Ask an Expert: Why do men like younger women?


Last Updated: April 25, 2023

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Why do men like younger women? It’s a question that has been debated, agonized over, and joked about for centuries. But, once we move past the societal assumptions and misunderstandings, what is really going on here? Are there valid reasons why men are attracted to younger women? How likely is it that men will end up with a younger partner? What happens, in other words, when we take a look at the question from a more open-minded perspective?

In this article, we’ll do just that! Not only will we talk about whether men really do prefer younger women, but we’ll also cover some possible reasons why. And, we’ll offer words of advice for men interested in an age-gap relationship.

First of all, do men actually like younger women?

We all know a man in our lives who exclusively dates younger women. But does that mean that all men are similarly attracted to young women?

The science isn’t so clear. One study from 2001 found that men were likely to experience physical attraction to women at peak reproductive fertility. But, when it came to long-term relationships, they were more open, often ending up with partners who were no longer in their reproductive years.

Why might this be the case? Well, when it comes to casual hook-ups, men appear to be more tuned into their natural inclination toward reproduction. They look for partners who appear to be healthy and young because their biology tells them to. But, we all know that we’re not totally driven by our base impulses. For men who are more open to long-term commitment, those characteristics don’t matter as much. In other words, they can find compatibility with someone regardless of age.

Another study reviewing data from between 1932 and 2007 found that the average age-gap between men and women in relationships was only 2 to 4 years. That means that the majority of relationships don’t feature a significant age gap. It didn’t mean that age-gap relationships don’t exist, but rather that they’re not quite as common as relationships between people of similar ages.

So, overall, what can we take away from this? Well, for one thing, there is some validity to the idea that men are drawn to younger women. But it’s much more complicated than that. It’s no surprise to say that all men are individuals, with their own preferences and desires. So, with that in mind, let’s talk a little bit about what they may find appealing about a relationship with a younger woman.

Why do men like younger women? A few of the common explanations

So, for the men who do tend to date younger women, what do they like about this kind of age gap relationship? Here are some of the most common characteristics that many younger women share that are appealing to men:

Open-mindedness and curiosity

Women in their twenties and thirties are still gathering the kind of life experience that they’ll use to form opinions about the world. For many of them, this phase is all about having a sense of curiosity and a desire to learn as much as possible.

For someone in a different life stage, this can be very appealing! Men may enjoy having philosophical conversations with younger women and witnessing their process of self-discovery.

Negative people tend to describe this as a man’s attempt to escape his own fears of mortality. But the more generous interpretation could be that men enjoy being around someone with an open mind.


Hand-in-hand with open-mindedness is positivity. Younger women who tend to be curious about the world also may have a more hopeful view of it. And who wouldn’t want to spend time with someone who hasn’t become jaded with dating or the state of the world?

For men who may find themselves in a stressful job, having difficulties in their personal life, or simply being tired of being surrounded by negative people, an age-gap relationship can be a breath of fresh air.

A taste for adventure

You know what they say, variety is the spice of life, whether that be travel, trying a new sport, or picking up an interesting hobby. And many younger women tend to be great companions for these kinds of adventures. In fact, younger women are often doing new fun things on their own all the time, which can be a great motivator for their partners.

Physical fitness

It’s too simple to say that men are attracted to younger women’s bodies. To be sure, physical attraction could play a role, but it might also have to do with the fact that many younger women tend to enjoy physically and socially active lifestyles. Especially for older men who have hobbies like running, swimming, or cycling may be attracted to younger women who can motivate them to stay moving.


We wouldn’t say that all younger women are going to be grateful.

But, there is something to be said about what men feel when they introduce a younger woman to something new and wonderful. Being the first man to take her on a luxury trip to Italy or horseback riding on the beach or some other lovely experience may fill him up with a sense of pride. Seeing her happy and fulfilled makes him feel special.

Emotional availability

Contrary to what society says about men who are interested in younger partners, they tend to look for someone they can have an emotional connection with. Younger women will appreciate having someone who listens to them and feels comfortable opening up in turn.

That’s not to say that older women are emotionally unavailable! But given that younger generations now have more access to resources that promote emotional intelligence, like therapy and support systems, they make great companions.


Traditionally, we wouldn’t consider younger women to be independent. In fact, one of the common tropes about age gap relationships was that young women were attracted to older men because of some “daddy issue” or need to be taken care of.

Today, the reality is much the opposite. Younger women are becoming financially and emotionally independent all on their own. They have jobs and therapists and college degrees and strong social support networks. In other words, they don’t need an older man to take care of them. But they enjoy the benefits of being with one.

Changing expectations about marriage and family

There’s no denying that women in younger generations are changing the way they think about marriage and families. Whereas past generations were interested in finding a spouse and having kids in their twenties and thirties, women in this age range today are opting to delay or avoid that lifestyle entirely.

This may be appealing to men who, for whatever reason, don’t want a family or marriage, either. Maybe they went through a divorce, already have kids, or simply want to focus on their career or travel plans. Having a younger partner who is likewise uninterested in societal expectations about getting married and starting a family is a relief.

Obviously, not all the reasons are so positive

So far, we’ve covered some of the positive reasons why an age-gap relationship would be appealing to an older man. But, we should note that there are some not-so-healthy reasons as well.

For one thing, there definitely are some men who are attracted to women that they find to be more malleable or naive. They may enjoy the feeling of being with someone less powerful or worldly than they are. Or, they may fuel their insecurity with the image of a young woman on their arm.

Others may be attracted to younger women—or we should say casual hookups with younger women—because they do fear emotional intimacy or commitment.

The danger, of course, is that younger women could get hurt by being swept up in age-gap relationships in which the older partner doesn’t have their best interest in mind. It’s understandable, then, that the loved ones in both the lives of the younger woman and older man would be concerned.

But, as we’ve already covered, not all age gap relationships fall into this category. As long as both partners are consenting, respectful, and satisfied with the relationship, there’s nothing inherently wrong with a younger woman dating an older man.

If you’re an older man interested in a younger woman, how can you find your perfect match?

Regardless of the stigma, there are still plenty of men who are interested in pursuing a relationship with a younger woman. And it’s easy to see why! So, if the answers to the question, “Why do men like younger women,” resonated with you, how can you pursue such a relationship yourself? Here are a few ideas:

  • Get on dating apps. The fastest way to start meeting younger women is to make an online profile. You can start with some of the traditional sites, or go with something more niche and specific, like a sugar daddy site. This will allow you to talk with women who are expressly interested in getting to know older men, which will speed up the process for you. And no matter if you’re looking for a purely casual arrangement or a more long-term connection, your online profile can attract women who are interested in the same thing.
  • Work on yourself. There’s nothing younger women like more than a man who is committed to self-improvement. That might mean getting clear about your values, learning how to be a better partner, or committing to your own physical fitness. If you have goals to make yourself a better person, a younger woman will definitely notice your efforts.
  • Build empathy and understanding. It’s perfectly acceptable to build an emotional connection with a younger woman. And in fact, you should! As long as you haven’t established that you’re interested in a no-strings-attached kind of situation, emotional intimacy can be a wonderful thing.
  • Don’t underestimate her. One of the traps that older men fall into is assuming they know more than a younger partner. Young women typically take this as a red flag. Commit to getting to know her, validate her experiences, and listen. She’ll show you that she’s a lot more than most people give her credit for.
  • Be generous. The truth is, as the older one in the relationship, you likely have more resources, both emotional and practical. So be generous with them! Make her feel special, share what you have, and don’t expect anything in return. The more generous you are with her, the more she’ll genuinely want to make you feel special, too.
  • Be honest. As we said, younger women may have a tendency to see the best in people and give you the benefit of the doubt. Don’t be the reason she becomes less trusting of the men that may come after you! Even if you’re sharing something you think might be uncomfortable, it’s always better to just be honest.
  • Don’t make assumptions. In this article, we covered many of the potential reasons why men are attracted to younger women. But never forget that all women are unique! Some will be more adventurous than others. Some will be interested in starting a family while others won't. It’s important to get to know the real person that you’re starting a relationship with instead of assuming anything about her. That will ensure that you’re both entering into the relationship without expectations or misunderstandings.

The final word is: all men are unique!

True, some men are attracted to younger women. And in this article, we’ve explored some of the answers to the question, “Why do men like younger women.” But at the end of the day, all men have their own unique preferences and desires. We should encourage them to follow their hearts and build relationships that are satisfying to them! As long as they’re being respectful and kind to their partner, there’s no reason to judge an age gap relationship.

If you’re a man interested in dating a younger woman, we hope you find your perfect match!

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