Is It Love? Why Would A Younger Man Be Attracted To An Older Woman?

Updated March 28, 2024by Regain Editorial Team
“Attraction cannot really be defined or explained. Therefore, it comes in all forms so when it happens, try to work towards acceptance of how you feel.” - Ryan Smith, LPC, NCC

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. 

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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. 

Want support as you navigate an age-gap relationship?

Online therapy: A place to explore relationship preferences

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.  

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