Admit it, when you see an older man who's dating a much younger woman, you assume it's because he must be going through some sort of mid-life crisis. His more youthful female companion may be more sexually attractive to him (making him feel younger in the process) and she probably doesn't call him out on his issues like an older woman might. After all, young women are fun, free-spirited, energetic and have a zest for life. This youthful energy is attractive to an older man who may be feeling his mortality.
These are all the stereotypical reasons people tend to think older men love to date younger women. And while these things may be true for some men, the attraction is a little more complicated than that. When it comes down to it, a younger woman satisfies one of the most basic human needs: connection. (I talk about this more in my book, Secrets of Happy Couples.)
This is a need that is different for men and women at different stages in their lives. Young adult women typically have more of a need for connection. While they will create careers, they also want to eventually create a family. On the other hand, young adult men are more focused on the need for significance. They have relationships and start families, but their primary focus is figuring out a way to make it in the world. In young adult relationships, these needs are often in conflict, as the woman wants more intimacy and the man is focused on building his career. Older men and younger women share that same need for connection. Keep reading...
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This is one of the cruel jokes of the dating world: younger men are focused on significance and younger women are focused on connection. Somewhere around mid-life, there is a switch. At some point, an older man will realize he's squandered his youth on the pursuit of power and may have neglected his family in the process. He is tired of the rat race and is seeking more connection. Simultaneously, an older woman is tired of putting herself second after her children and husband. She is ready to go back to school and pursue the career she put on hold for her family. This is another reason older men love to date younger women. A young woman is compatible with him in that she is also seeking more connection. He may even be thinking of starting a second family with her so he can "get it right" this time around.
Stay in touch with Kim at The Relationship Center.