A US study has found that more older women date younger men. Would you?  

There was a time not so long ago when it was frowned upon for a woman to date younger men (though, interestingly, the reverse has rarely been called into question). Thankfully, that old trope has been put to bed once and for all. A recent US survey found that 81% of women are open to dating someone ten years younger than they are, and nearly 90% of men are interested in dating someone ten years older.   

Not only that:  

  • Analysis of US Census Bureau data showed 14.8% of women are now married to or in a committed relationship with men between two and 20 years younger than them.     
  • An Ipsos poll in the US found that while 70% of women agree it’s socially acceptable for an older man to be with a younger woman, just 56% of women think it’s acceptable when the age gap is female-led.     
  • On TikTok the hashtag #datingyoungermen has had 780 million views.   

With age-gap relationships becoming more common, what are the perks when you date younger men? We spoke to Petula, 65, who only dates younger men. She is currently seeing someone 27 years younger than herself.  

 “I’ve only ever dated younger men as most of the blokes my age seem old and staid in their ways. I find that some are actually just looking for a carer. I don’t want that — I looked after my mum for five years while she was dying and I don’t want to get into that situation again.   

“I find that younger men dress nicer, take more care of themselves, have more vitality and are more attentive and up for a laugh. Even though I’m 65 I think I’m still fashionable to some degree, and I dress nicely. And as I look quite young for my age and am young in my outlook, I do find it easier to date younger. They rarely ask me how old I am; it really doesn’t matter. I tend to meet them when I go out dancing or to see live bands, which I do a lot. I’ve also got friends who are in their 30s and 40s. When we go out, they never seem to think of me as being older than them, even though I am their parent’s age. They don’t think of me as being 65.  

“I’ve always dated younger men. Even in my 20s, I dated younger. My first husband was 19 and I was 26 when we married. His parents were very reluctant and resentful. Before the wedding his dad said to me, ‘You’re only marrying my son because it’s the last chance saloon for you’. I couldn’t believe it – I was 26! I found that rather shocking and the whole time we were married his parents were pretty awful to me and never ever accepted me into the family.  

“The youngest man I’ve dated, and who I’m still seeing, is 38. I was 64 when we met at a gig and he chatted me up. I haven’t told him how old I am and he’s never asked me my age, but he knows there’s an age gap because I look older. He says he likes being out with me because I’m fun and chatty and outgoing and he is as well so we have common ground. Obviously, there’s not going to be any prospective long-term relationship because he’s just too young and I don’t think he’s looking for anything serious. But we’ve had a lot of fun together.   

“Why should it be accepted that a man can have a younger woman but not so acceptable when it’s the other way round? Some people I know who are in relationships seem to think I should be grateful for anything that comes my way. They say to me ‘well you’re never going to get that spark that you get in your 20s’.  Actually no, because I like to think I will!”