Thoughts on age gaps in relationships.

I don’t really have strong opinions here, but the issue has come up frequently in the comments recently so I thought I would share my own thoughts on the issue and provide a place for others to share their likely stronger opinions.  Here are my thoughts:

  1. It does seem to be more natural for a woman to be attracted to an older man than the other way around.  However, if cougars can get what they want without harming innocents (mainly kids) I don’t have any angst about that.  I will however reserve the right to make fun of men or women who make an ass of themselves.
  2. Large age gaps strike me as being less stable across the board, so I think couples should consider what this means when contemplating marriage.  They shouldn’t marry into a situation where they could foresee in advance a reason for divorce.  This is probably worse for younger men/older women but if a couple can make it work (either direction) then more power to them.
  3. The media can play a hugely negative role if it cheer-leads for unworkable arrangements in an effort to score feminist points.  They have a massive ax to grind here and I think they risk leading many down the wrong path.  Respecting people’s choices is very different than creating a propaganda blitz.
  4. My normal caveats regarding marriage still apply, both parties should be old enough to make the decision before entering into marriage (voluntarily) and they should be head over heels in love.  In our culture 18 is probably the minimum for this.
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43 Responses to Thoughts on age gaps in relationships.

  1. sestamibi says:

    And yet . . . a woman I work with was 17 when she married her 46-year old husband. She was his fourth wife. They’ve been married for 35 years.

    However, I do agree with you. She’s a very successful exception.

    [D: It really is tough to pick a magic date where people are all of a sudden mature enough. With the right culture and the right person this might be true at 15, although I think that would be a very rare exception in our current culture.]

  2. My parents (dad and stepmom) have been married 31 years. I mentioned them in the last post. Big age difference there, too. And it’s worked out well.

    [D: Hard to argue with success!]

  3. Lavazza says:

    As I wrote in an earlier comment I think that on average and for a first marriage the couple should meet when the woman has many years left of her most attractive years (which means that really good looking women have more time to make up their mind) and the man has not yet come to his most attractive years. That way the man will be loyal because he was lucky enought to find a woman who saw his potential earlier than others, and also because his view of his wife’s attractiveness will be coloured by his memory of her earlier looks. If law/culture is not stacked against the man, the woman will see to it that she stays attractive to match his increased attractiveness. The woman will also not be as jaded/picky as if she would have used more of her most attractive years in relations going nowhere with men who are already in their most attractive years, which will increase her loyalty, since she does not know better, so to speak.

  4. Lily says:

    Lavazza, what ages are you talking about approximately?

  5. Hope says:

    I’m 3 months older than my husband, and we are both 26. I have some anxieties about him leaving me when we’re both older, and he goes through the proverbial mid-life crisis. I also get nervous about the really young girls who are obviously sexually attractive, and who are not “too young” for him — i.e. girls in college. But I recognize that these are just silly fears.

    My ex was 7 years older than me. I first met him when I was 14 and he was 21. Now that’s an age gap I strongly feel is a terrible one. When we got together I was 17 and he was 24. I was just way too young, and I also wasn’t really head over heels in love with him. In fact I was rather bitter and felt like I had no choice. It was an awful situation, exacerbated by my bad family circumstances and our basic temperamental and personality mismatch.

    I never really considered any man over his mid-30s to be suitable for long-term relationships, partially because I am rather young, and partially because those men seemed to be more interested in me on a superficial level and emphasized my looks over my other qualities. While I realize most men are primarily interested in the physical, I also knew that there are tons of other girls who are more attractive, and if I want something to last 50 years, there has to be a lot going on below the surface.

  6. Lavazza says:

    Lily: It depends on what circumstances that will make the man attractive later on, but normally this would mean 20-23 for the woman and 22-27 for the man. The age difference becoming greater with the years, so maybe 2-3 years first and later 3-4 years age difference. Once a woman is approaching her late 20-ies she will be both more picky and more desperate. A unmarried guy who did not have much success earlier in life and who suddenly becomes more attractive will often want to play the field for a while. This happens around 30.

  7. When I married my husband he was 21 and I was 23. I think Lavazza makes an excellent point about a man being able to know a woman appreciated his potential rather than wondering if she is only interested in him for what he can offer her. I know this has made a big difference for us.

    I think Dalrock is right about not being able to pick a magic age of maturity. I think family background has a lot to do with it, as not only did my husband marry young, but so did all of his brothers. They were all fortunate enough to have been born into a family where they saw lots of strong marriages. I wouldn’t recommend the average man marry at 20, and the odds of finding a suitable wife are long at that age. It’s no coincidence that all of my SIL’s except one came from intact families as well.

  8. Pol Mordreth says:

    I am 10 years older than my wife. We met when I was 30 and she was 20. We have been married 6 years. Her father is 10 years older than her mother, and they have been married almost 30 years. Both of my sisters-in-law are married to men 10 years older than themselves, one married 13 or 14 years, and one married 3 years.

    Anecdotal, for sure, but interesting patterns.

    Regards,
    Pol

  9. novaseeker says:

    I was +5 on my ex, married when I was 28, she was 23. Not a terrific idea, in my opinion, if you’re essentially in two different life stages. What *can* happen is that as the younger person ages into that next life stage, the persona/goals/orientation-in-life change, too, which can be problematic. That’s much less of a problem if the younger person is not someone who is driving towards a professional career, I think.

  10. JG says:

    I’d like to know what folks think about age difference when a woman is no longer able to bear children. Marriage to a woman who can’t bear my child doesn’t personally appeal to me at this point in my life, but that is an individual decision each man must make (I never married, have no children).

    A man who has children by his first wife i.e. is more likely not to want additional children should he remarry. It seems logical that if the couple does not desire new children or is incapable of it, that age is a minimal issue. Thoughts?

  11. Hope says:

    It depends on a lot of different factors, and age is just one thing. I agree with novaseeker on the life stages difficulty. A young girl can be very different in her late teens to early 20s from how she will turn out later.

    In my own case I had almost zero self-esteem and lacked confidence. I went along with a guy I didn’t really want. If I had come from a better family circumstance, things would have been different. As I understand it though, many girls nowadays think too highly of themselves and don’t want to settle. Somewhere in between is probably ideal.

  12. Lavazza says:

    Terry: “I think Lavazza makes an excellent point about a man being able to know a woman appreciated his potential rather than wondering if she is only interested in him for what he can offer her.”

    Thanks. I think of the “wondering” part more as when a man finally gets his ducks in a row he will be in no hurry in investing in a LTR when he can get a much better ROI by pretending not having found the right woman yet. A man will appreciate a woman for taking the chance that he might get his ducks in a row, or who will even help him there.

    A man in typical marrying age and slightly above that age (say 29-38) will get 1-2 points more in attractiveness by staying unmarried, especially among women in the 27-33 bracket. A smart woman who wants a family will risk her chances that an already attractive man (young and dominant/charming or older and successful) will commit for the chance that the “almost there” man will get there.

  13. Lily says:

    “A man who has children by his first wife i.e. is more likely not to want additional children should he remarry. It seems logical that if the couple does not desire new children or is incapable of it, that age is a minimal issue.”
    This is an issue I’ve seen 40/50 age divorced guys who don’t want any more children run into with 30 something women. Many of them want their own biological children.

  14. Josh says:

    Dalrock, those are a good (and fair) set of points, and I’m in broad agreement with them.

    The age of the woman is more sensitive, due to “hitting the wall”, and the corresponding drop in fertility. I think the biological clock of women is the dominant force in the timing of pair-bonding, and both men and women should be fully aware of the implications.

    As a mid-twenties church-going man, I am actively interested in marriage, but not in a great hurry. Having dated up and down the age range, I do often wonder much “handicap” older women are giving me, in an attempt to look past our incompatibilities, get to the altar and have children. I don’t want to be the man who discovers his wife only settled for him to be a mother, and now, motherhood accomplished, barely tolerates him. We have all seen this. Younger women don’t have this problem. Their standards are unreasonably high, but if you can pierce that shield, you can be reasonably assured that she adores you on your merits.

    I wonder if women have similar observations about men – perhaps that the youngest are the most desperate for sex, and the older ones are more reticent?

  15. Aunt Haley says:

    Obviously there are always anecdotal exceptions to the rule, but I think that in American society, at least, large age gaps tend to put strain on the marriage because the spouses are more likely to be in different life stages and also will not have cultural touchstones uniting them in common experience and worldview. Plus, if a woman marries a man much older than herself (say 15+ years), she runs a greater risk of becoming a young widow and remaining widowed for decades. Also – from a rather vain standpoint – most men beyond their mid-40s are in physical decline, and the idea (when you are still young and reasonably taut) of having sex with Grandpa is…not so appealing. (Every time I see pictures of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, I shudder a little.)

  16. Anonymous age 68 says:

    Hope, I supplied no-fee counseling from 1984 till 1993 to divorced/ing men and a few non-custodial women.

    This is my observation. And, it is backed up by a book I read a few years ago, called something like ADULTERY: HOW TO KEEP YOUR HUSBAND FAITHFUL. The author, a gorgeous redhead, interviewed a significant number of panderers to ask them why they did it. Of course, there are always Clintonesque men who can’t go a week without wandering, but most of them told a different tale.

    In my opinion, as in the book, it is not sex nor sex appeal which leads a man astray, and there is some evidence the same is true for women, but I am not an expert on that. though women friends assure me it is so.

    Many marriages are places of anger and discontent. I hope I need not go into to much detail how working women come home, and feel compelled to work, work, work. And, the man wants to sit in front of the TV and unwind. And, there is constant negativism about this.

    As a result, the man never hears a kind word from his wife, months, years, at a time.

    A woman, in fact at times a much less attractive woman, who starts telling him what a great guy he is, at work or wherever, and how much she admires him will take him away from you, if he never hears it from you.

    One woman in the book told a tale. She had been married several years and things were okay, not great, okay. One day she told him how much she admired him. He was a contract negotiator, and she told him she admired his ability to keep on going when there were problems, if one thing didn’t work try another thing, and she admired him very much for that.

    She said he looked startled, walked over, picked her up, and took her to the bedroom. Being told he was admired by his wife was a big turn-on for him.

    Think about the last time you told your husband you think he is a great guy, that you are glad you are married to him, and that you admire him very much. If it has been more than a few days (for most, it’s a very long time) you might want to change your ways. Men want very much to be admired by their wives, trust me on this. If they don’t get it, another woman can give it to him, and if you add young and gorgeous…

    As far as sex, one of the apparently best known secrets is given a choice, men will take quantity over quality, though both at the same time is best.

    And, I also guarantee you, 11:30 pm Friday night after the kids are asleep is BORING!!!! Find out when his hormones peak, and see to it, well, you know.

    For me, it was right after work, an extreme hormonal peak.

    Get a good lock on the bedroom and get the kids used to Mom and Dad taking a “nap” in the early evening. Studies a few years ago showed that kids may be slightly grossed out to know what Mom and Dad are doing in there, but in most cases, knowing they are hot for each other quells worries about Mom and Dad getting divorced like so many of their suffering friends, and actually makes them feel safer.

    If a guy knows all day he gets a hot “nap” after work while the kids watch TV, he is far less likely to lust after that hot slut in the short skirt at work. Or, if he does, you get the hormone attack to your benefit.

    Forget all I just said if you are a screamer, heh, heh.

  17. Don Ghixote says:

    Take it for what it is, in my Psych of Relationships class in college, my professor said that a 10 year age gap is probably the max point on the age gap regarding marital success. She noted that over 10 dips in success but it could be due to a low sampling rate since it is not common in the US. She also said that if there is a gap, the man should be the older one for greater success. I can’t find the graph and stats she posted in class (this was several years ago) but I do recall that around 3-5 years in age difference with the man being older had the highest success rate. The study was not controlled for when marriage occurred or if it was the first, second, etc.

    That said, I think life stages/agendas are more important. The team needs to be focused on the same goals to work well.

    @ Haley – I’m with you on Cath and Michael. Thanks for the mental vomit.

  18. Anonymous age 68 says:

    I have observed May/December marriages over the years. They are much more common here in Mexico. The US culture mocks old men. I am 68, and at least once a year I get hit on by an attractive female nearly 50 years younger than I am. I play stupid, and she usually goes away, heh, heh.

    These are not what I call the First Wave. Any time a North American moves into a small village, all the gold-diggers and opportunists come running. These are the young women who have known me for a while, and like how I treat women with respect, something Mexican women don’t often get. (I tell MRA’s Nice Guys, so hated in the US, are HOT in Mexico.)

    Part of the failure of May/December in the US may well result from the negative vibes such marriages face, on a daily basis. Jokes, nasty comments, insults, etc. I would not expect that here. Older men everywhere are known to treat young wives well, and here I think other women might actually be envious if he treats her well.

    A cousin told me a while back he had a young chick ask him for an affair. He told her his age, and asked if that bothered her. She told him right out older men are so much more responsible, and treat their women so much better. She was 20-ish, and he is late 50’s, not rich at all. That will never happen in the US.

    Three years ago, when a mutual friend asked me if I wanted a gorgeous 20 year old for a lover, while I pretended not to understand her, I had hot flashes for a week.

    But, in my opinion, the best, most stable May/December marriages will be those that are intellectually based. Their minds must touch, if you know what I mean.

    Some years ago, an 80 year old Supreme Court Justice married a 20 year old woman. There was a lot of sarcasm from others, but her friends said later, she was madly in love with him. She was an intellectual in her own right, and she adored his mind, and his work, and his friends, and his vacations and trips. She cared for him in his last months, and was distraught when he died.

    Though sex and marriage aren’t involved, I have a similar intellectual relationship with a niece in Mexico City, and have had since 1983 when she was 11. So, I have some idea what it is like. I call her my little sweetheart, and have actually written about our relationship and how she taught me to love Mexico and the Mexican people.

    My daughter had a friend who when she was 49 married a 29 year old man. It is also an intellectual relationship, and they were head over heels in love.

    The stereotypical May/December marriage where she is mercenary for money and he wants her hot young body, doesn’t seem to work out to well. I think of Jackie and Onassis.

    In my village the “rich old bastard” as I call him, because he is all three things, was widowed two or three years ago. I just heard yesterday his 22 year old honey is pregnant. He is 76. When people tell the tale, they chuckle, but not much, and no negative comments are made

  19. Badger Nation says:

    I’m one who believes the statistics/conventional wisdom that a girl around 25 and a man around 28-30 are an optimal pair for successful marriage. However, it’s not easy to find people actually ready for marriage at that age…a comment I’ve made more than once at Hooking Up Smart is that <25yo people today spend much if not all of their time around other people that age. So the lowest common denominator wins out – immature, spendthrift, heavy-drinking, present-oriented just-out-of-college folks whose seemingly only bars, clubs and other fishbowls of status and social dominance.

    Thus it's difficult to find a early 20's woman who has been able to grow past this sea of superficiality into a good candidate for marriage. Ditto the man, although he gets a little more breathing space with those extra few years.

  20. Badger Nation says:

    er, was supposed to say “whose seemingly only mode of recreation and socialization is bars, clubs and other fishbowls of status and social dominance.”

  21. Lavazza says:

    Lily: “This is an issue I’ve seen 40/50 age divorced guys who don’t want any more children run into with 30 something women. Many of them want their own biological children.”

    That combo is a total mismatch. The guy loses points because he does not want children and the woman loses points because she wants children. A 30+ woman who does not want children can land a higher quality man (who will often be a divorced dad, if he is available) than her equally attractive sisters in that age bracket and she has to be much more attractive than her sisters to make that kind of man change his mind. As often the people who are able to assess the market dynamics and make up their minds and act early win over the people who are poor at making that assessment and make up their minds and act late.

    It is a bit like this quote from Saturday Night Fever:

    “Tony Manero: Are you a nice girl or are you a cunt?
    Annette: Can’t I be both?
    Tony Manero: No. It’s a decision a girl’s gotta make early in life, if she’s gonna be a nice girl or a cunt.”

  22. Badger Nation says:

    “Being told he was admired by his wife was a big turn-on for him.”

    You know what’s unbelievable? Based on my observations of American women under age 30, almost none of them have actually been taught this. Most of them don’t seem to even think intentionally turning their man on is actually something they should worry about, save for the occasional tarting up if they want something from him. Giving him what he might want is unacceptably submissive and degrading. Meanwhile HE’S supposed to grovel for her attention – they want him to jump through all sorts of hoops to get access to their hooch, but they seem to think just being there is enough to turn the man on.

  23. Hope says:

    I am not a nag, tell him about how great he is a lot, and I am always “available.” Every day without fail, I rub his back and neck, make him breakfast, pack his lunch, and cook our dinner. I am very accomodating and affectionate, and I am very much in love with him. Perhaps this would work as an aphrodisiac if I was bitchy most of the time and turned sweet once in a blue moon, but being constantly nice by itself doesn’t really turn a man on either.

    Not that I actually have complaints. He treats me well, and we have a very loving relationship. We never get angry or raise our voices, no dramatic fights, and there’s tremendous mutual respect. I just don’t think being good, in itself, is a turn-on for men. It’s probably more the scarcity and the idea of it that makes men happy, which is conducive to being in the mood. But a man who has a nice woman all the time needs more than just nice.

  24. Pickle says:

    I am 26 years old, married to a 48 year old man. We’ve been in a relationship for 4 years now. Our brains are on the same level. Our physical needs/wants are also on the same level. We choose to be very open with each other and have never side stepped the “what ifs” of the aging that is going to happen at some point. We have made promises to each other to stay in the best physical condition we can. We owe that to each other. He provides and takes great care of our family now and I tell him someday I will be right there to take care of him if that is what life throws our way. Our age gap works because I find that I have a huge amount of respect for him, he’s lived a lot longer than I. He has amazing wisdom to share with me and in return I keep him learning about all the new stuff that is coming about today. I simply could not imagine my life with anyone younger.

  25. A unmarried guy who did not have much success earlier in life and who suddenly becomes more attractive will often want to play the field for a while.

    Being a single man at that stage does not magically mean his condition has improved. You’re not getting women who are attracted to you per se, but women who are desperate and lowering their standards for you. It does not imply any increase in your quality vis à vis other men, and I’d argue that’s a recipe for an eventual divorce.

    I think Lavazza makes an excellent point about a man being able to know a woman appreciated his potential rather than wondering if she is only interested in him for what he can offer her.

    To me, it’s still a poor choice in either situation. In either situation, the woman is looking to benefit from him, but in the former, she’s simply locking in now to beat the other women. It reeks of a certain “golddigger” attitude to me. I’d much rather she chase alphas and join the informal harem instead.

  26. J says:

    Marriage to a woman who can’t bear my child doesn’t personally appeal to me at this point in my life, but that is an individual decision each man must make (I never married, have no children).

    I think it depends on your age and what you are looking for. If you are 55 and looking for a 20 yo to give you a family, I think you may have missed the boat. If you are 45, you’ll quite possibly find a 33 yo who wants to have a kid or two before it’s too late.

    As I age, one of my biggest thrills is matchmaking. About nine months ago, a very attractive (tall, dark and handsome) 40 yo professional male asked me if I knew any nice women. I had a couple of lovely women–not carousel riders–between 30-35 that I introduced to him. He wanted a 20-something he could have a lot of kids with. I couldn’t get him to understand how old he’d seem to some college girl. He’s still looking.

  27. J says:

    Every time I see pictures of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, I shudder a little.

    I read that about $100 million exchanged hands before CZJ married him. Pity. He could have had me for $50 million. 😉

    I find him attractive, but I’m over 50.

  28. J says:

    Being told he was admired by his wife was a big turn-on for him.

    Prurient stuff aside, I can not imagine being married to a man I did not admire.

  29. Aunt Haley says:

    J–
    If you are 45, you’ll quite possibly find a 33 yo who wants to have a kid or two before it’s too late.

    Oh, there are definitely a lot of those women out there, although even a lot of 33-year-old women will balk a little if the man is 45. That is why for men looking to date significantly down in age, it is absolutely critical that the man not seem old. This means being fit, having a contemporary haircut, dressing stylishly but not overly trendy, and being familiar with the things that younger people are interested in. Money Game or Life Experience Game is not going to work very well if it’s at odds with Large Balding Patch Game or Ugly Sweater My Sweet Elderly Mother Bought Me For Christmas Game or I’ve Never Sent A Text Message Ever Game.

  30. Lavazza says:

    “Being a single man at that stage does not magically mean his condition has improved. You’re not getting women who are attracted to you per se, but women who are desperate and lowering their standards for you. It does not imply any increase in your quality vis à vis other men, and I’d argue that’s a recipe for an eventual divorce.”

    I do not think anybody is attracted to anybody per se. One could argue that a guy who is very active in pursuing women does not increase his quality vis à vis other men either.

    “To me, it’s still a poor choice in either situation. In either situation, the woman is looking to benefit from him, but in the former, she’s simply locking in now to beat the other women. It reeks of a certain “golddigger” attitude to me. I’d much rather she chase alphas and join the informal harem instead.”

    Every women who wants to start a family will have a certain gold digger attitude, conscious or unconscious. A woman with big resources and small desires does not need a man (a rare breed), and few of these will take a man on board to start a family notwithstanding that fact.

  31. Josh says:

    @ J, Aunt Haley:

    Having observed older men attempting to date my 20-something female peers, I partially agree with both of you.

    Being bald or balding is a big deal, and I don’t think middle-aged men realize that. Being fat is bad, although not as bad. Basically, if you want to successfully date a younger woman, have a full head of hair, and don’t be egregiously fat. Less-handsome Alex Baldwins should do just fine. Doing the “shaved head” thing is just pathetic, but works, at least somewhat, which is why so many balding single men shave their heads. They’re not really fooling anyone, but I guess it makes them slightly more pleasant to look at.

    Basically, if you’re reasonably fit (something like a 40 suit, with 34 waist, or better), with most of your hair, you’re pretty much good to go. I wouldn’t recommend trying to play a young man’s game, I think most middle-aged men would invite derision trying so. I think it would be better to do the opposite, and have her play by your rules – “you’re in my world now, try to keep up.”

    And FWIW, I hate texting. I can count on one hand the number of texts I have sent.

  32. Lavazza says:

    Aunt Haley: There is very little risk that a guy who has stayed unmarried by choice until his mid 40ies does seem old. He will have been pumping and dumping younger women for decades by knowing what works for him. If you are talking unwilling bachelors who have reached that age I do not think style tips will ever be enough.

  33. Josh says:

    I’ve just thought of a good example – Steve Buscemi.

    This guy basically specialized in playing insane characters in the 90s, with his bugged-out eyes, sallow face, and crooked teeth.

    He’s fit and he has hair, but he basically looks like Gollum. And apparently, that’s good enough to be cast as the male lead in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.

  34. Lavazza says:

    Josh: I think Buscemi is made up in movies to look weird. Overall he looks like a much older version of child actor Macaulay Culkin.

  35. I do not think anybody is attracted to anybody per se.

    Arguably, the experience of alpha males and the women who chase them seem to indicate that there’s a section of the male population that is attractive to a wide base of women. The men who are active and successful in pursuing women have proven that they are already attractive to women, and that they have the high “quality” that women are biologically programmed to desire. In contrast, the rest of the male population isn’t attractive except in some limited marginal aspects, a trait which may be limited to some men. Quite frankly, most men are not attractive, the sex they receive is mostly out of pity or shameful attempt to buy their affection and eventually their resources covertly. One of the benefits of the modern relationship regime is that the true nature of attraction has been exposed, and we’ve finally realized that the beta males are only attractive for the resources they offer, and nothing else which is rather depressing from my perspective.

    Every women who wants to start a family will have a certain gold digger attitude, conscious or unconscious.

    Since I find the gold digger attitude to be reprehensible, it sadly leaves single motherhood as the only rational option for women to have children without invoking such attitudes. Even though two-parent families promote more stability, I’d rather have a society of single family parents and the inherent problems that may manifest itself from such an arrangement in lieu of gold diggers using men to secure resources for their children. Sacrificing men and lying to them should not be acceptable in our modern society.

  36. Lavazza says:

    David Alexander: When you wrote “per se”, I thought you meant without conditions, not depending on the situation, supply and demand and so on. Every alpha will at some point lose his alpha status, either by some woman and/or society betaizing him or by being replaced by a younger alpha.

  37. Lily says:

    Most alphas I know are married (if not married and divorced) long before 45.

    I have noticed that in player types, they plateau between 35 and 40 but then they ‘hit the wall’, seems around 41/42. It may be all the late nights and the drinking.

    Getting the woman to join your world is better than pretending to be younger. There are always going to be willing takers. Though obviously, the 35 year old man will have a bigger pool of under 35s than the 45 year old man.

    Texting is a necessary part of communication skills to get a 30 something, let alone a 20 something.

    A shaved head may do more than some may think..
    http://lilylivinglife.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/he-went-from-geek-to-hot-oh-what-the-nerds-can-learn-from-this-guy/

  38. Lavazza says:

    I’ve been out with a player guy sometimes lately. He is 35 and he has been making out like a bandit, not least amongst collegues in the 27-32 bracket. One night he commented that he might have to get out of the game before he will only be landing women like *indicating a 5-6 in her late 30-ies*. For the moment he is on an on/off with the hottest woman I have seen him with (solid 9 in her mid 20-ies), but there seems to be a lot of power struggle between them, both seeing other people and indicating they have choices. I guess he also sees 40 as about the limit for leading his life style successfully, but he might have got his hopes up when I told him that I am 45.😉

  39. Hope says:

    It is completely foolish for a woman wanting to start a family to go by pure monetary resources that a man has, because a rich man has numerous gold-diggers who’d want to get a piece of the pie. Money also doesn’t guarantee happiness, which in the long term is what matters more. Going for only money/status in a man is like going for only youth/beauty in a woman. It’s a gamble.

    Instead it’s better to look for honest character, emotional availability, work ethic, capability, and a loving and caring attitude. This kind of man is said to be “beta” and “unsexy,” but it’s precisely the type to create a lasting and stable family unit and be a good father and husband. Unfortunately most young men in their 20s are not like this, and by their 30s and 40s they’re either so bitter that they didn’t get to have fun or they’re basically former players.

    When I was single for a little bit before my husband, I was briefly curious about more established men in their 30s and 40s. But every interaction I had with them was a turn off. They were incredibly focused on looks and I felt myself a piece of meat. For all their supposed “experience” it was all about vacations and partying it up, or working to get lots of money so they can party.

    It was not the age, but the materialistic, superficial attitude. They certainly could and did land the younger hotties, and I was young and good looking enough for them, but that whole scene makes me gag. Their equivalent in younger guys were the jocks and frat boys in college, whom I always stayed away from.

    I still think the best scenario is as Lavazza outlined above, for a woman who is mature enough for marriage in her 20s to marry a good man also in his 20s. From a purely biological perspective the man will be very healthy, and be able to keep up with the energy level of his sons for a good while. The sons, when grown to young adulthood, won’t be looking at daddy as some “old man,” but a still-strong guy who can kick their butts and serve as a manly example.

  40. S. Chan says:

    There was apparently a study that concluded men tend to prefer women whose age is nine plus half their own age. (This is presumably due to fitting a straight line to survey data.) Sorry that I do not have a reference for this.

  41. anna says:

    I am 19 years old and my fiance is 25… age gap between us is of 6 years.. Sometimes I think that its quite a big difference.. or its only my immature thinking????

  42. Dalrock says:

    @anna

    I am 19 years old and my fiance is 25… age gap between us is of 6 years.. Sometimes I think that its quite a big difference.. or its only my immature thinking????

    Welcome Anna,

    This is a subjective matter, but six years older isn’t an unusually large age gap. I’m four years older than my wife and we married when she was just a year older than you are now (and we were engaged as you are when she was 19). Over time the relative age difference becomes less noticeable; if you don’t have a problem now I wouldn’t worry about it. One thing which helps is you are building common memories. It isn’t like the two of you will have different generational backgrounds from your youth. You will have built a common youth. What I would focus on is are you ready to truly commit to being a wife, and specifically his wife. If not, don’t marry. Three quick questions I would ask are:

    1) Are you head over heels in love with him.
    2) Are you prepared to follow his leadership.
    3) Are you truly committed to remaining married for life? What are your acceptable reasons for divorce? What are his?

    You may also want to read: How young should a woman marry?

  43. David J. says:

    Very late to the party here, but I always thought my paternal grandfather’s story was remarkable. His first wife cheated on him and divorced him to marry the other man in the early 1960’s, after 25+ years of marriage. (My father was about 26-27 at the time and I was an infant.) Since this pre-dated no fault marriage and both of their sons were adults, the divorce didn’t have much financial impact on Grandpa, but it sure did make him angry for quite a while. (I don’t think he and my grandmother were in the same room together until 20 years or more later.) Providentially, though, through a church bowling league, he met and became friends with a godly and mature young woman from a very good family. They socialized as friends for quite a while, then they dated for quite a while, and then they got married. At that point, he was 54 and she was 27 — five years younger than my dad, her new step-son. In large part due to her sweetness, her Christian faith, and her deep love for Grandpa, they were married until he died in his late 80’s. She still lives on their property, tending their cherry orchard. My father and the rest of the family have nothing but the greatest respect for her. My conclusion: it all depends on the quality and character of the woman. Alas, contrary to any expectation I ever had during my marriage, I am now in an almost identical situation: age 54, frivorced over my objection after 29+ years. I would not mind at all having God deliver a similarly young woman of equivalent character (27 years old would be fine; 5 years younger than my oldest son would be weird since he’s only 25).

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