What You Must Know Before Dating an Older Man
How Much Older Are We Talking?
We all remember when 27-year old Ashley Olsen made headlines for reportedly dating 47-year-old Bennett Miller, the director of Moneyball.
And, yes, I know some younger men date older women. Kyle Jones, a 31-year-old Pittsburgh guy, was in the news for having a relationship with 91-year-old great-grandmother, Marjorie McCool.
So I am not being sexist. However, this article is about younger women falling in love with older men.
And I don't mean a few years older. Traditionally, it has not just been customary but also advisable for girls to marry men who were a few years older - maybe by two to five years. There are biological as well as psychological reasons for this. For instance, girls enter puberty sooner, their bodies are ready to have children earlier, and they only remain fertile for a limited time period. Psychologically, they reach emotional maturity much sooner than men.
In fact, statistics prove that, on average, American men marry younger women.
A study* by Thomas V. Pollet, Sophia E. Pratt, Gracia Edwards and Gert Stulp, revealed that married women were 4.1 years younger than married men in the United States.
According to the same study, successful men featured on the Forbes 400 list married women seven years younger. In fact, the numbers get more interesting. When these super-rich men remarried, their subsequent partner was substantially younger, 22-years younger on average.
That's the kind of gap I am talking about.
Why Do Women Choose Older Men?
Financial gain seems to be the obvious answer, so I will get it out of the way straightaway.
Yes, money matters. Girls get a head-start by marrying older men, as it affords them a similar or better lifestyle than they were used to while living with their parents. After all, their parents would have secured a commendable standard of living in their middle age, and the girl would like to ensure that she gets similar comforts when she marries.
If she were to marry a man the same age or slightly younger, they both would be starting out together and would lead a life of struggle initially—at least before they can plant their feet firmly in their respective careers.
So, such an affair results in financial security.
There are other, more complex psychological reasons.
- Just Like Daddy. As they say, a girl marries a guy that reminds her of her father. Girls are used to their father's protection and care. Such a caring and loving attitude is usually found in older men. Men her age typically (though not necessarily) are as mature or even less mature than herself and are not yet ready to take on the responsibility of a partner.
- Social Acceptance. Girls want to grow up fast, and they feel all grown up with an older man who socializes with others his age.
- Relatability. Finally, it is easier for younger girls to relate to them. In their early twenties, young girls are still trying to come to terms with their identity. They are still dealing with their emotions. They need a strong anchor, and a mature man can provide that emotional stability.
What's Causing This Trend?
Online dating sites have made it easier for women to find men of all varieties—single, divorced, rich, and even married men. In fact, many are full of married men pretending to be single or divorced. Because such websites attract more men than women, they often offer women incentives such as free registration and discretion. All of this makes it easier for younger women to meet and date younger men.
What You Must Know Before Dating an Older Man
You must consider the following differences before marrying or even getting into a relationship with an older man.
- Physical: He will be less vigorous than your younger self.
- Emotional: His emotional needs will differ from yours simply because he is in a different stage of life.
- Social: Navigating between the various social circles, including family and friends, can be challenging.
Because of this, I believe it is a terrible idea for young girls to fall in love with older men.
Why It's a Bad Idea
Finally, let's get into some of the problems that a couple may face when the guy is much older.
To get an idea of the possible challenges, you only have to read the experiences of women who have married old men. These tragic stories are all over the internet.
So, I will be very blunt in the list below.
- If you are having an affair with such a man, physical compatibility could be an issue. You will be in the prime of your life, and he'll be rapidly approaching the end of his. While you are spending hours in the hospital because he has fallen ill, your friends will be sharing stories about their baby showers and their children's sports activities.
- If he is married, then you will be his second choice. His wife and his children will always be his top priority. Which is why he is still married and you are his mistress.
- If he can cheat on his wife with you, he would cheat on you with an even younger girl.
- If you wish to start a family, there are emotional and physical barriers. An older man's sperm usually cannot produce healthy babies. Physically he may not be able to do all the activities with your child that are expected of a father. Emotionally, he may not be ready to create competition for his kids from his previous first marriage.
How to Make the Relationship Work
The benefits of dating an older man are very few, and most fathers would have a hard time if their daughters began to date one. To be fair, some couples have successfully lived together despite the age difference.
Here are some tips to make your marriage work:
- Communicate: This is the number one game-changer in all relationships. Despite all your differences, it is the willingness to talk that keeps the flame burning bright. Talk to him, listen to him, share ideas. Discuss things you like and dislike. Talk about your future plans. That's one good thing about marrying an older man—he listens better than a younger one. Read a lot so that you can discuss politics, entertainment, and sports. That brings me to my next point.
- Share common interests: You must watch sports with him, if that's what he likes—and find it genuinely interesting. I know it's a stereotype that men like sports. Most do. Develop an interest in whatever it is that he likes. Also, get him to do the same for what you love to do. Doing things together improves communication, which was my previous point. However, my next point is going to contradict this one.
- Give each other space: Yes, you should find things to do together. But also spend time apart so that each of you can do the things the other doesn't like on your own. There's no point trying to force your man to go shopping with you, for example. Let him catch up with a buddy over a beer while you go and spend his money. You will need to find the right balance between doing things together and being independent.
Laura shares good tips
Will You Date An Older Man?
If given a choice, would you like to have an affair with an older man?
- Women marry older men for financial, psychological and social needs.
- There are many pitfalls to watch out for when dating an older man.
- Overall, it's not a good idea to marry someone who is much older, but you can make things work by following the tips mentioned in this article.
What do you think? Do you have first-hand experience with an older man? Or do you know someone who does?
Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Questions & Answers
I have recently started dating an older man. We have been friends for over two years now. We started dating about a month ago. He is sixty-three, and I am thirty-nine. Our issue seems to be that he thinks people are judging and looking at us. We have a lot of mutual friends. Nobody is judging or looking at us. How can I get him to realize that nobody has an issue with our relationship? How do I make him more comfortable in public with me?
If he is in love with you, he will be able to ignore any judgmental behavior from friends and family - if such behavior exists. Else, he is probably using it to disguise his lack of commitment.Helpful 42
I'm nineteen and he's thirty-four. We have everything in common. We met at work. He's been divorced for five years, and has been on his own ever since. He's shy. Are we two peas in a pod?
If you find that the two of you have a lot in common, then you can nurture this into a fruitful future for both of you.Helpful 41