Why Do Women in Their 30s Not Want to Date Men in Their 40s?

I’m a 42 year old single male who recently left a 5 year relationship for various reasons, but mainly because I wanted kids and she did not. I thought that since I was an attractive, fit, well-educated, financially and emotionally secure guy that I would have no problem finding a woman in her mid 30s to settle down with and start a family. I have tried a combination of online dating, speed dating, professional singles events, volunteering, happy hours etc. and have had very few dates over the past year. I thought that online dating would be great since you are essentially pre-screening people for dates. I have found that I get no responses from any women online and the only women who respond to my ad are usually much older and don’t meet any of my criteria outlined in my profile.

I am told that women want to settle down and have kids, etc., but their actions seem to be to the contrary. At singles events, women come in groups and are reluctant to talk to men. In online situations, women say they want desperately to meet a nice guy like me, but never answer my response to their profile. I am trying to remain positive, but two things are really bothering me. One, that younger women are no longer interested in dating men who are even just slightly (3-5 years) older than them and sometimes want to date men 5-10 years younger then them. Two, women seem to be content in the fact that they are independent and self-sufficient and have a career, family and friends that fulfills them and don’t seem to be interested in truly finding a relationship. I find the latter hard to believe, but find this mantra in every profile of every professional woman online. Any advice on how to navigate these new paradigms in the dating world?


Dear Adam,

You came to the right place.

And to directly address your email, I have to divide my response into two different parts: 1) What You’re Getting Right and 2) What You’re Missing.

Let’s start with What You’re Missing. We’ll do What You’re Getting Right next week.

Why Do Women in Their 30s Not Want to Date Men in Their 40sWhat you’re missing is that what you want has absolutely no relation to what women want. We’ve addressed this before, from an older man who couldn’t possibly fathom why a younger woman wouldn’t want to be with him. This isn’t all that much different. We can complain that the opposite sex is unrealistic and passing up great opportunities – and we’d be right – but it doesn’t change that people want what they want. It’s not fair. It’s not right. It just IS.

From 25-34, men play around a lot. Why? Because they can. They have a lot of dating options, they’re building their careers, and there isn’t a clear urgency to settle down.

Once a guy crosses 35, however, he (theoretically) tends to get more serious.

What you’re missing is that what you want has absolutely no relation to what women want.

Alas, the women with whom he wants to get serious are 27-34. This gives men time to court, fall in love, travel together, move in, get engaged, and enjoy a few years of childless marriage before starting a family.

The problem is that many women from 27-34 are independent professionals just like their male peers. They, too, have a lot of dating options, are busy building their careers, and don’t have a clear urgency to settle down.

Then she hits 35. Theoretically, this is when she starts to get more serious. This is also when all the problems start.

Because 35-40-year-old men who are ready to settle down still want to have time before becoming dads. Thus, their target market remains women, 27-34 – who may not be ready to settle down quite yet. These women still have money to make, places to travel and oats to sow.

The 35-40-year-old women who ARE ready for marriage, unfortunately, are roundly ignored by the men they desire – their 35-40-year-old peers. These women are youthful and find themselves far more attracted to men in their 30’s than their 40’s.

…the bigger takeaway is that ALL of us are very judgmental on age.

Which brings us to you, Adam. You say you’re looking for a woman in her mid-30’s. That’s perfectly fair. But if none of them are looking for you, your wheelhouse is going to be women in their late 30’s to early 40’s:

Find the people who want you. It’s the same exact advice I give to women in their early 40’s who want men in their early 40’s…except men in their early 40’s want women in their 30’s.

And around and around we go.

I’m being a bit unfair, Adam, because there IS a market for a 42-year-old man – and you can certainly be doing better than you’re currently doing. Pick up a copy of Finding The One Online and it should make a difference. Seriously. But the bigger takeaway is that ALL of us are very judgmental on age. To a 34 year old woman, 42 sounds OLD. To a 42-year-old man who wants his own biological children, anything above 36 is getting into risky territory. The lesson to all of you younger readers: take your love life seriously when you turn 30, instead of waiting until you’re 35 or 40.

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  1. 931
    Daniel Marks

    You should consider the possibility that women arent answering your messages online, simply because, as a rule, women online are a bunch of washed up, delusional fools. Women will not reply to any man who is not at a minimum 3 points above her on a 1 -10 scale. Women do not reply to any man unless he is 50 – 100 lbs lighter than her, has quadruple her wealth, and a home in the swiss alps, complete with maid and butler.

    At events, it is solely the mans responsibility to talk to the women.So dont take women not talking to you as a sign they arent interested.

    Also, if you think you cant attract women in their 30’s, just take a look at the pickup community on You Tube etc. They dont seem to have any trouble picking up 18 and 20 year olds despite being middle aged.I think one guy was in his 60’s and genuinely picked up an 18 year old at the bar.These women trying to say men are too old at 40 or whatever are simply jealous that men can still get women half their age at the drop of a hat.Hiztorically, men have always courted much younger women, in every time and culture.This is the way nature has intended it.Of course feminist will stop at nothing to disrupt this culture,as they see it as oppressive

    1. 931.1

      Sure. We all believe someone online, a 60 year old, picking up an 18 year old. Because 18 year olds just love being with men who are grandfather-age. ……said no one ever.

      “Historically”, men dated much younger women, not because of biology, but because men wanted to control and dominate women. Biology does not want older men making babies. Nature has nothing to do with older men dating younger women. That was a social construct created by men to maintain power and control over women. In this century, women no longer have to settle for such terms. We now can choose men based on more freedom. And that’s what really bugs guys like you. That women have more choices now then ever. Which we do. Which is why you made up nonsense about how we think a man should have a maid and butler. I have plenty of friends trying to have babies or talking about when to have babies. Do you know what all their doctors consistently tell them? That it is best for both women AND men not to wait. No doctor is telling a man who wants children to wait until he is older. Because doctors understand biology.

      What ive learned about men from this long thread, is men are EXTREMELY worried about their own age and aging process and self worth. And they project a lot of nonsense onto women about it. Women are more realistic and informed about biology while many men here seem to want to live in a state of suspended adolescence about their own fertility or lack of quality, as they age.

      1. 931.1.1
        Daniel Marks

        I  tend to disagree on some points.Women have little choices or options once over the age of 30. I would say they are becoming limited even at 25.No young men would have a bar of a 30 year old woman.Such women can either take 40 year old men, or remain single.

        Secondly, the older/younger dynamic has always existed since essentially the dawn of time.There are reasons for it being that way.It has never stunted the progress of society in the past has it? All of the greatest social and scientific progress mankind has ever made occurred whilst this “undesireable” mating dynamic was in place.

        Today, western society is rapidly heading the way of the dinosaur.The stable neuclear family is becoming rarer and rarer.White anglo saxon societies now have unsustainably low rates of reproduction.If these young men are so virile, will you explain why our race is becoming extinct now that they are supposedly the ones courting all the women?

        Cultures that still maintain traditional courtship practices do not have this problem.

        As far as the biological disadvantages of older fathers is concerned, these diseases are not causatively linked to paternal age.Very young fathers between 16 and 20 years of age are also associated with a range of poor outcomes, yet you do not complain that they are too young to court?

        Children of older fathers tend to live longer, and have higher IQ scores.So there are some advantages to offset the supposed risks of advancing paternal age.

        Realistically, men should have their kids by early 40’s at latest.One should keep in mind that their are a range of reasons that some men cannot reproduce in early years, so a little forgiveness goes a long way, rather than condemning the very thought of concieving at 40.I personaly know 4 children all born to men in late 40’s and 50’s. All very beautifull, attractive children born without complications.I also know children born to men in early 30’s with autism, premature birth complications etc etc.


        1. Emily, the original


          Women have little choices or options once over the age of 30. 

          Very true. And men really don’t come into their own until about age 80.

        2. AllHeart81

          Disagree all you want. But actual facts and science are working against your extremely indulgent and plain misinformed “beliefs”.

          Realistically, any medical doctor will tell both men and women to have kids, the earlier the better, based purely on biology. And you are completely incorrect about children having higher IQs born to older fathers. It’s actually older mother’s children who are born with higher IQs. You are also wrong about older fathers children living longer.

          Oh and the biggest reason older men/ younger women relationships occurred in society was simply because men saught to control and dominate women. It had nothing to do with healthy relationships. In fact, women were often stuck in these relationships because they had less rights and power. They had to settle for older men, not because they wanted them, but because society was set up to disempower women. You are really trying to rewrite history, trying to make it seem like the generations of female oppression was a great thing. It wasn’t.

          I know a lot of you guys are really struggling because women have gained more social power and options, but no amount of alternative facts or fear-mongering is going to magically make younger women want you. Women want to be attracted to their partner. They don’t want to be with their dads.


  2. 932
    Daniel Marks

    So, you are essentially saying the reproductive years of a human being are between the ages 18 – 30. Men do not want women over 30, and women do not want men over the age of 30.Men and women under the age of 30 are not willing to procreate, hence the demise of western anglo saxon society.

    Why did nature inflict sexual virility and desire which persists 30 plus years beyond the age at which men and women have any further chance of finding a willing partner? Seems like a big screw up on behalf of nature.

  3. 933
    Daniel Marks

    and to allheart81, children born to older fathers have longer telomeres, linked to greater longevity.And Yes, older fathers are statistically more likely to have intelligent offspring.

    I wouldnt get too carried away with the “power” women have in modern western society.Women still earn less, and far less frequently occupy positions of command or power, wether it be political or corporate. As I already said, you can either stick to the traditional dynamic, or break away from it and witness the demise of western anglo saxon society. If destroying modern society as we have understood it over the last 2000years is what you women want, fine, you can have it. You should look forward to  europe and america becoming third worlds.

    If you have children, I would encourage them to start having sex as young as possible, 15 at the latest.Why would you want to wait untill your an adult, and waste one third of your usefull reproductive years? Nobody wants you at 30, so might as well enjoy the few measely years you have before your thrown in the obsolete basket.Correct?

  4. 934

    Don’t  you just love the irony of it all. It’s ok for him to want a younger woman but not ok for the women to want younger men.

    Men in a nutshell for you!

  5. 935
    Daniel Marks

    It so happens that the average age of a 40 year old mans partner is 33, meaning that substantial numbers of 30 year old women are dating or married to 40 year old men.So It seems the article is about a redundant topic altogether, since it is a simple fact that women in their 30’s routinely date men in their 40’s….

    1. 935.1

      @Daniel, could you please cite your source for this statement?

      1. 935.1.1
        Daniel Marks

        If you google average age difference of couples, the first page of results are dominated by this information……

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Here, I’ll help:

          “Those in their early 20s have an average age difference in their relationships of about two to three years, but once people get into their 40s, that average age gap increases to about seven years.”

          If you look at the chart, that 7 year age span is skewed highly by gay couples (male and female), both of which have greater age gaps. For heterosexual couples, it’s closer to five years, on average.

          So every guy coming here saying that he’s 60 and dating a 40-year-old, God bless you. All that means is that you’re the exception, not the rule.

          Women in their 30’s still generally want men in their 30’s, your personal experience notwithstanding.

  6. 936
    Daniel Marks

    I suppose you could interperet that as half of all 40+ men are dating women more than 5 years their junior.So its still not at all uncommon for a 40+ man to date/marry a 30 something.

    Me personally, I would rather be single than have a sexual relatiinship with someone over the age of 30.I find zero sexual appeal for anybody my own age and I will not date anybody my own age, as I will never feel an attraction.

    1. 936.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      “Ha!” says the happily married sexually active man with a 48-year-old wife.

      1. 936.1.1
        Daniel Marks

        Thats nice if your happy with an older partner.I wont be, and so i will pass on that.I think eternal bachelorhood is looking very inviting at this stage.Financial freedom, social freedom, unlimited companionship from friends, and no baggage or financial liabilities associated with women..

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Great. You sound happy. Why post on a site for single women looking for love?

    2. 936.2
      Emily, the original

      Daniel Marks,

      Me personally, I would rather be single than have a sexual relationship with someone over the age of 30.I find zero sexual appeal for anybody my own age and I will not date anybody my own age, as I will never feel an attraction.

      Something tells me the women who are 30 and under and saying the same thing.

      1. 936.2.1
        Daniel Marks

        Oh, that they would not date anybody their own age? Okay,cool…

    3. 936.3

      Daniel Marks
      Me personally, I would rather be single than have a sexual relatiinship with someone over the age of 30.I find zero sexual appeal for anybody my own age and I will not date anybody my own age, as I will never feel an attraction.

      so you must think those younger women find your old sagging body sexually appealing….. LOL

      1. 936.3.1

        Actually, my body is in impeccable condition.I quite literally look like bruce lee.Perfect body mass index.Highly toned and muscular.I dont see so many young guys with bodies like that…


  7. 937

    Emily, I’m not a supporter of this poster’s general world view, but you know very well that 30-something women generally don’t have a problem dating men several years their senior. For whatever reason, cultural or biological, women are far more willing to date older than are their male counterparts.

  8. 938
    Daniel Marks

    Just posting on here to make sure these women know they are delusional.You know, to save them from the bother of trying to find a partner when they are clearly not ever going to.You know the 30 somethings who think 30 y.o men who are all dating 25 year olds are gonna pop up on the dating sites and say hi. The 30 somethings who dont give 40 year olds the time of day, unawares that they are in fact being thrown a lifeline, and despite their senior age are usually WELL above those women in terms of quality. In fact, if you are a 30 plus women, it is not that likely you will find any man under 40 willing to give you the time of day.

    As I said earlier, you can take the 40+ men, or go without.Make your choice…

    1. 938.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      “Just posting on here to make sure these women know they are delusional.”

      So you’re a hater who has nothing positive to say except to tear down an entire gender. Great. Now go your own way and GTFOOH.

      You can masturbate to teenagers your whole life. The rest of us will enjoy our marriages.

      1. 938.1.1

        I wish this blog had like buttons.  I would give your reply a thumbs up !

      2. 938.1.2
        Emily, the original

        Agree with Sparkling Emerald. Can I get a Hallelujah  !  🙂

    2. 938.2
      Yet Another Guy

      @Daniel Marks

      While I do agree that it is quite irrational for woman who is in her mid-thirties to believe that she will find a thirty-something man.  I do not believe that same holds for a woman in her early thirties.

      With respect to the letter writer, I do not believe that a 42-year-old man desiring to date and possibly marry as 35-year-old woman is out of line.  My ex-wife is seven years my junior and we met shortly after I turned 36, which means that she was a twenty-something. We never felt like there was a huge age gap between us.

      I personally believe that a lot of age 35+ women seek to find a man who is +/- 2 years their own age to their detriment because men do not share the same desire.   I routinely encounter childless women in their early forties who are looking for a childless man between their own age and -10 years.  There is a higher probability of these women being struck by a freight train than finding a man who meets all of their requirements, including age.  The cold hard truth is that most men prefer to be the older partner.  That reality does not mean that a woman cannot find a man her age or her junior, but it does make doing so infinitely more difficult.  This reality is especially true after a woman crests age 35 without giving birth, which is the age that most men associate with the beginning of the danger zone with respect to childbirth.

  9. 939

    “The 35-40 women who are ready for marriage, are unfortunately roundly ignored by men they desire.”

    I don’t know if it’s just me, but the problem with age range is more finding ones want kids versus ones who can still have them. Most women I’ve talked to in that age range are single moms who don’t want anymore or can’t have anymore, or women who don’t want anymore. I also disagree with a lot of people on here that people over 35 who want families should settle for ones who don’t. If someone wants biological or maybe even adopted children, they shouldn’t settle for someone who doesn’t want them unless they change their mind. Men and women don’t owe people in their age range their love, and I also believe age is overrated when it comes to compatibility. Some people may have more in common with someone 10 years older or younger. Too many people also think step parents get to be parents to kids, which usually does happen if they adopt or raise them since they were a toddler. Otherwise, step parents usually end up being more of a parent figure with less authority than the bio parent or parents. I also think too many people are misreading or using incomplete to judge who is too old and who is too young, because even a 40 year old woman has a 3% of having a baby genetic disorders. Unfortunately too many make the odds sound worse or better for older men or women without knowing what the actual odds are.

  10. 940

    yeah… pretty much agree with everything Evan says…as depressing as it is.

  11. 941

    Terrible advice. It’s nothing to do with age imo, it’s how you look, your level of education etc etc. I’m a 37 yo male, turning 38 in 3 weeks and my gf is 22 – before her it was easy to pick up girls between about 19 and 24 no problem. I am lucky in one regard, most people think I’m about 28 – 30 so I have that as a big advantage. Tbh unless I age 10 years or more in the next two years I don’t see much changing. To suggest that women look at a mans age and say no is just wrong.

  12. 942

    Overall, I think this is good advice, but I also think it depends on your “regional market.” In NYC, I don’t really see too many couples having kids before their earlier thirties, and even early fourties is common. Having more than 2 kids is rare, with many couples having just 1. Most men in their late 30s to early 40s who are looking for a female to have kids with list 30-38 in their search criteria. They might cap it at 36, or go up to 40. If I see something like 25-35, I pragmatically pass. Things definitely get harder after 38 here, so there is time, but you have to be focused and look for men who want children and relationships. Most women can have natural pregnancies with healthy babies up to 40.

    I’m 35 and willing to date from 35-50. Honestly, though, most of the guys who ask me out are 35-42, probably because there are more of them.

    I agree with Evan’s advice, though, that you should find an age range that works for you, and go from there. There are actually many 45+, or even 50+, men in NYC who still want children. At that age, a woman’s “fertility window” sort of works against them, as it can be hard to find a partner more than 10-12 years younger.

  13. 943

    Dose of reality. Women prefer older men. Always have. Nothing has changed. The problem is that some dating sites are useless. The women are flooded by a million emails from desperate guys. Bad place to meet a woman. Man up and walk up to a pretty girl at the park and ask her out. I am in the dating scene and I am not seeing that women suddenly like younger men. As a matter of fact guys get ignored until they are about 25.

  14. 944

    I read most of the comments here and I really can’t believe how delusional is most of the old men here…..

    Why are all these old men keep insisting younger women prefer old men??

    you can give all the bullshits theory about biology, security, compatibility or whatever.


    so, we (not you!!) KNOW how we feel about old men chasing younger women.

    it’s creepy…. disgusting.

    If all your theory was right, the OP (male, 42 y.o) wouldn’t have sent this email to Evan (asking why women in their 30’s not want to date men in their 40’s)

    Wake up, Uncle….. you’ve been dreaming for too long….



    1. 944.1

      You are not “the” women.You are 1 of them.Dont speak for the rest of the population.

      1. 944.1.1

        Nah, she’s right. I’m 24 and I like older guys but past 5 years it’s just too much. :/

  15. 945

    In my opinion people who date within 5 years of their age have a better chance of having a successful lasting relationship. I don’t judge people who do have an age gap. If you fall in love you fall in love. However, I think the real issue here is that today people are just so youth obsessed.

  16. 946

    I am  A 46-year-old single male, first generation to parents that survived World War II.  I stopped reading after 1.2.4  above because the thread just became too depressing.  Some interesting points made on both sides but the fact remains  I am still single, no kids, never been married but one children and marriage, correction happy marriage and happy children.   I started working at a very young age because my father was 40 years older than me and it was in his nature to put his children to work in the family business which was Age eight for me. I’ve always had serious relationships. I was never a “skirt chaser“ just now “ settling down”

    Most of my relationships have been long term and almost got married at 35 but my girlfriend cheated on me.  My friends and family always thought I would be the first to get married and have kids and grew up  hoping I would get married and have kids before 30.

    I used to remember women at admiring men who wanted to have children.  Unfortunately, my parents went through a nasty long expensive divorce that once started lasted six years.

    I began dating at 11 but always seemed that women my age or younger we’re not as mature so I dated older up until about 30 or so when it became about 3-4 years younger. The bottom line for me is being in love and attracted to my partner despite her age.  The bottom line for me is being in love and attracted to my partner  in every stage of us growing older gracefully.

    Online I select the age range of 35 to 47 For several reasons that can be seen as wrong or right. ( I am open to constructive advice and ask if you respond to not be demeaning. I’m opening myself up here and trying to communicate in order to better myself and others )

    First, I noticed a lot of women do not put their real age and I’ll lot reduce the number by 6 to 8 years. At the same time, I don’t want to rule out having biological children of my own but would adopt  for several reasons that can be seen as wrong or right.Everyone matures differently but to marry someone, you have to be on the same wavelength which usually means being at least in the same generation which in my case would be generation X.

    Second,  I understand or a been told having children at a later age has much more of a risk to birth defects, etc I understand or been told having children at a later age has much more of a risk to birth defects, etc. I just want to be clear that not all of us men  or at least myself chose to be single this long. A lot of crap that men are doing out there ends up getting tossed in with baggage online when a woman finally responds to me.  The first great love of my life broke up with me and is now married after going through a previous marriage. I thought she was going to be the one( I was 17) only to find out decades later that she could not have children. Had we stayed together and I knew that, I would not have hesitated to adopt. I have even dated women who have had children of their own from previous marriages that I treated with respect as if they were a niece or nephew.  Whether she is kicking herself for not staying with me, I will never know but do know that she settled for someone she loved who didn’t want children although she loves children.  Things happen in life that are tragic or romantic but in either case  unfortunate and real life.

    When women in their 30s say they are “disgusted“ by men in their 40s, you have to imagine how that feels to a man or to a person in general if you take the gender out of it. It’s all about respect for each other and when we start bashing each other online like this,   Both genders can leave jaded, hardened, and vindictive towards the opposite sex. All that is passed on to good genuine people that you don’t know but make assumptions and judgments about. I really believe that if men and women spoke more about what it’s like to date online or off-line with respect, communication that results would make life a lot better.

    disclaimer: at the same time, I know I missed an opportunity or two in my past like everybody. I met a wonderful woman after ending things with the X future wife who cheated on me. My mistake was to date so soon an I met a wonderful woman after ending things with the X future wife who cheated on me. My mistake was to date so soon afterwards  without processing which made it difficult to bond with that person who was ready for marriage kids and take on the world with me. There’s nothing I could have done about that choosing to meet them or year later was not an option but going slow should have been the smart thing to do. I was young, lonely, and got caught up in that honeymoon period Of a new relationship plus She was one of the most beautiful women I have ever had the pleasure of saying I dated.  Unfortunately, that ship has sailed(twice) and the woman who I could’ve had a life with wants nothing to do with me and is in the same position online. Has anyone else ever come across an X on a dating site? It’s a terrible feeling.

    I may be going off track here from the original article but feel I need to elaborate more because all of these comments or many of them are so damn depressing  because of the disconnect.  I feel like I am justifying myself to a bunch of strangers why I am still single at 46. I live in one of the top three most expensive areas of the world  which unfortunately has a ratio of approximately three men to every female and a very diverse part of the world that includes different ethnic cities, gender identification, and gender preference. So finding a woman with a similar upbringing, close to genX,  Who is single,born a woman, wants children, wants a monogamous marriage  is a serious challenge.

    I hope to only get married once and have one chance. If you are offended that I am looking for a younger woman, I say don’t judge and concentrate on your own needs. I’ll be happy for you if you be happy for me. I would never force someone into a relationship  and can’t stand people who get married for money. Yes, I understand that by saying I am looking for someone up to 10 years younger anywhere in the world, I am setting myself up for messages from golddiggers online which is why I have dumped so many dating apps-Messages from gay men, Transgenders included. I am a straight male but it doesn’t mean that I don’t get messages from older man as well  so I totally understand why women are turned off by being approached from older man because it happens to us as well and is even more uncomfortable! ( if I was homophobic, I would have online dating PTSD)

    I guess the bottom line is that we all or I want to be loved and have a healthy sexual relationship with my future wife  despite Whoever is older.  there are so many children in need of good families that adoption should be the moral of the story. If I don’t find someone by 50, I’m going to adopt a child and be a single parent.

    I’ve worked my whole life to be a sole provider to a family that hasn’t happened yet being raised that if my future wife makes money, it would be icing on the cake. I am old fashioned but am always open to learning- that’s what keeps us young. Too much emphasis on age and not substance.


    San Francisco bay area, USA, Terra firma


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