12 Reasons Older Men Like Younger Women

A host of interesting aspects, besides physical attraction, dictate the dating age preference of senior men.

Reviewed by Sarah Kenville, MA (Marriage and Family Therapy) Sarah Kenville Sarah KenvilleMA (Marriage and Family Therapy) facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Experience: 4 years
Edited by , BSc Shatabdi Bhattacharya BSc linkedin_icon Experience: 2.5 years
Fact-checked by , MA Gracia Odile MA linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years

George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey – it’s a pattern! Why else would it be so commonplace? So, we cannot help but wonder why older men like younger women. Because if we are all being honest, it isn’t just a trend among celebrities. We all have heard of that mutual male contact in their 40s-50s having an affair with someone half their age. Depending on the ages of those in the relationship, many of us might mockingly label the man a pedophile or the woman a gold-digger. But are predatory sexuality and capitalism the only reasons for an intimate relationship between an older man and a younger woman?

We have done some homework and found that many social and psychological factors could shape older men’s opinions, thus determining their preferences for younger women. Keep reading to find out more.

12 Reasons Why Older Men Like Younger Women

There has been a longstanding social stigma against large age gaps between couples. However, due to social media reach and the option of anonymously expressing one’s unfiltered opinions, many people have expressed their ideas on dating despite big age differences. So have older men, letting us in on their bold and brazen perspectives.

Explore a few possibilities in this article about what attracts an older man to a younger woman or what such relationship dynamics appeal to them.

1. It Gives Them An Ego Boost

older man and younger woman pose for the camera at a party
Image: Shutterstock

Many men would agree that they are visual creatures. Many alpha men feel they are ‘out of form’ if they can’t date younger, and stereotypically, more attractive women. They do not want to lose out to younger men or to lose face in front of men their age. A young woman with an exceptional physical appearance is like a trophy they enjoy flaunting – proof that they still have game. It seems to make other men jealous, implying they have something that other men want but cannot have. All of this feeds their ego.

protip_icon Fun Fact
A 2020 large-scale mate preference study across 45 countries showed that men prefer younger and attractive women while women prefer older and financially stable men (1).

2. They Get To Relive Their Youth

older man and younger woman dressed in costumes do a quirky dance on a city pavement
Image: Shutterstock

Many older men are in denial that they are beyond their prime. They still want a ‘night out with the boys’ every other night while their married male friends are busy fulfilling their familial obligations. Socializing isn’t the same anymore, and feels like a hard pill to swallow. A younger, outgoing woman fits quite conveniently into the void left by their friends. She is always down for parties, weekend trips, and fancy dates, and is full of an addictive youthfulness and vitality that rubs off on them.

3. It Makes Dealing With A Midlife Crisis Easier

distressed looking older couple sit on a sofa facing away from each other
Image: Shutterstock

Men in their late 40s and early 50s are known to be more susceptible to fatigue – an unspecified sense of burnout in life (2). Many factors contribute to this. It could be an abrupt discovery of an underlying health risk, unprecedented career setbacks, or an exhausting divorce. Whatever the case, they do not want to go through this alone or with an adult who reminds them of their failures. Having just started out with life, younger women have an optimistic outlook. No obstacle is too huge, and no failure is irreversible to them. They have more encouragement than criticism to offer. It makes taking one day at a time easier and even fun.

4. Younger Women Return Their Attentions Too

Older man helps younger woman using a laptop at the dining table
Image: IStock

Several younger women are also attracted to older men. A toxic need for a father figure in life, financial desperation, or the assumption that older men are wiser, more mature, and less likely to be manipulative could be aspects that attract younger women to older men. It would not be as common and easy for older men to date someone much younger had many younger women themselves not shown an interest in them. Many of these women may act out of dire circumstances where all other avenues have failed them. They may be forced to return the affections of older men to improve their situation.

5. Patriarchy Has Conditioned Them To Become Providers

Older man and younger women on a romantic, candlelight dinner
Image: Shutterstock

Men who have grown up in traditionally patriarchal settings have been raised to become heads of their respective families. There is a forced concept of masculinity that they must adhere to, which involves protecting and providing for the women and children in their families. Therefore, dating younger women enable men to enact the stereotypical gender roles where the man is the provider and women are taken care of. However, with changing times, women have become more career-oriented and don’t want a man to make decisions for them or take care of them. In such a world, patriarchal men find women their age too independent. This works against the purpose for which they were raised. Hence, they find younger women to be the ideal match.

Renee, a blogger, reflected on her experience of dating older men in her blog post. She said, “ I saw things in my past relationships that I’d never seen before, especially the one with Sam. Looking back, I realized he’d claimed a subtle ownership over me by being my boss and paying for everything. It was an unspoken transaction, a power dynamic that discreetly entitled him to my compliance and affection, an undercurrent that I don’t think either of us perceived at the time (i)!”

6. The Sex is Experimental And Satisfying

Older man and younger woman share an intimate bedroom moment
Image: Shutterstock

Sexually curious younger women are yet to define their sexual preferences. This makes them open to being exploratory and experimental in bed. They are convinced that an older man can introduce them to a whole new world of bodily pleasures as they have more experience with sex. Young women are also eager to please their partners so they can have it returned generously. Older men looking for a spiced-up sexual life like this arrangement. They are more than happy to teach their younger partners a thing or two and maybe even try new things they never got to try with other sexual partners.

protip_icon Fun Fact
A 2010 American study found that older men were more sexually active and interested in maintaining a good quality sex life when compared to older women. And this gap only widened as they grew older (3).

7. They Might Have A Phobia Of Commitment

older man playfully carries his younger partner at the beach
Image: IStock

Not everyone is meant for or ready to commit to serious relationships. Some rich, older men with such preferences find it easier to get into casual relationships with younger women. They know they are not as attractive as younger, toned men, but that is not what they are offering, nor are they looking for love. They want a materialistic relationship that does not come with the burden of commitment and will last as long as they pay for it.

8. They Do Not Want to Have Children

Older man and younger woman on a lunch date
Image: Shutterstock

Some older men may be ready to commit emotionally but not want children. They might have concerns about whether they can be good fathers or even be around long enough to watch their children grow into adults. Many older women these days are also more vocal if they do not want children, but it seems to be a given with younger women. They still have a life to live before devoting it to motherhood. This is what attracts older men to younger women in some instances.

9. They Want To Have Children

Older man smiles at the camera as his young wife and little daughter interact in the background
Image: IStock

In contrast to the previous point, some older men do want children. Having checked education, career, lifestyle, and every other box off their bucket list, the next natural step is fatherhood. Women below the age of 30 seem to be an ideal choice to bear their children as they are more fertile (4).

Additionally, they have the physical stamina necessary to go through pregnancy. These factors rank younger women at the top of some older men’s list of preferred partners.

protip_icon Did You Know?
Interestingly, while older women are less fertile, a 2007 study says that age also affects the quality of genes men pass down to their offspring. It suggests that to give birth to healthy offspring, women must mate with younger men (5).

10. They Find Older Women Exhausting

Excited older man enjoys watching the TV while his mature wife gets annoyed
Image: Shutterstock

Sometimes, older men dating younger women are not interested in their women’s youth. Instead, they simply find the maturity of older women to be taxing. Having had their share of experiences in life, older women may come across as too self-aware, individualistic, demanding, opinionated, cynical, calculating, or jaded. Relationships with such women might feel stifling to men looking for a more relaxed companionship. Younger women seem comparatively more open-minded, easy to laugh with, and agreeable. This makes them more likable than older women.

11. They Want Control In The Relationship

Older man directs his younger girlfriend on a walk through the park
Image: IStock

In many cases, older men who stubbornly refuse to date older women do exhibit a toxic trait where their desire for control dictates their age preference. They think younger women can be groomed into submission more easily than older women. This can be categorized as a predatory pattern unless they are with women of legal age who can make informed choices and consent to such power dynamics in the relationship. The generational difference enables the older man to dominate the relationship at the ideological level as well. As long as both parties transparently communicate their conditions, this arrangement works out for both.

protip_icon Quick Tip
The legal age of consent varies across states and countries. Additionally, being of legal age does not imply that an individual is consenting. Two people must transparently establish and agree to each other’s terms to be called a consensual relationship.

12. There Might Be A Scope For Growth

Older man and younger woman couple sharing a romantic moment on the living room couch.
Image: IStock

Against all social backlash and odds, some older men believe they can get love, acceptance, and a healthy relationship from younger women. They feel they can build a strong emotional connection through their efforts to bridge the gap and learn new things each day. While the rest of the world may have its reservations, to some individuals, age is just a number. And some older man-younger woman relationships can be as fulfilling as any other healthy relationship.

But attraction doesn’t always happen one way. Keep reading to learn why younger women are attracted to older men.

What Attracts A Younger Women To Older Men?

what attracts a younger woman to an older man
Image: Shutterstock

The emotional maturity and stability combined with a sense of security is what attracts a younger woman to an older man.

Older men also seem to have a better experience with relationships and life in general which allows them to better understand women and support and reassure them in their careers or whenever they feel low. Unlike younger men, older men are goal-driven and know what they want in their life. They are at that stage of their life where they are not afraid of commitments and are in for a meaningful long-term relationship. Women do not have to navigate the relationship questions like “where is the relationship going?”.

Wondering if a younger woman dating an older man work out well? Then scroll down to know more.

Do Relationships Between Older Men And Younger Women Work?

Older man proposes on his knees to his surprised younger girlfriend
Image: IStock

How our current sociocultural systems are structured, the relationship between an older man and a younger woman may face a compounded set of challenges. The social norms do not look too kindly upon men being with younger women. There is the obvious psychological stress of dealing with hate comments and prying judgemental eyes. But there are other challenges to consider as well, such as:

  • Failing to match energies daily
  • Conflicting goals and expectations
  • Incompatible social circles
  • Jealousy of the compatibility their partners share with same-aged peers
  • Age-defined health conditions
  • Shifting power dynamics
  • Infidelity due to mismatched sex drives

Additionally, both parties may have their challenges to tackle. However, as we have explored why older men like younger women, we have noticed the common driving factor is the attitude towards the relationship. As long as two adult individuals invest in their relationship, with similar attitudes and commitment, they can make it work.

Although there may be an age gap large enough to be considered generational, individuals who are looking for genuine connections can find it in each other. Older men and younger women can flourish in their relationships with a sense of mutual respect, trust, and transparency as the foundation.

Infographic: 12 Reasons Older Men Date Younger Women

Older men dating younger women can be as normal a relationship dynamic as any other. However, many societies across the world are yet to open up to the idea. Therefore, we often find ourselves wondering what the psychology and mechanisms behind such relationships are like. We have discussed 12 reasons at length in this article and summarized the same in an infographic below. Check it out.

12 reasons older men date younger women (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team


In conclusion, what attracts older men to younger women goes beyond basic, primal urges. We have learned that various social, psychological, traditional, and even evolutionary factors govern the dating preferences of older men. However, these reasons do not generally apply to all senior men. Also, not all relationships may be forged due to a romantic interest. The main factors are individual attitudes towards dating and personal takeaways from past dating experiences. The bottom line is, just like any other stereotypically average couple, older men and younger women can also strike a healthy balance in their relationship dynamic if they believe in and value their connection.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do men prefer younger or older women?

While many men cheekily admit they’d date younger and hotter women, many men also find maturity in older women irresistible. The standard of attractiveness boils down to personal preference that popular opinion may influence and live experiences. What a specific man may prefer is subjective and cannot be generalized.

Do older men find younger women attractive?

Older heterosexual men may surely find certain aspects of younger women attractive. However, this does not guarantee they would pursue a relationship with them. Most of them would be appreciative of a beautiful woman if they spot one.

Do women prefer younger men as well?

Depending on personal experiences, women may or may not prefer dating younger men. Independent women with dominant personalities may enjoy the control and sexual satisfaction of dating younger men. But some women may also find the immaturity in younger men frustrating.

What is it called when an older man dates a younger woman?

A neutral term for older man and younger woman relationships could be ‘asymmetric relationship,” which is a relationship between individuals who are not equals in certain capacities. However, slang terms such as ‘sugar daddies’ and ‘manthers’ are used to label older men who seem to have a predatory interest in younger women.

Key Takeaways

  • Many social, psychological, traditional, or evolutionary factors are behind older men choosing to date younger women.
  • Based on their dating experiences, some older men find younger women generally more agreeable.
  • Older men stubbornly wanting to date only younger women are looking for something other than an equal relationship. They want to exercise control in the relationship.
  • As long as both parties involved in the relationship are legal, consenting adults who communicate transparently, they can make their relationship work.
Why Do Older Men Like Younger Women

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Discover the intriguing reasons why some men are drawn to younger women in this video. Explore the obvious yet often unspoken factors that contribute to this age preference.

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Sex Differences in Mate Preferences Across 45 Countries: A Large-Scale Replication
  2. Factors Associated with Fatigue among Men Aged 45 and Older: A Cross-Sectional Study
  3. Sex, health, and years of sexually active life gained due to good health: evidence from two US population based cross sectional surveys of ageing
  4. Knowledge about the impact of age on fertility: a brief review
  5. Evolution of Female Preference for Younger Males
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Sarah Kenville

Sarah KenvilleMA (Marriage and Family Therapy)

Sarah Kenville has a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and a law degree. She has 8 years of experience and offers premarital counseling and relationship coaching to dating, engaged, newlywed, and same-sex couples. She is passionate about helping clients discover their strengths and growth areas to enrich their relationships.read full bio

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