sex weekly at least until 80, which I know because my grandmother overshared at one time. Doesn’t mean they were doing acrobatics and fing like they were in a porno, but there are plenty of people who are overweight or have heart issues that are younger and no one tells them to just go find someone with the same problems lol. I just think the day to day conversation and how your personalities mesh and how aligned you are morally and just the way you communicate and care about each other are the 95% of a relationship and the sex is more like 5%. If you nail the 95% then you can always use communication to work on getting that 5% fully up. It’s not like there is some 0-100 skill level and what one person likes everyone likes–I’ve dated plenty of girls and some girls hate what other girls love. So the sex thing seems like nonsense to me for the most part. Plus, how many guys like sex daily but their wives like it weekly or monthly? I know that happens plenty, but the guys usually just try to communicate and figure out how they can get back on the same page. I imagine if someone’s wife wants a higher octane sex life and she’s not getting it, then she can do the same–communicate and be patient. The only real difficult thing I can see is if for example I’m 45 and I married a 20 year old, I’d be 80 when shes 55. I could very well be in a nursing home or dead by then, when she’s happy and solid in a career and everything else. But on the other hand, I could be 55 and she could die in a car wreck or get some kind of aggressive cancer and be gone before I even retire. But, it’s not like the scenarios tied to age difference are some kind of big secret that the younger person can’t possibly imagine and they’re going to be all in shock if you’re 70 and can’t do shots all night. If you click with someone with an age difference, and it’s not just a shallow fling, then when it starts getting serious, touch on some of those conversations, and if those concerns are too much, then people can move on.
    The other point of view I don’t really agree with 100% is assuming girls just want a father figure or sugar daddy. I can definitely see that as being a common thing. But I have an 18 year old daughter. If I go out with someone who is 19, I’m not trying to get with my daughter or a version of her. When I look at my daughter, I see a baby, a toddler, an elementary school student, I see a goofy 8 year old, and the kid I chased and played with most of my adult life. I just see a kid. If I start talking to someone who is 19 or 20 and start getting closer, I’m seeing a young but adult woman, and her personality and the way she behaves makes her more or less attractive from there. Granted, plenty of people that age can be really immature, but not all of them. Not everyone is into partying and clubbing and all that typical stuff. I know I got dragged out most weekends for a few months while in college, but that just was never my scene. I always preferred spending one on one time with my s/o, with occasional nights out with friends, and alot of time with family. I was like that at 18, 25, 35, and now.
    I just think sex doesn’t define the relationship in a huge way most of the time. Nor does where you are in your career or education, nor what music or TV shows you grew up listening to. Sometimes you just click with someone. You find yourself prioritizing time with them above anyone else. You care more about them like family, not just as a pal. You’re impressed by something deeper, whether it’s a shared perspective on the world, the way you think about things, what you both laugh at, what breaks your heart, why you like some people and avoid others, and so on. I just think if you find that connection with someone, then whether you’re best time with them is 20 or 50 years long, the age difference isn’t always a deal breaker, and it just doesn’t have to be. If I end up with someone younger some day, it won’t be because they are younger. It would be in spite of it. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. It’s just a social stigma, but it’s a waste of energy to perpetuate that or to worry about it.

  16. 596

    Yeah I felt weird at first dating a 25 year old being 45. Dated for almost a year before, surprise! I got a key to her apartment. I lived with her for two years, nearly stress free, argument free and I truly cared about her and made sure to give her lots of space. She was incredibly affectionate and I was incredibly lucky. Being around her was like digging up pirate treasure every day! She had a wonderful sense of humor and I made her laugh so hard that she cried sometimes. She made me sing when I was not a singer and it felt like soul in my heart. Lots of people would say that she was too young for me and I would tell her, “You know when I’m 92. you’re going to be 12!” I wanted to be with her forever. Once when she tried to get me to learn some dance moves, but I just had NO rhythm.She bought me a pair of shoes in a box for a gift one day and when I opened it up there were TWO pair of left feet! I tried not to have too much admiration for her but she picked up on that and told me it was adorable how much I tried to hide it. I gave her lots of freedom and was never possessive. I have never taken her for granted. It might seem odd to a lot of folks, but it works if you find the right person to be around. I miss her laughing.

  17. 597

    I’m 32. I am very mature for my age. To degree that when colleagues hear what I’ve done they tell me, no joke, I should write a book. My resume, if I include everything, is 13 pages long. No lies (as many millennials do to feel special) about that. I’ve got the certificates to prove it. I’ve done more, seen more, and traveled more than some people will do by the time they’re 90.

    So I gotta disagree with this > She doesn’t NEED a guy who’s 45. She can find that same amazing guy at age 30. Or 35. Or 40 < as most guys closer to my age are by & large immature brats that think getting drunk or spending the weekend drunk is entertaining. If I wanted a child I'd have one not date one.

  18. 598

    Yeah I dated a younger woman, wasn’t really expecting it… She was half my age… We rolled together inseperable for a year, talked about having babies and moving in together. And one day she lost her job and couldn’t catch a break, and just dipped. It was really strange… I guess being older, I am not hurt about it. I still keep in touch with her, because she still needs to get her stuff lol. But in the long run, I felt it was easier to move on and had 0 hard feelings. Sadly it was kinda like one of my kids leaving the house. Worrying about if they will make the right choices, or date the right person. It’s funny, I think with all the feminist movements going on, women are finding their will, however they seem to be making the same mistakes that men are making… I do hope that’s not the case.

  19. 599

    I just turned 28 and my man is 48 bout to be 49 and he is amazing!! He has the sex drive of a a young adult. He literally wants to have sex all day. All the time. And women older than me look at me like that’s wrong. But I don’t see anything about our relationship wrong. I love him so much.

  20. 600

    I quite looking to see how many posts there on are here. Anyway, happy to report the celebration of my 15th anniversary to my girl friend. I also have a wife of 22 years. I am 59 and she is 31. My GF is beautiful in every way. Our relationship has been mutually beneficial on so many different levels. It is all around healthy. And that’s been the case for the last 10 years. 1st 5 we were a bit crazy but the last 10 has been the best years of our lives. Absence makes the heart grow fonder they say and that is part of our success. If we lived together if would end likely. And that’s ok that we don’t. But our physicality, mentality and spirituality has improved and our relationship with our significant others have improved. Most will be shocked by that but don’t be. It’s true. If my relationship with Veronica (my GF) ended I am really not sure how much longer my marriage would continue. V and me are such good friends. She has a boy friend. I have a wife. But V and I are bestie’s beyond what most can convenience of. So I wanted to contribute a happy story that will likely last the rest of our lives. Neither of us see us ending nor being home wreckers to our children (none of our children made together) It is a beautiful thing. I find this more valuable than obtaining some physical object. The American Dream is Alive. Pun intended. From Chicago with lots of love. 🙂

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