Is It Love? Why Would A Younger Man Be Attracted To An Older Woman?
The reasons men find women attractive can vary wildly, from looks to intelligence to sense of humor. So, it isn’t always clear why a man might be interested in a woman of a certain age. While a man’s desire for a May-September relationship doesn’t necessarily have to arise due to the age difference, an older woman may have traits that he finds especially alluring. An age-gap relationship can give a younger man a new perspective on sex, romance, and life; and it can blossom into a fulfilling long-term commitment for both partners. In this article, we’re discussing several reasons younger men find older women attractive.
Why Are Younger Men Attracted To Older Women?
According to an AARP poll, 34% of women above the age of 40 are romantically involved with younger men, indicating that there is a substantial number of men who are seeking out older women. So, what’s behind these high numbers? It’s important to note that, likely, many younger men and older women simply have common interests and mutual affection, and that their attraction has nothing to do with age. In many cases, though, the age difference can lend a new perspective on a partnership and help create a unique dynamic that is attractive to a younger man.
In the past, romance between younger men and older women was considered taboo by many. Recently, though—as notions about love and relationships continue to evolve—age-gap partnerships that involve a younger man have become more commonplace and accepted. If you're curious to know why many young men are attracted to older women, the following reasons may provide some insight.
They’re Attracted To Experience
The adage with age comes wisdom can help explain why younger men may be drawn to older women. Though not always the case, often older women have learned a lot about the world and can impart some of that wisdom to younger men. Many older women are established in their careers already, financially able, and knowledgeable about a wide range of subjects. A young man may be attracted to this level of intellectual acuity and stability.
Research shows that intelligence is one of the primary characteristics men look for in women. Though age is not a direct indicator of intellect, it can signal that a woman has life experience that might contribute to increased knowledge about the world.
Experience can also be a factor in a sexual relationship. An older woman may have a high amount of sexual proficiency and might also be more comfortable in her own body, which can make intimacy more satisfying for a young man.
They Value The Transparency
Less interested in playing games or beating around the bush, many older women are willing to put their cards on the table in a relationship. They may prefer a direct conversation to subtle hints, and they are often less interested in being cagey about their feelings. Younger people, on the other hand, are often accustomed to courtships in which texts have to be planned carefully, social media closely managed, and attraction broadcast in only the subtlest ways. While people in their 20s or 30s may be scared to express themselves or give too much away, people who have passed that phase of life may simply let another person know how they feel.
Many men find this type of transparency alluring. If they have questions, they can get answers by simply asking. This eliminates the confusion or uncertainty that often exists in younger relationships—here, a man knows where he stands and can feel confident putting himself out there. Older women are often clear about their expectations. They typically know what they want and aren’t shy about asking for it. This can be invigorating to a younger man.
They Enjoy Being Pursued
Because of common dating dynamics between men and women, many men are used to pursuing women—not the other way around. Because older women often eschew game-playing, some are willing to flip that dynamic on its head and go after younger men. This can help boost a younger man’s self-esteem and serve as a refreshing change of pace. Knowing that an experienced, established woman is interested can make a young man even more interested in the prospect of a relationship.
According to one survey, 81% of women are open to dating a man who is 10 years their junior. So, the chances of being pursued by an older woman may be pretty high for a younger man.
They Appreciate The Emotional Stability
Having someone in his life who is calm, safe, and emotionally intelligent can be a major factor in a young man’s attraction to an older woman. Many young men live with turmoil surrounding their feelings and mental well-being. They often experience uncertainty related to starting their career, paying bills, maintaining friendships, and a litany of other concerns that can arise in early adulthood. So, because many older women are at a point when they’re emotionally mature, their strong and stable presence can be comforting for a younger man. A young man might feel more comfortable divulging his emotions with an older woman, who can provide some insight into his situation and give him support.
They’re Drawn To The Confidence
Self-assuredness is a quality that many men find desirable; and women tend to be at their most confident in mid-life. Women of a certain age often understand and accept who they are and have had time to work through any insecurities. An older woman may believe in herself and her abilities, and this self-reliance can be highly attractive to men who may be seeking to achieve that level of confidence in themselves. This can also help both partners foster a healthy relationship—an older woman may not be put off by what others think of the age difference because, again, she’s comfortable in her own skin.
They Love The Energy
Contrary to popular belief, many women find a burst of energy when they’re older that younger men find stimulating. Some older women have arrived at a point in their lives in which they’re focused on having fun. Because they are often more established, they may have more time and money than they did before, which can free them up to participate in more activities and develop higher energy levels. A young man may be excited about the prospect of playing sports, traveling, and exploring with an older significant other.
They Like Someone Who’s In Control
In May-September relationships with a younger man, the woman may take control of the relationship, which is often (though not always) a different dynamic than exists in many relationships with younger men and women. A young man may be used to asking a woman out, planning dates, and reaching out through texts or calls. In an age-gap relationship with a younger man, though, the woman may be the one who plans the dates, nights in, trips, and other activities.
Because they’re often financially stable, an older woman may be able to provide a young man access to experiences he wouldn’t otherwise get to be part of. For instance, an older woman may be able to afford luxury vacations, meals at high-end restaurants, or tickets to the theater or sporting events. She may also be able to buy him expensive gifts. While this isn’t necessarily the most important part of a relationship, access to these opportunities can be appealing to a young man.
Studies show that online therapy can help couples address relationship challenges, such as those that may be related to an age difference. In a study published in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, researchers looked at the relationship functioning of 39 couples following online therapy. They found that participants experienced increases in relationship satisfaction, communication, and understanding of their respective strengths and weaknesses.
No matter what your relationship looks like, know that there are resources available to help you and your partner address challenges. Using an online therapy platform like Regain, you and your partner can meet with a therapist remotely, which can be helpful if you’re in different phases of life and, as a result, aren’t always in the same area. Regain works with thousands of therapists, who, have a wide variety of specializations. So you and your partner will have a good chance of matching with someone who can address your specific areas of concern, whether they’re related to an age gap or other challenges.
There are a variety of reasons younger men might be interested in older women—but this attraction doesn’t necessarily have to do with the age difference. A younger man might simply feel drawn to a certain older woman. Regardless of how a May-September romance develops, it can bring about several unique challenges that may need to be addressed. If you’d like help working through concerns related to an age-gap relationship, consider getting matched with a licensed therapist online.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you know if a younger man likes an older woman?
There are signs a younger man likes an older woman, similar to the signs that everyone else displays when they like someone. Not all of the signs a younger man likes an older woman have to be apparent. Only a couple needs to tell if a younger man is interested in an older woman.
Signs that a younger man likes an older woman:
- He touches her a lot: Touch is one of the most apparent signs a younger man likes an older woman. It’s one of the most impactful ways to flirt, so young men will often subtly touch an older woman if he wants to get her attention.
- He talks about her often: If you notice that a younger man often talks about an older woman, he is likely romantically interested in her.
- He is involved in her kids’ lives: It is common for older women to have children. If a younger man is serious about her, he will make an effort to have a good relationship with her children.
- He spends a lot of his time with her: A young man will often ditch his previous plans with friends to spend time with the older woman. He will spend most of his time with her to prove that he’s committed and loyal, unlike other younger guys.
- He values her opinion: In a sense, a younger man will look up to the older woman he is interested in because she has more wisdom and life experience than he does. Even if he is only a couple of years younger, he still views her as more mature and experienced than a younger woman.
- He acts more mature around her: A young person often shows respect towards an older person. The same goes for a younger man interested in an older woman. He will attempt to act like an older man and match her level of maturity. He wants to prove that he is mature enough to have a relationship with him even though she is a few years older.
- He flirts with her and compliments her often: Younger guys tend to compliment the older woman they are interested in as much as possible. They want to subtly hint their intentions to her and show that they are still interested in her regardless of her age.
There are more signs a younger man is interested in an older woman than the ones listed above, but those are the most common. Remember that signs a younger man like an older woman can be very subtle and hard to catch.
Can a younger man fall for an older woman?
Yes, a younger man falling for an older woman is more common than many think. There are many reasons why younger men fall for older women, but most commonly, he admires her maturity and experience associated with being an older person. An older woman can also become more confident than a younger woman, and men are extremely attracted to confidence. A woman a couple of years older than a man will likely be upfront and assertive about her intentions and are less likely to waste time in an awkward in-between stage. All of these are reasons why younger men fall for older women.
What attracts a younger man to an older woman?
Why younger men are attracted to older women includes their experience, confidence, assertiveness, and maturity. A few years younger than a woman will likely find her life experience intriguing; he wants to learn about her and her life experience. An older woman than a younger woman more entertains younger men because she has many interesting stories to talk about and engage with.
Confidence is vital, and older women know how they should be treated and know their worth from experience in other relationships. Younger men love that older women are confident in themselves because it shows they know what they are doing.
An older woman is also likely to be more assertive with younger guys than younger women are. They know what they want and aren’t afraid to say something about it. Assertiveness is extremely attractive to men because they don’t tip-toe and waste time guessing their intentions.
Finally, younger men are often attracted to how mature older women are. Some men love women who are sophisticated and reserved, which are typical traits of an older woman. They usually have their lives together, which means less drama in the relationship.
What is the age gap acceptable between an older woman and a younger man?
People are more critical of the age gap between younger men and older women than between older and younger women. Social norms have led us to believe that women should be with an older man, not the other way around. The reasoning is that older men are viewed as being more capable of supporting a woman. However, societal views of relationships between older women and younger men are changing.
There is a rule of thumb that you can follow when deciding if the age gap between you and the person you want to date is acceptable. The minimum age your partner should be is half of your age plus seven. For example, a 50-year-old woman (50/2=25 +7= 32) should only date guys 32 or older based on this theory, not any younger guys. The maximum age your partner should be is your age minus seven times two. A 30-year-old man (30-7=23 *2=46) should go for women younger than, or exactly 46.
This rule is not set in stone. It just measures what age gaps are seen as socially acceptable. If you are happy, it’s perfectly okay to date someone a couple of years younger or a couple of years older than your recommended age gap. As long as it’s legal, someone 18 or older should not attempt to date a minor.
What is a younger man called who dates an older woman?
Younger guys who date older women are often called “cubs,” whereas the older woman is referred to as a “cougar.” These terms can be problematic because it implies that the older woman is “praying on” or “mothering,” the younger man, which isn’t usually true. Dating is all about preferences, and if a younger guy prefers an older woman, society should not shame him for that.
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