How to marry an older man

What you need to know before marrying an older man

 The age gap is a real issue for most people in relationships (Photo: Courtesy)

Saying ‘yes’, to getting married is a huge lifetime commitment. That’s why before you do, you need to make sure you’re choosing to be with someone you would want to wake up to every morning.

You need time to assess whether you are a good match for each other, whether your attraction is mutual, whether they share the same values as you and many other important things that can predict if you will have a healthy marriage.

One big discussion that surrounds the topic of marriage is age gap relationships.

When you’re planning to get married to a man who is ten years, or much older than you, there are certain things you need to know before you walk down the aisle.

Here are five things you should know about marrying a man who is significantly older than you:

Your emotional maturity will be tested

When you get married to an older man, you might be surprised to find that you’re not as mature as you might have assumed. I don’t mean this in an insulting way, I’m just saying that getting married and being under one roof exposes some things you might have never thought of.

This experience will test how you communicate, how well you handle disagreements and other areas you might need to work on.

 You need to adjust your expectations on sex as well (Photo: Courtesy)

People will keep assuming he’s your dad or grandpa

You will need time to adjust if you’re not used to the awkwardness that comes with being with a much older man. It will be an entirely new experience now that you will be living together and probably planning to start a family soon.

That means there will be more situations where people will stare and mistakenly think you’re his daughter or that he’s your child’s grandfather instead of his dad.  

Marriage might not be as exciting for him

In many relationships where couples have a big age gap, chances are that the older partner has been married before. For you, getting married might be this new magical experience but for him, it’s not quite the same since he’s been there before.

You will also need to learn how to coexist with his other family as you experience this milestone of getting married for the first time.

You need to adjust your expectations on sex

If you’ve put a pause on having sex until you’re married, this might be an interesting experience for you. Naturally, when you’re young, your sex drive will differ from someone who is way older than you.

Depending on his age, you might find that your excitement for sex is more than his and that may need to be addressed.

You will feel more secure

Older men are considered to be more responsible and secure. They have no time to play games and they already know what they want which makes them good marriage material.

For some ladies, it can be a bit exhausting to be with a younger man who is still learning and discovering life. So, it might be more stress-free to be with someone who is settled in life already like an older gentleman who doesn’t waste time and goes for what he wants.

Related Topics

Relationships Relationship Tips Dating Age Gaps

Dating An Older Man? 10 Things To Expect, According To Experts

Do you get turned on by thought of a man who's got his 401K all figured out? Or maybe a salt-and-pepper beard just gets you going? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you might want to consider dating an older man.

Don't worry, you're in good company. Amal and George. Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Blake and Ryan. These celebrity couples all have age gaps that span at least 10 years. And they all seem to be making it work.

But there are a few things you should consider before jumping into a relationship like this, including emotional maturity, finances, children, ex-wives, and so much more. So I tapped two relationship experts, Chloe Carmichael, PhD, and Rebecca Hendrix, LMFT, to break down the most important things you should consider before dating an older man.

1. You may not be in the relationship for all the right reasons.

"We don't really know who someone is for the first two to six months of a relationship," Hendrix says. So it's really important to ask yourself why you're so attracted to any person, but especially one that's significantly older than you.

You could be projecting stereotypes on to them just because of their age, Hendrix says. Maybe you think they're more settled or assume that they travels lot because you met on vacation in Tulum, but the truth is they're not even looking for commitment and they only go on vacation once a year. If you're attracted to someone older, Hendrix usually advises her clients to just bounce the idea off of someone you trust first.

2. He may have a lot more—or a lot less—time for you.

        If your S.O. is an older man, he may have a more flexible work schedule (or even be retired, if he's way older), which means more free time for you. This can be refreshing for many women, says Hendrix, especially if you're used to dating guys who don't know what they want (out of life or in a relationship). But the truth is, this grateful feeling can be fleeting.

        "The things that are very attractive or exciting to you right now are likely to be the same things that annoy or concern you later on."

        "The things that are very attractive or exciting to you right now are likely to be the same things that annoy or concern you later on," Hendrix says. Fast-forward a year into the relationship, and his less-than-busy schedule could feel stifling, Hendrix warns. Maybe he wants to go on romantic weekend getaways every Friday, but you can't leave work until 8 or 9 p.m. because you're still climbing the corporate ladder and have a **few** more years of grinding to do. You may find that you two have different ideas about how you want to spend your time together.

        On the flip side, you might find that an older man has less time for you than you'd hoped. If he's in an executive-level position at a company, he might work late nights, which means dinners out with you aren't going to happen often. Or perhaps he's just a man of routine (fair, at his age), and work has trumped everything else for so long, quality time just isn't on the top of his priority list. Are you cool with this? If not, and this is the case, you might want to have a chat—or date younger.

        3. You might not be as emotionally mature as you think.

        Yes, I said it! He's been in the game longer than you, which means he could be more emotionally intelligent. But this isn't necessarily a bad thing. You want someone who knows how to fight and handle conflict, Hendrix says.

        But you have to be sure you're on the same emotional maturity level as him. Otherwise, "all of the things that can tend to make a relationship work—shared experience, values, communication, ability to handle conflict—could become obstacles or areas of disconnect," Hendrix says.

        An older man might not want to play the back-and-forth games of a younger gentleman. Instead, he might be super direct and feel comfortable saying exactly what's on his mind, Carmichael says. But are you? Dating an older man might require you to become more vulnerable and let down a few your typical guards.

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        4. There might be an ex-wife or children in his life.

        If he's got more than a couple years on you, then he's likely had a couple more relationships, too. And one of them may have even ended in divorce. Again—not a bad thing. If your man has been through a marriage that didn't work out, "they tend to approach the second marriage with more care and wisdom, bringing along lessons they learned about themselves as a partner in the previous relationship,” Carmichael says. (Woot!)

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        That said, if he has kids from that relationship, that's something else to consider. How old are his kids? Does he see them often? Will you be involved in their lives? This requires a serious conversation. Integrating into his family could prove to be more difficult than you thought, especially if he has older daughters, Carmichael says. Studies show daughters are less receptive to bringing a younger woman into the family, she notes.

        5. Your life trajectories could be headed in completely different directions.

        If the older man you're seeing is someone you're seriously considering spending the future with, you may want to actually talk about your futures. Chances are, he may have a completely different picture of what the next 10 or 20 years look like. "Even if you were dating someone your own age, you wouldn't want to assume they had the same trajectory for their life as you did," Carmichael says. And you definitely don't want to do that in a relationship with a sizable age gap, since they probably have a more concrete picture of the next few years.

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        Maybe you want to get married and have two kids, move out to California, and retire somewhere on a vineyard in Napa. But he's been there, done that. He has the kids, a retirement house in Palm Springs, and is one alimony check away from hiding his money somewhere on the Almalfi coast. (Let's hope not.)

        It's important to understand what both of you want your lives to look like in the future. Try saying: "I know that you’ve probably already done a lot of the things in life that I want to do," Carmichael recommends. Then ask him if he'd be willing to do those things (think: marriage, kids, traveling often), again. This gives the person a chance to say, "Yeah, I’d love a second chance at doing those things," or "No, I'm more interested in enjoying my freedom." Either way, after this conversation, you can make an informed decision about whether your futures actually align.

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        6. Your sex drives may not be the same.

        "Within every couple, regardless of age, there’s always someone who wants more sex or less sex," Hendrix says. "But that can be even more pronounced with big age differences. An older person has an older body, and older body can tend to have less energy and a different sex drive." But this can also be solved by discussing sex openly and whether both of your needs being met. It's not a deal breaker...just a tough conversation.

        7. Your communication styles might be different.

        According to Hendrix, older men tend to be good communicators because they have been in serious relationships and they want to get it right this time (remember: emotional maturity). But you might reach a point of conflict when it comes to the style of communication.

        "How that filters down into day-to-day connection might have to be negotiated in the relationship," Hendrix says. Maybe you prefer that he checks on you throughout the day with a "how's it going" text. But he'd much rather call you on his lunch break, because texting isn't his ~generation~. That's something that the two of you will have to work out. Learning each other's love languages might be a great place to start.

        8. You get a sneak peek of his future.

        If you're dating an older man, you don't have to worry about what he'll look like when he gets older. “You already get to see a preview of how the person ages and takes care of himself,” Carmichael says. At this point in his life, he probably has his lifestyle down pat. If he looks and feels good and takes care of himself now, it could be a good sign of how he'll take care of his health, body, and mind later on. That's something you want in a long-term partner.

        9. There may be a slight cultural gap in the relationship.

        So he's not on TikTok and The Bachelor isn't on his Monday night watch list. Do you really care?

        "Maybe you want someone who has their finger on the pulse of what’s new, modern, or fresh. Not to say that an older person couldn’t do that, but they may not be as up to the minute on every trend,” Carmichael says. It's something to consider when dating an older man.

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        But Hendrix says that not having all the same interests or cultural reference points can actually be a really good opportunity to learn from one another. The problem only arises when one person is less flexible or spontaneous, while the other is constantly begging them to try something new. The best fix? You guessed it: compromise.

        10. Your financial responsibilities might not mesh well together.

        If you're getting serious with an older man and marriage could be in your future, you're going to want to think about what your combined finances would look like.

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        "Just as he might be concerned about your student-loan payments, you have a right to be curious about aspects of his financial health," Carmichael says. Is half of his money tied up in alimony and child support? Or are his children all grown up and financially independent?

        "Openness should be a two-way street," though, Carmichael says. So if the two of you feel like you're in the stage of the relationship where combining finances could be in the near future, it's important to be honest about where your money is going.

        Not sure how to start the convo? Carmichael usually advises her clients to just name the issue. "I love where our relationship is headed, and I'm super excited about our future together. But as things get more serious, I'd love to talk about our financial goals, where our money might go in the future, and what it's currently being spent on now." If a chunk of your salary is going toward loans or a second mortgage, say that. Then ask him if there are any large financial responsibilities that he's concerned about. This will create an opportunity for open and honest dialogue. The conversation might feel a little uncomf at first, but you definitely want to have this discussion well before the vows, Carmichael says.

        P.S. An older guy **might** have more disposable funds to spend on building a life together—if so, fun!—but that's no guarantee. And you never want to partner up for go back to point numero uno if you aren't sure. At the end of the day, you want someone who brings out your best self, and there's no age limit on that.

            Alexis Jones

            Assistant Editor

            Alexis Jones is an assistant editor at Women's Health where she writes across several verticals on WomensHealthmag. com, including life, health, sex and love, relationships and fitness, while also contributing to the print magazine. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University, lives in Brooklyn, and proudly detests avocados.

            Not a dad, but a husband! 6 reasons to marry an older man

            Relationships with a large age difference, where a man is 15, 20 or more years older than his chosen one, in our country will not surprise anyone. For many, this is practically the norm. And this is not surprising, our society is still patriarchal: the roles in the family are distributed according to the principle of the man - the head of the family, the breadwinner, and the woman was created for comfort and spending money.

            In a partner marriage, in which people of the same age enter, such a situation is hardly possible: everyone should bring something material into the house, and not just “warmth and comfort”. Therefore, marriage with an older man is always popular in our country among young, active and purposeful brides.

            1 Comfortable life

            In a marriage with a man of the same age, you have to start everything from scratch. If you don’t want to live with parents who cannot buy separate housing for the bride or groom, you will have to rent an apartment, then take out a mortgage, and solve many other domestic issues. If you marry a man older than yourself, many problems concerning, for example, the notorious "housing issue" with him, as a rule, are resolved. I have my own apartment, car, country house, perhaps even real estate outside my homeland.

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            The presence of real estate, bank accounts, own business or a highly paid job, makes a man, regardless of his age and appearance, very sexy and attractive, especially for building a serious relationship. And all his achievements greatly facilitate the life of a young wife.

            2 Social status

            It is important for any woman, especially a young, active and purposeful woman, what her man does and what bonuses she can get from it. One of those bonuses in being married to a much older man is status. No one marries an elderly locksmith from a local management company or a courier who has to drive around the city all day delivering documents or food. Such men are not of particular interest in terms of opportunities.

            Businessmen, artists of different genres, TV program hosts, artists, designers, screenwriters, writers, directors are another matter — you can go out with them, as they say, into the world: show yourself and look at others. Such people have a large social circle, acquaintances, connections, and in our time this is sometimes of much greater value than education and an attempt to make a career on their own.

            If Yevgeny Vaganovich was not a humorist known throughout the country, but was a simple teacher or personnel officer, would Tanya Brukhunova really have seized him with a stranglehold? No, Tanya is a purposeful and far-sighted girl, she does not need a teacher or office plankton: their status is not the same and the opportunities are not the same.

            3 Endless possibilities

            No one knows how to love a woman the way a man does in adulthood. It is he who is capable, if not of everything, then of much. With him, the girl will really be surrounded by care, attention, she will receive everything and even more.

            A mature partner is practically a dream, because, due to his age and life experience, he can literally predict desires. And he wants and, most importantly, can give his chosen one everything that depends on him: branded clothes, beautiful shoes, fashionable handbags, a good education at a prestigious university, travel, accommodation in luxury hotels. He will help her with the business, pay for her hobbies, follow her lead and, importantly, even enjoy it.

            In fact, in the depths of her soul every woman dreams of this, that a man would take and throw the whole world at her feet like this. At the same time, he treated her like a father. But in reality, only purposeful young ladies who marry men much older than themselves get it.

            4 Understanding

            Can the average woman expect understanding from a man of the same age when she is married to him? Only if she proves to him in every conceivable and inconceivable way that she is right. Sometimes a man can even listen, but the chances that he will really put himself in the place of a woman are negligible.

            Everyone enters into marriage as complete egoists, especially when it happens at a fairly young age. As soon as the two are on the same territory, a struggle for a dominant position in the house begins between them - in this struggle, each of the newlyweds pulls the blanket over himself.

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            This will not happen in a marriage with a mature man - the roles in such a family are clearly distributed. In addition, such a man has already exhausted his supply of infantilism, so age and life experience make a man really a man in a relationship. He can close his eyes to something, treat something with understanding. A mature man in a relationship with a young woman is, in some way, an ideal man: he is always one step ahead and slightly indulgent to her possible shortcomings, mistakes and imperfections. Maturity is distinguished by wisdom, including in relationships. This is what is often lacking in women married to peers.

            5 Realization of oneself as a woman

            No matter what anyone says, you can truly feel like a woman, feel protected, in marriage with a man who takes full responsibility. When a woman does not need to fight for survival every day, but can just relax, take care of herself, her own development, gain new knowledge, experience, discover some new opportunities for herself, do what she likes, and not what brings money - this is wonderful .

            Moreover, an older partner understands perfectly well that a woman who gets married wants a family. Such a partner has no desire to delay childbearing until better times, unlike male peers, he is well aware that “better times” may not come. He knows that a woman wants to realize the maternal instinct, and is ready to provide her with all the opportunities for this.

            6 Realization of internal needs

            Despite the fact that most relationships with men much older than themselves have a mercantile basis, this is neither bad nor good. This is just a fact, because every woman has the right to choose what she likes and live the way she wants, and not every woman is ready for such a relationship in principle.

            Why women choose mature partners

            It happens that a woman is really attracted (in every sense) to men much older. And here we can already talk about the signs of gerontophilia - a disorder that most often manifests itself in sexual attraction to persons of the opposite sex of the older age group, and the difference in such pairs can be from 30-40 years or more. In this case, school teachers, university professors, famous personalities, etc. become objects of adoration.

            In such relationships, material interest usually fades into the background, sincere interest, sexual attraction, feelings are much more important. Over time, of course, even in such couples there is ground for manipulation and mercantilism, because it’s stupid not to take advantage of the position that an aged partner who has achieved a certain status and financial position can give. But it cannot be denied that among couples with a very large age difference there are those who maintain quite sincere and beautiful relationships in which there is a place for mutual love and respect.

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            Such unions with a huge difference in age are almost always based on undeveloped or pathological relationships with parents - the actual absence of a father in the life of a daughter, insufficient attention on his part. Therefore, having become older, the girl tries to find a replacement for him - to make up for what she was deprived of in childhood. Such girls suffer, as a rule, low self-esteem and are not confident in themselves. With a partner who is several decades older, you can build a truly trusting and good relationship in every sense, especially when there is already some traumatic personal experience of disappointment, because older people are like children - gullible, harmless, naive and in some ways safe .


            Olga Romaniv

            family psychologist, matchmaker, writer, founder and head of the Classics of Relations Dating Club

            What impression did this article make on you?

            Why is it better to marry an older man

            No one is surprised by the age difference between partners. Often you will meet a couple in which the man is ten or even twenty years older than the beloved. Why be surprised? In our patriarchal society, the husband is considered the earner, and the wife is labeled as the keeper of the hearth, the creator of comfort and, of course, the one who will spend the man's money. 🙂

            But in a marriage where a guy and a girl are of the same age, most often both have to work. The representative of the fair sex will not get off with one warmth and comfort. Therefore, there is nothing surprising in the fact that young ladies willingly marry men with whom they have a rather big age difference.

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            What are the benefits of marrying an older man?

            1. Comfort

            If a girl has to start everything literally from scratch with a young guy and get back on her feet together, then an older man usually already has an apartment, a car, and, perhaps, even his own business, along with a bank account. With such a chosen one, there is no need to rent an apartment, take out a mortgage and solve many small everyday problems. A young wife is much more comfortable and easier to live with an accomplished man.

            2. Status

            Whatever one may say, it is important for any girl what her chosen one does. And, no matter how mercantile it may sound, she needs both the status and the material benefits that she can receive in marriage. When a man is significantly older than a woman, he most likely already has a certain position in society and status. When ladies choose a husband, they rarely pay attention to a janitor or a courier who has never been able to achieve anything in life. But businessmen, designers and other accomplished men are attractive "prey" for the weaker sex. A vivid example is the marriage of Yevgeny Vaganovich Petrosyan and Tatyana Burkhunova.

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            3. Care and love

            Whatever one may say, mature men already know what girls need. They know how to take care, love the chosen one and take care of her beautifully. With older men, women get whatever they want. And it's not just about travel, expensive branded items, cars and jewelry. Mature men are ready to help their wives in everything, and they even experience pleasure from it.

            Purposeful girls who marry not for love, but for convenience, usually receive such benefits. It is they who often choose men older than themselves as life partners.

            4. Understanding

            For some reason, girls who marry peers often complain that they do not understand them at all. Quarrels and scandals cannot be avoided, at least at first. The fact is that young people who decide to marry at a young age are most often selfish and try to fight girls for the place of leader and head of the family. However, representatives of the fair sex often pull the blanket over themselves.

            This cannot happen in a marriage with an older man. Usually, the roles in the family are already distributed, and both partners discuss all the nuances even before they put a stamp in the passport. Do not forget that a spouse who is older than his beloved can forgive her a lot and close her eyes to a lot. He is condescending to her emotionality and to the mistakes she makes. The husband is always one step ahead and uses his life wisdom to avoid quarrels and scandals.

            5. Realization

            A girl feels safe only when a man is ready to take responsibility for the family. If a lady does not need to think every day about the lack of money, about the missing products in the house and about the next mortgage payment, then she can relax, take care of herself and realize her potential. She can choose an occupation to her liking, and not go every day to an unloved job.

            A man who is older than his wife understands perfectly well that his chosen one needs a family. He will not delay the birth of a child, unlike guys who ask their wives to wait with the baby until they are both on their feet.

            Photo source:

            Why do girls choose older partners?

            Let's not argue with the fact that most relationships with men who are older than girls are based on a banal calculation. But every woman has the right to choose herself with whom and how to live, right? It should not be ruled out that strong and sincere feelings can really arise between partners. Why, in this case, not marry a loved one, and besides, an accomplished man? A certain commercialism in relations will appear over time, but, you see, it would be foolish not to use all the benefits that a husband can give his wife.

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