Why Middle Aged Men Seek Out Younger Women

Why Middle Aged Men Seek Out Younger Women

In some respects, the answer to this question is fairly obvious; men are primarily visual creatures, so they will filter for good optics and beauty.

Visual Preferences and Evolutionary Psychology

From the perspective of evolutionary psychology, beauty is an indicator of reproductive capacity. That is, it generally correlates with youth and fertility.

So, to the extent that men have a biological imperative to reproduce successfully, it makes sense that men would be attracted to younger women.

So, there’s another really important reason why men like younger women.

Why Men Like Younger Women and the Counterpart Preference

It’s staring us all in the face, but it almost never gets said. Here it is: The reason why men like younger women is that women like older men. If women did not like older men, it would actually be very, very difficult for men to like younger women.

I suppose they still could like them, but it would just be a recipe for frustration, a kind of torture, and we actually don’t see that in reality.

I don’t think that there is a culture on this planet where the average age of a woman exceeds the average age of a man for a first marriage.

So, in all places, in every culture around the world, throughout history, women select older men to partner with.

And why might that be? Well, what are some of women’s selection criteria for partners?

The Attractiveness of Maturity and Success

They’d like someone who is confident and competent, who has wealth, who has status, who has an emotionally compelling lifestyle, who knows how to communicate, who is emotionally stable, and who is generally an all-around successful guy.

Okay, so who is more likely to have all those things, a 25-year-old man or a 45-year-old man? Obviously, the 45-year-old man is going to have significantly higher levels of all those things.

The 25-year-old might be fun and sexy, but those aren’t the primary criteria upon which women sort for their partners.

Convergence of Desirability and Peak Optionality

Okay, so the flip side of this is the understanding that a successful 45-year-old man is sort of analogous to a fairly attractive 25-year-old woman.

Most men will never even begin to approach the optionality enjoyed by a beautiful 25-year-old woman, but if they play their cards right, they might get the kind of optionality enjoyed by a fairly attractive 25-year-old woman.

And it makes sense that when he’s at his peak, when he has the greatest optionality he will ever have, he will move toward the women that, all other things being equal, he’s most attracted to.

Because that’s what the attractive 25-year-old women are doing; they’re at their peak, and they’re moving toward the men that, all other things being equal, they’re most attracted to.

In our culture, when we see a big age gap in a romantic relationship, we tend to think that it’s a sleezy old guy who has somehow manipulated an innocent young woman into a relationship.

But then it would probably be just as true to say that it’s a coniving little girl who is creeping on some established, successful man.

It’s the other side of the same coin. So, we either need to think of this as creepy in both directions, or even better, stop being so judgmental.

Seeing what people go after when they have the most options is our truest glimpse into what they really want. It is what it is.


  • Michelle

    As a passionate advocate for women's health and beauty, Michelle has dedicated her life to empowering women of all ages. As a previous beauty therapist, Michelle keeps to a regular beauty and fitness regime. At 53 she's has gained a lot of experience from her previous business and loves writing on topics that offer advice and help other middle-aged women, especially on health and beauty

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