Women Prefer Men Who Are This Many Years Older Than Them

Photo: Getty Images
Women Prefer Men Who Are Six Years Older Than Them

While being a cougar may have become a trend among middle-aged women (at least according to TV), a 2011 survey had found that ladies actually prefer to date men who are six years their senior., a dating site that lets singles buy and sell first dates, had conducted a five-month study in order to determine the ideal age gap between a man and a woman.

RELATED: Study Says 20-Something Men Want Women This Age

After looking at the price of more than 100,000 first dates on their website, they had determined that a six-year age difference, with the man being older than the woman, was most ideal for singles.

The company's CEO attributed this to different levels of maturity, which makes a lot of sense. Common wisdom says that women mature faster than men, at least in terms of wanting commitment.

If you're a guy who digs women who are more than six years younger, then there is still some hope for your cradle-robbing habits. Do you have money? The study had found that men can bridge the age gap, they just have to dig into their pockets in order to do it.

On, men who wanted to date women more than 10 years younger needed to pay 13 percent more for the date in order to gain female interest. And as the men age, that number only increases - a man who has 40 years on a woman will have to pay 400 percent more in order to attract her.

However, a few things need to be considered when taking these findings into account. First of all, the people involved in this study were users of a dating site in which money plays a big role.

Second, online dating is based largely on first impressions. Getting a message online from a man 40 years older than you is, for most women, (I don't know about you!), pretty creepy.

RELATED: Why Age Differences Mean (Pretty Much) Nothing In Love & Healthy Relationships

But if he throws the promise of a fancy dinner your way, then you may change your tune. Or at least, if you're a subscriber to this website you might.

As the CEO noted, “People are generally shallow and materialistic when it comes to first impression on an online dating website. Luckily for older men, when they fall outside of a woman’s list of shallow attraction criteria such as looks or age gap, money is the only factor that can level the playing field. Money can close the age gap disadvantage by helping an older man get the first date. When he is on the first date, he will now have the chance to show off his personality and appeal to a woman’s deeper set of attraction criteria.”

But this six-year age difference may actually hold outside of the realm of online dating. As we age, the importance of our age seems to matter less, especially in terms of dating.

At 16, dating someone even two or three years older was a big deal — and often looked down upon in society. But when you're 28, dating a 34-year-old is completely normal. 

RELATED: The Ideal Age Gap For Relationships (If You Want To Stay Married Forever)

Kait Smith is an editor, writer, social media manager, higher education professional, and graduate student; the list goes on and on. Visit her website for more.

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted in September 2011 and was updated with the latest information.

Sign up for YourTango's free newsletter!