Ever heard of the rule that men should date women who are half their age plus seven? Some celebrities – think Leonardo Di Caprio – take this to extremes with a roster of something models regularly appearing on their arm, but do you know where the saying comes from? But does it stand up to scrutiny, or is it just a baseless rule perpetuated by men who want to justify dating younger, and less mature, women? We asked three relationship experts to weigh in on the rule – and their responses were surprising. Historically, a woman was to choose a man the same age, or five to 15 years older. Mid-century, the reason for the elevated age gap would’ve been economic. Women had little ability to earn income.
Why Single Men Love Growing Old
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For women over 30, dating can be a minefield. There are fewer single people generally, and yes, there will be some men your age specifically seeking out younger women. We live in a society that worships at the altar of youth — particularly when it comes to women. Indeed, because women have primarily been valued for their beauty, a concept deeply rooted in ideas of youth, women are socially devalued as they get older.
These deeply gendered value systems normalise older men seeking out younger women, because if we value men for what they acquire, and treat women as objects, of course some men are going to view women as another symbol of their status, and want the most desirable model. Everyone has a learning curve, and just like you, most people want to be bowled over by someone amazing.
You could be that person. Younger men who have grown up around discourse around gender equality may indeed be impressed, rather than intimidated, by all you have to offer.
What Do Guys In Their 20’s Want With Women In Their 40’s?
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Now I’m in my 50s, young men want to date me: Welcome to the world of WHIPS
Subscriber Account active since. Katherine Schwarzenegger , 30, married year-old “Avengers: Endgame” star Chris Pratt in a low-key ceremony on June 8, The two had been engaged since January , and were reportedly dating for many months before that. The couple shared matching posts to their Instagram accounts after their wedding ceremony.
The year-old actor has been linked to Israeli actress Dohan, Since they started dating, Savoie hasn’t held back from sharing her happiness and has featured Quaid about in England with Paris Dylan, a year-old Catfish alumna, model and social media star, in March Age Gap: 44 years.
We are seeing large age gaps in the dating pool, and not just the typical old-man-younger-woman narrative. For example, a AARP study reported that 34 percent of women over 39 years old were dating younger men. Add in the popularization of divorce over the last 50 years and the introduction of dating apps, and matters of love, sex and how we connect are utterly transformed. Love is a melting pot.
I find it refreshing that society has begun to validate the simple fact that relationships no matter how short or long can still be meaningful. Permanence is replaced with living in the present a mindful act and appreciating things for what they are now.
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The day after year-old Dennis Quaid sent the chatterati abuzz with his announcement that he was engaged to a year-old graduate student, fellow one-time movie hotshot Sean Penn was photographed heading out to a movie date with his much younger girlfriend. The age difference between Penn, 59, and actress Leila George, 27, is not as great as that of Quaid and Laura Savoie — 32 years, as opposed to Yes, the May-December dynamic is as old as time and is a well-worn topic of literature, film and music.
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I had a game I liked to play with this younger guy, a hilarious invention of my own called “Is He Dead? What, after all, had he done? A lot of us have found ourselves attracted to somebody younger or older, and have been reluctant to act on it because of some perceived weirdness or taboo. This kind of culling is even easier now that dating sites let us whittle our options down to the year.
I contend that as long as nobody is being willfully creepy I see you, guys in Ferrari hats , this kind of limitation is mega lame.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man over 30 must be in want of a significantly younger woman. Just because we acknowledge this fact, though, does not mean we do so without a certain amount of derision and judgment. From the Instagram commenter who felt the need to remind Zach Braff that he is 44 after the actor dropped a cutesy emoji under a post from year-old girlfriend Florence Pugh to the collective eye-roll aimed at Leonardo DiCaprio every time the actor steps out with a new subyear-old girlfriend, the internet loves to hate an eyebrow-raising age gap.
The problem with this narrative, as comedian and writer Anya Volz pointed out in a Twitter thread last weekend, is that it tends to paint men at the northern ends of these age gaps as inherently predatory, rendering the younger women on the opposite sides helplessly preyed-upon victims of male exploitation instead of conscious, self-determined agents who are more than capable of pursuing older men as willfully and actively as older men pursue them.
This is not to say that such dynamics are never predatory and older men should feel free to relentlessly pursue younger women because all young women are actively seeking such attention. The first rule of not being the worst is to stop assuming that literally anything is ever true of all women or, for that matter, all people of any gender, race, age, sexuality, etc. It is to say, however, as Volz expressed in her thread, that while these conversations ostensibly intend to protect young women, they have a tendency to instead strip such women of their autonomy, relegating all women in relationships with older men to a state of presumed vulnerability.
Also complicating this already nuanced matter? The fact that while the internet loves to shade older men for dating younger women, it also enjoys mocking young men for … being young men. Meanwhile, both of these seemingly contradictory views appear to be thriving in overlapping circles of the internet. This idea that women are obviously drawn to older men over their useless something counterparts while the older men who date these women are creepy quasi-pedophiles preying upon a vulnerable population is what we might call a double standard.
Undressed: What’s the Deal With the Age Gap in Relationships?
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As the only straight woman within reach, I soon became the de facto dating consultant for my male friends, despite my waning expertise. But what I soon realized was that sometimes the best way to date is to go off script. We had more important things to worry about, like the alarming decay rate of our attractiveness. If we graduated without a future husband in tow, the men in our class would forgo us for younger, dumber women. She advised we start the search as early into college as possible.
Um, I thought, petting my two-years-younger boyfriend.
Don’t Be the Worst: How to Date Outside Your Age Range
When I was younger I got my heart broken by an older woman. No matter what I said, or what nice things I did for Karen, she was out of my league since I was younger. Karen was a 17 year old junior, and I was an incredibly good looking and intelligent 16 year old.
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How Young is Too Young to Date?
When my year-old son told me he was bringing his new girlfriend home to meet me, I chilled the wine and whacked a chicken in the oven. Clearly they were getting serious and I was so pleased and excited. Until he arrived home with a year-old woman. I opened the door to stare into a visage nearly as lined as my own. My own smile froze.
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What do you say about the reverse? I mean, I can see why an older man would want to date a younger woman — physically that is, but why would a year-old woman want to date a man 45 or more? I can totally understand why older men go for younger women. Time creates wisdom — but it also creates responsibilities and complications — mortgage, kids, career, etc. All of this makes dating more and more complex as we get older.
Still, most of them fail miserably, for the exact same reasons that I think Penelope is suggesting. Men want much younger women, but rarely do much younger women want older men. There is nothing wrong with aging. I do think people improve with age my wife is nodding. People have choices.