Women Prefer Men This Age, According To Research

Photo: - Yuri A / Shutterstock
woman laying on man cuddling on couch outside

While being a cougar may have become a trend among middle-aged women (at least according to TV), a 2011 survey found that ladies actually prefer to date men who are six years their senior.

WhatsYourPrice, a dating site that lets singles buy and sell first dates, conducted a five-month study to determine the ideal age gap between a man and a woman.

RELATED: The Harsh Reason Women Over 40 Leave Their Husbands

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 found that men can bridge the age gap, they just have to dig into their pockets in order to do it.

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.

RELATED: I Left My Husband For An 18-Year-Old (And I Have No Regrets)

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.

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.

RELATED: Why Marrying A Man 25 Years Older Than Me Made Me A Better Person

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 18, 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 Relationship Success

Kait Smith is an editor, writer, social media manager, and blogger who writes about the rules of love and relationships.