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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dating Younger

A friend and I were discussing an interesting phenomenon that occurred when I turned 40 last year. There was one online dating website in particular that I was especially active on. I changed my profile and updated my photos quite a bit – and I kept loose track of what was getting the desired results and what was not.

In some instances, I got overwhelming responses – but not the type I was looking for. In other instances, I got fewer responses than I normally did, but they were closer to what I was seeking.

In any event, the day I turned 40 and my age was updated on my profile, everything changed. It didn’t matter what I said in my profile or what photo I used, suddenly views and responses were minimal.

There had been many discussions on the boards of that site that the 40+ men were chasing ‘younger’ women, while ignoring women their own age. I didn’t “see” that so much when I was 39 because – I was still in that 30-something age range that was being checked out. The minute I turned 40, I was no longer in their searches, or coming up in their suggested matches because I was now outside their search parameters.

As my friend and I discussed this, I began wondering if that didn’t in some way contribute to the other phenomenon of age 40+ women dating younger men. With less of a dating pool in their own age, “older” women dating interested younger men makes sense. Add to that the fact that women generally have a longer life span than men, and it makes even more sense to date/marry younger men.

One part of me cannot see a long-term relationship happening for me with a 27 year old – then again, when I consider how people change when they have been married and divorced as so many my age have been, 27 yr old men (who have likely not been married) don’t look so bad.

For dating younger, the rule of thumb (so you don’t look like a pervert) is ½ your age plus 7. I will be 41 in about a week, so for me it would be 41 – ½ (20.5) = 20.5 + 7 = 27 ½. So, age 27-28 would be the minimal age.

My personal opinion is that if they are closer in age to my child than me, they are too young. That opinion actually ‘ups’ the minimum age I can date. I am 41 (almost) and my teen is 16. That means there is a 25-year difference between our ages. Half of that is 12.5, so the youngest I could date would be 12.5 years younger than myself. 41-12.5 = 28.5.

Though I have gotten the impression over the years that younger men who chase older women are looking for a sugar momma or “experienced” sex, there are probably some out there who have honorable intentions. Until now, the youngest man I ever went out with was 6 years younger. Lately, I am thinking a 28 year old with honorable intentions might not be so bad.

What do YOU think about dating younger?

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