Older Men, Younger Women Update

Posted on March 30, 2018


This week, Life in the Boomer Lane took a break from tracking our President’s favorite pastime: using his prodigious intellectual abilities to lure porn stars and Playboy centerfolds who reminded him of his daughter, into his gold-encrusted bed.  Instead, she caught the first episode of a British series, “Age Gap Love” which showed real people and their real life intergenerational love matches.

The show was charming and real.  Nobody had any money or power to wield over the other. Nobody was anyone of any influence or had any agenda. These folks were about as ordinary as could be, in every single way except one: For whatever reason, they chose mates who were mismatched by twenty, thirty, or even forty years. And, at least for the couples shown in the first episode, the relationships worked.  In all senses of the word.

LBL might not know much, but she knows her readers.  For that reason, she is very intentional about updating readers on the topics they care most about, based on popularity of her posts as tracked by the good folks at WordPress: The Universal Hot/Crazy Matrix: A Man’s Guide to Women, and Why Older Men Should Date Younger Women. The latest research from Zoosk.com serves to enlighten us about the older man/younger woman thing.

Zoosk, an online dating site, looked into data from its over-40 million members. The primary reason was to answer the ever-burning question concerning older men/younger women relationships: How often does it really happen and what does that age gap really look like?  The secondary question was to explore the reasons why Cheryl, an young blond woman from Baltimore, had over 2 million men attempting to contact her.

We will leave Cheryl to her own devices for the time being and focus on the older man/younger woman topic.  Zoosk discovered that, when it comes to male/female dating dynamics, younger women do prefer dating older men. But a look into the exact numbers provided some interesting takeaways:

56% of women prefer dating older men. 
And of that 56%, the majority (56%) like men who are 1 to 4 years older than them. 30% like men who are 5 to 9 years older than them, and 14% like men who are more than 10 years older than them. That’s a pretty wide range of ages.

31% of women prefer dating younger men.
And all of the women who showed interest in younger men preferred to date men who are only 1 to 4 years younger. That means even though women are interested in dating men up to 10 years older than them, they’re only interested in dating men who are slightly younger.

LBL doesn’t know why 1-4 years in either direction would be a choice to begin with.  It seems to her that, as long as one’s partner remembers Winky Dink and driving around without a car seat, both people would be on the same wavelength for everything else in life.

14% of women prefer dating men their same age.
Give or take a few months, there are also a lot of women who prefer men their own age. This is a toughie and would require, in addition to questioning a prospective mate about assault rifle ownership, also asking his exact birthdate from the get-go.

Women aren’t the only ones conforming to social norms.
Men also tend to follow them. Zoosk looked at who men were most attracted to while online dating and found that the numbers of men who like younger women was almost exactly the same as the number of women who like  older men.  (On the other hand, older men did favor Cheryl from Baltimore  at a three-to-one ratio over older women preferring her.)

Women in their 20s match with people the farthest out of their age range.
When it comes to matching (aka the people women like also like them back) women in their 20s matched with men the farthest out of their age range. And overall, the younger a woman is, the older the men she’s likely to match with are.

Bingo. There you have that pernicious little piece of data that men use to keep justifying the older man/younger woman dynamic: I wasn’t looking for a hot young babe.  She found me. I was an innocent pawn in her quest for love. 

But, whoa there, Nellie. Hold your horses. Don’t put the horse before the cart. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. (Add to that any other banal sayings about horses you can come up with at this point.)  Yes, the data shows that the younger a woman is, the greater age gap, she prefers. BUT, sorry guys, the gap they are talking about, doesn’t span generations:

Ages of Men That Women Match With While Online Dating

  • Women in their 50s typically match with men who are 2 years older
  • Women in their 40s typically match with men who are 3 years older
  • Women in their 30s typically match with men who are 4 years older
  • Women in their 20s typically match with men who are 5 years older

So what can we learn from all this information?  Like most other research of this type, absolutely nothing.  Men who like younger women will continue to justify that preference in the same ways they always have: “We are twin souls.”  “Age is a number, but firm breasts aren’t.” “She found me, I wasn’t looking for her.” And the ever-popular “She reminds me of my daughter.”

Except for Cheryl from Baltimore. Zoosk is still looking into that.

11 Responses “Older Men, Younger Women Update” →
  1. My now husband was formerly married to someone 15 years his junior. When she asked “Who’s Paul Anka?” it was curtains. Now we laugh ferociously at the same jokes. We both remember Johnny Carson and dance to Paul Anka.

    • You bring up an interesting possibility, Kate: The Paul Anka litmus test. Of course, I had a ersonal crush on Fabian, myself, but Paul Anka would do quite well.

  2. I don’t get that last bit … like my daughter … I thought men were suppose to date women who reminded them of their mothers. Well, no wonder I didn’t get a date until I was 39…

    • Waiting until one is 39 to date does avoid a lot of pesky problems. Hopefully, by then, one is gainfully employed and is no longer living in one’s parents basement. One’s options would be greatly improved.

  3. Hmmmmm…….as an older man I feel I must toss my two cents in here. My wife won’t let me date other women, especially younger women so I’ll just have to take you at your word…….or I might not get any older!

  4. I love your snarky humor

  5. It’s surprising how much shared popular culture contributes to a relationship. When references draw blank expressions on both faces, you know you’ve exceeded your bridgeable age gap.

    • And that is exactly why I always dated guys exactly my age. Now Husband is 1.5 years younger, and that’s the biggest age gap I’ve ever had. But he’s one smart cookie and manages to keep up.

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