Younger women and older men dating

Why Do Older Men Date Younger Women?

Consenting adults come together for many reasons and age isn’t always a factor. Older men may fall for younger women and younger women may sometimes prefer to date older men.

While some people may believe the motives behind big age gaps in relationships are always sinister, older men may gravitate toward younger women for many valid reasons, and that may be the case for younger women dating older men, too.

Age and consent

This article discusses older men dating younger women where both partners are above the legal age of consent in their state.

If both partners are above the legal age of consent, it doesn’t mean consent is implicit. Asking for consent and both people being on the same page is key in any healthy romantic relationship.

If you’re below the age of consent and an adult’s behavior is making you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, help is available. You can:

  • Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-4673 for confidential, 24/7 support.
  • Visit Stop It Now! for online resources or reach out to their helpline at 888-773-8368.
  • Visit Childhelp for resources to handle and report abuse or to chat live with someone who can help.

Why does anybody want to date someone else? There are infinite possibilities.

The vulnerability of young girls has made the older-men-dating-younger-women stereotype a predatory one.

While it’s true that some men may consider younger women easy targets for manipulation or control, there are less sinister reasons an older man may be drawn to someone younger.

Sometimes it just happens. You fall in love with the person and overlook their age. Other times, it’s actually the energy, appearance, and life perspective of a younger woman that may be attractive to an older man. In some instances, the intention may not be a healthy one. Every case is different.

Ancestral practices

A 2020 large-scale replication study examined mate preferences across 45 countries. Researchers found that most men placed a higher emphasis on appearance when it came to choosing a partner.

The reason behind it isn’t necessarily vanity.

Primitive humans seemed to have selected mates based on reproductive success. Features like youth, symmetrical bone structure, and wide hips in females were viewed as signs of overall health and vitality, which would ensure species survival.

On some level, the ancestral and instinctual attraction to such features may remain in both Eastern and Western cultures, as noted by a large international study from 2020.

This could be a reason why men, in general, may be attracted to younger women.

Long-standing traditions

Stephanie Juliano, a licensed professional clinical counselor from Rio Rancho, New Mexico, points out women haven’t traditionally had the benefit of equality.

“Men initially had more privileges, and so it was not unheard of taking a younger partner to take care of, and on the other hand, a young woman leaving home was being taken care of both financially and socially,” she explains.

While the adult-child relationship dynamic has been denounced in some parts of the world, there’s still much work to do in that respect. It’s also possible that these practices have influenced dating culture and there may still be an undercurrent of older men dating consensual younger women based on wanting to be their provider.

Entering crisis mode

It’s probably one of the most discussed reasons for older men dating younger women: The midlife or identity crisis.

Do older men mentally resist aging by dating younger partners? Is the midlife crisis even real? There’s much discussion but limited research on the topic. Some argue that this is yet another stereotyped cliche that doesn’t have much proof behind it.

How old is “too old” when it comes to an age gap in relationships?

According to data accumulated over the course of 7 decades, in developed countries, the average age gap among heterosexual couples is 2 to 3 years.

In these relationships, the data indicates it’s more common for men to be the older partner.

Age gaps are rarely discussed until they’re considered “too big,” but there’s no hard rule about when an age gap becomes significant.

Reported satisfaction in a relationship may start to see diminishing returns if the age gap between partners is larger than 10 years, suggests an 80-paper review from 2016.

In misogynist cultures, young women dating older men may be often accused of being “gold diggers,” or just in the relationship for financial gain.

Research, however, shows that when it comes to establishing long-term relationships, the majority of women, of all ages, are typically interested in older men.

A large study of more than 12,000 participants in Finland found that most women prefer same-age or older male partners throughout life, while men, regardless of age, tend to prefer women in their 20s.

While women may also seek older men out of long-standing provider traditions, there are other reasons this matchup might be appealing.

Emotional maturity

Research suggests men take longer than women to reach mental maturity, making it reasonable for young women to feel more emotionally compatible and secure with older men.

The father complex

Young women who grow up with absent, emotionally unavailable, or abusive fathers may develop what’s known as the father complex.

The father or Oedipus complex isn’t a recognized disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, text revision (DSM-5-TR), and it’s a controversial term. Originally a Sigmund Freud’s theory, the term and concept have been long controverted.

Initially, the theory described how children form a strong attachment with the parent of the opposite sex and start to compete for attention and love with parents of the same sex. This is part of the natural psychosexual development.

When a person stays psychologically stuck in this stage of development, they may experience challenges in adult relationships.

When it comes to younger women dating older men, some people refer to the complex as “daddy issues,” a gendered stereotyping term.

Only a mental health professional can accurately determine if a younger woman’s attraction to older men has roots in unresolved childhood conflicts.

What about older women and younger men?

A double standard may exist in some cultures that accept older men dating younger women. Older women dating younger men may not be seen so kindly, although it could be explained differently.

Mary Mimi Schultz, a licensed professional counselor from Houston, explains this is often because the component of vulnerability is missing from this dynamic.

“When a younger man dates an older woman, it is more accepted because she is not in the relationship for money, typically,” says Schultz.

In a chauvinist culture, an older woman may still be seen as the weaker one in the relationship, not the one taking advantage of a younger partner, which may happen to older men dating younger women.

When two people genuinely love one another and have built that love on commonalities, companionship, respect, and trust, a relationship can work — regardless of the age gap.

Patricia O’laughlin, a licensed marriage and family therapist from Los Angeles, says relationships with a large age gap may be wonderful opportunities for personal growth.

“There can be significant differences in beliefs between generations. It’s a real chance to learn how to consider multiple perspectives on an issue or experience,” she says.

Schultz adds these types of relationships also tend to have high levels of maturity, which can mean a lower chance of settling for less than ideal circumstances.

“Typically, an age gap difference means one is in it for the love and relationship,” she says.

Any relationship can face challenges, but research suggests age gaps like those in relationships between older men and younger women have been linked to:


As partners age, the older partner may not be able to meet the energy levels of the younger partner, or may feel inadequate.

Depression in older adults may also be linked to experiences unique to the age, like losing close friends and retirement, something a younger partner may not be able to relate to.

Infidelity and lack of relationship commitment

Although not a rule, it’s possible that younger partners may gravitate back toward people their own age, particularly if the older partner doesn’t have the same sex drive.

Infidelity isn’t exclusive to relationships with age gaps, though. As in any other case, trust and open communication are key to managing this challenge.

Lower relationship satisfaction

Many factors can influence relationship satisfaction. With a large age gap, partners may experience stress or anxiety from:

  • social stigma
  • different priorities in life, or goals that don’t align
  • power dynamics
  • clashing social circles
  • age-related health challenges

How to manage challenges

Experts cite communication as critical for the success of relationships between older men and younger women.

Juliano recommends open communication about big life questions, right from the start.

“Are there common interests in life goals, religion, family, where do you see yourself, what do you want in the next 5, 10, 15+ years?” she suggests you ask yourself.

O’Laughlin explains that figuring out these questions and creating plans to address them can strengthen your relationship and decrease resentment and conflict.

If you’re unsure where to start, a relationship counselor can help you and your partner identify areas of concern and possible solutions.

Why would older men date younger women and vice versa? As with any other relationship, there are many factors involved. Emotional security, maturity, common life perspectives, physical attraction, and chemistry may be involved. Instincts and culture may also play an important part.

It’s also possible in some cases that unresolved relationship challenges with father figures or traumatic experiences may be at play. Only a mental health professional can determine if this is the case.

Having a big age gap doesn’t necessarily mean your relationship is bound to fail. Open communication about life goals and expectations can help you and your partner build a foundation of trust and respect.

Why Younger Women Find Older Men Attractive (Is She Attracted To You?)

It's time to admit it: you're not as young as you used to be. But that doesn't mean you're past your dating prime!

The statistics speak for themselves. An incredible 56% of women state they prefer to date a guy older than them – and 45% of those women want their man to be between 5 and 15 years older than they are!

Those are some pretty good odds. But to make a safe bet, you need to learn a bit of female psychology. Get in the know, and who knows who you'll be dating this time next week!

As ever, it's my job to bring you guys up to speed. So, in today's article, we'll be covering:

  1. What Attracts Younger Women To Older men?
  2. Why Date A Younger Women?
  3. How Do You Tell If A Younger Woman Is Interested In You?
  4. What Are The Disadvantages Of Dating Younger Women?

#1. What Attracts Younger Women To Older men?

Summarizing everything that younger women love in older guys would take hours. However, there are some stand-out characteristics that we middle-aged guys possess over younger men, which the fairer sex finds absolutely irresistible.

Like a well-aged wine or classic car, there are certain things we can provide that the latest model never could.

Class and Maturity In Older Men

We've been through our crazy 20s and came out the other side. Wild all-nighters, booze-fueled partying, and risky business isn't aren't our deal anymore. Been there, done it, and earned the t-shirt as proof.

Do you really think women find wild-card 20-something-year-olds attractive? For a quick fling, maybe. But for true maturity and stability, who do you think they look to? You guessed it – us mature fellas!

In short, a slightly older man provides a level of maturity that younger guys just can't. They'll get there eventually, but while they catch up, we can reap the benefits of our years of experience.

Older Guys Can Look After Themselves

Do you think I still ask my parents for money or need their help doing my laundry or fixing a shelf? Of course not!

I'm guessing most of you guys are the same. You've had a family you needed to support, which means you had to learn specific skills to be a successful man. After a while, you pick things up pretty quickly and become the guy your family comes to for advice, support, and help.

Can you see why that would be attractive to a 30-year-old woman looking to start a family of her own? She has a choice, date a younger guy who doesn't know his butt from his elbow when it comes to DIY or date an experienced man who knows how to fix her problems without the help of his parents.

It's a pretty easy choice for her to make, let's be honest!

Older Guys Are More Romantic

I'll be honest – when I was in my 20s, I cared a lot about what my friends thought of me. If I showed my romantic side in front of any of my guys in the marines, they would tease me about it for weeks.

It's the same for most younger guys. They think that you can't be manly and romantic at the same time. Unfortunately, this often leads to them not treating their girl right and pushing her away.

As a middle-aged guy, I know this from first-hand experience – as do most older men. That very fact makes older men incredibly attractive to younger women. No woman wants a man who plays games and makes her feel unloved. Date a 20-year-old, and she risks being treated like an afterthought whenever her man's friends are in town. Date a 40-year-old, and she pretty much guarantees love and respect regardless of who's in the room.

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#2. Why Date A Younger Women As An Older Man?

So with all this talk of maturity, why would a guy want to date a younger woman? Won't she be just as immature as a younger guy?

Actually, no.

A study conducted in Britain found that men don't reach complete emotional maturity until they're in their 40s, while women reach it by 30! That means a younger woman's maturity should match yours, provided she's around 30.

This actually explains why women prefer to date older guys – it's far more likely to be an equally mature relationship.

Of course, there's also the benefit of dating a woman who still has a younger person's energy and an open mind. Both men and women can begin to lose their enthusiasm as they grow older, so if you're an adventurous kind of guy, dating a younger woman may be a great way to find someone who matches your energy levels.

#3. How Do You Tell A Younger Woman Is Interested In You?

The fact is, telling if a woman is interested in you isn't the easiest thing in the world. At the end of the day, every woman is different and will act differently toward the men she has an attraction to.

However, there are certainly some general signs to look out for that will help you get a better idea of how a younger woman feels about you as an older man.

She Always Asks For Your Help

I'll preface this one with a warning: sometimes a woman just wants you to help her! There isn't always a romantic intention behind this.

However, if a young woman regularly asks for your help with tasks that show your value as a man – for example, DIY or demonstrations of strength – then she may be interested in you romantically.

The best way of telling is whether or not she seems like she could have done the task herself. If she seems like she's asking you to get your attention rather than because she genuinely needs help, then your luck might just be in!

She Laughs At Your Jokes

You're a funny guy. But you're not THAT funny.

If you've been talking to a young woman for a while and she consistently laughs at your jokes, this could be a sign that she is into you romantically.

Once again, proceed with caution. Laughter does not equate to lust and isn't a sign she's ready to jump in the sack with you. However, it does show that she finds you endearing and a joy to be around.

Laughter is a great starting point for attraction – the other stuff can develop from this if it becomes clear that she sees you as more than a friend, colleague, or acquaintance.

Bide your time, tell a few unfunny jokes to see if she still laughs, and start a conversation about your feelings when the time is right!

She Touches You For No Reason

Touching people isn't a normal thing to do in social settings. In fact, many people get weirded out by the idea of touching others.

So if a woman goes out of her way to touch your arm or gently nudge you, then that's a pretty good sign that she has some kind of feeling towards you.

Again, this does not mean she's guaranteed to be romantically obsessed with you. However, it's a great sign that she's comfortable around you and feels that she's on a level with you where she can get physical.

Usually, this gesture will be coupled with another one of the above. She may laugh at your joke and give you a nudge on the bicep. She might put her hand on your forearm when asking for your help.

Either way, it's always worth taking note of. If it starts happening regularly, chances are you've got a good chance at romance.

#4. The Disadvantages Of Dating Younger Women As An Older Man

Sorry to burst your bubble, gents, but as with anything good thing in life, there are downsides to older men dating younger women.

Regardless of maturity levels and romantic connections, two people at different stages in life will have different priorities and desires. That's a simple far – and it's unavoidable. Not that any of these things are reasons to rule out dating younger women, but I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't make you aware of the cons as well as the pros!

Wanting A Family

This may not be considered a negative thing for some guys. But for other guys who have kids to love and care for, dating a younger woman who wants to start a family may be tricky.

It's natural for young women to want to start a family – so when they look for a romantic partner, your potential as a father will come into play. In fact, it may be your experience as a great dad that makes you attractive to her!

In this instance, honesty is the best policy. If you're not open to the idea of kids (or more kids), then tell her. It would be unfair to lead her on, only to break her heart when you tell her the truth about your life priorities.

Prioritizing A Career

Young women are in the prime of life. At the age of 30, it's only natural for someone to want to push themselves to the limit and succeed in their professional lives. We can't blame them for that – we've all been there.

However, you need to consider whether you're still in that place. As an older guy, you may have already built your business or reached your professional goals. Now might be the time that you want to relax and reap the benefits of your hard work with the lady in your life.

Becoming involved with a young career woman might not be the best move if you're that guy. Sure, you can support her with your knowledge and experience, but when it comes to those long weekend getaways and cozy morning dates, a career woman will be far too busy developing professionally.

Other People Will Judge You

It's ridiculous that I even have to include this – but here goes.

Some people will judge older men dating younger women. It's a sad fact of life that you'll have to accept when dating a younger woman.

An age difference should not affect two people's feelings towards one another. It shouldn't stop you from developing a relationship with a great woman! However, if you're the type of guy who can't cope with a bit of judgment here and there, be careful when dating a woman younger than you.

The last thing you want is to become ashamed of yourself and your partner and start to push her away as a result. No woman deserves that.

Attracting women isn't easy, but I've got some killer advice to help you land that next big date. Click here to discover the 5 signs that she's DEFINITELY into you.

20-year-old girls explained why they like mature men

Scientists from the University of Colorado tried to decipher the phenomenon of relationships between young girls and mature men - and found that such romances are involved not only in sex and money. To verify this, Gazeta.Ru talked to 20-year-old girls who met with accomplished people and talked about why today no one is embarrassed by “over 30”.

To denote the relationship between a young girl and an adult man, it is often customary to use the offensive English wording "sugar daddy", which is translated into Russian by the equally unpleasant word "daddy". This type of relationship suggests that a woman is at least financially dependent on a man - it is also believed that a man raises his self-esteem by having an affair with a pretty young girl. nine0003

Researchers said this week that there's more to daddy relationships with young women than the simple exchange of money for sex. Maren Skall, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Colorado Denver, said that the few US scientists who have tried to find a scientific justification for this phenomenon "most often describe it as a type of prostitution." Her own analysis was carried out on the basis of 48 interviews with various respondents, and in the end it became clear that such relationships can be very diverse and often tied to various psychological and physical reasons. nine0003

The idea that girls who have just come of age actually trade sexual contact for goods and money is outdated by Skull.

To test the researcher's calculations, Gazeta.Ru discussed relationships with a noticeable age difference with young girls for whom the security of an older partner was not a key factor. Muscovites in the age category under 25 talked about what attracts them to relationships with men over 30 and about how mature men are better than their peers. nine0003

The interest of one of the interlocutors of the publication “in particular to men” is almost of a sporting nature. According to her, dating people 10-15 years older than you is a special skill: it’s easy to communicate with your peers because you think the same way, but it’s quite another thing to “get the attention of an older person who knows more than you, interest him and support him. the level of communication is at its bar.”

Another 22-year-old Muscovite is dating a 31-year-old man and says that she always had a goal of dating someone more experienced, because they "are not old yet, but they already know something." And peers at the university and at various events after that do not attract the girl at all. nine0003

Muscovite Anait is 24 years old, and her boyfriend Tigran is 30. She says that her previous boyfriend was two years older than her, and there is a difference. “Next to Tigran, I feel much safer, there are global topics for communication. Since we are Armenians, we don’t have a sexual life before marriage, so I can’t share anything here yet, but I think that there are no reasons for concern.

Anahit notes that her lover had no problems communicating with her parents because of a small age difference. “He is 15 years younger than his mother, and 18 years younger than his father. Therefore, he calmly communicates with them on“ you ”, addresses them by name and they consider him not a child, but equal to themselves,” the girl noted. She also stressed that the man was the first to whom she wanted to "obey, trust his views, life experience and so on." According to Anahit, the only disadvantage in more serious communication with an adult man is his elderly mother and father: "old school". nine0003

Everyone interviewed by Gazeta.Ru noted the broader horizons and determination of mature lovers and made unflattering comparisons with young people under 30 who "do not know what they want." It is significant that all the interlocutors of Gazeta.Ru resorted to the last wording.

The story of 22-year-old Kristine's parents, who also had a big age difference with her lover, gives a slightly different view on the topic, although the girl herself considers the beginning of a relationship a little “mercantile”. “My mother was 16, he was in his 30s. My mother said that she came out from somewhere, and he was standing in a tracksuit next to a sports car, and this attracted her attention.” Today, the girl is firmly convinced that her father performed a parental function for her mother: “After 23 years and after 10 years of their life together, I can say that it was he who raised her.” nine0003

“The manner of communication, behavior, statements, attitude towards oneself and other people are absolutely identical, they almost call people names with the same words,” Kristine explained and added that her mother still denies this.

For 21-year-old Arina, a man who is over 30 is, first of all, a person whose life experience allows him not to say “obvious things” aloud, because he, guided by his knowledge, can draw correct conclusions .

In general, young women who have had experience of relationships with mature men agree that such a romance is a valuable and pleasant life experience that helps to develop, on the one hand, and relieve themselves of responsibility for their lives, on the other . nine0003

“I was in a relationship with a 34-year-old man, and it was probably one of the most pleasant experiences in my life, because with no one else did I manage to feel like such a little princess, whose problems automatically fall on the shoulders of a strong person."

The girl emphasized that the sense of security that the companion provided made it possible to understand that he was not going to assert himself at her expense, as was the case in previous and subsequent relationships. However, complexes and unresolved psychological problems do not have an expiration date, so she was probably just lucky. nine0003

Another girl, Alexandra, admitted that this experience was a new starting point for her. “You finally see how your relationships with men should be arranged, and this is not that eternal nightmare when you both do not understand what is happening,” she said.

In conclusion, the girl said that these healthy relationships increase self-esteem, which in turn allows you to move on with a completely different attitude towards love and life in general.

Today, many representatives of generation Z quite calmly choose people at least 10 years older, and here you can argue that most of them grew up with parents who survived a divorce - and they lack the father figure. But one fact is indisputable - when the door is opened to you, not because you cannot do it yourself, but purely out of habit, it is easy to get used to this, like any good thing. From all of the above, the conclusion follows that if a girl is not embarrassed by a small amount of gray hair, then the position of young competitors, whose emotional solvency and financial capabilities can be called into question, is, to put it mildly, unenviable. nine0003

Why do men date older women?

Men meet older women much more often than we imagine. Everyone remembers Demi Moore's romance with Ashton Kutcher: there is a 16-year difference between them. And this is far from the limit: the wife of French President Emmanuel Macron is 24 years older than him and taught at the school where he studied. They met when Macron was 15. And although the romantic relationship began later, after he came of age, the public's close attention to their relationship continued for many years. nine0003

And this situation is not unique. The condemnation of "unequal" relationships, where the man is much younger, is one of the signs of our time. And yet, despite the stereotypes and bias of society, such unions continue to form and be happy.

Why men prefer older women

According to a recent survey, young men who are in love with older women explain their preference for various reasons, such as considering them better partners than their peers. Mature women are confident and self-sufficient, excellent interlocutors, they know how to listen and are not obsessed with creating a family. Some argue that next to such women, their self-confidence grows. nine0003

Men are attracted by rich life experience and emotional stability, stability, sincerity and openness to new things. One interviewee recalled his period of dating young women as unsuccessful "attempts to have a meaningful conversation in noisy nightclubs", as well as having to endure the "brainwashing" and immature behavior of the girls he went on dates with.

Permissible age difference - what is it?

Gloria Cowan's 1984 survey showed that people tend to think that such relationships will be less happy than "traditional" ones. At the same time, it seemed to the adolescents and adults surveyed that the difference of 18 years would seriously affect the future of the couple. With a less significant age gap, people's judgments became softer. nine0003

So what is the "ideal" option? The survey participant, who described his experience with young women, noted that the difference of five years between him and his partner was not enough for the "emotional maturity and depth" of the relationship he needed. He himself realized that he prefers women at least ten years older and considers them more confident and broad-minded: "The same age and younger girls do not help me grow like women of more mature age."

Predator hunting

So, studies have shown that many men are interested in older women. But how are such relationships created? Contrary to the “predatory” image created by the series of mature women in leopard print looking for their next young lover, many say that the opposite is happening: younger men show interest and initiative.

Learn more