Couples are often judged more harshly when the woman is older. Indeed, the social standard is for the age difference in a couple to be the other way around. Whether it’s 5, 10 or even more years, the man is usually expected to be older. This has led many to denounce a “double standard” in dating, when it comes to age differences.
But why do older men date younger women? Most people would guess the reason has to do with physical attraction, or money… That’s not usually the case!
In fact, couples therapist Rachel Lee Glass reveals in PsychCentralthat often, the true reason older men date younger women, and vice-versa, is something completely unexpected.
The pattern, as she explains it, is this: young women are typically impressed by older men’s togetherness, maturity and responsibility. They are attracted to someone who is totally different from guys their age. As she puts it, guys in their 20’s and sometimes 30’s have “roommates, no gas money, are stoned, aimless, and only looking for fun”. Men with a bit more experience are generally the opposite. They are responsible, on time, ask deep questions, are genuinely interested, and are looking for more than sex.
As for men, it’s usually not true that they like younger women because they’re more attractive. Ms. Glass found, in her years of experience, that older men who date younger women are often coming out of a rough divorce. Their flaws have been laid bare before them, and they’re especially vulnerable. When a young woman becomes impressed by his mature behaviour and organizational “prowess”, this acts as the spark… Not necessarily her body!
This dichotomy, of course, leads to different problems down the road. Check out PsychCentral for the full story on how this couples dynamic can be tratcherous.