What attracts a younger woman to an older man?

Have you ever wondered why so many younger women seem to enjoy dating older men? So-called age gap dating has been popular for centuries, but what is the allure? This article seeks to find the answer to that question.

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Last updated and fact checked:
What attracts a younger woman to an older man?
  • Over 50% of women seek an older partner
  • Women find older men offer more security
  • Younger women are often drawn to older men because they’re ready to settle down and start a family

Being attracted to older men: FAQs

  • Why are younger women attracted to older men?

    Older men have more life experience—including in relationships—and are often more emotionally mature, financially secure, and eager to settle down. They are also less likely to be flaky.

  • Are many women attracted to older men?

    According to research by Zoosk, over 50% of all women are attracted to older men. While over half of them prefer a man to be 1-4 years older, over 40% prefer a man to be five years older than her or more.

  • What attracts older men to younger women?

    According to a Swedish study, fertility is the main draw.

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When there’s more than a five-year age difference between a man and a woman, it tends to attract some attention. Yet, it’s very common for younger women to fall in love with older men.

The popular dating site Zoosk found that 60% of men are attracted to younger women. Of these, 51% liked women who were 1-4 years younger, 27% liked women who were 5-9 years younger, and 22% liked women who were ten or more years younger.

Whether you're looking for love, companionship, or even something casual, our selection of dating sites has something for everyone. Find what you're looking for with Age Times!

What about the women, though? What did they like? Well, 56% liked to date older men. Among these, 56% liked men 1-4 years older, 30% liked men 5-9 years older, and 14% liked men ten years older or more.

However, most women on Zoosk match with someone who is, on average, no more than three years older than them.

What’s the reason behind those numbers? A Swedish study found that women sought men capable of providing for them, while men sought fertile women. By providing, we aren’t talking about sugar daddies, but more likely the biological need to be cared for when starting a family—feeling secure that the resources are there. And while some women appear to seek father figures as they have daddy issues, it’s not the most common reason.

The Swedish study also found that women past their fertile period were more likely to look for younger men.

Below you will find some of the most common reasons people tend to cite to account for why it’s so common for younger women to be attracted to older men.

The most common reasons young women like older guys

While there is no hard science around this, the most common reasons women seem to like older men are:

  • They’ve played the field and are ready to settle down in a long-term relationship
  • They offer emotional maturity
  • They have financial security
  • They have more life experience than younger men
  • They are better in bed than younger men
  • They are better parent material
  • They have higher self-esteem
  • They have more time for a partner
  • They have learned through past relationships how to create good ones
  • They have their life and priorities in order

Age Times spoke to Sandy Weiner, Dating and Relationship Coach from Last First Date, who told us: "While most women in their twenties, thirties, and forties are attracted to older men, many women in their fifties, sixties, and seventies are attracted to men their own age or younger. Women tend to age like a good wine - they become deeper, more robust, and more active over time. Many older men are retired and more interested in the same old routines as they age. So, keep an open mind as you date. It's less about age and more about how someone ages that matters when dating."

Now, let’s look at these various aspects in more detail and what you can do to attract a younger woman.

Older men are ready for a relationship

Men in their twenties and even thirties are often extremely career focused. What's more, they're exploring other life goals, whether backpacking through Europe or going to Burning Man. But, of course, they may still also be keenly interested in sowing their wild oats and sleeping around.

There is nothing wrong with any of this. Indeed, everyone needs to focus on fulfilling their goals to feel they are living their best life. And gaining sexual experience by sleeping around and having fun isn't bad. Unless you wish to be in a dedicated relationship.

If a man is busy with his career and various things he wants to do in his life, he doesn't have much time for a relationship, much less children. He will end up feeling hampered, and the relationship will suffer due to a lack of time invested in it. Furthermore, if a man still has the urge to sleep around and is entering into a monogamous relationship, there are bound to be issues.

For these reasons, young men aren’t always suitable for settling down with. Some young men, of course, are more interested in having a family than roaming the world. Likewise, many times a younger woman feels as disinterested in settling down as a younger man. She's too busy fulfilling her life and career goals to want a long-term relationship or a family. It appears, however, that women might be ready to settle down a tad sooner than men, which is one reason women date older men.

When a man feels he’s gotten somewhere in his career and sowed his wild oats, he often longs for something more. Something different. Such as settling down with a woman and starting a family. He’s ready for a long-term relationship. He's no longer interested in sleeping around, his career is not all-consuming, and he feels he's had his share of the kind of adventures that wouldn't be suitable with a family. So now he gets excited about a new phase in life.

Older men have more self-confidence

After the hard work an older guy has put into his career and life, he has likely obtained some self-confidence. He's nailed some goals and learned that he's alright even if he didn't nail others. He's learned to deal with life's ups and downs and settled into himself. He feels capable.

Women love men who are confident without being cocky. Youngsters are cocky while they try to prove themselves (and then have quite the shock when learning how difficult the task can be). In contrast, older men have a natural aura of self-confidence after dealing with the school of hard knocks. The ego tends to be less present in mid-life. Instead, genuine self-esteem has developed.

Oh, and as there’s real confidence, there’s no need for endless selfies and social media updates. A woman always feels gratified when being prioritized over a phone.

Older men create healthier relationships

Healthy relationships take hard work. Younger guys don’t always realize this. A twenty-year-old is likely to think that romantic relationships will pan out fine if there’s attraction. They meet someone, fall in love, and think everything will be fine because they’re in love with someone who is in love with them. The relationship will naturally flow from there.

Older guys have the advantage of past relationships that have taught them that relationships don't just happen—you must work on them. Moreover, they've probably learned some of the keys to working on them—good communication skills, setting time aside for the relationship, avoiding blame and focusing on solving problems, and so forth.

Emotional maturity also plays into this. For example, a man in his late thirties and older has likely learned what his emotional needs are, as well as learned that they can't be satisfied all the time by a woman. In addition, he has realized that different women have different emotional needs. What's more, he might even have learned how to satisfy them.

The emotional maturity that comes with age also has to do with dealing with life better. In your twenties, a setback at work, or some difficult family situation, can seem overwhelming. In your thirties, you've learned how to manage such situations without losing it.

Older men offer a sense of security

The emotional maturity in and of itself offers a sense of security—an older guy is less likely to lose their temper or react unfavorably to whatever life or the relationship puts at their feet. They have a calmness and authority about them that younger men lack.

Not only that, men often obtain financial security after a certain age. While not all of them are sugar daddies (and certainly most young girls aren’t gold diggers), they can comfortably pay for a home, future children's education, and vacation every so often. Younger men don’t always have that kind of financial security.

The fact that they are ready to stop playing the field offers yet another form of security. They are less likely to up and leave. What’s more, having reached mid-life, they are less likely to have a mid-life crisis where they want to jump ship, whether because they feel they didn’t “live enough” before settling down or they are tired of their responsibilities and want a taste of freedom again. They’ve had an unattached lifestyle for long enough to feel privileged to finally have responsibilities beyond themselves.

Older men are better in bed

This is, of course, not always true. Still, both men and women tend to be less inhibited, more experienced, and more ready to communicate in bed as they get older. And viagra has helped overcome one fear older men have—erectile dysfunction. As such, their sex life tends to be better than that of younger people.

The general idea is that if a man is older, he knows how to please a woman. He knows what a woman wants. While this certainly isn't always true, he's likely to be more open to communicating about needs in the bedroom without taking offense. That alone can lead to a better sex life.

Someone who has been in a previous relationship is also more likely to understand that emotional intimacy precedes sexual intimacy. He doesn’t believe that a good romp in the bedroom will fix everything else in the relationship.

Older men are ready to become parents

Parenthood has led to a damper on many a relationship. Instead of date nights, there are nappy changes. Sleepless nights lead to irritation. A myriad of tasks relating to the children take up time, ranging from visits to the dentist to signing them up for school. Parenthood takes up time, can be stressful, and is rarely romantic.

When you reach a certain age, you've seen some of your friends deal with parenthood. You've probably babysat some children. And you've already learned the benefits of creating routines and sticking to them. Plus, you've done all the "adult things" you wanted to do before having kids. So you're ready for the next step. Instead of seeing it as an overwhelming burden, you long for it and deal with the difficulties more gracefully.

Younger parents often become overwhelmed when having kids. Then, suddenly life changes, and it's nothing like they expected it to be.

Being older, you already have some job security, you've learned to deal with issues in life, your mortgage may be partly paid off, or you've saved enough that if your kid gets sick, you've got the funds to cover the costs. On the other hand, if you're younger, you might still be dealing with stabilizing your career and finances while still longing to do all the things it isn't easy to do when you have children. At least if you aren't a millionaire!

Women also sometimes feel that an older man is a better father figure than a younger partner. The above-mentioned emotional maturity comes into play. It’s not that all older men are good men, but their life experience generally leads to them being in a better space all around. With some notable exceptions, of course—some men do not get better with age!

What older men can do to attract a younger woman

While it appears women tend to be attracted to older men at large, some women also feel flattered when younger men show an interest in them. At least according to women’s response rate to messages from younger men on Zoosk! And many younger men seek an older woman—cougar dating is most certainly a thing.

So, if you’re looking for a younger woman to date, you might still have to put in some effort. Life experience alone might not be a strong enough draw!

Here are some things you might want to keep in mind if trying to attract a younger woman:

  • Lead a healthy lifestyle
  • Keep fit
  • Learn how to keep a household
  • Lead a young lifestyle—stay active socially and physically active and keep on top of trends
  • Invest some time in reading up about how to create great relationships with a partner
  • If you haven’t already, develop self-confidence
  • Create financial stability

In short, you want to develop the kind of maturity a woman doesn’t find among men her own age while still remaining youthful in appearance and lifestyle.

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