The Vagenda

A Twentysomething’s Guide to Dating Older Men


For as long as I can remember, I’ve preferred older men. My very first crush was on a boy five years my senior in Sunday School (racy stuff), and while my fellow freshers were smooching each other in the Union bar, I was making wistful eyes at the PhD students. Nowadays, at the ripe old age of 27, I often find myself getting involved with chaps in their forties or fifties. Fortunately, I enjoy looking after window-boxes and griping about how everything on TV is rubbish these days.

 But seriously, folks – single men of this vintage have masses going for them. Their duvet covers and pillowcases match (such sophistication, so romance), and their minds are unsullied by Redtube. Plus they tend to live alone, which means no queueing for the bathroom in the mornings while their weird flatmate is covering 90% of his body with Veet. Yes, they come with a fair amount of baggage. But doesn’t everyone, when you get down to it?

 ‘Sounds delightful!’ I hear you cry. ‘Where can I sign up?’ Woah there, ladybro. Before you go bounding merrily across the age gap, there are some things you’ll need to get your head around if you’re considering dating an older man.

They wont believe you actually fancy them

Unless your would-be squeeze is made in the Rex Manning mould, he will be staggered that anyone is taking an interest in him at his time of life – less still a bona fide fox like you. Such is the premium our shallow society places on unlined faces. If you wait around for him to make the first move you could be waiting a long, looong time. So go for it! Flutter those eyelashes, open that second bottle of Jacob’s Creek, seductively nibble the leftover salad garnish on his plate. In terms of how strong you should come on, think ‘Golf Sale’ sign.

 Youll actually use your landline

To your average forty- or fiftysomething, Tinder is what you use to start fires. Your new romantic prospect will likely woo you the analogue way, which means entire evenings spent on the sofa waiting for the landline to ring (and dialling 1471 every five minutes just in case you unwittingly blacked out for a couple of seconds and missed a call). Fun times, end-of-the-last-century style. Still, it’s not all bad. They might write you – gasp – an actual love letter.

 Plan your nights out

Choose your dinner venues carefully. Hipster burger joints, for instance, are a recipe for disaster. Your date will look at you incredulously when you suggest queueing for a glorified Wimpy, then mispronounce ‘chorizo’ just like your dad does when you order.

 And speaking of your dad…

You will sometimes be mistaken for father and daughter when you’re out and about. This is embarrassing, though less so for you than it is for those doing the mistaking.

 Gender politics: you win some, you lose some

Your beloved will have come of age in the 1970s or 1980s. So all being well, he should be fully conversant with feminist theory. Jackpot! However, he will also have lived through an era in which office bottom-pinching was still considered megalolz. It’s a funny old mix: in my experience, older men are delightfully unfazed by underarm hair, but will automatically (until you flip out about it in the middle of Tesco) refer to women as ‘girls’. Ah well. God doesn’t give with both hands.

It’s all the same lying down

When people find out that you’re regularly breakfasting with someone several decades your senior, they’ll inevitably get all giggly, and then finally pluck up the courage to ask you: ‘But is it different? You know, in bed?’ Barely, is the honest answer. Yes, middle-aged men are less keen on gymnastics than their twentysomething counterparts, but as anyone who’s ever done their back in half way through will tell you, this is by no means a bad thing.

Meeting his friends and family will be difficult…

Your plus-one will probably have an ex-wife (or two), and children who might not be much younger than you. Awkwardness ahoy! Handle meetings as you would any other tricky social situation by tanking up on wine beforehand. And remember, it’s a bit like bears: they’re more scared of you than you are of them. (Maybe.)

 …but him meeting yours will be worse

The open-minded, progressive sorts you surround yourself with will be totally on board with your new relationship, right? Erm, wrong. Actually, almost everyone you know is going be horrified by your choice of partner, and will do their best to coax you back onto a more conventional path. Prepare yourself for a tidal-wave of concern trolling. I’ve found that the best comeback for the inevitable ‘But he’s so much older than you!’ is to silently count off your fingers for a bit, then yell ‘OH MY GOD, YOU’RE RIGHT! I LITERALLY HAD NO IDEA!!!!!!’

You need to think ahead

Put bluntly, you ain’t never growing old together. And an age gap of more than, say, eight years forces you to be honest about what you both want much sooner than you would otherwise. By the by, don’t automatically assume that your other half won’t want to spend six months backpacking around South-East Asia with you just because he listens to Gardener’s Question Time. He might just surprise you.

 - EH

126 thoughts on “A Twentysomething’s Guide to Dating Older Men

  1. This is a really fun piece but it does sound like the men you are describing are 40- or 50-something going on 80! Even my ageing parents are able to use mobile phones and enjoy trendy restaurants. Not suggesting you date either of them, of course…

  2. Dear Madam,

    I am quite surprised that you celebrate dating older men on a feminist website.

    Gender stereotypes in which females are the “prey” and men are “dominant” can have many manifestations. This is typically played out in either financial terms (women opting for wealthy men), or in physical terms (women opting for muscled, tall, strong men). Both of these are extremely misogynist relationships due to the power plays, etc.

    But there are two other types of misogynist relationships which rarely get spoken about, it seems: age domination (women being attracted to the experience, maturity, and “life skills” a man has) and intellectual domination (women being attracted to artsy, or intellectual types, who can “teach” them things).

    You might retort that feminism is about choices, and that’s 100% legit. But by presenting this article without any discussion about how this sort of relationship may play into male-female domination-submission gender stereotypes, on a *feminist* blog no less, would be slightly bizarre.

    • ‘Both of these are extremely misogynist relationships due to the power plays, etc.’

      Are they? What if you just like taller guys? What if you’re fed up of going out with men who say things like ‘my mum gave me a tenner so I could take you out’ (happened)? I think women date older men for a variety of reasons and not all of them are ‘misogynistic’. What about enjoying the company of someone who is mature and confident in themselves? I don’t think there is anything wrong with being attracted to experience.

      As a blog about women’s issues, we didn’t necessarily think we need to tell our readers what to do. Their relationships are their own business, and far be it for us to try and analyse their reasons for entering into them. There are interesting dynamics that are worth exploring, but that is another post for another day.

      • Thank you for your response. I don’t mean to cause a “stir.” However, if you’d allow me, I would like to address the points you made.

        “What if you just like taller guys?” you ask. Well, that wouldn’t be a problem if 33% of women preferred shorter men, 33% of women preferred taller men, and 33% preferred men the exact same height. But that clearly isn’t the case.

        The fact remains that the vast majority of women prefer taller men. *And* that men prefer shorter women. It’s really not just a matter of personal preference when there is an overwhelming trend going on.

        Are you really going to argue that there is no power dynamic going on here? It seems that women (AND MEN) want women to be smaller and thus weaker.

        “What about enjoying the company of someone who is mature and confident in themselves?” you ask as well.

        Well, as you seem to be a mature and confident person yourself, you ostensibly aren’t finding *equally* mature and confident men in your own age group (and trust me, they very much do exist). Perhaps you are looking for someone who is *more* mature and confident than yourself? In which case, this would be a power dynamic in which the older man is dominant.

        At Vagenda, your team seems to be (and very rightly so!) interested in removing arcane gender stereotypes. These include presenting women as sexual objects in pop culture, and society deeming women unfit to do the same work as men, for example.

        Yet, in this article, I can’t help but feeling the sense that you are rolling back the progress you so adamantly support in general, by reinforcing the stereotype of “young attractive woman, old resource-laden man.”

        • I just want to point out that biologically speaking, men tend to be taller than women, so if two thirds of women wanted men who were not taller than them, they’d have a significantly smaller pool to choose from. Also, on a very basic evolutionary level, a taller man is indicative of him being able to acquire greater resources so he’s likely to be more fertile. Obviously humans aren’t just focused at all times on creating viable offspring, and I absolutely think we have choices that exist beyond our instincts, but I believe there may still be a small element of that in it.

          I do agree with you that this article had less to do with feminism than a lot of the others on here, but I don’t think that preferences in male partners need be intrinsically linked with the patriarchal society.

        • I’m sorry, but, just – no.

          First of all, as somehow who generally dates above their age, I resent what you are saying about women who choose to date older men when you argue that its a question of wealth. It isn’t, and I’ve had that insult thrown at me enough, thanks. The author here never, AND I DO MEAN NEVER, mentions in her article or in her comments that she finds older men attractive because of their wealth. She mentions, once, having matching pillows and duvet cover. That, too me at least, did not scream “wealthy!” – it just meant she appreciates someone who puts a certain degree of effort into their living quarters. You say that this article is “celebrating the material comfort that older men bring,” but I didn’t get that from ANYTHING in the entire article.
          From my own perspective, when out with people who are older than I, we split the check down the middle – as I would if I were dating someone my age, or someone younger. I’m not a pampered plaything they keep by throwing money at me. I don’t rely on my partners for my wealth, which means there is no power dynamic there. Yes, there are people out there who date for financial security, and you may take some issue with them for that (in which case you’d be judging someone for a life that you know quite literally nothing about) – but don’t go lumping every woman who dates older men into the “gold-digger” category that you so clearly are talking about.

          Second, when you retort to Vagenda’s comment about preferring taller men: I often prefer taller men, too, something that you seem to think means that I want to be dominated by the men in my life. But, here’s the thing – I also like tall women. I just like tall people. They’re sexy. It’s that simple. It does not have to do with some deeper, gender-engrained urge to seek protection from the scary wolves out there in the wild by fucking the biggest man I can find. Erm, nope. If you want to have a conversation about gender performativity, please consider more than just the heterosexual binary at play here, and stop equating gender performance with misogyny.

          Third, I take issue with you arguing that finding intelligence and intellectuals sexy is feeding into harmful gender stereotypes. Again, I like my women just as smart as I like my men. I’m an egalitarian that way. But, more importantly, when you take issue with the idea that women are attracted to older men because they can “teach” us things – sorry, but that’s bullshit. Every relationship I’ve ever had has taught me something. I love learning about and from my partner, because even after we’ve gone our separate ways, I know that what they’ve taught me about love and life will absolutely still be a part of me. I’ve learned just as much dating people younger than me as I’ve learned from going out with people older than me. And yeah, I have pursued people because their brain attracted me and because I knew they would teach me something. But, plot twist – both times those were older women.

          To the author of this article – I thought it was fabulous, and really appreciated hearing about a topic close to my heart from a feminist blog I admire. Good job you.

          • “The author here never, AND I DO MEAN NEVER, mentions in her article or in her comments that she finds older men attractive because of their wealth.”

            I never said she wants *wealthy* men. I just said that she seems to like older men who have *more* resources than the broke lads her own age. Hence, material comfort is clearly an important source of attraction here.

            She for example *explicitly* mentions in the comment above that she doesn’t find guys her own age attractive because they are often broke, borrowing tenners from their mummys. Whats the implication there? That a man who doesn’t have his own job and money to “take her out” is somehow “unmanly” and unfit to provide for her? Mind you- in 2014 is it really still a man’s place to “take a girl out” and pay for her stuff?

            Furthermore, she likes not having to queue up for the bathrooms in the homes of men her own age. This type of statement *STRONGLY* implies that the material conditions provided to her by men of her own age are insufficient.

            Ergo, older men have some sort of material resources that younger men don’t. You can spew out all the mumbo jumbo you like, but at the end of the day, this is still clearly about “woman wants male resources.”

            Secondly, let me ask you this: how many men your age do you know who have a clear *preference* for dating older women (as in 40-50 year old women)? I’d wager that the number is close to zero. Why is this? Is it because by some MASSIVE coincidence, most men just happen to *prefer* younger women? Nope. Misogynistic social engineering has made us believe that the proper way to set up relationships is with older man-younger woman. Thus it’s not really “preference” anymore, but rather deep-rooted and insidious societal engineering which aims to subjugate women. It doesn’t help at all that women are *themselves* perpetuating this arrangement by not trying to overturn these gender roles.

        • Re: your last comment. I am aware of no culture on earth where dating women 20 yrs older than oneself is preferred. It’s a completely understandable biological preference for the signs of fertility. Women into men are unaffected because men are fertile ’til dead (though even we have our limits – not a lot of 20 year olds dating 70 year olds cause they think they’re hot). Like hip to waist ratio, it is completely and utterly cross-cultural/throughout time. Evolution works on brains and balls too.

        • I 100% get what you’re saying, I think it would have been nice to cover how these kinds of relationships are displayed in the media (daddy issues, gold digger, etc.) as well as the author’s personal experience, perhaps as a contrast to the bullshit of the media.

          After all, this is the Vagenda, a no bullshit guide to the media, not a no bullshit guide to dating older men, or EH’s love-life.

        • I generally like older men rather than “boys” my own age. I liked a man who is 20 years older than me. I don’t like him because he is wealthy or powerful or more intelligent than me. My family and friends disproved of him and don’t like his age. They don’t think someone as old as him should have even been talking to me. Alas we are no longer in contact. That’s life. *Shrugs. What does make me feel sad that society disapproves of it. That I feel I have to hide the fact I like an older guy from some people. That I am made to feel ashamed by society.

      • “What about enjoying the company of someone who is mature and confident in themselves? I don’t think there is anything wrong with being attracted to experience.”

        as opposed to young men who are…?

        • Thank you, Pharp.

          Actually there *is* something wrong with being attracted to experience.

          Again, this puts the man in a position of power (ie the “teacher”), and the woman in a position of submission (ie the “pupil”).

          Woman must follow man’s lead, etc. #Misogynist

          • Perhaps you could compile these unacceptable attractive traits into a useful list?

            If it’s misogynist to like older men, is it also racist to like fair hair? What about body type? How do you feel about women (or men) who are attracted to a fit physique – must they be stopped as well?

      • I agree. For me personally I can handle myself. You’ll find douche bags with any age. I personally am over the game playing of younger guys. Older men know what I want and I guess I do too. I might be young but I’m not stupid.

        I really don’t know why that’s hard to understand. I mean there’s also scientific evidence showing there are biological factors for younger women to be attracted to older men. Older men suggest protection, while younger women suggest fertility.

    • Keeping your power, dignity, and self-respect in any relationship is key (in my opinion) regardless of the age difference. I have found that men my age can feel threatened by my ambition and drive whereas older men are endearingly supportive. Great if you can find a partner of any age or gender that is loving, supportive and funny.

    • I strongly disagree with Rahul. I am dating a man 30 years older than me. I am in my 20s. In no way is he my dominant. He may have more experience and money than me, but that does not make him my superior and he is well aware of that. In fact, he is my submissive (and he is proud of it) and loves what I bring to the table. He knows his wealth (etc…) does not add up to what I add to his life, and for that he is grateful and he shows it to me by his submission. You are looking at this too black and white, and in a picture that society has painted in regards to age gap relationships and women. Humans are not that simple.

    • Also Rahul, I believe it is very “feminist” to date an older, more experienced man with wealth who adores you and shows you your worth. Instead of dating young 20-somethings or so that haven’t yet learned how to romance a woman or give her what she deserves, she seeks out a “stronger” partner in certain areas of life, using it to her advantage and also having a loving, passionate relationship, instead of having to deal with crap. A lot of women don’t realize that them having a “stronger” mate is actually THEIR advantage if they know how to perceive it. What is so anti-woman about that? If a woman likes older men, then telling her not to go for what she wants is the anti-feminist, misogynist thing to do. It’s not like she had an arranged marriage as a child bride. This is what she wants and what she chose.

    • I would like to repectfully disagree. I am in a relationship with a man 18 years older than me and I find him to be far more balanced and “feminist-friendly” than the ‘porn-addicted-nice-guy-bros’ of my generation.
      He has nothing to prove, so I don’t have to deal with machismo and ego, because he is comfortble with himself.
      He is respectful of women, because he has seen and taken note and sympathized with the struggles his mother, aunts, sister, daughter and girlfriend have faced. Though he is certainly a respectful person to begin with.
      He is capable of a mature conversation. Even when challenged, he takes it in calmly and listens, rather than getting defensive and aggressive, even when faced with questions about his own life choices in regards to women.

      Quite simply, he is more my equal, both intellectually and sexually, especially when compared to younger men. I do not ever feel threatened by him, nor he I, and we mutually support eachother. There is nothing dominant or submissive about it.

    • First let me say I’m Rahul’s stereotypical 40 year old male who is only interested in women in their 20s, yes the older(mature/experienced?) successful(wealthy?), professional(intelligent/”teacher”) type. Currently I’m dating a 23 year old woman and we each bring unique gifts to our relationship.
      I’m very confused by what Rahul is attempting to describe as “misogynistic” simply because as human beings we are complex creatures. His argument is based on two (quite faulty) premises:
      (1) preferring older over younger men = preferring finance over physical.
      (2) that one party is “prey” and the other “dominant”.

      The first premise is actually quite offensive to many older men who take particular concern of their bodies! Just two weeks ago I experienced what in the gym is called “over-reaching” and had to take a week off my hectic daily training schedule. I actually met my current gf at a PowerPump class at my Gym and I know, as do many older men, that my body is in physically better shape than many guys in their 20s. Certainly in our PowerPump class that’s true! So did my gf choose me for my wealth or my body?

      The second premise is faulty first because “misogyny” requires in its essence a hatred for women that simply can’t be demonstrated due to relationship age differentials. In answer to the typical power-relationships he is more probably referring to, the question can’t be described as simply describing one partner as dominant and the other as submissive. Who is the “hunter” and “prey” in a age different relationship? Are women “hunting” me for my resources or an I “hunting” them for their beauty? And if so, just how is “beauty” defined? Certainly “twentysomething” is not a synonym for beauty!

      Are women “hunting” me for my maturity/teaching ability or am I “hunting” them due their relative inexperience. If so just how is learning defined? I can assure Rahul that I have learnt and grown personally from my relationships or else I wouldn’t have been in them.

      Psychology tells us that all relations are transactional – that is there is a give and take of each partner. Attempting to reduce complex mind-body relationships to suit any particular philosophical theory is simply a short minded attempt to cut the man to suit the cloth!

    • They have money? I have clearly been dating the wrong ones. My ex used to move house whenever the bills got too much.

        • Precisely. This article is celebrating the material comfort that older men bring, thus reinforcing the gender stereotype that “men want youth, women want resources.”

          • This article doesn’t focus on whether she likes older guys because they might be rich or because of material comfort. The only bit where the writer mentions material things is when she says older guys in 40′s / 50′s tend to have their own bathroom, which when you look at home owning statistics is true. The majority of the article seems to me she is praising general attitude and that she has more in common with them.

          • You seem to be deliberately misconstruing the article. I don’t see it as promoting any of the points you claim. As for height (the one aspect of my relationship which you mention), the imbalance in heights is due to the majority of men naturally being taller. I married a man shorter than me without thought of his height but he prefers taller women.

          • Rahul, in the interest of fairness, there is an article elsewhere on this site that extols the joys of going out with a younger man. And nowhere has the author mentioned money, you’ve extrapolated this from your own arguments re older men and financial dependency.
            Also, as someone commenting on the *somehow* lack of feminism in the article, your assumption that the author wants someone older because they must be more confident or in some way more ‘valuable’ than her seems rather sexist in itself.

          • People marry for economic reasons all the time. If she were lesbian into older women for the same reason, wouldn’t you be just as upset?

  3. I’ve never commented on this site before, though I check in with it everyday. However, this article, and the responses have really prompted me to. Let me start by saying how happy I was to see you discuss this subject matter. As a loud and proud and active feminist, I spent a long time thinking about my decision to enter into a relationship with a man almost twenty years older than me. I am twenty six and he is forty five. Put bluntly, the first things that drew me to him was my physical reaction to him, I had never previously felt anything so strongly. As things got more serious I did seriously question whether there were some dark daddy issues rearing their ugly heads into our set-up. The unhealthy power dynamic that commentators have spoken of were forefront on my mind. The conclusion I have come to, however, having spent much time considering our relationship, and being constantly aware of slipping into the all too easy situation of carer and receiver, is that the main problem is other people’s perception of our power relations. The thing I spend most of my time navigating is not his perception of me as the weaker more dependant person, but others. Most people automatically assume upon learning of our situation that he is the one in control, providing, caring, dictating and that I am the mere recipient of his actions. The reality could not be more different. I am glad that, having spent so much time and effort prior to meeting him in empowering myself as a woman and young adult, I have a strong enough sense of self and of my own abilities and power to know that our relationship- regardless of our differences in age and sex- is one of equals. The only thing that would change that is my behaviour. To assume otherwise, as some commentators have done, is actually to do more of a disservice to women: our experience and strength is not determined by our age or sex.

    The assumptions that commentators have made completely ignore the reality of individual journeys. I got thrown a lot of curve balls early on, dealt with more than I would have liked. The result of this has been that I find myself on much more of an even keel with an older, more emotionally mature and open man than I would be with the guys my age (trust me, I’ve tried)

    Thank you again for this article, I loved it.

    • Incidentally, totally with you on the funny juxtaposition of heightened understanding of women’s rights and the movement with weird old school behaviour. I have saved hundreds of pounds on waxing and makeup in the past two years yet still have to deal with him resisting me carrying my own suitcase. Could be worse.

    • The really sad thing reading this is that when you get to be in your forties and fifties yourselves you feel invisible to those men who prefer dating younger women, which appears to be most of them. And it doesn’t work the other way round. There are a lot of women who are the losers in this particular game. I know this site isn’t aimed at us but it makes me sad.

      • I have always found this the most depressing part of attention from older men. I have always felt disappointed by men who seem mature and intelligent yet would pursue a woman in her early twenties while they are decades older. Of course, some pairings that will work for; there are a lot of very mature twenty-somethings. My own partner is over a decade older than I am, but we knew each other for a long time before starting a relationship, and he has never had a younger partner before, which reassured me my age was not what attracted him to me. But so often older men showed interest in me without knowing enough about me to have any reason to think I would be mature. It seemed to me that it was purely about age and attraction, and it completely disintegrated any respect I might have felt for them. I thought a lot about what it must be like to be a woman of a similar age, at a similar point in life – intelligent, independent, with a good career, and to see men at the same stage, with similar circumstances, experiences, and interests, pursue twenty-somethings just out of university…

        It’s not that I think that can never work, but I think it takes an exceptional bond in other ways to overcome the inevitable difference in background and life experiences. That can happen organically and that’s fine, but why would someone pursue someone so unlikely to be relatable? It said to me that those men did not want a real, equal relationship with someone they could have as a partner in all ways; they wanted an unequal relationship with an attractive younger woman.

        Apologies for the rambling response, but I Jeanie, I think I really feel where you are coming from, albeit from a different perspective. It made me really depressed about men and ageing and being a woman.

        • I agree. When I was in my twenties, there were older guys who were interested in me but I was invariably creeped out because they seemed to be looking for an ingenue type. I developed an impression that many older guys who want to date women are less emotionally mature. I’ve never gotten past first dates with older guys because of this.

          Now that I am in my early fifties, most of the guys I see on dating websites are looking for younger women. Often their wanted age range will go up to, but not higher than their own age. But the reality is that they don’t contact women of their own age. There was an article on OKC about this.

          It’s true the author isn’t talking about older mens’ wealth but this could be either because it really isn’t a factor or because she doesn’t want to admit to it. There is no way to tell.

          On the other hand I see so many twenty-something men living the “bro” lifestyle and I can see why a younger woman would go for an older man. The choices aren’t great.

          • I just read this article, and I’m replying to nobody in particular… But I wanted to throw this out there. I am 41 and my current GF is 27. I broke up with my ex GF over 7 months ago and she was 29. Both are mothers of two, and here’s the most significant part. I have custody of my 5 year old.

            Some points: 1) it sucks being a 41 year old man trying to find a woman my age who hasn’t “already raised all her children and wants to have fun”.
            So, my gravitation to younger women may be the fault of this generation of 40something year old divorcee feminist mothers. Second, I have found that most 20somethings that I’ve dated are way more interested in me than they are in material things. As a matter of fact, older women expect WAY more financial stability. 3rd, I have yet to have a conversation with my current GF that involves so much power dynamics and heavy duty analytical bullshit. My relationship is the one refuge I have where I can discuss life, romance, raising children, and being happy for happiness sake and not all this other materialistic clutter.
            My current GF is a nurse btw and makes a comparable salary to mine. My only advantage is that my older son, who is 13 and lives with his materialistic 41 year old mother, will no longer be getting child support in about 4 years.
            You folks beating this age horse need to live and let live and empower people to love whomever they wish!!

      • Hooray for a comment on older women not being attractive to younger men. Come on young feminists. Really? You have to wax endlessly to justify wanting men nearly 20 years your senior? The media trains young women to want old men yet doesn’t train men to want women 15-20 years older than them. Hmmmm. Rahul made good comments. The missing link in the media is to train us all to eroticize equality–someone who is your EQUAL. You have lots more in common with someone who is 2-5 years difference in age than some elder 50 yr old. And studies say the sperm is not as healthy in older men. Dig deeper–as it will be difficult, if not impossible, to have an equal relationship with someone nearly 20 years old than you. MHO as an old(er) feminist.

  4. I am really confused and a little bit concerned by a lot of these comments. A lot of people have types, be it hair colour, profession, or indeed, age. I’m slightly inclined towards older guys myself, my boyfriend being 9 years older than me.

    Now before you say ‘power complex’ ‘domination’, I should say in my case you’re absolutely right. I’m interested in BDSM, specifically domination and submission. Do you have a problem with that? I hear a lot of other women are into it too either as subs or doms (or switches). Good for them. A lot aren’t. Good for them too. But I am not going to base my tastes on a statistical spread, so that there are exactly equal numbers of women wanting each option (as someone suggested above). That’s a little bit barmy.

    I get that there’s a chance (if not a likelihood) that I have been somehow programmed by society. But if I’ve been programmed to go for older guys, then I’ve surely been programmed to want a lot of other stuff too, and while I would like very much to stop younger generations from being similarly affected, I’m not going to be bloody miserable by denying myself the things that make me happy. The author was not saying “everyone must do this”. Just that it works for her.

    To the replier who spoke of age domination and experience domination as types of misogyny, my boyfriend often says he’s attracted to me because of my intelligence. Just checking, am I being a misandrist because of this? Would like to correct the problem immediately if so. Perhaps by pretending to be less clever, so he’s less impressed with my brains? Thanks.

    Now to hope this comment section is one elaborate joke…

    • 9 years older is still within your age range… you still have the relatively same generational point of reference. I believe they are talking about SUBSTANTIAL age differences.

  5. I’m not sure the author is intending to recommend older men as a better dating option than someone of similar age, more that she is documenting some of the things that you might come across if you do, both good and bad, from her own experience.

    I think it comes down to the fact that we often can’t control who we are attracted to. I agree with you that trying to impose a “template” of what is good and bad in a partner for someone else is never a good idea, but I don’t believe that was the aim of the piece. For my own part, I have never dated someone older, so I found it interesting to see someone else’s experience and opinions.

    I think your idea that the article suggests “men want youth, women want resources” is misleading – if anything the article suggests that the author herself has found older men attractive, for a variety of reasons – only some of which have been included in the article – rather than women as a whole. It’s not inherently misogenisitic to discuss one women’s preferences and experiences. But I agree that it is, if we prescribe the preferences of a one person, or a few people, to a group as a whole (women in this case). And it risks missing the nuance between individual people.

    Also, is there really an inherent unequal power-dynamic in a relationship where the man is the older person, and the woman, the younger? In my experience (which to be honest, is not exhaustive) relationships depend a great deal more upon someone’s personality, than it does their age. (And I think this idea extends to cross-age friendships as well as relationships). But I could be wrong.

  6. “What about enjoying the company of someone who is mature and confident in themselves? I don’t think there is anything wrong with being attracted to experience. ”

    It’s not blatant. It’s not obvious. You might have never noticed or thought about it yourself, but there are (a number of) obvious power dynamics at play here. Same with the vice-versa.

    Nothing for it or against it. But if issues like this are a “post for another day”, not addressing them makes this one just another “How to bag older guys” kind of thing.
    The very kind of thing often denounced here.

    I’m also in my 40′s and felt this article paints me and my generation as either bland, geriatric or good ol’ boys. Older “lads”, basically.

  7. I have dated both men and women much older than me for as long as I have been dating, and in fact I’ve found that there is no power dynamic in the ones worth keeping.
    Some men will try and Dad you, but they are the ones you leave, whereas many older men are far more together and mature and not hung up on macho stereotypes.
    As with all relationship types there are some arseholes, but there is nothing intrinsically sleazy or sexist about these relationships.
    Most of the men and women I date recognise the potential power dynamic and actively step back from it until the relationship was well established and we were both comfortable asserting what we wanted. I always have the age discussion with people as well.

  8. I’m in my early 20s and seeing an older man: do i enjoy that he has his own place? Yes. Does he like that my tits stay up long after the bra comes off? Sure! Do we also have a lot in common, enjoy each other’s company and find each other attractive? Yes. Does that make me prey and him dominant? I don’t see how

  9. I’ve read both this article and subsequent debate with interest, as a 23 year old women in a long term stable relationship (and living with) a 36 year old man.

    I have to say, Rahul, you appear to be making a lot of assumptions about the attributes age brings with it. To say that my partner is ‘more mature’ would be something of a misnomer. He is indeed more mature thanthe majority of men my age, and is, as Vagenda team pointed out is the norm, much more confident and laid back in himself. However, he’s also 36 going on 15, in all the best ways. To presume that women are attracted to older men for their ‘experience’ etc is to pass vast quantities of judgement on relationships of which you have no knowledge.

    Similarly, the notion that women want resources, and older men necessarily bring with them financial stability. In our relationship, we earn almost exactly the same amount of money. We don’t own our house. If anything, I am the slightly more financially stable of the two of us.

    Fundamentally, I think the article was clearly intended in a more light-hearted manner than you are taking it, and that deciding what makes women attracted to men, and vise versa, is something of an impossible science.

  10. I think the fuss being made about (some) women preferring older men is completely silly. The whole point of feminism is to be free to make one’s own choices and own these choices proudly. That includes wanting more ‘traditional’ things than, say, part-time cohabitation with your much younger lover (nothing wrong with that either). There’s a small but important difference between personal tastes and preferences, and preferences that have been cultivated by upbringing and stereotyping. If older men are genuinely someone’s preference, let’s not view that as political or anti-feminist simply because, from a certain context, it could possibly have been.
    So some women prefer older men because they have more life experience and one can learn from them – how is that anti-feminist? After all, your significant other is someone you spend a lot of time with and therefore you’d be wise to choose someone you can learn from and who stimulates you. The same applies to all other important relationships – at least half my female friends are significantly older than I am, simply because I appreciate their outlook on life, their humour, their wisdom.
    I enjoyed the article very much – and I find it great that the author’s account of her personal preference was not rejected on the grounds that it could be anti-feminist. Only when we can stop viewing people’s private choices as somehow endangering our general freedom are we really free.

  11. Interesting article.
    When I was errrm “younger” I too was often attracted to older men. Often too old for my own good. But I survived – albeit with a few emotional scars. Now at the ripe old age of fiftysomething, I find myself attracted to the thirty somethings. They have a good sense of humour, are often physically attractive and have their feet on the ground with their lives ahead of them. What is there not to like?
    I’m an English teacher to adults abroad, and although in reasonable condition I can by no means be compared to a “cougar”. But how I chuckle to myself, when my young male students, (who in other circumstances and- let’s be honest – time would have been “conquered”) realize with shock that their parents are the same age or even younger than myself…
    As for the men of my own generation – well, I am single, (widowed some years ago) and not particularly difficult to please but the men I am attracted to are few and far between. I don’t want to generalize, but they are often looking for a younger partner… or married… No thanks – a situation tried, tested but not approved.

    • Oh my god, I signed up to say that I LOVE your comment, THANK YOU. Someone who gets it.

      I was reading this blog and enjoying it until I noticed this sexist bs excuse of a “feminist” article. May/December relationships wouldn’t bother me in the slightest if it wasn’t such a double standard. If these roles were commonly reversed, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. However, It is so common to see older men with young women, yet hardly the other way around. Often when it is reversed (young man/older woman) the difference usually doesn’t compare or often reach 15-20+ years older.
      Also while the woman is mildly celebrated as a “cougar” it’s only because “cougars” are a rare minority. Only recently has this cougar thing been popular, you can’t compare it to how common it is for a man to date younger. You can’t.

      I’m only 22 but the idea of dating someone that much older makes me feel incredibly disposable. It makes me wonder about all the women he has been with, and no longer desires due to them being older. I don’t want an experienced man who has been around the block, it’s my turn and I refuse to settle for some middle aged creep who has had his turn, “experiencing” other women. What’s wrong with doing something new with someone who hasn’t been there and done that before?

      My worst fear is being left alone by someone I have built a supposedly strong relationship with, to then be left for a 25 year old on my 40th birthday. Makes me feel as if, women have an expiry date and men can date younger and younger until they drop dead. I hate how women are groomed by the media and society to date older. They say it’s biological, but I think that’s a cop out. Men’s fertility also deteriorates, my mum at 32 was extremely fertile yet my dad was incapable of producing quality sperm at age 35. It’s actually very common. Excuses, excuses by misogynists that don’t want to even consider the sexuality of a woman in their forties+.

      I feel so sorry for married women with awful husbands who hit on me or blatantly stare at me in front of their wives. Pretty grim and no thanks. Unless you’re a billionaire with liver spots who wants to leave their assets to me, you can get stuffed you useless shallow excuse of a man. I have only ever dated men younger, it’s going to stay that way. Ladies, go for a hot guy and have your fun. Don’t prematurely spend time in that retirement home, you’re worth more than that.

  12. “A Fiftysomething’s Guide to dating younger women”

    Don’t you guys also hate when older women are, like, way TOO experienced? Way TOO sophisticated? Well let me tell you something. This can all be solved by dating YOUNG women!

    Dating young women may seem weird at first. Your friends might think it’s odd that all of a sudden you aren’t attracted to people with the same level of maturity as yourself. Younger women aren’t as old and boring as older women, just as younger males are HOPELESSLY immature.

    Also, younger women will love you for the fact that you have matching duvet covers and pillowcases. All men should have this! It REALLY shows something about their personalities. Just like lingerie REALLY tells something about women’s personalities.

    Look, son, look at all the BS! So much bullshit all over the place!

  13. Dear Vagenda, this article is very disappointing and beneath your usual output. Providing a “guide” for dating, which in itself is a much more nuanced coming-together of two humans than EH makes it out to be, is in the line of stereotyping that I presume your team would like to end. There is no sure-fire way of dating anyone, regardless of their age, means, etc. and glib statements like “they won’t believe you actually fancy them!” run the same lines of any pick-up artist. That heading could easily be interpreted as “They’re desperate and will take whatever comes!”

    • Have to say I agree. At times it felt like I was reading something out of Cosmo or another such magazine this site usually (and rightly) mocks. Very odd.

  14. What a crappy response to this article. Women who are attracted to older men, like myself, understand that it’s nothing to with money and everything to do with what makes you tingle. It’s nice to read someone else’s perspective on this. Meeting each other’s parents and friends is definitely the hard bit. The rest is pretty fantastic.

  15. A really great piece of writing

    I am one of those older men who fell in love with a 29 yearold

    What you must remember is that sooner or later she will leave you for what she perceives is a more interesting sophisticated younger guy

    This is inevitable but you never quite know when this will happen
    So you are unable to totally trust her, treat her possessively and end up stalking her when the writing is on the wall

    After all she can hardly wait to try out all this stuff you have taught her on another, preferably younger guy

    And yes I did my back in one not so funny day attempting the impossible in a wiresprung bed

    And yes it was hell recovering from the inevitable fear of abandonment but better to live than die . You might need a good psychologist and a new lifestyle in paradise where I now reside




  16. Usually a massive fan of the blog but this makes it seem like you’ve gone from picking apart the unnuanced sexist rubbish in women’s magazines to actually publishing it? This article is definitely a low point for Vagenda. Agree whole heartedly with ‘F’.

  17. Holy shit, Troll City over here!! My apologies, Vagenda. I’m really trying not to feed them, but I can’t help but point out how #mysoginist it is to tell a woman that she can’t have personal preferences, that she is a pre-programmed robot who only likes older men because of the patriarchy. #headdesk

    • Vagenda would not have an article about the joys of being a glamour model without some discussion or acknowledgement of how the profession may contribute to sexism. This is a similar situation. Obviously if you fancy older guys then go for it but you can’t act like that makes no contribution to how men view women and vice versa. This is a blog about feminism you can’t just have vacuous dating guides that don’t even acknowledge possible sexism.

      • We appreciate what you’re saying, but maintain that we support women to date who they want, when they want, and not everything has to be regarded through a feminist lens.

        • Yes I completely agree.

          However I have yet to see another vagenda article that completely ignores looking at an issue with a feminist lens at all. Obviously you can publish whatever you want but I think I and many other readers are disappointed to see an article that looks like it was plucked straight out of one of those women’s magazines Vagenda loves to criticise. If it was intended as satire not many of us got the joke.

          It just seemed very out of character like seeing an article about some celebrity has “OMG cellulite alert!” in The Independent.

    • I think it has clearly hit a nerve! I still say well done to the writer for wanting to celebrate liking older men. I’ve dated several and it has always been great. Not everything has to be viewed through a critical lens – sometimes it can just be fun

      • ‘Not everything has to be viewed through a critical lens – sometimes it can just be fun.’

        yeah being called broke and immature is bare hillair. Not sure if I lack a sense of humour or is it just down to sexual jealousy since the GFC has spoiled my chance of being the silver haired swashbuckling homeowner of the authors dreams, thats the only macho facsimile of feelings my walnut sized bantersaurus rex brain can take.

  18. Out of curiosity, why drag preferring tall men into it; surely being short or tall for a man is in many ways comparable to being fat or thin for a woman?
    If a man determinedly stated a preconceived preference for slim women, it would be rightly taken as shallow. I don’t see height as being that different? It’s a physical factor that many people use to rule certain individuals out of consideration as a romantic partner, just the same.

  19. I also think that the editors haven’t addressed Rahul’s comments. He wrote “You might retort that feminism is about choices, and that’s 100% legit. But by presenting this article without any discussion about how this sort of relationship may play into male-female domination-submission gender stereotypes…”

    He has already acknowledged the female right to choose, but thinks that this should be contextualised. Female choices are influences by social attitudes, such as gender stereotyping, and a preference for older men seems like an situation that could definitely be described as influenced by societies ideas about protection/male provider, ect.

    It would have been a much more intelligent and thought provoking article if the author had explained why she prefered older men in terms of these social attitudes, ie. if she isn’t influenced by the things that Rahul thinks she is, then what has influenced her? Instead she wrote a collection of rather glib and offensive things about older people not being technologically literate, having low self-esteem and not believing themselves attractive, ect.

    • I agree that, in the context of a feminist magazine, the article should have discussed the larger social context.

      In general I would say it’s not my business to comment on an individual’s choice of partners but because the author is writing a prescriptive how-to piece then yes, she isn’t just writing about her own choices and the social context needs to be discussed —unless she’s writing for Cosmo.

      On the other hand, If this was satire, it fell in the Unhappy Valley of being too close to the real thing (fluffy sexist/ageist stereotyping etc.)

  20. I also thought this was a pretty demeaning article for all concerned. These cheap stereotypes about men in their forties and fifties don’t bear any relation to any man I’ve ever met in either age group, and come across as sexist and ageist generalisations of the kind I hope this site would heartily debunk if they were being applied to women in those age groups.

    Secondly, relationships with that age gap might be fine, but can also cause various kinds of subtle harm. A person in their twenties is not the equal in life experience of someone much older, and this causes imbalances of power. The woman holds the cards of youth, potential and physical attractiveness; the man almost inevitably holds the cards of experience, and material resources. There is really no way to avoid this tired old dynamic of inequality, (although it can obviously play out in various ways) and many of us of both sexes are socialized to get a kick out of that kind of dynamic. But trying to build some kind of equal relationship on that sort of basis takes a lot of work, and once you’ve put the work in, you’ve probably accommodated the idea that you’re younger, know less, etc, which is an unhelpful way to see yourself at a point in your life when you ought to be developing the full self-confidence of an adult among adults.

    Other issues are the fact that questions need to be asked about a man who is not looking for a woman who is his equal in life experience and material resources, but one who is younger, knows less, is less established in life. Why is he doing that? Why doesn’t he want to be with a woman of his own age? What values and aspirations are driving him? Another problem are differing expectations. Does he want children at his age? Is it fair to the potential children to give them a father of that age – especially if we’re talking men in their fifties? Is this relationship going to waste the last years of your twenties, leaving you in your early thirties trying to find someone who does want children just at the time when society tells you you’re up against it for fertility reasons?

    If you’re going to write on this topic – which seems worth doing given the established fact that an age gap does seem exciting to a lot of people in our society – a more grown up article would be more appropriate.

    • ‘There is really no way to avoid this tired old dynamic of inequality’

      Yes there is – every relationship is different. I didn’t write the piece but I chose to post it because I thought it was funny and successfully aped the style of dating features in women’s magazines. It wasn’t intended as a close examination of gender roles – I think all your points are worth exploring, but I don’t think the article is any poorer for not exploring them. Relationships come in all shapes and sizes, and this article was celebrating that

      • Relationships indeed come in all shapes and sizes, but you wouldn’t get that from this article. Instead, it suggested that all relationships with men in an age group spanning two decades of life took the same form and all these men had identical, yet charming, inadequacies. It was not celebrating diversity, it was offering a barrage of immature and rather bizarre stereotypes. And having read the comments below, the whole posting and thread now seems to have a quality of hubris, as younger women and a succession of male posters rejoice in their youthful appeal as opposed to older women (the comment from the girl whose ‘tits stayed up’ when she took her bra off was particularly sad). Whatever this is, it ain’t sisterhood and therefore it sure ain’t feminism.

        • Perhaps tits were not the best example to use and I understand how it may have read as sad but I was actually trying to illustrate that in fact my youth (and his age) is only a very small and rather insignificant part of the appeal; and while the pros (and cons) of dating a younger/ older person are acknowledged we shouldn’t linger on the stereotypes but rather move on.

  21. Fascinating!
    As an older man I can only say excellent. It’s like hopping back a few decades to those halcyon years, with all the same rationalisations. (Yes, your mum rolled out the same crap!)
    But seriously, there’s a shortage of asset positive men out there. (The cleaned-out post-divorce no-hopers need not apply BTW) With women from mid-twenties upward chasing these men, the early 40′s single career woman looking for a partner and father for her future children is going to face stiff competition. Which man wants to hook up with a woman for whom the eleventh hour of her biological clock is ticking away; who wants to race into motherhood; and all that entails for the ending of a moderately satisfactory sex life, when a twenty something woman has years to go before that panic arrives (if at all).
    For men, it heralds a return to the “good old days”
    For women of a certain age, it heralds a chill wind of reality blowing across the dreams of fulfillment.

    • And here we have it. Exactly why I read this article with a sinking heart, having travelled here from the Times hoping to find a kind of Fay Weldon meets the digital age blog..but finding instead another Daily Mail esque piece on Why Young Women Are So Amazing & All Men Love Them. Its yet another competition between Horrible Old (over 40) women, boo, hiss, & Our Heroine, the fresh, unsullied, wonderful & amazing Young Woman, yay, cheers. Backed up by comments reinforcing the usual rubbish that women of a certain age are over the hill, desperate & as such should just forget about love & sex.

      Big age gaps are great because these men constantly tell you how incredible you are, how young you are – look no stretch marks! No wrinkles! You are a Goddess! So much better than the alternative, & the ex wife who had my kids & now looks like shit! And what young woman doesnt want to hear how fabulous they are, just for being, well, young.

      Then you grow out of it & start to realise that it really is all a bit creepy. That being adored because you actually are wonderful, as opposed to just young might be better. That maybe these men hanging on your every word are not doing so because you are actually clever (even if you are, because they dont give a damn how clever or funny you are. And if you are not dating men in their late 20s you are seriously missing out, because older men might wear the mask well, but underneath it if they are going out with someone that much younger they have a problem with equality & women. Because the only women they actually like are the young ones. Dont believe me? See how they are with ALL women, not just the thin/pretty/under 40 ones.

      Rahul makes this very good point too
      “Misogynistic social engineering has made us believe that the proper way to set up relationships is with older man-younger woman. Thus it’s not really “preference” anymore, but rather deep-rooted and insidious societal engineering which aims to subjugate women. It doesn’t help at all that women are *themselves* perpetuating this arrangement by not trying to overturn these gender roles. “

      • Author here again. OB, could you tell me where exactly in my piece I said any of the stuff you’ve mentioned in your comment? As in, any of it all?

        A lot of commenters seem to have been reading a very different piece to the one I wrote…

        • You don’t say any of that stuff, it’s true. (Not, in fact, that OB says you explicitly do.) Neither, though, do you (or your supporters here) apparently have anything to say about the points she makes from para 3 (‘Then you grow out of it …’) onwards… Are her arguments really so negligible?

      • Hello there. I don’t think it’s a competition with older women, I’m sad that you think that. The Vagenda has a wide range of posts, and this one just happens to be written by a young woman and targeted at women in their twenties. We have lots of women of different ages and backgrounds writing for us. I don’t think you’re being fair to older men here at all! It’s a huge category of people you’re talking about, and while I accept that the article poked a bit of fun at them and generalised, and that some people didn’t like that, I don’t think it’s fair to be so cynical about their motivations. Gender roles undoubtedly play a part but I saw this as a celebration of older men and that really seems to have hit a nerve. Not all older men are pervs and sexists! Some of them are lovely to be around and you get the sense that that is why the writer is attracted to them

        • I believe Old Bat’s comments were more of a reaction to R Davies post where he used the article to vent his obvious, bitter attitude toward older women and make it about a competition between younger and older women. to suit his own misogynistic agenda. It is men like that who give older men a bad name. Not to mention WHR’s comments where he outwardly admits he prefers his relationship with a younger woman because he is not challenged to think about power dynamics or “heavy duty analytical bullshit”. Ignorance truly is bliss.

      • Oh my god, I signed up to say that I LOVE your comment, THANK YOU. Someone who gets it.

        I was reading this blog and enjoying it until I noticed this sexist bs excuse of a “feminist” article. May/December relationships wouldn’t bother me in the slightest if it wasn’t such a double standard. If these roles were commonly reversed, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. However, It is so common to see older men with young women, yet hardly the other way around. Often when it is reversed (young man/older woman) the difference usually doesn’t compare or often reach 15-20+ years older.
        Also while the woman is mildly celebrated as a “cougar” it’s only because “cougars” are a rare minority. Only recently has this cougar thing been popular, you can’t compare it to how common it is for a man to date younger. You can’t.

        I’m only 22 but the idea of dating someone that much older makes me feel incredibly disposable. It makes me wonder about all the women he has been with, and no longer desires due to them being older. I don’t want an experienced man who has been around the block, it’s my turn and I refuse to settle for some middle aged creep who has had his turn, “experiencing” other women. What’s wrong with doing something new with someone who hasn’t been there and done that before?

        My worst fear is being left alone by someone I have built a supposedly strong relationship with, to then be left for a 25 year old on my 40th birthday. Makes me feel as if, women have an expiry date and men can date younger and younger until they drop dead. I hate how women are groomed by the media and society to date older. They say it’s biological, but I think that’s a cop out. Men’s fertility also deteriorates, my mum at 32 was extremely fertile yet my dad was incapable of producing quality sperm at age 35. It’s actually very common. Excuses, excuses by misogynists that don’t want to even consider the sexuality of a woman in their forties+.

        I feel so sorry for married women with awful husbands who hit on me or blatantly stare at me in front of their wives. Pretty grim and no thanks. Unless you’re a billionaire with liver spots who wants to leave their assets to me, you can get stuffed you useless shallow excuse of a man. I have only ever dated men younger, it’s going to stay that way. Ladies, go for a hot guy and have your fun. Don’t prematurely spend time in that retirement home, you’re worth more than that.
        - See more at:

  22. A 45 year old man will have been in his twenty’s when the internet was kicking off and will have even upgraded from his Nokia 3310.

    …and I’ve got some bad news about the redtube thing :(

    Nice fun piece though.

    Good luck with the trolls / looneys

  23. Great article, but “other half”? *voms*. One of my most detested expressions. You’re a whole person before and after you go out with someone, babez!

  24. I think its worth pointing out that there are a fair few sexist stereotypes floating around among those who seek to criticise relationships between an older man and a younger woman.

    For a start, the idea that men dating women much younger than themselves will leave older single women unable to find a man in time to have children. This point was raised in one of the comments above. It is full of nasty assumptions. What about older women who are single by choice? Who don’t want children at all? Who are lesbians? Who prefer to date younger men?

    Equally, women who choose to date older men have to deal with prejudice. They are automatically seen by many (not, of course, all) as being valued by their partner mainly for their physical attractiveness, as if they could not possibly possess any other qualities that an older man might be interested in.

    Much of the resentment of these younger women seems rooted in the idea that they are somehow ‘stealing’ older men away from older women (not necessarily an individual woman, but from the general dating pool). To think this requires a system of logic in which all women compete for the attention of men and in which men are unable to see beyond qualities of physical attractiveness when choosing a partner. I think we know who is peddling this worldview, and it certainly isn’t feminism.

    We can debate the extent to which people who have been conditioned from birth to think a certain way can make completely free choices. But one of the most important elements of feminism is having respect for the choices that women do make.

    However, the choice to date an older man is often not respected in our society. Women who make this choice are belittled, told they cannot think for themselves, and reduced to a pretty face and a youthful body and nothing more. I think that this article is valuable as it presents the choice to date older men as normal and legitimate, as something that does not automatically diminish a woman’s intelligence or make her any less of a feminist.

    Women who date older men do not have to justify their decision. They don’t have to prove that they have qualities other than their face and body which make them attractive to the man they date because really, why is that anyone else’s business? The author of this article doesn’t have to apologise for her choices, or to qualify them with a paragraph or two about how she’s still a proper feminist, honest. It’s satire, I think it’s entertaining and I don’t think for a minute she’s suggesting that all relationships with an age difference look like the one she’s described.

  25. I’m 31, the boyf is 52, and we do very well thank you.
    We also have different counties of origin, different first languages, and spend about 50% of our relationship long distance – it’s a full house of potential criticism cliches!
    However I certainly don’t have daddy issues (my dad and I get on really well), and if anything I probably take the lead in our relationship 9 times out of 10.
    Boyf is, irritatingly mostly more active (wakeboarding, windsurfing, though I had to draw the line at inline skates..) and more tech obsessed than me.
    Yes my parents hate it, yes it was weird that when we holidayed in Berlin he told me endless stories about being at Uni there when the wall was still up (whereas I have horrible dorky teenage pics of me on school trips standing next to what was left of it), but nobody said relationships were supposed to be easy.
    I think the fundamental problem is a lot of younger women are in age gap relationships for all the cliched reasons, but basically if a relationship works for you, no matter what the outside opinion is, then it’s no ones business but yours.

    Oh, and it’s some of the best sex I’ve ever had!

  26. I think I liked the idea of dating on older man more than the reality.

    Once I dated a man who was a decade older than me. After a month he asked me to move in with him and couldn’t understand why I said no. We lasted another two months.

    A year later he and his new girlfriend (of one month) announced they were going to have a baby and six months in they got engaged.

    He was clearly desperate to settle down. I feel I had a lucky escape.

  27. Also wanted to say, while I have always had older boyfriends, in two out of three of those relationships there was a distinct power dynamic with me as the dominant partner. While those men were older than me, I was more mature, far, far more financially well off, and generally more independent. In one case I ended up feeling like I had to constantly mother my partner because he was so inept at dealing with anything. The other ended up living with his parents after losing his job, so my independence, both financially and just in terms of living space, created a power dynamic. While I think, generally, a significant age gap will mean that the older partner is more mature and stable and that that may create difficulties in the relationship, I just wanted to point out that this is definitely not always the case. There are a lot of factors that can create a power dynamic in a relationship (maturity, finances, independence, etc.), and age is just a predictor of a few of those things, not a guarantee. Personally, I don’t think any of those imbalances make for an easy relationship.

  28. It’s always so interesting to see what people are willing to get all het up and angry about, isn’t it! By Rahul’s standards it seems the only way we could possibly escape that age-old conundrum of being both a feminist AND liking having men around for friendships and relationships and sex and stuff is if those men are exactly the same age, height and financial status… What a minefield!

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that I personally really enjoyed this piece. I’m a 21 year old who has recently started dating a 32 year old guy, and having had to endure all the prejudice Sophie comments about- including the assumption that I am of course a cruel cold hearted vixen intent upon using my man solely for his money (is any actual human person with a sense of moral fibre actually capable of doing this?)- it’s nice to read something that celebrates- IN A VERY TONGUE IN CHEEK WAY- these kinds of relationships.

    Most surprising for me was the reaction of my female friends of the same age who assumed that dating an older man meant I was desperate to settle down and get married?! Slightly hilarious considering said older man still likes to wear baseball hats, regularly gets too drunk and pisses in public and uses phrases such as “far out” and “awesome” like he’s straight out of a 90s episode of ‘Home and Away’ (yes, really, but I wouldn’t change a thing).

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that age is just a number, and that whether it’s a girl dating an older guy, a younger guy, or someone her own age, HIS age probably isn’t actually what is important to her… and you’d hope that it works the other way too. It’s pretty saddening to see that so many people have chosen to read darker intentions into this article.

    But hey, what do I know, I’m probably just a naive 20-something already planning how I’m going to use my boyfriend’s life insurance when he dies after a mysterious accident in the shower! Or wait… is it me that’s being used as a glorified 32-year old mans ego boost…? I forget!

    Also PS. as it’s apparently such a point of contention, it also happens that I’m a 5’10” girl and he’s 5’9”.

    • Far out! I think you hit the nail on the head Lucy, in a very awesome way.

      (Actually, I am either too young or too old for those expressions, but my personal embarrassing utterance is the occasional “wicked”. I only recently learned to do the finger snap to go with it though. Not bad for a fella only 5 years off 50.)

  29. Older

    I enjoyed this very tongue-in-cheek article and the discussions that followed, even/especially as I am a 45 year old man who does not fit the loose stereotypes described at all, but does identify with some of the points discussed. I think some people have been a bit too hard on the writer, but then again can sort of understand why they felt the article needed some analysis.

    As for myself, I’ve never been married, have no kids, work just enough to get by and have a little money over for fun stuff and a little time over for creative stuff. I rent a small flat. I have no interest in settling down (whatever that is), am up to speed with the latest technology, never use my home phone except when my mum calls me, I like eating hipster burgers and occasionally have a bad back since a minor mishap in my mid-20s.

    I have dated younger, older and similar-aged women throughout my checkered relationship history and had 5 or 6 longish term relationships over the past 30 years. I appreciate the different qualities of different women of different ages, without looking for a stereotype within that – e.g. The last person who I shared some time and affection with was 9 years older than me but what I really liked about her was her energy and outlook and the fact she was into a lot of cool stuff, both new and old, that I liked too… So nothing to do with the ‘wisdom’ or ‘experience’ of her greater years.

    What’s interesting is that since turning 40 I’ve hardly met any women of a similar age who have a similar history and outlook… They are all either married, in a long term relationship with kids etc, or (less so) recently divorced. But To be honest, I think I am mostly quite enamoured by educated women in their mid-to-late 20s and early 30s, though haven’t been in a relationship with one for the past decade or so.

    I’ve met many younger single women in the past few years who I got on well with and have often considered ‘making a move’, but was too scared or cautious. I’ve had a slight ‘crush’ for a while on a single someone who I thought was in their early-20s but turned out to be in their mid-30s. This shocked me and for some reason I can’t explain I viewed her differently, but not negatively so. I also really like someone quite a bit older than me who I’ve known a while, but am strongly attracted to someone in their mid-20s I met recently. But then I’m also not sure that I’m really bothered about having a relationship at all at the moment. Interesting times…

    Am I a perv for being somewhat attracted to younger women? Probably to some people, but probably a complete vanilla-head to others. Am I a predatory alpha-male? A father figure with dark desires? A dominant older man wishing to impart his experience and share his resources with a younger submissive woman? I really, really don’t think so. But then again that might be a fun game to play…

    Oh my god… this has started to read like a bloody dating ad.

    Never mind. I think the point I’m trying to make is that while I can appreciate the satirical stereotyping and the impassioned patriarchy pummelling, when it comes to relationships I believe that everyone has different experiences and outlooks and desires. Perhaps gender politics is unable to adequately address these things without pigeonholing the very private and the personal.

  30. You know, there is a bunch of mra/pua sites out there that say exactly the same stuff ! Women like older men ! no respecting men dates a woman over 40: they have hit the wall, there are bitter and ugly !
    Young women are fun ! They are sexy ! They won’t nag you ! They don’t want children ! They will look at you with admiration ! Because you have experience, and your own flat !

    I never knew the day would come when a “feminist” blog would relay the exact same stuff. Look, my experience with older men is not great. I find that all those who tried to date me (i am 25) where not in fact, more mature on a emotional level. Some just hated women older that 30 and had theorized it : a woman is beautiful until 25 after that, things start to unravel ! Unlike men, who age like french whine !
    Some were a bit delusional : it takes some nerves to bash, for exemple, Julia Roberts for looking old, while having a beer gut, an ugly face and few hairs left. Most had backwards ideas on women. And they thought the way to my pants was through paying me stuff.

    I understand that i can’t based my opinion on all may-december relationships on my experience. It’s biased. Not ALL older men are like that and if you like them ripped well, good for you. I wish you to find happiness.

    But you are not supposed to ignored that we live in a patriarchal society where women’s first mesure of value is youth and beauty. Older women are made invisible in the media. Where was the last time you have seen a movie where the alpha-couple was an older actress with a younger men (i am talking 10 years older and plus), and that was NOT the main subject and source of conflict in the film ? Whereas the contrary is everywhere. There was an article on vulture on that. It was uncanny.

    And i wont even start on sex traffic, mail order brides …

    A couple of an slightly older men/ younger woman is the most common thing. Even if you multiply that gap it still doesn’t defy that particular gender stereotype. It’s the contrary that defy expectation an is susceptible to meet the most unpleasant reaction from society.

    For all we knows, subverting expectations doesn’t have to be one woman’s top priority when looking for a mate. But this article kinda reinforce harmfull preconceptions: that women are not interested in men’ looks, just in men’s “experience” and living arrangement. (And yes a good living arrangement coincide more ofter than not with money. I know, it’s unfortunate.) And that men are entitled to women’s youth well until their own is gone.

    It’s a bit like if a social justice blog ran an article praising Miley Cirus ‘s twerk. It’s not really in sync.

  31. Yeesh, people are getting seriously heated about this…!

    I want to thank the author, because I really enjoyed this piece and I agree that sometimes it’s good to put away the critical lenses and just have fun.

    For all the haters who are taking so much offence from this article: please, just stop it! This was not a prescriptive piece suggesting that all twenty-somethings should go out and date older men; it was just one person’s lighthearted expression of their own preference and the quirks involved. Take it or leave it.

    Personally, I prefer dating older men. I genuinely find that I have more in common with them in terms of interests, attitudes and philosophies, despite some commentators here claiming that a large age gap can make a couple ‘unrelatable’.

    But I also *enjoy* the dom/sub connotations and dynamics which this can – but does not intrinsically – involve. I enjoy being with someone more grounded, confident, sexually experienced, accomplished, cultured, and educated than I am. Someone that I feel I can look up to.

    And it’s not because the insidious patriarchal structure of society has secretly brainwashed me and stripped me of my free will; I’m a conscientious and educated individual. It’s just a preference, and it’s one that I’m happy with. Isn’t that what contemporary feminism is really supposed to be about?

  32. As someone who likes to be the aggressor, and finds it much hotter to pursue than be pursued, I sometimes date older folks. Just like the author pointed out: often middle-aged men think it’s just a one-sided infatuation (middle-aged women less so, in my experience). I’m a very warm, nurturing, caring person. But as far as secret predilections go: watching someone struggle to repress their desire and interest in you, knowing you’re fully in control of that pain’s (potential) satisfaction? That they’re sort of trapped between knowing they want you, and being convinced they can’t have you?…yeah. Totally works for me. I like to hunt, not be hunted.

    I don’t like to admit that I get off on power inequality. That doesn’t fit with my core values or beliefs. But I’m sick of the assumption in the comments that the younger party is naturally drawn to a submissive role. It’s fine if someone is (and often the older people I date happen to be), but I am rarely am– and I suspect the author isn’t, either.

    But besides the sexual element…I’m an odd little bird. I prefer sitting in a sun-spot like a cat to going to a bar. I’ve dated guys/girls my age who share these qualities. And I’ve dated older men/women who have as well. It’s not about fetishizing the age, but finding a person with common interests. The package those interests come in happens to be less relevant to me.

    Also, commenters: intelligence and experience are two very different things. If I happen to be dating an older man or woman, I want them to be as smart as I am. Do they often know more “facts”? Sure. They’ve had more time to learn them. That doesn’t make me insecure. Like two sponges that are equally absorptive, but one was put in water before the other– it doesn’t make a person MORE INTELLIGENT to have more experience, it just means they’ve had time to gather more bits of information. I’m more interested in the size of the sponge than the amount of water in it. That just sounded like the world’s worst sexual euphemism. What I’m trying to say is: I love learning, but I hate the “pupil” role. Don’t insist that I like it. It makes me itchy. I like to learn by my own experience, not someone else’s imparted wisdom. I would personally get sick of that REAL fast. I graduated college early, I hated it so much. I’m like Kanye. Can’t tell me nothing.

    Yes, in our patriarchal society, age differences can indicate an unhealthy dominance/submission power structure. Perhaps one of the oldest. But to use this to blindly disregard the possibility of the writers’ sexual agency within her interpersonal relationships? No. You aren’t listening to what she’s saying, you’re merely assigning pre-prescribed patriarchal values to the text. And to associate it with sex-trafficing? That is profoundly disrespectful to actual abuse victims. When I became interested (read: started pursuing) my boyfriend, I thought he was in his 20s. When I found out he was in his late 30s, did I suddenly become a victim? Personally, I cannot relinquish power I know that I have in order to fully step into a righteous victim role. I will not.

  33. Be proud of who you are and who want to be with, society cannot decide how and with whom you will live. Personally I go for older guys and people judge me and deduce things because of that.
    -It’s my life I do what I want! :)

  34. Now I come from a different situation. I am 17, turning 18 in October, and I am in a serious relationship with a 35 year old man. It started out as sex, and that is what I wanted it to be, but now it has turned into much more. Perfectly legal in OH, btw.

    My dad and I are very close, so daddy issues can be ruled out. I have always been attracted to older men. I remember my first grade self falling head over heels for an eighth grader. It has always been this way. I’ve dated many boys my own age, but I’m just drawn to the maturity and experience of older men. My “bf” (using this term lightly) is not mature in a mental sense. He wears baseball caps, sometimes backwards, plays in a basketball league, and I still have to remind him to flush his toilet after he takes a crap in it. Physically, I love his hairy chest, beard, and even his hair “down there”.

    However, I’m not a normal 17 year old blinded by love. I understand the consequences and risks of my actions with this man. Shockingly, I am the alpha in this relationship when it comes to making and executing the plans. And he’s the alpha in the bedroom. But we do both pull our own weight. I know that he works full time, is older and doesn’t understand the purpose of texting, and wants to have his guy and woman friend time. He knows that I have to worry about school, college, sports, all while maintaining a relationship with my friends.

    But after spending roughly 2 months with him about 2-3 times a week, sometimes spending the night, I have found out that we are VERY similar. Even with an 18 year age gap, he can relate to me. He enjoys hearing about my high school girl stories and drama, and I enjoy hearing about his full time work drama. I also love hearing about his experiences in high school, and other times throughout his life. In the beginning I was very suspicious, and figured he only wanted me to get into my pants and that I only wanted him for his money (that he doesn’t have), but after countless hours spent together, I’ve realized the only thing keeping us from becoming official is the fact that I’m 17. As soon as I turn 18 in October, neither of us care who sees us together.

    Don’t get me wrong, it is weird getting mistaken for his daughter because our eyes are the same color, and upsetting knowing the odds of my parents approving are slim to none; but we feel a connection with each other without forcing anything between us, and I’ve found that age really is just a number.

  35. I must say this article was the most spot on and poignant piece I have read in reference to the subject. I am 39 and i am engaged to a 21 year old woman. It has been mocked and ridiculed from day 1 , but only by those that don’t know us . Those friends and family, on both sides, that have taken the time to open up their minds to the possibility that love can exist beyond the boundaries of age, have all given their consent to our being together. Not that consent is needed, but it is nice to know that some people will be open enough to notice that an age difference is merely a constraint put on couples from outside sources and never a factor for the actual couple involved. I’ve never responded or posted any type of comment online or otherwise before, but I felt obliged to do so to this article. Very well done and extremely accurate. And so you know…….I actually love my fiancees arm pit stubble!!

  36. I have to say that I liked your article. I have found that in the circles that I hang out with the majority of the people who have issues with age in really nothing more than jealousy. I have many women friends that I have been friends with for many years. Co-workers, neighbors, etc. and of these female friends when they would complain about some older man with a younger women it comes across as jealousy on their part. What I’ve never had the heart to tell them is that these men won’t date them not because of their age, but because of their attitude. In addition to their attitude many of these women don’t take care of themselves like they did when they were younger. Mainly in the grooming and personal hygiene area. It’s really their attitude that makes many of them unattractive to men their own age. But men are conditioned to not tell women what they’re doing that makes them unattractive so men just walk away without saying anything. There is not one single female friend that I have that would be open enough for me to tell her why men don’t approach some of them. If I was to mention something “hell would be unleashed”. So, if they act as if they have a bad attitude, have a hygience or grooming issue, I and many of my male friends wouldn’t say anything to her. In regards to my male friends is pretty much the same thing. Many of these guys have hygience and grooming issues also. But they don’t necessarily have the bad attitude when around women. They mostly don’t look after themselves and walk around looking like slobs. But what makes these men attractive to the women I’ve seen them meet is their positive attitude. I also have come to the conclusion that the younger men who complain of an older man with a younger women also have some issues. It’s mainly jealousy again. I am a 55 year old man and have dated women as young as 35, but, these women have mostly looked closer to 40 plus and so their was never an issue with age until someone actually found out her age, then there was an issue but if nothing was said they would have thought she in her early 40′s and wasn’t a big deal. Now the women that I’ve dated that were in their late 40′s but looked like they where 30 or 35 their was an issue until she said that she was 47 then the issue wasn’t an issue anymore. Again, what man is going to say to a women. “Wow you’re 35 but look 45″? Never gonna happen. So it’s really just a perception thing and people make assumptions. As far as the young men who have problems with the age thing, as I mentioned earlier it’s more of a jealousy thing. Of the men I know that are young what it really boils down to is their inability to accept certain characteristics of themselves the women their own age don’t appreciate. So rather than work on what needs to be changed about themselves, they focus their attention on the older guy and the younger woman as being inappropriate. When in reality its none of their business what a man and a woman decide for themselves. My parents had a 13 year age gap, my grandma and grandpa on my mon’s side of the family had an 18 year age gap, I have an uncle and aunt with a 15 year age gap, and their are a number of other older men younger woman in my family with these age gaps. My brother’s wife is 8 years older then him. My son who is 31 has a girlfriend that is 22. I am currently going to meet next saturday who is 45 for a day and she is 10 years younger than me but she looks 30. And from my experience in the past, she will have to tell many younger guys to “back off” because these young guys make the assumption she is 30 when she’s really 45. I think people really have to learn to mind their own business and let adults make their own decisions. Many of these comments are from people that I think have control issues.

  37. Amazing how this is anyone’s business. Amazing how we have reached “self actualization” in this country and anyone has time to
    discuss this “issue.” All points of view are wrong. Men just like attractive women. Youth and looks are attractive. It’s not about power, dominance, holding on to our youth. I am no different at 65 than 25 as far as what I like. Just..that..simple.

  38. When I read articles like yours, I am so thankful for the internet. I’m 23, dating a 49er, and I feel incredibly lonely because I have been too afraid to tell anyone about our relationship. Thank you for reminding me I’m in fine company with women who date -significantly- older people.

  39. I am that older man. I have to say thanks for addressing this with an open mind. I am 49 and the girl I have been seeing is in her early 20s…yup. I know strange. And before you say it…no she is not blind nor is she just dumb or stupid. She is quite frankly pretty damn awesome. I had NO interest in younger women at all. Really I am one of those guys that thinks (and always did) that older women were very attractive. I have never been attracted to just looks though…it has always been about intelligence, compassion and soul. Yea I know…sounds cheesy. But its def true. Then this little “girl” sorry I said it…only because thats what I felt at first when she came along.

    I felt old and creepy just getting to know her at first and was a bit ashamed of my self. But I know in college I had dated a lady in her 40s when I was 20&21 and it was i kept at least an open mind.

    Over the next few months it progressed naturally. And no she doesnt work for me so it wasnt a power issue and I am not Bill Clinton!

    The relationship was casual at first…I was flattered a little, but really had no long term interest and I though she was just curious about older men or something. But there is something about women when the sands of time haven’t eroded away the idea that this life is an awesome gift. Dont get me wrong, there are plenty of women my age that still fill that way, but when she came along I was just surround by many of them I guess at the time so she was a breath of fresh air.

    She is smart as hell, compassionate, funny, goofy and wants to do so much with what she has and wants to do.i Intelligence, drive and ambition in a women is intoxicating. She is heading off to medical school soon…and I now have her (after a year) burned into my soul. I would protect her and stand by her for as long as she needed me to…so its real. But I also don’t want her to miss out on all those adventures she needs to have to be fulfilled as she grows older herself. So I stand ready to move aside for her when (even though she may not know it right now) she needs to move on.

    Its a tough place I have put myself in…and I know its a difficult place she is in. I dont look old, but I dont look young either. I stay in great shape, eat right and honestly dont feel any different then I did at 25.

    Dont forget that younger or older, there is still real love out here in the world…the opportunities we get for it…are very few. Race barriers, gender barriers or even age barriers are just that…peoples limited ability to see past the barriers that were placed there before them…barriers that really are just made up and recognized by those unfortunate enough to not see past them.

    I am better for knowing her, regardless if she were 23 or if she were 63… and regardless if she leaves or stays. I am glade she was in my lifejust the same.

    And its sad that the only bad things I feel about seeing her are that her friends, family and those that are supposed to love and support her who would probably go nuts knowing she is seeing someone my age.

    Age…like anything else is…yes is a reality you can see it…..but so is race differences, sexuality and gender basis…we see all of these things daily…but some people feel it important to point out those differences all the time and ask the person in those relationships “do you really want all the hard ships that might happen with them”…its expected.

    We should not be so ashamed or feel the stigmatism of any of it…we have to learn to let people be and be with those they choose…after all isnt that really want freedom is all about?

  40. It is such a shame that this Rahul dominated the discussion board with his misinterpretation of the article, which in fact is misogynistic in itself. I really enjoyed reading this and was hoping to read other women’s experiences of dating older men. I am a feminist, early 30s and completely through chance have found myself falling for an older man. I am in the stages of working out the best way to ask him out, so far we have only flirted…

  41. I am in fact attracted to older men. I love that they have experience, have stories, and have wisdom. I am currently dating a man 27 years older than me and I have never felt so close to someone than I to him. When we first started talking I felt like I have known him my whole life. We are compatible on many many levels. I know he is financialy stable and I like that, I do not want to be with someone who is pinching pennies because I want to build a future with them. I want to be married and have kids one day, and let’s face it. Kids cost money. I think attraction is important in a relationship as well. I don’t like hairless skinny boys, I like men. Justin ( the man I’m with ) is a man. Tall bearded attractive and obviously hit puberty. I like that. He is my soul mate and I know it. Age is not a problem in our relationship we see each other as equals. We are meant for each other. Every body in our lives agrees and it couldn’t be anymore obvious.

  42. This is the best article and collection of responses that I have found about dating older men. Being a 24 year old dating someone 17 years older than me at 41, I have longed for any type of positive feedback about my current situation. I was looking for an article where people go through something similar to what I have. I’ve met maybe two people in my life dating someone 17 years older than they are or older so hearing from others has been very helpful. Facts from my experiences:

    “They won’t believe you actually fancy them” is as factual as it gets since even after the two of you begin dating he will have his constant fears that you will eventually leave him for a younger man. He will strive to be perfect for you, but will never think he is good enough. My guy likes to have “reassurance” that he is the one I want to be with and that age is not an issue as it once was for me before I gave him a chance.

    “You’ll use a landline” is not a valid claim in today’s society. Yeah so your mom STILL can’t figure out how to text on her foreign device, but that doesn’t mean your guy will be that way. My boyfriend has a smartphone and I don’t. He also uses the kindle I got him much more than I use mine. Heck, my dad at almost 60 is learning to be tech-saavy. Guys take interest in new technology in most cases!
    The dad-daughter thing will happen, it’s unavoidable. Understand that it is either going to put you in an awkward situation or embarrass the person making the mistake. Believe me it is much more fun embarrassing the other person. So toss right back at them that you’re a couple right away, be proud of your decision.

    Being with an older man is seen as backwards, something that only happens in third world countries through arranged marriages. It is not socially acceptable to be with an older man while living in 21st century America as many people see it.

    Yes his and your families and/or friends will be unaccepting at first going along with the usual stereotypes. The woman is obviously unintelligent, not independent, using him for money, whatever. These stereotypes need to be stopped. I used to think less of women that would go for a much older guy as well before I experienced it. We are doing what we want to, no one is forcing us into this situation. We wouldn’t be in this situation if we weren’t happy and I am happier than I’ve ever been in my life.

    “You need to think ahead” is true as well. You do need to realize what you want a lot sooner which is something I don’t like. As of right now, I love traveling, staying active, don’t want kids, like where I live throughout most of the year, am content with my current job…but what if that changes. Like I will for sure get bored of the current location I live in at some point and would like an actual career in my field of study because that’s just how I am. I need things to change up every now and then or I get bored pretty easily.

    Yes I have learned that I do like an older man due to the fact that they are more experienced, mature, and intelligent. I love learning from my guy. I encourage him to have intellectual conversations with me about historic events or political practices. I want to learn about what he knows when it comes to working on the railroad which he did when he was around my age. If anyone else was teaching me about anything to do with railroad spikes or ties, I’d be bored to death, but I love him so it automatically becomes interesting to me because I’m interested in his past and he has many more experiences than I do.

    Young men can be slobs and drink a lot at bars with friends. I want my guy to have hobbies, friends, and fun without me when he needs it just like I need my girl time, but I would not want someone I know is always going to the bar to get drunk. I want him to take interest in martial arts, learn to fly a plane, go back to school for something he loves to study, or have a jam session with his guitar and a couple friends. Something I can be proud that he partakes in, something that makes him fun and interesting and I can learn from as well. Young guys are all about partying and drinking a bit too much for me. Plus, older men are more established with their lives, you know that they’ve hit an age where they are who they will be for the rest of their lives most likely. You are really taking a chance that young men could over time get lazy, become irresponsible with money, obese, unmotivated to get or continue with a career, etc.

    I love being with an older guy because of his habits. He has a level of maturity that many young people don’t have. He’s very organized and clean like me. He always helps with dishes, vacuuming, or laundry. It’s always a team effort. If I have a long day and fall asleep on his couch, guess who’s rubbing the oil out of my work pants? Or sings/plays on his guitar “Get Rhythm” by Johnny Cash to cheer me up when I’m down because I’m frustrated with my latest singing performance in his kitchen? Or cooks super awesome dinners for me to come home to after I work my second job? Or works overtime and comes home to see me all dressed up and ready for a Swing Dance partner because I just watched Dirty Dancing and got the urge to do some dips and spins and exhaustedly without hesitation agrees to still dance with me?

    I love my guy because when we are together I forget that he could’ve been going to prom while I was being born. I think about how well we work together, how we share similar interests, how much effort he puts into this relationship and the surprises he has for me, how adventurous he is, how well he takes care of me and worries about me, how he respects me and my decision to wait until I’m ready before going too far physically. This is what makes a relationship. Most people are shocked when I tell them that I have lived with a guy for 6 months and have dated him almost a full year now yet we have not had sex and I have remained a virgin. We are known for our fun and often crazy adventures. He has not slowed down with age, but rather found his sense of adventure by dating me.

    Love your guy for the right reasons and you can be very happy regardless of age.

    • Write us again in 10 years… maybe 5… when you’ve lived a little bit… or when realize that you want to live a little bit and want to experience the company of an equal, not a caretaker.

      • I commented on this website hoping for support. Thanks for pretending to know who I am and how I feel. I am happier than I’ve ever been before, do all that I want to in life, and am treated like a Princess by my guy. I couldn’t ask for more. I consider myself blessed no matter what happens. And there are a lot of young guys that aren’t adventurous. Mine is. Young guys aren’t going to magically become fun and spontaneous and my boyfriends not going to completely lose his adventurous side. A lot of it is personality.

        • Hi there, I stumbled across this blog because I needed to find some insights on how is it like pursuing an older man. Sadly most comments are about some misinterpreted crap about the dynamics of such relationship and whatnot. So imagine my delight upon finding your comments and actual life experience. I am a 27 year old who like a 42 year old divorcee from my workplace. I recently confessed to him and yes, he doesn’t quite believe me. It was kinda funny actually.
          But I am slightly confused over his reaction because he never ever initiate any text. It feels like he couldn’t be bothered or is busy, which I think he is because he has took on a new role in a new company. But when I text him, he will sound like as if he is happy/glad talking to me. But he still never initiate any SMSes with me. I do not know whether he couldn’t make up his mind because I am too young for him or because he doesn’t want to break my heart. I’m giving myself time to think things through. I have always liked matured men but it is my first time liking some with such big age difference.
          After reading the comments here, I have some doubts about my feelings for him, like did I like him because he is more financially stable (as it it so constantly emphasize again and again in most comments here)? Did I like him for his personality, being all wittly sarcastic? Or did I like him because I know I can’t have him?
          If so it is true that I like him simply for being financially stable, then why didn’t I take a liking for other men there in my company who fit the bill? So the answer is no. There just wasn’t that interest in other eligible men that I had with him. His confidence and humor was what initially attracted me to him. And it still does, which is why I will wait for him.

          I wish you and you partner all the best! :)

  43. i am only leaving a comment because i am now “classed” as the younger woman dating the older man, even though i don’t feel this is the case, but yes there is 17 years between us and we have both been through other marriages in our lives, we both have children…(his more grown up than mine) but what i am trying to express is that we both found each other when we were both going through some hard times in our lives, we had friendship first, and lust came later when we got to know each other and with time passing came love….. not every man who is older has money!! so for the comments that, that person is a gold digger, maybe look into the facts before express your feelings and knowing peoples situation, i for one love my life right now and would not change it for the world!!!

  44. I really enjoyed your article and found myself nodding on a lot of points. I’m 29 and am dating someone in their fifties, someone whom I hope to marry. The only difficulty between us is that he sometimes questions why I’m with him. Can I say that he’s a very hot and sweet man. I’m a rather shy person and was surprised at myself for pursuing him the way I initially did, “garage sale” style :0). I just knew that I wanted to be with him and still do. Also, it was difficult for my parents to accept at first but their opinion is that he has a great personality, would make a great husband and I’m an adult. I’m glad to have found this article. Thank you for writing it.

  45. I’m a 51 year old guy dating a 24 year old woman. I had never dated a younger woman before and wasn’t looking to date a younger woman when I met her. I honestly don’t know why she is dating me except to say that we share a lot of similar interests. We both hold advanced degrees in the same field. I’m a pretty smart guy, but she’s a lot smarter than me. One thing is for sure. Simply put, I date her because she is by far the kindest person I have ever known. I know that she will dump me at some point. I am ok with that. I wouldn’t want her to be stuck with me when I’m an old man anyway. She deserves the best the world has to offer. I want her to be happy forever.

  46. I just had a talk with my younger sister about this actual topic, being in this situation myself I really enjoyed this read.

    ive always felt old before my time even at school where my girlfriends would be chatting about the boy in the other class or the fit young p.e. teacher I would generally keep my mouth shut as I had my eye on the head of science who was in his early 50′s and dressed particularly well which was a bonus in my eyes.

    I am now in my second long term relationship again with a man of 50 who I met over a year ago and I find it romantic and old fashioned which is what I love- I often feel a lot older than my time I grew up with the love for music from the 80′s always getting the ‘hots’ for the older man and have always been that way.

    I have accepted the consequences of a long term relationship like this but I camt change the fact I have always found older men more attractive- I have tried dating younger found it a waste of time and was not remotely interested- unfortunately only my mother wo passed earlier this year accepted this non of my other family members to much appreciate him and my choises but I love him and enjoy my life so why cant they?

  47. Love is love I guess and to each your own.
    If you are sincerely in love with an older guy when you are old enough to be his daughter, fine, that’s your choice.

    And likewise, lust is lust. If you just get off on being dominated by men/dominating men who are old enough to be your Dad, that’s also your choice of pursuit…

    But damn, personally I find it pretty disgusting. ‘Daddy issues’ must come into it, can only come into it. It’s really creepy. Why would you enjoy that kind of attention from a man who is old enough to be your Dad? It’s twisted & perverted to be blunt and could be likened to paedophilia… Just gross.

    I came here hoping to find some support because I’m totally disgusted to have found out some one I know who is old enough to be my Dad has expressed feelings for me.

    Instead I’ve found this weirdo-bimbo page encouraging young girls to date men who are old enough to have held them when they were babies. It’s just disgusting.
    Makes me so so grateful to be single, to be free and to not depend on any of society’s pre-arranged bullshit.

    • Are you single and free by choice? To stuck-up for any sort of relationship? I dated a young woman (half my age). Was not really my intention to date. We actually had much in common with our perception of the world. She didn’t want some video game porn addicted jobless selfish loser. We were supportive freinds at first. She started to fall in love and we didn’t do anything expensive. Quality time together.I resisted and was not comfortable with idiots like you judging us. She got loyalty, respect, security and the best sex each apparently due to my experience. She was quite satisfied. Me too. Sexy passionate incredible mind and body.

  48. I am 50 now. Gf 26. We met by accident through her cousin. Had no physical attraction to her. Became friends. We accept each othes flaws. Apparently she is still crazy about me and now she’s the most beautiful woman inside and out that I love. Hate the Haters because she is intelligent and embarrassingly Hot ! If it lasts it will. How many relationship do? Have a beautiful healthy baby daughter. First for both. Yes I am good with math and realize future issues. How much different would it be if a relationship ends to addiction or cancer or accidental death? Our daughter having an old dad is better then no/bad dad.if I die I hope she moves on. Love is love. I’m making the best of life.

  49. Interesting article.

    Been lucky enough to have dated younger women. But my rule of thumb is only to date women who are at the age I was when I realized clubbing sucks. I was 28 when that notion crossed my mind.

    Granted there people my age, (48), who still go clubbing. So I do not think it’s an age issue so much as a personality issue. Women mature faster than men. So it stands to reason younger women and older men seem to get along.

    One of the issue dating women my age is that they do not seem interested in sex. Actually had a GF my age tell me I like to fuck too much. I told her it’s not my fault I’m Italian and a vegan! (LOL – The vegan thing is my “fault”).

    Genetics plays a huge role. For some reason, my genetic make up seems to have kept my face looking young. One women thought I was 20-22. So I suppose if my nature attracts young women, then it’s natural for it to happen.

    Work with a women who is 61 and she dates a guy who is 45. She takes care of her body with dance and yoga. She’s pretty hot. We were talking about it, and I told her, “You’ve taken care of yourself, might as well cash in!”

    The sex thing – Pretty sure when a GF yells, “Oh my God! You’re fucking the shit out of me!”, you’re doing it right.

    Dating is nice. But I prefer someone who wants to be in a relationship. That always seems to bring the best out of both. Too bad there is so much societal bullshit keeping people from taking a chance on happiness.

  50. Great article. But why am I taking a googol on, “older guys dating twenty something girls”? With this site coming up first, for that matter? Probably sounds like I’m an older guy trying to date younger girlz. Oh wait. I am. Well, “trying” is not entirely accurate, however. I fell into it.

    I just met a gorgeous girl a month or two ago, while dancing. She actually danced with me, and I actually fell into the flikr of her eyes. She is kind and patient, and looked unabashedly into my eyes as well.

    We had pleasant small talk, and I’ve seen her at the same dancing venue several times. I invited her to attend a private dance lesson that I was taking and she accepted. I was kinda thinking maybe dinner before the next lesson. Doesn’t look likely tho.

    “They (ie, me) won’t believe you (ie, her) actually fancy them (ie, me)”

    I’m thinking today, that this was always the case with this girl. I’m pretty sure I didn’t say something stupid. I did mention the age difference once; I said, “Obviously, I’m two years older than you.” (hardy har har. 35 years is more like it.) And actually, maybe the later part of that conversation, where I tried, probably clumsily, to reassure her about my motives, may have been exactly not what to say.

    So uhhh…. What’s a guy supposed to do? I’m fine with myself, and could easily imagine a great dating relationship with her. But is that all just a fantasy in my mind? I saw her again last night. She greeted me with a smile. We danced a bit during the group lesson. I left early. Couldn’t bring myself to talk to her. Too caught up in my own thoughts.

  51. I was reading some of the debates going on with the article topic at hand and what this article is portraying…in all honesty, I think it’s being looked WAAAAAAYYYY to deeply into and actually taking it out of the context it was meant as.
    It’s really simply put in the article black and white.
    No power conflicts or going after an older partner for what they have to better help you….simply put, MOST men that are older have their lives together and already know what they want and are not looking to make excuses or play games as A GOOD PERCENTAGE of younger men would.
    And the comment about “my mum gave me a tenner”….it’s not saying she wants an older man who has financial stability, or about being a gold digger….it’s more so about not wanting to HEAR that come out of your date’s mouth…it really doesn’t add to the romantic touch of the date.
    It’s all just SUGGESTING…well, the obvious, really. Older men are MORE LIKELY to have a better hold/grasp of their lives as opposed to younger men.
    And the same exact things can be said for older and younger women.
    Everyone is at a different stand point in life, REGARDLESS OF AGE. Also, everyone has different reasons they are attracted to someone.
    This article is just simply expressing dating an older man and it being ok to do so…many younger people who date older get harsh criticism from much of society because it isn’t as socially acceptable as other concepts are and because it’s not what people consider traditional, however, that does not make it wrong or bad to do so.
    This is one person’s experience and oponion about this particular situation and chose to word it as is, and some people, I feel, have misinterpreted what was actually being said because it was looked into too much.

  52. I’ve noticed that the anti-older-guy-dating-advocates are older women. I have not noticed an older woman supporting younger women in their choice of older partner.

    Funny that.

    You can’t get everything you want today. You can’t have a perfectly feminist society now. What you can do is plan your own future. If you wanted to get married or have a long-term relationship, you should have planned for that, dammit! It’s your fault, not some younger woman’s. You made the decision to marry in your fifties, and it was… stupid.

    Okay, if you’re divorced, I get it, shit happens. But that’s life. It’s still not up to the younger generations to shoulder your burden.

    And, of course, there should be no problem for older women looking for casual sex. If you’re single well into your 40s and 50s, chances are you enjoy this anyway. The dragging of heels towards the alter tells me that maybe you wouldn’t even like marriage.

    I guess the moral of this story is, “if you ***want*** marriage or an ltr, better plan for it lest you become a grouchy, self-righteous finger-wagger.” Well, as far as this post goes, anyway. :P

  53. As a single, independent 20 year old woman, I find this article very encouraging. I too find older men more attractive. I’ve noticed a lot of negative comments, mainly from those types of people that just WANT to have a problem with what ever they read. I found this a fair read to all audiences. I don’t discriminate in height, weight, color, or age. I give any decent hardworking man at least one date because I’ve surprised myself with who I was attracted to once I knew their personality. But from the beginning of my dating in college I found myself less and less drawn to guys my age. That was until I started opening the door for older guys. Before my cut off was at 24. But before I knew it I found myself sitting across from a 33 year old at a pub chatting about linguistics. I’m not saying men my age are incompetent douche bags. Many are really cool guys. They’re sweet, funny, and will go out of their way to please you. But when it comes to conversations about life experience, future plans, finances, history, careers, and more, many don’t match up to me. For example, one of the last dates I went on was with a 22 year old fellow classmate. He spent thirty minutes explaining his work out and diet. And then switched over to his choices of video games. Never once letting me talk.
    Compared to the 2 hour long conversation I had with a 25 year old businessman in the airport about the differences between the natives of North America and Europe. Then how those natives shaped modern languages as we know them.
    I can’t sit and chat about pizza aimlessly for 15 minutes or giggle over watching stupid Youtube videos together. It’s not in me to be silly and carefree. I’ve grown up very fast due to life experience, I’ve traveled (sometimes alone) to five countries, I am accelerated through my degree and will be beginning my masters this semester. I support myself by working, I work with other professionals in a courthouse, and I live alone. I date people older because I can’t understand how someone 20 years old still doesn’t know how to do laundry, talk about politics, or properly clean a toilet. I have older friends (or friends my age who are mature), because I don’t want to spend hours chatting about hair, their pointless relationships, or their roommate from hell. I crave conversations about such meaningful things. I find men my age who are just as exasperated with girls my age. It’s not about the man dating an older woman, the woman dating the older man, misogyny, control , or evolution bullshit that everyone keeps yapping about. It’s about the simple fact that mature people who have had a lot of life experience want to talk about that with other people who have had a lot of live experience. I don’t need a man’s money, I don’t have daddy issues, I don’t like a man controlling me AT ALL, and the moment I see event a hint of a man pushing me around, I leave. I simply enjoy a well rounded mature person. Sometimes I find one in my age range, but usually it’s the older man. So everyone stop hating on this article. It’s awesome and if you really want to do something for feminism you’ll give kudos to a woman who is brave enough to write about such a hot topic in the first place.
    To the writer:
    Great job, keep it up, ignore the haters, and you’ll probably meet a ballin guy someday because you’ve obviously got your shit together and know what to look for!

  54. “Feminism: the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.” Please could someone explain to me how this article is anti feminist or is encouraging gender rolls to take a step back!? I would like to point out that feminism is supposed to be the pursuit of equality, this covers the equal right for a woman to chose an older man or a man to chose an older woman, a woman to chose a woman or a man to chose a man! If your argument that an older man dating a younger woman is misogynistic then that is a very black and white view and by extension it would be anti feminist to date men at all…… Because they all have the potential to be “dominant” in the relationship. Well this thinking is just a as archaic as believing women should only be at home in the kitchen. The way to go about getting equality is not by belittling someone else’s ideals and preferences but by supporting those that are less often broadcast. You shouldn’t be attacking something just because it is socially encouraged instead you should say ‘this less accepted idea is just as good.’ Poorly constructed rant over.

  55. Well, this article made me laugh. It also gave me all the answers I needed. I’m a twenty-something with my sights set on a forty-something and all this time, I’m thinking he’d make the move. But then I wasn’t so sure. However, this makes the most sense and it made me laugh! Thank you for writing this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>