Talking Numbers: What Women Really Think … Of Your Age

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Younger? Older? Or is age irrelevant? men? Women tell us who they prefer and why.

For a lot of women, age is an issue when it comes to dating. It's no secret that men don't mature at the same rate as women, so ladies wanting to date older men have never been a big surprise. But then you get into your late 20's or 30's, and all of a sudden that changes for some women; some of us start to prefer the younger guys because, to be honest, they're more fun and, as one responder pointed out, have more energy and more hair — important stuff.

We asked some women their thoughts on age. Although the first few who responded did so with a simple, "Older!" and nothing more, once we got the conversation going, we realized older isn't always better, and preferences aren't exactly what we thought they were.

Younger Over Older Wins Every Time

"My first BF was three years younger we had a great time; next one was a year older and he was controlling, after that the pattern remained the same. The younger guys, in my experience, treat you better than the older ones. Now that I'm single at 38, I'm looking at younger because they don't have kids and are less jaded," says Jean, 38

"Younger. More energy, and less likely to have kids. Plus . . . hair," says Diana, 33.

"I pretend I want older and more mature, but I'm just not used to someone who clearly looks removed from my generation. I kinda like the upper hand with the boys, though," says Anna, 31.

But There Are Issues With This School Of Thought

"I used to consistently date younger, by a couple to maybe three years. I learned (though not quickly enough, I'm afraid) that the difference in emotional maturity and stability in the younger guys didn't match mine. We always had different expectations and different goals — where I was looking for something meaningful and possibly serious, the younger guys I dated were looking for fun and frivolity. The sex was pretty great with the younger guys, but it wasn't until I dated older (my husband is almost 3 years older than me) that I found what I was looking for — similar goals, interests, maturity, etc. And the sex is still pretty great," says Colleen, 30

"My current boyfriend of five years is five years younger than me. It really isn't an issue now that I'm 31 and he's 26, but we certainly ran into some problems when we first started dating. Like he'd want me to go to these basement parties at Rutgers when I was 27 and he was 22, or the shitty New Brunswick college bars on Thursday nights where I had to stand for hours making sure some drunk girl didn't throw up on me. For the first two years of dating all of his guy friends hated me until they themselves got a girlfriend. I'm pretty happy we are over that," says Holly, 31.

Younger, Older, Tomato, Tomato.

"Whichever, but not too far removed from my age," says Mieko, 36.

"I don't care about age. Maturity, on the other hand … But I steer clear of people who act too settled and feel that adventure is behind them," says Tanya, 29.

"Don't really care, same or older works though. They're more likely to be done playing games and more understanding of family responsibilities," says Jenn, 29.

"My rule of thumb is if they are young enough to have come out of me, there is no way they are going into me. Crude but solid," says Kim, 41.


And The Cheese Stands Alone …

"I've discovered that I like more emotional maturity in my partners and similar life goals, so I tend to date, long term, people that are fairly close in age but a bit older (3-4 years). Just hooking up though, not gonna lie, I have definitely gone younger. I think I'm getting impatient in my old age though — if I find myself checking out someone younger and they open their mouths and don't have EXCEPTIONAL maturity for their age, I am done — don't even find them attractive anymore. That being said, I try and keep an open mind and not have a hard cap on age, one way or the other. I DO find it weird, though, if the age gap is too much... say, more than a decade... and sometimes have trouble getting past that. Depends on the individual though, I have come across exceptions," says Beck, 29.

How do you feel about age? Tell us in the comments below.