Apparently Men Who Date Younger Women Live Longer

Above: Maybe Hugh Hefner has the right idea
Apparently Men Who Date Younger Women Live Longer

Men who have a preference for dating younger women is nothing new. We’ve all heard that men mature slower than women so it makes sense. A moderate age gap is one thing but there’s always those guys in their forties or fifties who refuse to date someone who would be considered “age appropriate” and instead go after women in their early twenties. You know the ones—your uncle who just got divorced and now thinks he has a chance with college aged girls again. Your boss who always has a new young lady on his arm for every work function. Their preference for younger women actually borders on creepy.

You’ve probably heard the rule that “half your age plus seven” is the youngest you can possibly go. That means if you’re 38, you can get away with dating a 26-year-old. It’s an arbitrary rule but one that is generally accepted. That doesn’t mean anyone takes it seriously in practice.

According to research conducted by Christian Rudder, co-founder of OKCupid, men and women have a pretty different preferences when it comes to age gaps in dating. Female OKC users tend to look for men roughly the same age as them give or take a couple years. Men prefer women in their early twenties, regardless of their own age. Any woman who uses online dating can confirm that getting messages from guys who are old enough to be her father is a common occurrence.

Obviously, a couple who is closer in age is likely to have a lot more common—they remember the same toys and TV shows from their childhoods, they have friends in the same age groups and they’ll probably be in similar places when it comes to relationship goals. One study found that even a couple with an age gap of 5 years is 18% more likely to get divorced than a couple who is closer in age.

While there are clear disadvantages to dating a women who is a lot younger than you, a recent study done by the University of Stockholm found one more reason to do it anyway. The study looked at people over the age of 50 in Denmark and found that men with younger spouses lived longer than those with ones of a similar age. There may be a few factors contributing to those results. For example, a healthy older guy who takes good care of himself is more likely to live to longer and he has a better shot of being able to attract younger women in the first place.

The most interesting part is the same results didn’t apply to women who date younger guys. In fact, the bigger the age gap, the worse their survival chances regardless of whether their spouse was younger or older. In the case of women with younger husbands, researcher Sven Drefahl suggested the difference could be due to those women being less reliant on their partner for support so the benefits of having a younger spouse were less pronounced.

So you could say that the fact that men seem to gravitate towards younger women anyway isn’t creepy—it’s just a survival instinct.

Tags: age gaps in dating, dating, men who date younger women, relationships

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