The NY Times ran a fun opinion piece by Mona Chalabi that deals with the topic of men seeking younger women to date—and many younger women are interested in them as well. Ms. Chalabi uses her own experiences and adds a bit of humor and statistics to make her point.
The dating website OK Cupid collected data that showed the most attractive ages for potential dating partners, for both men and women. The numbers were clear, very young women were interested in men a couple of years older and this number decreased as they aged, showing more interest to younger guys as they got older. Men on the other hand, were interested in women their same age when they were in their early twenties, but as they got older, their love interests got younger and younger. These differences end up giving men more time to grow up, move into committed relationships, and become fathers.
This is why Ms. Chalabi titled her piece, “I want my 2.3 bonus years.” After all, this is at least what men get to have those experiences, party, and decide what they want to be when they grow up. The author laments that this is just not fair. She acknowledges that we don’t stop growing and experiencing just because we are coupled, it’s just that women have less time to have all those fun single life experiences before they settle down, have children, and end up being the primary care taker (in the majority of cases). Therefore men have an edge even after becoming Dads—which they can do much later than women can.
Then there is the reality of a woman being married to an older man and growing older with him. She may very well end up being his caretaker due to that age difference.
The author confesses to being a bad first date because she will ask her date what he is looking for—like commitment, parenthood or just a good time. Then when he replies he is only shopping and not in a rush—she practically blows a gasket at his arrogance. Unfair, just unfair.
Ms. Chalabi goes on to cite research that shows men might not be completely realistic about how young a women could be and still be interested. Apparently, very young women seek same-age guys and only consider much older ones as they get older, along with being open to the younger ones too. However there are young women who would consider a man 3-5 years older as they are more mature, worldly, sophisticated, and successful. Young guys, not so much.
Let’s face it, men are seen as getting better with age, women as getting older. The author proposes that all women join her in a pledge to date within their age range and leave the older guys to the older versions of themselves. Would be nice if she could pull it off. Women would benefit as well as they enter later years with a partner who can keep up with them, not need to be cared for by them.
Think about it ladies—it can happen, one young single woman at a time….