In dating, there’s almost always an age difference, small, bigger, or big. The age gap in dating is not an aberration.
Traditionally, men are older than women, and usually, the difference ranges between one and six-seven (up to ten) years.
So, what is the age difference for dating, even if we say, age is just a number and the love tank is full? Although the age taboo is less stringent now, 10-20 years junior or senior is referred to as “acceptable” by our society’s norms.
Nonetheless, as love isn’t as uniform as tradition, there are also many exceptions to this unspoken rule especially in modern times when all the taboo and prejudice are easily broken.
But, what does psychology have to say about age difference in dating? Do two people in love need to factor in age difference when dating?
Psychology of dating an older man or woman
Exploring different facets of age gap relationships psychology can help you in determining the relational success, overcome the stress and stigma associated with age differences in dating or age differences in marriage.
The article delves deep into the psychology behind age difference in dating and offers relevant age gap relationship advice.
Slightly older men, slightly younger women
The slightly older man younger woman relationship psychology is the simplest to understand, as it is the most common pattern among heterosexual couples.
This age difference combination is, as we already mentioned, the most common one.
It was thought that the reason might lie in the American social norms that have spread across cultures.
Nonetheless, newer research indicates that this is the dominant preference across cultures.
This means that, in all probability, the combination of slightly older men and younger women is evolutionary conditioned.
Astudy that looked into dating preferences among adolescents seems to confirm this.
Adolescent women preferred men who were their age or a few years older than they were.
On the other hand, young men seemed to have a bit wider range of taste in women, but the main target group remained slightly younger girls.
In all probability, as we’ll discuss more in the following section, the main reason behind this age difference in dating preference is biological.
In specific, men seem to be attracted not to youth per se, but to the thing associated with youth – fertility.
Women, similarly, are more attracted to men slightly senior to them due to their psychological and sociological maturity that makes them a good fit for the father of their children.
Significantly older men dating younger women
The same reasons that applied to the previous combination of men and women dating are only more emphasized in this second combination.
The lure of an older man for younger women is in his experience and the fact that he has already accomplished his goals professionally, financially, and as a person.
On the other hand, older men are attracted to a younger woman physically.
Some enjoy younger women’s energy, innocence, and admiration for them that they see in their eyes.
In Western countries, this sort of mutual attraction is usually subtle.
Although there are exacerbated cases of “gold-diggers” and “trophy wives”, in most cases, this combination remains within the boundaries of romance.
Nonetheless,in some cultures, there’s peer pressure on younger women to date older men for financial benefit, while older men enjoy this sort of establishment as they’re sexually attracted to young women.
Older women dating younger men
In the old days, when a woman exited the childbearing age, her romantic life was pretty much over.
However, times, luckily, change, and dating and marriage aren’t just about having kids anymore. Needs and prospects change, and you can see an overall shift in the dating scene.
Although most women still respect the traditional form of dating in which they date when young, pick a guy, marry him, have children, many women nowadays enjoy post-menopausal dating.
A modern woman’s financial freedom is being established at every moment.
More and more women are on the leading positions in major companies, and the rest of women finally are enjoying equality when it comes to jobs and pays.
With this, women no longer feel the pressure of associating marriage with financial security.
Whether they decide not to marry at all, or they get divorced at a later age, many women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s are active on the dating scene.
Interestingly, many older women seem to prefer younger men.
Similar to older men liking younger women, when liberated of the norms surrounding childbearing, older women find attractive young lovers enthralling and invigorating.
Young men, on the other hand, also enjoy the company of an older woman for her stability, wisdom, experience, and self-confidence.
Is relationship success set in the date of birth?
Age difference in dating is irrelevant if couples are equipped to handle the challenges that come with the relationship age gap.
Every relationship comes with its set of challenges.
However, any couple with age difference in dating can find mutually acceptable solutions to relationship issues that entail the age gap relationships.
By familiarizing yourself with concepts around ‘attracted to older men psychology’, ‘dating older men psychology’ or ‘psychological dynamics in an older woman-younger man’, you can get get a better grip on the subject of age disparity in relationships.
Also, watch this video on age difference in dating or relationships:
In essence, what this article wanted to achieve was to demonstrate that there’s no such thing as a cookie-cutter approach to dating and offer a peek into the psychology behind dating an older man or an older woman.
Some people prefer well-traced paths of tradition and remain within the common “slightly older men” structure.
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Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.