Why The F*ck Do Men Date Younger Women?

Via Anna Jorgensen
on Jan 5, 2016
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_MG_7851, Brian Roberts/Flickr

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:

  1. Older women come off as bitter or jaded. Younger women are fun and playful.
  2. Older women have baggage—emotional wounds, children with exes. Younger women are fun and playful.
  3. Older women have schedules and agendas—ticking clocks, long lists of deal-breakers (guilty here!) Younger women are fun and playful. (Spontaneous!)
  4. Older women are self-conscious of their (aging) bodies. Younger women are…fun and playful.
  5. 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.



How Naked Sandwich Night can Change your Life.


Author: Anna Jorgensen

Editor: Khara-Jade Warren

Image: Brian Roberts/Flickr




About Anna Jorgensen

Anna Jorgensen Dating, love and relationship coach. A lumberjack's daughter, I spent my formative years surrounded by virgin forest and hungry grizzly bears in remote forestry camps. The crews were mostly hard-working, good-hearted scruffy men. There was plenty of naked-lady wallpaper, which explains my naughty sense of humour and understanding of how men think. (Hint: It's not only about sex.) In 2010, after several "practice" relationships (and a hella lotta "I need help" self-study), I rewrote my self and my life and now wear the cape as "Wingmam." Yay! My super power is providing one-on-one coaching and study-at-home-in-pj's online programs that entertain-ucate singles on how to understand the opposite sex, get unstuck, navigate the modern dating world and fast-forward to the fun bits of their happily ever after. (I don't ask anyone to use cheesy lines or made-up words like I do.) Love IS the answer, people! ;) Find Anna here: link to love and laughs. Connect with Anna's real, unfiltered Facebook page here (Love IS the answer!). Watch Anna's fun-ucational videos on: WingmamTV.


17 Responses to “Why The F*ck Do Men Date Younger Women?”

  1. Michaelb says:

    I have not dated a younger woman for the last twenty years. My issue with mature women is probably a people problem than a gender problem. I am becoming less tolerant of being blamed for the way men have treated them in the past. I use to ignore it hoping it would pass and sometime it did. Now I can detect it earlier and don’t wait as long. I am not perfect and I will own my own mistakes but no more will I be held accountable for some other guys when I can find a woman that does not hate men.

  2. dleb61 says:

    As a 54 year old man who recently (2-Years + Now) found a partner who is 48 but dipped my toes in the dating waters for a few years prior I think one missing adjective from the older woman crowd is desperate. I met a number of "my age" woman who were nice, fun and playful but also oozed a certain desperation which was very unattractive. So my advice don't be desperate be whole as you can be.

  3. Lea says:

    I suggest a Labrador retriever puppy…..I get the young and playful. I would be described as young and playful for my age. I like men who are young and playful as well.

    There are many men who date older women.

    At some point one begins to question the value of being a full time babysitter…

    Look for a human, not a numerical age..

  4. Sadly, I've heard that a lot, Michael. Hence the bitter/jaded/baggage of past hurts we all carry around. It would do us all well to heal and give new people (men or women) the benefit of the doubt. And smile more. We can't change the past!

  5. Agreed! We can all smell desperation from a long way off. It ain't florally. That's what I meant by women having an agenda: it's like there's a ticking time clock (bomb?) and they're running out of time. (And I sure won't own that one, because for me it doesn't apply. For real. #cats)

  6. Yep, as mentioned in the article, I know plenty of men that date or are in happy relationships with "older" women. I'm not quite sure if by "babysitter" you mean the older guy is the babysitter of the younger gal he's dating, or if you mean an older woman has to babysit that older (/same age) man! lol Either way, like you wrote: look for a human… Or a pet 😉

  7. Robert says:

    I wish it were so simple. Over the last year I have tried to get to know two women my own age. Both of them said I was a compassionate, caring, and rare man just before they buggered off. One did it at the end of a phone call saying we could have no more contact of any kind. The other just stopped responding after saying how much she was looking forward to getting together after Christmas. Now I have a woman who is 20 years my junior who is showing an interest and I really don’t know what to do. I want someone my own age, but they seem to bolt when things start to get serious.

  8. Tantra says:

    Let’s be honest, men age better than women in general. Of course, there are women in their 40s and 50s that are still very hot, but that is the exception not the rule while there are tons of older men out there that look awesome. But since women have the upper hand when they are between 16 to 35 or so, maybe it is a way of nature balancing things out. I just turned 40, I take a good care of myself and can easily pass for a 30 year old, so I don’t want to date a woman who is 40 and looks 40, but I would prefer her than a 25 year old that has partied too much and looks 40. I think most people don’t really care about your calendar years, but how good you look and how much compatibility there is personality wise. So keep fit, healthy, and work on yourself, and a compatible person will show up sooner or later.

  9. Hi Robert, Thanks for commenting. I've heard this from other men. The reality is that there are immature people in the dating game on both sides of the fence. Women are just as guilty of selfish behaviour. One thing I'm wondering about is why someone would be so assertive about you not contacting her again? It makes me wonder what (if anything) you might have done to cause such a reaction. Was it you? Or was she irrational? I've found that women don't understand that men "don't speak 'hint'." She may have tried to hint that she wasn't interested (or ignored your messages) and when you didn't get the hint, she got aggressive. Or, she might be crazy. If she won't tell you why, just move on.

  10. Totally agree. And at the risk of pissing some people off, we do live in a world that emphasizes and notices the physical first. That's our reality. The sooner we get over it the better we'll feel. Being healthy in mind, body and spirit is the foundation for the most attractive quality: a happy person.

  11. Jose says:

    Thank you so much for this!

    I’m a single 37 year old man, and I am actively looking for my life partner. I’m not going to lie, for me looks are somewhat important, they are not deal breakers because I am not good looking by any reasonable standard and I know that great books are found within all sorts of covers. So I am very attracted to contemporary women who have aged well have a ton of life experiences and are fun and lighthearted. For the most part I found that these women have never been married.

    I know that for the most the men are the ones that give up on the relationship and seek out more colorful sunsets, whatever that may mean. And I know that having built a life with someone and fought to make a he and then to slowly watch it slip through your fingers no matter how hard you hold on to it must be a cursed existence. But that cursed existence is over ladies. In case you have not figured it out at our age we hold the upper hand. This life is yours for the taking. Get your life together again. Build a home filled with joy and happiness, dinner parties and slow tearful conversation until the sun comes up. And as you lighten your burden, your sorrow, as you slowly watch it slip through your fingers you will look around and find yourself exited for your life once again and that beautiful smile of yours will once again attract your life’s partner. Some older man like me, who has been searching for you all his life. So when you find a man like me, remember ladies, you have the upper hand so sweep me of my feet.

  12. TahitiNut says:

    I haven't dated for (too long). It just wasn't worth it. When I'd meet an "age appropriate" woman, she'd relate to me as a "parent" (I'm child-free) or as a "juror" (I'm guilt-free). Something happens to people who go through major life roles (spouse, parent, etc.) that too often changes the way in which we relate to others, particularly others of the opposite sex. I've been married twice. Both failed (annulment and divorce) because of extra-marital affairs (hers) and no wish to "salvage" our marriage. In both cases, after I came back from the brink of suicidal depression, my foremost goal was to preserve in myself that guy who likes women, enjoys their company, appreciates their anatomical "design," and respects the way they view the world without a Y-chromosome. I didn't wish to become a misogynist or "gun shy." Yet the only women I found myself attracted to and enjoying the company of were women still of child-bearing age without children. I'm not a childish person even if I work to keep my "inner child" healthy. (She's a tomboy lesbian. I don't know why; she picked me.) Even growing up, I was always a responsible and diligent individual who need nurturing, not discipline. I don't feel comfortable being treated like a child, nor do I feel comfortable when, as a "two-time loser," I'm treated as though I'm to blame for my failed marriages. Cuckolded. I'm smart enough to have figured out that I could improve as a husband and lover and have done my best to use my experiences to learn from them. Yet when I meet a woman who relates to me as though I'm her adult child in need of "correction" and "enlightenment," well, it gets old very fast. I have no interest in going to bed with a woman who "mothers" me. Not at all. That's not my kink. Furthermore, I remember all my "learning experiences" from Viet Nam to being cuckolded. There's no way I'll "forgive and forget" or "put the past behind me" or "let go" when my experiences are what made me the man I am today. They're Graduate School in the University of Life. I've survived trauma from PTSD to suicidal depression to near-death illness. When I talk about those experiences, it's as a survivor, not a victim. It's with pride, not with self-pity. Scars? You bet. They're my medals. So, I'll be damned if I go into any relationship as other than an equal or without my accomplishments. When it's only as a "cradle-robber" that I feel as though I'm seen that way–as myself–but encounter the opprobrium of others and the resistance of the young woman … I'm close to giving up. There's a point where the pain just ain't worth it. I deserve better and I won't settle for less.

  13. Wren says:

    I love that you're confronting the topic of 40+ women in regards to dating. I wonder about the lens of 'what is less appealing about older women' and how to encourage conversation around the deep work that a relationship of substance requires. I am far from a relationship expert but I do know that a 'real one' requires strong commitment. I also wonder about how being with a younger woman might influence an older man's perspective on commitment? You might be interested in a different take I have on 40+ women in my recent article on Elephant, "The Best Gift You Can Give A Woman Who Doesn't Want to Settle Down."

  14. I'll turn 67 in two weeks and have been out of a relationship for the last three years. Since my partner left (we had been together for 7 years) I have taken courses, made new friends, but I have not dated at all. I feel great! Yes, I miss the hand-holding and intimate contact, but I don't miss trying to meet someone's expectations. I think there are many reasons why older men like younger women. Hell, I wouldn't mind meeting a younger man… except for the fact that he is likely to have a different world view, less wisdom than someone 20 years his senior, and less likely to have done the "inner work" which would make him self-aware and secure in himself. Yes, I have a 67 year old body, a few wrinkles, a few health problems, but I've never liked myself more. I'm doing what I love, have friends who are younger than I am, and never felt more fulfilled in my life. There is no Prince Charming. There's curious me in a world of infinite diversity and I attempt to live each day in grace and beauty. Life will bring what it will.

  15. @WakeUP2Luv says:

    Oh, thanks Wren! Will check it out. I'm in the "don't want to settle down mode" right now, too! xo

  16. @WakeUP2Luv says:

    I think that's the key, Ronnie! Be happy regardless. When we are simply joy-full, it doesn't matter if we're "with someone" but we end up attracting a lot more people because of that joy. Enjoy. In-joy! xo

  17. John Brown says:

    There is nothing wrong with dating younger, man or woman. To each his own. However, I think life experience makes a big difference in a serious relationship and age is usually strongly related to life experience. I have dated older and younger women. I prefer a younger woman within 5 years of my own age, but I am a 40 year old childless man, so I am open to seriously dating down to 25, which I really don’t want to do. Ideally, my woman would be early 30s so she does not have to be in a mad rush to breed!! Additionally, I think a great relationship is more important than just getting with someone to breed. When and if I ever get married, my hope is that it will last forever. My last relationship was with a single mother 3.4 years older than me, lasted almost 5 years. I was willing to give up having children because I thought she was a great catch and one of the possible soule mates, lol. She stopped being fun after we moved in and things went down hill.