Men over 50 are not looking at women my age. They are looking for younger women, and I want to know why.
I am not terribly conventional, I have a doctorate, and I’m fairly independent. I also look about 10 years younger than my age (54). I am really energetic and still enjoy many of the things I enjoyed in my 20s and 30s. But in online dating, men my age are not looking at women my age. They are looking for younger women. The men I do hear from are older than me by 10-15 years and are looking for a far more relaxed lifestyle or trying too hard to be youthful (If it is genuine, great, if not, it’s annoying.)
I don’t want to date men who remind me of my dad, who want to eat quiet dinners every night or sit home watching movies. On the flip side, when I meet men in real life, I do attract more of the type I like—my age or younger and energetic. Yet, when they find out how old I am or that my kids are in their late teens, they get freaked out (much like they get when they learn I have a PhD), as if I have tricked them somehow on purpose.
I guess when the right guy comes along, this won’t happen, but I feel very discouraged and am not sure any more where to look to meet anyone. How does one navigate this “glass ceiling” of aging? I want to be in a relationship, and I’m worried it’s not going to happen. I’m sick of older men looking for younger women!
Here’s what I think about middle-aged men who say that they’re looking for much younger women: it’s often a dream, driven by a midlife crisis or a bruised ego. If you come across a profile of an older man who seems like a good guy, just ignore the age requirements listed and write to him anyway. An older man can dream of his fantasy arm-candy, his midlife crisis temporary cure, his ego boosting babe. But a real man, one who wants a relationship with a fabulous woman over 50, will probably view your profile and think, “This woman looks and sounds incredible. I want to get to know her.”
That’s why I suggest you ignore the age demographic online and write an email. I do it all the time and have dated men of all ages whom I met online and offline.
Why Older Men Look for Younger Women
Biologically speaking, we are all hardwired to seek out the most youthful, robust partner. No matter our age, we want to be with someone who will live a long, healthy life. Back in the day, when marriage was about having a partner to help run the farm and procreate, before love stepped in to complicate marriage, men looked for signs of fertility in women–rosy cheeks and wide hips. Women sought out men with muscles, broad shoulders, one who could till the fields and bring home the hunt of the day.
Subconsciously, those instincts are still hardwired into your brain, even though you’re no longer of childbearing age. I watched a PBS special about attraction where young men were shown photos of women in various stages of their menstrual cycle. Women who were ovulating were almost always rated as more attractive.
There’s not much you can do about the men who date to satisfy their ego. You don’t want them anyway. They are boys, not mature men.
A real man wants to be in partnership with a woman he can talk to, relate to, and come home to. She’s the whole package–someone who takes care of herself emotionally, physically, and spiritually. She’s young at heart and playful. She’s smart and isn’t afraid to let down her guard and let the right man in.
Agree or disagree? Do most men over 50 look for younger women? If so, why do you think that is?
This article originally appeared on Last First Date.
Photo: Flickr/ Geoff Livingston