May–December pairings in relationships are not uncommon, be it on screen, among real-life celebrity couples, or even in the case of the average Joe and Jane. Yet, if you find yourself drawn to someone who is your senior by many years, the question about the viability of older man younger woman relationships does crop up, even if fleetingly.
We’ve often come across older celebrities with younger partners, such as George and Amal Clooney and Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart. In fact, they have shown the way forward in older men dating younger women. Even though the rumor mills remain abuzz about the age gaps in their relationships, they seem to have found the secret to keeping their partnerships going strong despite the difference in their years. In the modern-day scenario, many women agree that they are more comfortable with the idea of dating older men or men who are more mature than their peers.
If you’re one of those women, it helps to know how a young woman and an older man can make their relationship work. So, what is it called when an older man dates a younger woman? What are the issues that can crop up in such relationships? Why are men attracted to younger women? How can you make it work? We spoke with California-based psychiatrist and cognitive behavior therapist Dr. Shefali Batra (MD in Psychiatry), who specializes in counseling for separation and divorce, breakup and dating, and premarital compatibility issues, to understand the dynamics of relationships between older men and younger women.
9 Reasons Why Older Man Younger Woman Dating Works
So, the burning question is, “Do women prefer older men?” Perhaps, all of us know a young woman who swoons over much older men and skips a heartbeat or two over those salt-pepper looks. Or we may have been the younger women at some point. So, why do younger women feel attracted to older men? Can such a relationship be a fulfilling one? Our expert sheds light on these questions by telling us the reasons women like to be with older men:
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1. Matching maturity levels
The first reason why an older man and younger woman may date each other is that women mature faster as compared to men. “Be it psycho-dynamically, emotionally, psychologically, they grow up faster compared to their male counterparts in the same age group. Hence, women connect better, mentally and emotionally, with men who are older than them,” says Dr. Batra. We ask her: Can an older man love a younger woman? She says, “Yes, he gels with her more because he is on the same wavelength with her.”
So, the age difference makes them more in sync with each other. They may be separated by their years but have similar levels of emotional and intellectual maturity.
2. Better relationship management
So, how well do older men manage relationships with younger partners? “Older men tend to have more experiences in life and relationships. This gives them a better understanding of the psyche of an average woman. An older man is, thus, better equipped to take care of a younger woman’s expectations and needs. Whether it is unrealistic or realistic expectations in a relationship, an older man knows how to handle them,” Dr. Batra says.
When you talk about older men dating younger women, it becomes obvious. Older men are certainly more adept at dealing with this because they have reached a certain level of maturity and know how to deal with different behaviors a woman exhibits. This is not to say that older men–younger women relationship issues don’t exist, but that these couples find a way around them.
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What attracts a younger woman to an older man? Well, an older man is more likely to be established in his career and is likely to have attained a certain level of success in life. This professional stability and social status certainly gives a woman a greater sense of security. It also lets him invest more time and effort into the relationship.
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“Of course, it’s not that women cannot or do not earn or aren’t self-reliant. But if you take our ‘older man younger woman relationship’ advice, the age-old norms of a patriarchal society tend to condition our minds on a subconscious level. So, women continue to associate professional success with security in relationships. Besides, having reached the peak of their careers, older men are more relaxed about their professional goals and are able to give more time to their women,” Dr. Batra explains.
4. Sexual experience
Another reason behind the spark between an older man and a younger woman is the sexual experience of the former. Have you often wondered, “Why am I sexually attracted to older men?” Well, it’s natural. Older men know what women want and need in bed. This can lead to greater physical intimacy, making the age-gap relationship more fulfilling for both partners.
According to Dr. Batra, older men–younger women dynamics often have great sexual compatibility and this gives rise to more emotional intimacy in the relationship. This sexual and emotional compatibility between an old guy and a young girl (or a woman) is among the reasons that older men like younger women and vice versa.
“With age comes sophistication. So, older men are usually more experienced, sophisticated, and smarter in their choices. An older man is also more likely to seek a meaningful relationship or is probably looking to offer something more serious than what a younger man can. Younger men are often more frivolous in their choices and decisions and are most often not ready for commitment,” says Dr. Batra.
An older guy dating a younger woman knows how to woo her. Not only can an older man love a younger woman deeply, but he also knows how to show his love and affection more directly. Be it through romantic gestures like getting her flowers, understanding her emotional needs, or indulging in pillow talk, he makes her feel appreciated and valued.
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6. Shared responsibilities
Statistically speaking, older men know more about sharing responsibilities compared to their younger counterparts. They may be handier around the home because they have more time at hand and have picked up some skills along the way. One simple example of this could be that older men are often better cooks than young guys.
So, if you look at the older man younger woman relationship psychology, this works wonderfully for both partners as they can create a partnership of equals in earnest. The younger woman feels secure with a guy like this, and the older man finds that excitement and spark that may have been missing from his life.
7. More holistic lifestyles
As you age, you tend to become mellow and less emotionally volatile. Older men are calmer and capable of making healthier lifestyle choices. A majority of older men indulge in exercise, eat healthily, and look after themselves. We see so many older people today who are passionate about biking and weightlifting, participating in triathlons, and so on.
On that note, it’s imperative to offer an important piece of old guy–young girl relationship advice: An older man’s attitude to life and his relationship will be centered around stability and rhythm and the younger woman should learn to enjoy that. Do older men like younger women because of their electrifying energy and zeal for life? Yes, sure. But he may not be able to match it. So, the younger partner has to be prepared to slow-dance her way through this relationship rather than looking to set the floor on fire.
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8. Better life choices
Old guy–young girl relationships also work because older men make more rational life choices. That is why there are fewer relationship issues in such cases. And even the ones that arise from time to time are addressed and put to rest more healthily than they’d typically be dealt with in relationships where both partners are peers. A man who’s been through certain life stages has the maturity to make better decisions.
So, dating older men translates to dating mature men. This generally means that:
- Older men will not do anything immature, like getting crazy drunk, partying till dawn, or breaking rules just for the heck of it
- They are more grounded and are more sorted when it comes to finances, and younger women don’t have to deal with financial stress if they have an older man as a partner
- Older men also have a set rhythm in their life that fits in quiet evenings, Sunday brunches, and beach holidays
9. The biological clock is not ticking
Men remain biologically fertile longer than women. So, when an older man and a younger woman date, they don’t have to worry about rushing into taking things to the next level because of a ticking biological clock. This would be a concern if the gender dynamics were reversed. Also, older men are more settled and like to take things slow. That works out well for a younger woman who may be invested in her career.
Why Do Older Men Like Younger Women? 7 Possible Reasons
So, now that we know that the age-gap relationship dynamic works wonders, let’s try and delve deeper into the older man younger woman relationship psychology. So, what attracts an older man to a younger woman? Here are 7 possible reasons behind such attraction:
1. Reliving their youth
All-nighters, romantic date nights, weekend camping trips – older men perhaps miss their youth a lot at times! And that’s one of the reasons they prefer to be with younger women who are yet to have a lot of such experiences in their lives and are open to them. Likewise, a younger woman is likely to introduce an older man to new things in life. It makes older men forget their own age.
Well past their prime, a lot of men in their 40s are perhaps also jaded with their friend circles. Most of their married friends probably like staying at home and taking care of their kids. So, most single men in that age bracket prefer dating attractive women in their late 20s, as that gives them some respite from their midlife crisis.
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2. No pressure to commit soon
One answer to, “Why do older men like younger women?”, is that it’s widely believed that once a woman reaches her mid-30s, she’s on the lookout for a guy to settle down with. Most men believe women beyond a certain age don’t like taking it slow in a relationship. So, men who are commitment phobic or aren’t looking for long-term relationships too soon tend to see younger, 20-something women as a safer option, as they are believed to be less bothered about commitment or marriage at that age.
And even if older men wish to take things forward on a serious note, they feel younger women won’t rush into things, thus giving them more time to gauge their compatibility and make less mistakes when choosing a partner.
3. Scope for guidance
Older men like to guide and use their experience as an advantage. Younger women give older men the scope to teach them things. Be it offering technical advice related to a car or a computer, philosophical advice on life skills, or simply tricks in bed, men like it when they can guide their young partner. This makes them be in control of the power dynamics of the relationship.
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4. Ego booster
So, this may sound misogynistic, but older men feel having a pretty young woman by their side makes them look better than other men in their circle. It acts as a huge ego booster and makes them stand out at parties and social gatherings. A man dating younger women also makes his male friends jealous.
5. The provider role
In spite of the feminist dialogue that talks about gender equality, society still sees men as providers. So, be it paying on a date or buying a car or a house, some men do it because of social pressure, while others feel special when they can provide for their partners.
In fact, providing for a woman is often one of the major relationship milestones for men. Older women are more likely to pay their own bills. Younger women who aren’t well-established in their careers yet, on the other hand, give older men ample opportunity to take on the traditional role of the provider. But again, just because a young woman is looking for a financially successful and stable partner, it doesn’t make her a gold digger.
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6. Better sex life
Yes, older women can be more experienced when it comes to sex. But most men who like younger women still believe younger women are eager to experiment and have more energy between the sheets. Plus, sleeping with an older man remains a much-known fantasy of many women. So, the older man-younger woman combination may lead to a better sex life for both.
7. Less intimidating
One has to admit that men are, in general, intimidated by older women or women in the same age bracket, because of multiple reasons. And it’s not just a question of physical attraction. Women beyond a certain age are generally well-settled in their careers, know what they want in bed, and may not tolerate things that they would’ve when they were younger. So, why older men like younger women could simply be because they’re easy-going.
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Do Older Man Younger Woman Relationships Work?
So, now you know why older men like younger women and what are the benefits of dating a younger woman. Now, let’s look at whether these relationships work in the long run. Yes, age-gap relationships have existed and thrived in every age and time. If you look around, you’d find enough evidence that such relationships work like a charm. However, this does not mean that there aren’t going to be ups and downs along the way. Being prepared for the potential pitfalls can help in navigating them more successfully.
Age-gap relationship issues
So, what are the problems with dating a younger woman? Can an older man love a younger woman enough to build a lasting relationship with her? This question cannot be answered unless we look at some of the common issues May–December couples deal with. Here are some issues you have to brace yourself for if you’re in such a relationship:
- Difference of opinions: From your taste in movies and music to permissible screen time, you and your partner are going to disagree about a lot of things. Over time, you two can also experience a difference in energy levels. This can lead to frequent bickering and arguments
- Insecurities: Insecurity can be a big issue in such relationships because ‘being old’ is often viewed as an inadequacy. An older man dating a younger woman could develop a complex, thinking that he is less than the men his partner’s age
- Possessiveness: An older man might be more possessive about the younger woman in his life. This possessiveness often stems from the fear of losing her. The woman, in turn, may find her partner’s possessiveness to be unreasonable and confining. This behavior can interfere with personal independence, leaving the woman feeling that he exercises too much power and control over her
- Uncertainty about the future: This can be one of the most pressing relationship issues in such cases and can impact both partners. For instance, the younger partner may want to get married and start a family at some point. Given the man’s advancing years, he may be hesitant to go down that path again. If the age gap is significant, the concern of how long they will be together can loom large on the relationship, as the older partner’s mortality becomes a factor
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Making older man younger woman relationships last
It is not as if an older man and younger woman cannot build a successful, stable, and fulfilling relationship. Here’s what makes it happen:
- Mutual respect: Both partners must have mutual respect. Without it, the older man may think he can command respect simply because he is the older one in the relationship
- Clear boundaries for both: Both partners should set healthy boundaries. Just because the man is older than the woman, he can’t get away with being aggressive or controlling. Likewise, a younger woman too shouldn’t expect to get away with juvenile behavior, such as flirting with young men
- Equal partnership: The key is to understand that despite the age difference, a relationship has to be based on equal partnership. He is not the father here, but a partner sharing his life with a person he loves. So, be it finances or household chores, there should be equal partnership and responsibility
- Relying on the charm: There is an undeniable pull and charm to these unusual couple pairings, and couples should take advantage of it. She makes him feel young and alive again, while he makes her feel more secure and loved than she’s ever felt in past relationships
So, as long as both partners decide to work on their differences and make it a shared goal to overcome the challenges, age-gap relationships can flourish and thrive.
- Older men being attracted to and dating younger women isn’t just a passing phase or fad
- Such relationships have many reasons to work, such as the financial stability of older men, the fact that women mature faster than men, and the sexual compatibility between such couples
- Some of the reasons why men choose to date younger women are the youthful feeling, ego boost, sexual satisfaction, and respite from midlife crisis such relationships bring along with them. Similarly, men like being providers and offering guidance to young partners
- Such relationships work when you take care of the insecurities, uncertainty, possessiveness, and difference of opinions that may crop up
So, do women prefer older men? The answer is a resounding “yes!” Likewise, we hope you aren’t still wondering, “Why are men attracted to younger women?,” and now have all the answers to how and why such relationships work. Any relationship requires mutual effort and open communication for it to work, and relationships with age differences aren’t any different. Plus, what matters are your common interests and personal preferences.
So, if you’re a young woman, don’t shy away from dating an older man. And if you’re an older man, don’t let anyone mock you for “dating someone half your age.” Don’t let the age issue ruin your chances to score a date. If two people are in love and have shared life goals, age is just a number. Go ahead. Let your love story begin.
An older man can always date a younger woman and age-gap relationships can work wonders. Some relationship problems can arise from the age gap, but if that is handled well, the relationship can be great. Love sees no boundaries. It might sound cheeky but it is true. If the partners involved are thoroughly invested in making things work, no matter the age gap or any difference for that matter, the relationship will prevail.
Apart from his salt-and-pepper hair, his penchant for healthy life choices, and the financial security he brings to a relationship, a younger woman is attracted to an older man because he is more understanding and emotionally sound. Women tend to mature faster than men, and this leaves the men of their age a tad behind. It is obvious that women tend to be attracted to older men.
The internet is filled with terms like ‘manthers’ and ‘cougars’ to label young–old relationships. Men who pursue younger women are called ‘manthers’. But it’s time to normalize these relationships. Two consenting adults are enough to start a relationship. We all have our individual desires and preferences and we need to be honest and proud of them. As long as it’s legal, there’s no harm if an older man dates a younger woman.
We often wonder what attracts an older man to a younger woman. A younger individual always brings a sense of energy and fresh perspective to a relationship. Middle-aged men tend to be attracted to the youthful energy of younger people. The fire and vigor of younger women can spice up an older man’s life. Older men also like to guide and control relationships. Younger women are more agreeable than older women, and men have an innate urge to be the ones in control.