Dating a Younger Man? Here are 13 Things You Should Know (2023)

Dating a younger man? It can be fun, especially if you’re 40 or older and figuring out what you want in terms of dating and relationships. But realize: dating a younger man is definitely different from dating a man your age or even older. There will be things you like (his energy) and things that drive you crazy (the fact that he has no clue who Max Headroom is).

Tips for Dating a Younger Man

Some women exclusively date younger men: in fact, 31% of older women prefer dating younger men. Others may try it once or twice and decide that it’s not for them. There’s no telling which way you’ll feel about dating an older man until you have your own experience.

Here are a few of the things you should be aware of if you do.

1. He’ll Have a Different Perspective

Michelle, who’s 40, went on a date with the younger man she was seeing; they went out for a trivia night at a local brewery.

A question about Max Headroom came up.

“Who’s Max Headroom?” her date asked.

“Are you kidding me?” Michelle wondered.

Later, a question about the Care Bears was asked. Again, her date was clueless. Because he wasn’t even born when these ’80s pop culture icons were popular, he had no reference for them.

They went their separate ways not long after. Coincidence? Maybe…

Realize that in dating a much younger man, you won’t share many cultural references. A man four years younger than you, sure, will get much of the same things you do, but one around 10 years younger probably won’t.

And you might not get his either. You might hate the music and movies he’s into. It’s a generational divide, and you need to figure out how important it is to you to share cultural references or not.

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2. He May Have a Different Sex Drive

Dating a Younger Man? Here are 13 Things You Should Know (1)

While it’s not a blanket statement, younger men tend to have higher sex drives than men in their 40s, 50s, 60s, or older. In a study published in the Journal of Sex Research, female participants found that younger men (at least 5 years younger than them) had higher sex drives, could last longer during sex, were physically ready to have sex again sooner, and had more reliable erections than men their age.

If you’re coming into your sexual peak at whatever age you are, you are probably finding that men your age aren’t as eager to hop in bed quite as often as you are, which can leave you wanting more.

By dating a younger man, however, you may meet your match.

The opposite could be true too, so be aware of that. If sex has taken a back burner in importance in your life, you may disappoint a younger man who still wants to get it on fairly regularly.

3. He May Never Have Been Married or in a Long Relationship

You were married for 20 years…his longest relationship was six months. It may be jarring to meet someone who’s never had a long-term relationship (even if he hasn’t ever been married), and it’s something to be aware of if you hope that this will turn into something more serious.

If he doesn’t have experience in a longer relationship, he may not know how to make one work. And as you know, real relationships take work. How you treat one another, what you say, and what you do all matter.

You may quickly find that this man doesn’t know how to argue constructively and deal with the real issue at hand rather than screaming at you.

He may want to give up the first time things get tough.

He may have trouble opening up to you.

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Or…he may so desperately want this to work out that he tries too hard.

He may be looking for a wife, while you’re not ready to go down that road again.

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Just be aware that dating a younger man who doesn’t have the long-term relationship experience that you do may mean that you have to work harder to get to a good place, or that it will be too difficult to find even ground in a relationship together.

4. He May Want Kids

Dating a Younger Man? Here are 13 Things You Should Know (2)

Your kids are nearly grown and you’re not interested in having more. Or maybe you can’t. But then you meet a man—a really great man—who says that he’d like to start a family one day.

Sadly, when only one of you wants to have kids, this can be a real dealbreaker. Realize that neither of you will likely change your mind and that it wouldn’t be fair for one of you to compromise what you want (who wants to have a kid with someone who really doesn’t want one? or give up the dream to have kids?).

If you’re dating a younger man, ask whether he wants kids early so that you can make your exit before things get serious and you both get hurt by breaking up.

5. He May Be More Adventurous and Spontaneous

The women I know who have dated younger men tend to love that these guys are more spontaneous and fun. I know women who were married for decades and rarely went out to eat with their husbands, let alone took a last-minute road trip. But then they started dating a younger man and they found themselves doing all sorts of things they never imagined doing.

Use this opportunity to say yes to more things. The more experiences you have, the more well-rounded you will be!

You may not be into skydiving, but why not let him take you on a day trip to see the flowers bloom in the desert out of town?

Never tried chicken feet? This guy can introduce you to new cuisine and expand your horizons.

If you’re used to planning every inch of your life, use this as an opportunity to let go and live a little.

6. He Might Love You Being in Control


On the other hand, your need to control might be something that attracts him. He may like how in order your life is, and may be fine putting you in charge of making plans…or even in the bedroom.

Just be wary of this: no relationship should be extremely one-sided in terms of who has the power. If you’re attracted to a younger man because you can control him, that’s not a healthy balance for a real and lasting relationship.

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7. He May (or May Not) Be Less Emotionally Mature Than You’d Like

If this younger guy has limited relationship experience, and depending on his personality, he might not have the emotional maturity that you do. This isn’t necessarily the case, because there are plenty of men who are more mature than even older women, but it’s a common enough thing that I want you to watch out for it.

Watch out especially for what I call Peter Pan types. You know the ones. They’ll woo you and then forget to pick you up for a date. They might text like crazy…and then stop texting for days. They have no consideration for your feelings, and are totally self-absorbed.

If you’re on dating sites, you can usually spot a Peter Pan pretty easily. His profile will talk about how into surfing, traveling, hiking, blah blah he is. How his dog is his baby. How he’s not looking for anything serious. And his pictures show that, while he might be incredibly hot, he spends an inordinate amount of time partying.

That’s not the guy for you.

It can be hard to gauge how emotionally mature a younger man is right away, so certainly give this guy a shot. But look for signs that he’s not where you are emotionally, and leave before you get in deeper.

8. He May Not Want a Relationship

Dating a Younger Man? Here are 13 Things You Should Know (3)

While this can be true of a man at any age, depending on what age man you’re dating, you might end up with one (or more) who isn’t ready to settle down.

His reasons for wanting to be single may range from the fact that he just got out of a relationship to just enjoying being footloose and fancy-free. But if you’re looking for The One, this man probably isn’t him, and you won’t be able to change his mind.

Again, have the conversation early on about what each of you are looking for. Many men will put what they want in their dating profiles (“hookups only,” “LTR,” or “looking for a woman to spoil”) so don’t ignore what’s right in front of you. Just don’t tell yourself that you’re okay with something casual if you’re secretly hoping that it will turn into more. That’s just a recipe for heartache.

9. He Probably Prefers Texting to Calling

If you’re dating a Millennial, chances are he’d prefer to text you than to call you. While texting can be incredibly helpful in letting you stay connected to friends, you may find yourself adrift using it as a communication tool in dating.

You can always suggest a phone call, but understand that for many younger men, a “phone” is really just a computer they use to text, post on Snapchat, and read Reddit. So you may make him incredibly uncomfortable in changing his preferred communication channel.

Your best bet is to step up your texting game. Learn how to get to know him in a few short sentences, while saving the bigger conversations for when you go out.

Or…if that just makes you crazy…date an older man!

10. He May Ghost You

Certainly, Millennials don’t hold the trademark on ghosting, but consider that 15% of Millennial men have ghosted a woman. They might want to avoid conflict, feel that you’re getting too clingy, or feel like you don’t live up to your online profile pics. Whatever the reason, it can be incredibly frustrating.

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11. He Will Make You Feel Incredibly Sexy

Dating a Younger Man? Here are 13 Things You Should Know (4)

Just like there’s a certain assumption that dating a younger man means you basically have a hot pool boy serving your every need, there’s some cachet on his end as well for dating an older woman.

An older woman (a cougar, even) is seen as sexy and experienced. Younger men may love that you could teach them a thing or two in bed, and that you appreciate everything they do for you, from please you between the sheets to make you feel beautiful and adored.

I don’t see anything wrong with that, do you?

12. He Will Be in a Different Place Careerwise

One thing that can sometimes be a drawback when dating a younger man is that you’re likely going to be in different places in your lives, particularly when it comes to your careers. If you’re in your 40s or 50s, you’ve probably established your professional path and have settled into your field, whereas a guy in his 20s or 30s is just starting on that journey.

It can put pressure on a relationship.

It’s important to accept that you have different goals in your life. If you can do that, then it can work out long-term.

13. You May Be Keenly Aware of the Age Difference

Depending on the age gap between you and this guy, you may become self-conscious about that age difference. It can be particularly awkward when you spend time with his friends who are centered around clubbing or doing other things that you gave up years ago.

You may get looks from people on the street. Frankly, I don’t think you should care what anyone says if you’re into this guy, but if you’re sensitive, just be aware that this might bother you.


For better or worse, there are plenty of good reasons to try dating a younger guy. It can be a great confidence boost, particularly if you took an emotional blow in a past relationship and are looking for a little amp up in that department.

If you’re open to just casually dating, you might have a blast with a younger man. And it is entirely possible that you could fall in love with one and have a long and happy relationship.

Because, as they say, age ain’t nothin’ but a number. You need to focus on finding the man that is your perfect fit, regardless of his age.

So…have you dated a younger man yet? What was your experience? Share it in the comments below!

Dating a Younger Man? Here are 13 Things You Should Know (5)

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Is it weird for an older woman to date a younger man? ›

Any relationship between two people has its challenges, and older woman-younger man relationships are no different. At times, the gap in mindsets, financial security, goals, experience etc. that comes with May-December romances can be overwhelming, both in the bedroom and in daily life.

How should I act when dating a younger man? ›

Here are some tips to finding and keeping a younger man, who can keep up with your hot, vibrant self:
  1. Don't Consider Yourself a “Cougar” ...
  2. Be Confident. ...
  3. Know What You Want. ...
  4. Date with No Fear. ...
  5. Communicate. ...
  6. Don't Assume the Relationship Isn't Viable. ...
  7. Be Prepared for Scrutiny. ...
  8. Don't Assume He Will Cheat.
May 6, 2019

How do you know if a younger guy is serious about you? ›

  • If a younger man truly likes you, then he wouldn't hesitate to show you off in front of his closest friends. ...
  • If he constantly does things to make you happy and to see a smile on your face, then he is showing you that he's willing and ready to invest in you, and perhaps he is also trying to impress you.

How much of an age gap is OK? ›

"Half-your-age-plus-seven" rule

An often-asserted rule of thumb to determine whether an age difference is socially acceptable holds that a person should never date someone whose age is less than half their own plus seven years.

How do you tell if a younger man likes an older woman? ›

28 signs a younger man likes an older woman
  1. 1) His eyes dilate. The eyes are always a dead giveaway. ...
  2. 2) He values her opinion. ...
  3. 3) Get confirmation from a gifted advisor. ...
  4. 4) He doesn't flake. ...
  5. 5) He listens. ...
  6. 6) He makes a lot of physical contacts. ...
  7. 7) He's protective of her. ...
  8. 8) He gets close when she talks.
Oct 7, 2020

What is the most beautiful age of a woman? ›

They are no doubt the fair sex, but women look most beautiful at the age of 31, a new study has claimed. Researchers have found that women in their late 20s and early 30s are considered more attractive than fresh-faced 18 and 19-year-olds -- and they reach the peak of their beauty at the age of 31.

Is 20 years age difference too much? ›

The truth is, there is no ideal or appropriate age gap in a relationship. Whether it's a 20 year age gap relationship or a 5 year age gap relationship, there will be both challenges and benefits to your situation.

How do you seduce a younger man? ›

Here are seven fool-proof ways attract a younger man.
  1. Be a flirt. ...
  2. Work your classiness and sex appeal. ...
  3. Be coy. ...
  4. Treat him like he is special and interesting. ...
  5. Never act in a way that points out the fact you are older. ...
  6. Avoid certain topics. ...
  7. Seize the day and be happy!
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What is it called when a younger guy likes an older woman? ›

Cougar love: 16 reasons young men are attracted to older women.

Why is a younger man interested in me? ›

Younger women are still at the phase where they seek validation from other people; friends or family. At this point in your life, you know what you want and are determined to go for that regardless of what people think. This makes younger men attracted to the stability and maturity they feel they'll get with you.

Does age matter in a relationship when the woman is older? ›

Romantic couples with a large age gap often raise eyebrows. Studies have found partners with more than a ten-year gap in age experience social disapproval. But when it comes to our own relationships, both men and women prefer someone their own age, but are open to someone 10-15 years their junior or senior.

Should I date a guy younger than me? ›

Dating anyone younger than this can cause long-term relationship issues. If you've been on the dating scene for a while, you've likely heard about the classic calculation that advises you, based on your current age, how much younger you can date.

Is 13 years too big an age gap? ›

Romantic couples with a large age gap often raise eyebrows. Studies have found partners with more than a 10-year gap in age experience social disapproval. But when it comes to our own relationships, both men and women prefer someone their own age, but are open to someone 10-15 years their junior or senior.

How big of an age difference is too much? ›

This rule states that by dividing your own age by two and then adding seven you can find the socially acceptable minimum age of anyone you want to date. So if you're a 24-year-old, you can feel free to be with anyone who is at least 19 (12 + 7) but not someone who is 18.

What is too big of an age gap? ›

A relationship age gap bigger than 10 years often comes with its own set of issues. “While there are always exceptions to rules, a good rule to remember is that dating someone more than 10 years older will present challenges now or later that add to the preexisting challenges any relationship has,” he says.

What do men in their 50s want in a woman? ›

Mature Men Value Intelligence.

Notall men in their 50's will want to get together with a scientist or a genius, but they do appreciate a woman being intelligent. As much as older men love to feel useful, they also want someone else that can help them make the right decisions in their everyday life.

Is it OK to date a younger guy? ›

They might not be as emotionally mature as you.

To put it nicely, some people, guys especially, have a lot of kinks to work out in the maturity arena. If you're thinking about taking things with a younger man beyond a casual fling, get an early gauge on whether he can take accountability for his actions.

Should I date a guy younger than me? ›

Dating anyone younger than this can cause long-term relationship issues. If you've been on the dating scene for a while, you've likely heard about the classic calculation that advises you, based on your current age, how much younger you can date.

What are the advantages of dating a younger man? ›

Younger men can talk to an older woman and really value their knowledge and sense of perspective. Unlike with an older man who is established, has a career, stress and lots of obligations, a younger gentleman will be interested in you. He will be impressed by your achievements and look up to your success.


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