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Speak to an accredited and experienced therapist to help you figure out where your attraction to older men comes from and if it’s healthy. Simply click here to connect with one via BetterHelp.com.
Are you a young woman who finds herself getting into relationships with older men?
Do your friends or family comment on the fact you always seem to date men from an older age group and constantly ask you why you never date anyone your own age?
You might be asking yourself these same questions now you’ve noticed the pattern in your behavior.
We can’t help who we find attractive, but understanding why you’re attracted to men of a certain age might also help you better understand yourself.
There’s a lot of negative assumptions around the idea of people dating outside their age groups. Younger women who date older men are called ‘Gold Diggers,’ with people assuming that they are only with an older man for his money. Older men dating younger women are labeled as ‘Cradle Snatchers’ or seen as lotharios because they aren’t settling with someone more mature and closer to their own age.
There’s nothing wrong with being in a relationship with a person who isn’t the same age as you. People should be allowed to date and love whoever makes them happy, regardless of what society expects from us.
You can’t always explain why you love who you love, and you shouldn’t feel that you have to. But if you’re still curious about why you gravitate towards older men the way that you do, keep reading to see if any of the below sounds familiar.
1. You crave a stability you never had.
Older men can often symbolize the ideal of a stable lifestyle. Whether it’s the fact that an older man is more likely to be settled in his career and have his finances in a comfortable place, or that he emanates a father-like sense of protection and certainty, he gives the aurora of someone who has his life together.
If you didn’t have a stable or loving childhood, or have struggled with your finances or career to get to the point you are now, finding a partner who can offer you that sense of certainty and stability would be incredibly attractive to you.
Compared to younger men who are still figuring out what they want from life, an older man who knows what he wants and has set himself up in life might look like the safer and more appealing option in terms of a serious relationship.
His job, his home, and his lifestyle are all secure, and by being with him, you’d no longer have the fear that everything could fall apart in a second.
You know where you stand with him and there’s comfort in the knowledge that you’d have a stable lifestyle. There may be less room for spontaneity or change, but maybe you’ve had enough of that in your life already and what you look for most in a partner is someone you can count on to be utterly reliable and steadfast.
As a younger woman, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be with someone who can offer you a peaceful life. You may know exactly how the rest of your life will map out with him, each day much like the next, but for you, that could be exactly what you’ve been missing.
2. You’ve got ‘daddy issues.’
When we talk about daddy issues, this doesn’t have to mean that you’ve had a life-altering, damaging relationship with your father.
In fact, ‘issues’ might be the wrong way to describe the situation that applies to you. But your attraction to older men could still have something to do with your interactions, or lack of, with the father figure in your life so far.
Some women may have always craved affection from their father, either not having one around at all, or never feeling as if they were good enough for their father’s attention.
Their feelings around their father’s disinterest or absence from their life have manifested into a preference for older men when it comes to finding a romantic partner. They may be looking for someone who can step into that father figure role they’ve been missing.
For others, it could be the complete opposite. They may have had such a close relationship with their father and looked up to them growing up, that their father became an idealized version of the man they would eventually want to be with in a relationship. This close relationship with their father has meant that they now find themselves looking for older men as potential life partners who more easily fit into that protective and authoritative role.
Having daddy issues just means that your perception of the father figure role in your life has somehow impacted what you look for in a man and changed your perspective on relationships. You’re looking for a partner who can step into that role as a protector that provides unconditional love; someone with whom you feel safe and taken care of.
If you feel as though your relationship with your father has heavily influenced your choice of partner, you may want to consider speaking to a therapist about how and why you think that is.
It’s ok to have a relationship with men in a different age group, but you want to make sure it’s for the right reasons and that you aren’t just trying to fill an emotional hole in your heart that you’ve yet to properly address.
3. You’ve had bad dating experiences in the past.
If you haven’t had much luck dating men your own age, these experiences might be altering how you approach your current love life.
One bad guy doesn’t mean that all men will be the same, but one bad relationship or dating experience can be hard to forget.
If you feel as though you’ve had no luck in the type of men you’ve been going for so far, you might try the tactic of dating someone completely different to anyone you’ve been with previously.
If it was their immaturity or lack of commitment or obsession with establishing their career that meant your relationship never succeeded with your ex, the idea of dating an older man who is the complete opposite to these younger, unreliable types could become more and more appealing to you.
When you’re sick and tired of men who let you down, you might think that the answers to your problems are found in dating the extreme opposite to your usual type. Your tendency to look towards older men when it comes to finding a partner could be less about your attraction to an older age group and more about your interest in what these men represent: the solution to your past relationship failures.
Making a relationship work is about finding the right person for you at the right time, and isn’t usually as simple as dating the opposite to the man that’s let you down. Just because a man is older doesn’t mean he’s wiser, and for some men, there’s a reason they’re still single later in life.
But keeping an open mind in terms of the type of men you’re attracted to and would consider having a relationship with isn’t a bad thing and could help you find that one person you’ve been looking for, older man or not.
4. Older men know what they want.
Dating can be a puzzle of mind games and second guessing, trying to work out how a man feels about you and if they’re interested in something serious or not.
It can be exhausting trying to not come across too keen while making sure you seem interested enough. Then there’s the headache of trying to work out if they’re serious about a relationship with you or if they’re just in this dating game for a bit of fun.
You’re worried that being upfront about your desire for a serious relationship could put too much pressure on the person you’re dating. At the same time, you want to know if you’re both on the same page about where things are heading.
Trying to handle these precarious dating dilemmas can be the exact reason why some younger women are more attracted to older men. This older age group are likely to be more up front and honest about what they want and where they see your relationship going.
With a man who’s more advanced in age, he’s probably had more experience with relationships than you or other men closer to your age. An older man is more likely to know the type of partner that he’s looking for because he’s had a few more years to think about it and will know when he’s found something special in you.
An older man may be less inclined to indulge in dating mind games. He probably takes a more traditional approach to dating with less swiping and more actual chatting. He doesn’t want to waste time hiding his feelings towards you.
This confident, honest approach can be much more attractive to a younger woman who also feels as though she knows what she wants out of a relationship and is fed up with flakey men her own age.
An older man who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to tell you so might be exactly who you feel you need to sweep you off your feet and finally leave behind the uncertainties and disappointment of modern dating.
5. Older men make you feel desirable.
There’s nothing wrong in wanting to feel as though your partner adores you and thinks you’re the most desirable woman in the room.
Older men may not only be more traditional in their approach of wanting to provide for and protect their spouse, but if they are more advanced in age, then you can’t help but feel all eyes on you as the young, dazzling better half.
As physically attractive as the man may yet still be, even if he is older, he may comment on the beauty of your youth in comparison to his more advanced age and make you feel as though no one compares to you.
The contrast between yourself and women his own age will make him more appreciative of you, your youth and energy. Being with an older man who appreciates and is captivated by you because you make him feel young can’t help but make you appreciate their attention more and feel more desirable because of it.
It’s nice to feel as though your partner thinks you’re the most attractive person in the room. There’s a comfort knowing that you’re with someone who adores you and being made to feel like the best version of yourself when you’re with them.
6. An older man can offer a better lifestyle to the one you have.
There’s a reason that women who are seen having relationships with older men rather than men closer to their own age are labeled ‘Gold Diggers.’
The assumption is that these women are only with older men because of the money and lifestyle that they can offer while they’re alive and the chance of inheriting their money when they’re not. Their attraction to wealth and the comfortable lifestyle means that they can look past the age gap and the lack of physical attraction they might have to endure with an older partner.
Although being called a ‘Gold Digger’ is an extreme and offensive term for the situation, for some women, the fact that an older man is likely to have more disposable income and a more established and comfortable lifestyle is part of their attraction to them.
These men are further in their careers, more savvy financially, and want to enjoy the finer things in life.
They’re past the point of saving for their first property or trying to solidify their careers by putting themselves through grueling working hours. They are at a place in their lives where all the work they put in when they were younger is now finally paying off and they, and you, can enjoy the benefits of that.
Maybe, as a younger woman, you’re struggling to afford the lifestyle you want to enjoy and you worry about covering your rent, saving for a house, or keeping your job. In which case, it’s easy to be drawn to someone who has their life mapped out and is at the stage where they don’t have to worry about money and can afford to treat you to luxuries you wouldn’t be able to afford on your own.
Being with an older man who can afford you a better lifestyle doesn’t have to mean you’re only attracted to their money. There’s something attractive about someone who has ‘made it’ in their life – they’ve worked hard and are now reaping the rewards, and you value that about them.
Being with an older man as a younger woman means that you’ve missed the years of hard work and sacrifice that went in to get them where they are now that maybe would have taken its toll on your relationship otherwise. Instead, you’re meeting them at a time in their lives where they are ready for a partner and want to be with someone who they can share their life with and enjoy what they have.
7. An older man is prepared for what a relationship takes.
One main issue with dating men of a similar age to yourself is the fact that you are likely to be one of the first, if not the first, serious relationship they’ve had.
You will be the one they make all the mistakes with, the one who has to cope with the immaturity and commitment issues, and have all the arguments and disappointments that will, in the future, shape them into the better partner you know they can be.
Getting into a relationship with an older man as a younger woman means that you’re getting into a relationship with someone who has already made most of their mistakes. They have had more experience of love over the years and have already learnt the lessons that come from heartbreak.
An older man has the maturity younger men lack that can only come with time and experience. They are more likely to be at a stage in their lives where they are looking for a more serious partner. They’ve established themselves and taken the time to search for the right person, with their past experiences and failed relationships giving them a much clearer picture of who that might be.
Having more experience with relationships means that an older man understands the effort and patience it takes to have a successful and loving partnership with someone, more so than someone your own age.
Their understanding of women will naturally be more complete just because of the experience they have gained over the years, making them a more understanding and committed partner who won’t be scared off at the first sign of conflict.
By dating an older man, you’re dating the finished product (or certainly closer to). Of course you’ll still have your ups and downs, but they will be dealt with in a more considered and mature way.
8. Older men know what women want, inside and outside the bedroom.
Being a younger woman in a relationship with an older man, you benefit from all the things the extra years have taught him.
If a man has had time to experience more relationships, or a few relationships over much longer periods of time, then they will have had more of a chance to get to know how women think and react, and what they want in the bedroom.
Unlike younger men who have less experience of relationships, an older man should have the confidence time brings with it to know how to make a good companion and support their partner both emotionally and physically.
If you’re tired of being with men who don’t know their way around a woman’s body or are selfish in bed, or even just men who don’t understand a woman’s emotional needs, then having a relationship with an older man who you know has the experience you want in a partner is going to be the more attractive option.
Your youth and energy compared to women his age and his confidence and experience means that your sex life has the potential to be much more satisfying and enjoyable than with partners in your own age groups. While his patience and understanding gives you all the emotional support you need.
9. Older men aren’t afraid of marriage.
For many younger men, the idea of marriage is something that they will consider at a distant point in their future. If they are a commitment-phobe then they will avoid the subject, perhaps avoiding being in a monogamous relationship altogether or continually cheating on their partners because the idea of committing to one person for the rest of their life feels overwhelming.
Women, instead, have to live with the constant knowledge of the constraints of their body clocks. If they want children, they don’t have the luxury of time to wait and commit to a relationship if a family unit is what they want.
Children aside, what do you do if you’re not interested in dating around and just want to find someone who will commit to you fully?
Older men may have once been those non-committal guys you feel yourself surrounded by now. They have, however, moved past that time in their life when they wanted to be free of the responsibility a serious relationship brings.
They have had those extra years to work through their commitment issues and may now be more ready to settle down in a marriage or monogamous relationship.
If you know that marriage is what you want and you’re tired of men your own age letting you down, an older man who is at the time in his life where he is ready to settle down and enjoy the comfort a spouse can bring will naturally become the type of person you gravitate towards because they are on the same page as you.
It’s not to say that all younger men are afraid of commitment or that all younger women want to be married or find a serious relationship. But it’s more likely that an older man with friends and family who may already be settled down will prioritize finding a steady partner much more than a younger man whose friends are all still like him – single and free.
If you feel ready to commit and are struggling to find a partner who wants to do the same, an older man who knows what he wants and values everything a partner can bring may be the more attractive option for you despite the age gap.
10. Older men are more ready to have a family.
Being at a later stage of life, a man more advanced in age than yourself will have had the chance to tick off a lot of the things that he wanted to do earlier in life, free of the responsibilities of children and a wife.
If you are someone who wants to have children at an earlier age, or are conscious of your body clock and want to start building your own family unit, then you may find it difficult to meet a man your age who feels the same way.
Children are the biggest commitment you could ever make. They are a financial drain and come with a level of responsibility unique to bringing a human into this world.
Faced with the choice of this pressure and responsibility, many younger men may see children as something to consider having much later on in their life rather than right now.
But if you are someone who doesn’t want to wait to have children, then you may find yourself attracted to older men who are much more likely to give you the family that you want right now.
A man older than yourself will have had the chance to have more experiences free of the pressure of needing to be around for a wife and children. Now at a later stage in life, not only may they be more able to provide the financial security raising a family requires, but they may be more ready themselves to embark on the journey of having a family. They have enjoyed their youth but now want something more from life in their later years.
If you’re looking to find someone who is ready to be a good partner and father, then you want to be with someone who is not scared off by the responsibility of a family and is ready for the challenge of parenthood. You need someone who has considered the ups and downs family life will inevitably bring and is still willing to embark on the journey with you.
A younger woman might feel more comfortable in having a family with an older man because he is finally ready to commit to being a father and won’t always be pining after the freedom he’s given up to be one.
Being attracted to an older man as a younger woman shouldn’t be something you worry about.
Your preferences in a romantic relationship are yours alone and shouldn’t have to be explained or justified to anybody. As long as you are happy, that is all that really matters.
If you’re worried that choosing to date an older man might impact how your friends or family react around you and your partner, don’t be. If it’s meant to last and your loved ones genuinely care about your happiness, you’ll all find a way to make it work.
Being attracted to an older man might simply be because you want something more than the men in your age group. Your maturity is beyond that of the people of your own age, and you identify more with the lifestyle and goals of someone in a later stage of life.
Whatever the reason, you shouldn’t feel bad because of how you feel. Your relationships are your own business and no one else should have the right to tell you how you should be feeling or judge you for them.
Picking the right partner is about finding someone who makes you happy and brings out the best in you. Whoever that is, whatever their age, you don’t have to understand the reason why, just hold on to them and enjoy life by their side.
Still not sure why you’re attracted to older men? Having a preference for an older, father or mentor figure as your life partner may stem back to unresolved feelings you have towards men in authoritative positions in your life. If you want to know whether your past experiences might be influencing how you feel, try talking to a therapist. They can help you address some of the internalized feelings you may have and try to make sense of how they are impacting your life.
Simply click here to connect with one of the experienced therapists on BetterHelp.com.
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