It’s a well-known cliche and one that the vast majority of men don’t seem to have grown out of yet: older men love dating younger women.
If you’re a single woman in your sixties you’re probably all too familiar with this issue.
Many over-sixty women say it’s almost impossible to find a man around their age who is interested in starting a relationship with them – and there is plenty of data to back them up.
Numerous surveys by online dating companies have concluded that most men are primarily looking to partner up with younger women and would happily pass up the opportunity to date someone their own age if a more youthful option came along.
Why do so many men feel this way?
There are a number of theories around this issue and a few that raise their head time and time again.
When asked why they preferred to date younger women, most men came back to the same three reasons.
First, they say being with a younger women makes them feel like they’ve still got ‘it’. Many men find they begin to feel insecure within themselves as they age and for single men the feeling is reinforced by the breakdown of their marriage and changing family relationships.
For them, being with someone younger makes them feel proud, powerful and superior.
They usually have more money than their younger partner and thanks to having been around a lot longer they know more too and are able to impress them easily with their worldly knowledge.
Writing for Jezebel, Hugo Schwyzer says it’s less about sex and more about the feeling it gives them.
“‘It’ is the whole masculine package of youth, vitality, and, above all else, possibility. It’s not that women our own age are less attractive, it’s that they lack the culturally-based power to reassure our fragile, ageing egos that we are still hot and hip and filled with potential.
“Inspiring desire in women young enough to be our daughters becomes the most potent of all anti-ageing remedies, particularly when we can show off our much younger dates to our peers.
“The famous little red sports car reveals only the size of our bank account; attracting a girl barely out of her teens (or, if we’re in our fifties, barely out of her twenties) validates the enduring power of our youthful appeal.”
Second, he assumes all women is age are just like his ex.
When asked why they don’t want to date women their own age, a huge number of men said they thought all single women over 50 were pretty much the same.
They worry that women their age who have been through divorce will be bitter about their past relationships are more critical of their new ones.
As ridiculous as it sounds, they are painting everyone with the same brush and failing to understand that all women are different – no matter what their age.
When asked why he wanted to date younger women, Roger (surname withheld for privacy reasons) said he feels that younger women are more relaxed and open to having carefree fun together.
“She’s not itching to have a ring on her finger,” he told Match.com.
“She’s interested in the here and now, in going out, in having fun. It may sound like a cliché, but it’s reality. I’m not anti-marriage, I’m just anti-agenda. A younger woman seems more willing to let things take their natural course.”
Last, he’s going through a mid-life crisis.
It may be the biggest cliche of all, but many men who chase after younger women are quite possibly in the throws of a mid-life crisis.
Feeling like they’ve been tied down for too long, they look for a younger woman to bring back the feeling of youth they lost so long ago.
For them, dating a younger woman is like having a second chance at life and offers a chance to relive their youth and start again.
Whatever the reason, it posses quite the predicament for over-sixty women who are looking to start a relationship or even just date a man their own age.
Unless you’re lucky enough to meet someone socially, most women have to turn to online dating to find a partner and once there the pickings are often slim.
There are happier stories though. Many men and women in their sixties and beyond find each other later in life and forge strong and lasting relationships.
For women, it might just be a matter of sifting through the rubble before they find their diamond.