Note: For the purpose of this essay, “older” woman means older than the younger women not older than the man.
It’s a question that I get asked a lot by women over 40, often with confusion and resentment.
I get it.
I’m single. I’m over 40.
The frustration is valid. The question is valid.
Some single men do date younger women. Maybe even a lot younger than their own age. And not just because these men are “going through a midlife crisis.” (Though, admittedly, sometimes that is true.)
In the hundreds of impromptu interviews I’ve conducted over the years with single (and hitched) men, a few commonalities have emerged.
From what I’ve gathered, men date younger women because:
- Older women come off as bitter or jaded. Younger women are fun and playful.
- Older women have baggage—emotional wounds, children with exes. Younger women are fun and playful.
- Older women have schedules and agendas—ticking clocks, long lists of deal-breakers (guilty here!) Younger women are fun and playful. (Spontaneous!)
- Older women are self-conscious of their (aging) bodies. Younger women are…fun and playful.
- Older women do have older, changing bodies. And, yes, younger women do have youthful bodies and dewy skin. This is our reality, ladies, but remember we already had that time in our lives—let’s not get greedy!
Of course, not all younger woman are fun and playful or have great bodies and Dove-commercial skin. And not all older women have all or any of these “older” women qualities.
However, generalities come from somewhere. (Don’t shoot the love messenger!)
There are also plenty of men who prefer mature women. But they prefer mature women who are fun and playful. Or at least not bitter, jaded, serious, seriously scheduled and self-conscious all in one not-fun-or-playful package.
But here’s the thing. As women, we’d do well to ask ourselves if we would want a guy with those kinds of “mature” qualities. Not likely.
In fact, most men who are looking for a long term, committed relationship do want a woman with similar life experience, which often actually means a lady closer to their own age.
And yet statistics show that women over 40, 50 and 60 have lower—way lower, like cross-your-fingers-and-pray— chances of meeting a long term partner.
So, going by what we’ve learnt from testimonials I’ve gathered out there in the real world, if we want to increase our odds of finding, attracting and keeping a worthwhile man, we may consider taking a more fun and playful approach to life.
We’ve already got the life experience, so by lightening up a bit we can actually rocket past those young, hot bods and raise our odds of attracting a good man.
(That was a humour test. How’d you do? Did you take it playfully? Or…?)
If a 50 year old, single man wants to be with a someone he can connect with in a meaningful way, someone who shares his understanding of life and that particular person is fun and playful, then the odds are low he’ll find that combination in a younger woman.
Bonus: If we can do this we’ll be a lot happier with or without a man!
Of course, we’re still going to have our kids and our schedules and our careers and our past heart-breaks, because those are the things that have given us our attractive life experience.
If we embrace the struggles that have given us the very life experience a mature man (or anyone) finds appealing, we give ourselves permission to reconnect with our own childlike spirit.
Sure, men over 40, 50 and 60 also have unattractive qualities that often get generalized (for good reason!) But since we women can’t (and shouldn’t try to) change them, what we can do is better ourselves and therefore better our options from who is available—if we’ve decided that a new life partner is really what we want. Either way, we’ll feel better while we’re at it.
And if we’re still single and happy with(in) ourselves—really, truly, pinky-swear happy, not self-denial mask-happy—and enjoy or prefer singlehood, then it’s really, truly okay to fly solo, too!
I know plenty of “older” women who are fun and playful and spontaneous and kick-ass awesome—single and otherwise.
Either way, love is the answer—and taking things a bit less seriously.
Author: Anna Jorgensen
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Image: Brian Roberts/Flickr