Science Connection Member Polylogue, part 3
Age, age preferences, age prejudices
Men seeking younger women
Dishonesty regarding age
Age and the desire for a family
Older woman/younger man
Other views regarding age (|Age and baggage | In defence of middle aged men | In praise of older women | Age and appearance | An Octogenarian's perspective | It's never too late|)
Synopsis of views on age-related topics:
1. Many women of all ages are offended by the stated desire by men (generally those in their 40s and older) for much younger women, when this does not appear related to the desire to start a family, in which case the search for a woman of child-bearing age is considered legitimate (if sometimes over-optimistic when it involves men in their late 40s and over). Middle-aged women find that in person men their age are attracted to them, yet "on paper" they are rejected by men older than they are. And the women targeted by men ten or more years older tend to be unimpressed or even irked as well.
2. Nevertheless, many men do in fact seek women of their age and the average ages difference between males and females of couples meeting via Science Connection is very small - 2 or 3 years on average. And both men and women have reported happy unions involving an older woman with a younger man.
3. Although misrepresenting one's age demonstrably occurs, no one has been prepared to defend this in the Newsletter and all condemn it as a bad idea in practice and for moral (even legal) reasons.
4. Some members argue that being of similar age brings benefits of cultural and general compatibility and syncronicity of life stage (retiring about the same time, etc.). Other members de-emphasize age, citing the greater importance of individual differences and regarding as folly the setting of narrow age limits for a prospective mate.
Men seeking younger women
- Men in my age range (50+) continue to have their sights set on women who could be their daughters. Sad for us women, but sadder yet for these men who, despite their self-image, often turn out to be incredibly old fogies. I expected more of Science Connection!
- Am very discouraged that all the men I have contacted want "perfect" (i.e. in perfect health, gorgeous, with perfect figure) women 20 years younger than they are. I want a man with character, and I know that none of us is, in fact, perfect. And I have no inclination or intention of going out with a man 20 years older than I am!
- I am Asian. This seems to attract older men who basically want an Asian nurse maid who can talk shop! I'm looking for an equal - a young guy (I'm 32) with a robust attitude to life. It's humiliating to be thought of as someone who could presumably give an older, divorced man a second chance at youth. (This is the feeling I get reading between the lines.)
- One of the member's comments struck a chord with me. I'm sure you get a lot of comments about the guys who want (or say they want) a much younger woman. This is such a turn off! Makes them sound so arrogant. Guys, explain to me why any woman (any woman over 30 anyway) would want to go out with a guy 15 or 20 years older than she is. It may be alright at 20, but when she's 50+ she's looking at prolonged widowhood. Say who you are, how old you are, and what sort of woman you're interested in without reference to her age. If she likes how you sound and you have something in common, she can decide whether the age is appropriate. My guy (who is 65) said he was looking for someone 35+. I didn't give his bio a second look -- sounded like a jerk to me. To his credit, he contacted me in spite of my age, and we hit it off in a big way. But I haven't quite forgiven him for his bio.
- I agree with the women members who are unhappy with the almost mail order like requests from men for women much younger than they. Do they know that there is much research supporting the existence of a strong sexual urge and the ability to perform in 70- and 80-year-old women, just as there is in some men? Also, do they know that the average North American woman lives 7 years longer than the average male? The choice of an older woman will provide better odds of a long relationship, without one partner becoming a widow or widower. Age is much more a matter of a woman's psychological and physical health than a chronological factor, or her investment in make-up!
- I have had lots of nice responses from my letters to Science Connection members - just have not made the right connection. So far my experience has been great. I see a lot of discussion all the time of age vs. age. I am 77 years old & feel like the dog chasing the car - what would I do if I did catch one of those beautiful younger women.
- I too am one of those women in their 50's who isn't getting enough response from men in their 50's. I am very youthful both in spirit and in appearance, but no one is going to find out -- not through this method of introduction, at least. I want to date someone my own age, not someone who is 73 (unless he is a pretty unusual 73-year old). I don't suppose it does any good to keep railing against this ridiculous culture we are all embedded in, which says that men with prostate trouble, potbellies and no hair still are only attracted to young firm bodies of child-bearing age. Men my age think they're very open-minded and p.c. when they date women in their 40's instead of holding out for women in their 30's! I guess this tendency could be explained sociobiologically, but what about the fact that our life expectancy is so much longer than theirs? That's a sociobiological fact too. I think it would be OK to try to educate men a bit -- "Live dangerously! Meet someone your own age! After all, you can always decline the second date". I would also like to know what the secret is for those women in their 50's who actually do meet men in their 50's. I'm not doing anything obvious wrong: not overweight, unduly needy, etc., etc.
- You noted that statistically, the ages of members who get together is very close. I don't
doubt that that is
true, because the decent males who are realistic enough to date women their own age are often
for many other reasons as well, and are the most likely to be successful in finding one. I think that
the ire goes to
those who continue to barrage women much younger than themselves, while never considering those
in their own
age group. And, my own experience in this mirrors that of another member whose comments you
Having been a member of Science Connection on and off for over 5 years now, I found that when I
was in my 30's I
received many contacts. As I turned 40 this year I found, with basically the same profile, that I was
by a 64 year old, and a 57 year old. It was very depressing. To illustrate my point about the decent
women their own age, the gentleman that I am now seeing is all of 3 years older than myself. I
Science Connection in the slightest for this, but market forces can be rough on us females out there
who are 40.
- I propose two possible reasons why some men, even though members of the Science Connection, seek younger women. ... I can well imagine that there are genes that "program" men to seek those women who appear most fertile (i.e. younger and attractive), as this would promote the perpetuation of that male's genes. I suggest that men might be programmed to mate in the same way as much of the animal world. A second reason might be that adolescent boys, when first beginning to date, are often rejected by girls their own age, as they are perceived to be immature. Young boys are therefore socialized to look for even younger girls since girls their own age or older are often not interested in them. (Biologically thinking, the female preference for older men might be the females' means of assuring a mature mate most capable of providing for her children.)
- I had originally been looking for a partner with a few child-bearing years left, but at ten
years from retiring, I may have left it a bit late to think of starting a family. (So much for
concentrating on one's career.) While this naturally leads me to emphasize other qualities than age, I
still have no particular wish to pair off with someone who looks older than I do.
You probably hear this a lot, but some people do look and behave much younger than their calendar age. In my youth this was a big disadvantage. You would not believe the number of women I pursued who preferred older and more experienced men. Now, at 55, I find that I have much more in common with my friends in the 35 to 45 cohort than I do with people around my own age. I certainly notice no incongruity when I date women in that same age group. ... On the other hand, I do realize that there are many attractive and intelligent women who are just too young to consider seriously. ...
The disadvantage of advertising is that one's age is there right at the start to put people off. One never gets the chance to find out one's compatibilities. So you see, men don't like being categorized by age any more than women do.
- I must add that while I, too, indicated in my mini-profile that I am interested in a "younger" woman, I found the profiles of the women nearer my age the most intriguing and enticing reading. Apparently, the more life one has had, the more interesting it is.
- I have been a member for approximately two years and am now letting my membership lapse because my quest has been successful and Science Connection has served me very well. Actually it has served my friend equally well since we met as a result of her sending for my profile sheet and contacting me. We have been seeing each other now for almost a year and have both found what we wanted .... I read the comments in the newsletter and will say that in our case we are both over sixty-five and she is actually older than I. Those men who are in search of young trophies are missing a great opportunity by not considering someone their own age.
Dishonesty regarding age
- A member reported that he discovered
that a member whose profile he was "enthusiastic about" was about seven years older than her
reported age (the
age given in her mini-profile). He commented as follows.
The part I don't understand about this is, if a woman thinks a man will be turned off by her real age, does she think she can keep it a secret forever? Or does she think she can reveal it down the road (after he has gotten a chance to know her) and not have him upset by the fact that she lied to him (and what else has she been lying about?)? The long and the short of it is that her real age is fine with me, but I have lost a fair amount of enthusiasm for following up with her. I haven't decided yet whether I will contact her, whereas before she was at or near the top of the list of people I wanted to contact.
- Despite the frustrations described by older women, I would not suggest that anyone lie
about their age.
During the handful of times I've found out a man had lied to me about his age, all I could think of was,
other lies have you told that I don't know about yet???" I was too upset that he'd started our
relationship that way
to care what age he was. It gave me the creeps.
If you don't want to tell your age, then say so, leave it out, or be vague, but don't lie.
- If they want their own biological children, I can understand their desire for a fecund young
when I meet men under normal circumstances -- in the metro, in the supermarket, in the park -- they
chat me up
because I'm youthful, vibrant and attractive. They get to know me before they know my age (late
40s). I look five
years younger, so my chronological age is not a good or true representation of me. However, were I
to lie about my
age (thinking it actually a more honest representation of my appearance, state of mind, energy level,
etc.), it would
be starting out on the wrong foot with a lie -- and I pride myself on my integrity. So I can't figure out
how to make
Science Connection work for me except to attend the get-togethers where we meet fact to face right
off. The guys
who reject me because of my chronological age just have no idea of the gem they're passing by. And
I have to say,
my feelings have been sorely hurt several times over this issue.
One might answer, well, go out with older men -- but I've always gone out with younger men and I was married to someone many years younger. So, if a woman lies about her age, is it a lie?
- In the March 2000 Newsletter, a lady asks, "if a woman lies about her age, is it a lie?" I would say, in at least the case of one example she cites, that of a man who wants his "own biological children", it would not only be a lie, it would probably be actionable. If an older man spends much time and attention on a woman who, for physical reasons however tragic, is beyond her childbearing years, and yet has been made by her to believe that the contrary is true, then he will have sustained irrevocable opportunity costs. He will have lost a few, maybe many, opportunities to date women who honestly report their age. I should think that such a loss in such a context provides in fact reasonable grounds for bringing legal action. The same reasoning would apply to a man who knew he had a very low sperm count, but hid that fact from a woman who earnestly desired to have children. In such contexts, these are material and injurious deceptions. In all other dating contexts they are not, despite the fact that wounded vanity may feel otherwise. So, when the lady writes "but I've always gone out with younger men," I would suggest that we cannot always do what we've always done, at least not if we wish to remain happy and, in at least some cases, out of court. It is worth it in dating to remain basically honest about basic facts.
- I can't get over the nerve I touched by asking whether women can lie about their age but the debate has certainly answered my question unequivocally. Women should not lie, period. Men should not lie, period. Lying erodes trust between people -- any lie. And oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. I also took to heart the sentiment expressed by men that if they want a family they want to meet a fertile woman and the fact is that our childbearing ability wanes with our age. If I were a man and I began a relationship thinking there was a chance the woman could have children with me and then she revealed her true age after I was emotionally involved -- and I realized chances were against our having our own children, well, I would be pretty upset. So, for me the lesson is to just hope to meet a wonderful guy who already has all the kids he wants or wants to adopt. Maybe I'll have to give up on Science Connection as a way to meet men and just continue to meet guys who pick me up on the metro, at the museum, at zoo lectures and in the forest backpacking or who I meet through the personals. It's ironic, though, because I had asked for one guy's bio-profile and in it he set a rather young age limit. After we had run into each other several times and had a great time together I brought up the fact that I was well over his requested age ceiling. At first he thought I was joking (about being as old as I am). Then he smiled and said, "Oh--Well, I've decided to revise that number upward."
Age and the desire for a family
- I'm only 31, and I'm looking for someone my age or younger, both for personal preference and logistical reasons. I imagine myself eventually getting married, and then eventually having children. If I date someone who's 35, then after a year marry her (which still seems fast to me), and we want two children spaced apart by four years, then children suddenly become a Must Start Trying Now issue, and even then is uncertain. I'd rather take my time at first, get used to being married for a while, have an extended honeymoon period of a few years, and then start in earnest. Older men who don't want children are in a different boat, but I do have to say that physical attraction can be significant as well, and is not always within our control.
- I may be guilty of the crime of holding out for younger women, but please let me defend
briefly. I spent many years getting the education and experience that qualifies me as a "person of
interests". During much of this time I was actively searching for a companion my age who I could
share my life
with, but also someone with whom I could also raise a family. Somewhere during my life I heard what
was sage advice: "don't start a family until you can afford one" .
I am only just now getting to the point in my life where I can claim to have an income adequate to support a family at a very, very modest level.
But now, at 44, the women my age are no longer viable candidates for motherhood without heroic medical intervention. I know from personal experience that my best chance for a great and compatible relationship is with someone close to my own age; all of my closer friends are also in their late thirties or early forties, but must I chose between sacrificing my dream of a family and having a compatible relationship?
- I think women, and perhaps most especially professional women, should have their children early. Life can be quite long; a couple of kids spaced closely apart grow up enough to attend school rather quickly; and there is a bit too much room in a long life for regret. I am quite sure that many professional women will, as they now grow older, wish they that had not thrown out so much of the traditional for so much untried promise. Basically, I think they were pretty much misled.
Older woman/younger man
- There are an astonishing number of relationships in which the woman is older - sometimes considerably. The couples often keep it quiet because "society" scorns it (usually "society" means his parents). As someone who spent over ten years in a loving common law relationship with a man nearly fourteen years my junior I would say that compatibility and chemistry are far more important than age and we could all benefit from being a little more flexible when we set the parameters of what is acceptable.
- Since I've been living in Switzerland (4 years now) I've noticed that quite often I meet couples where the man is younger than the woman, although usually it's about 2-5 years younger, not 10. I commented on this once to a female friend of mine (who had a boyfriend about 4 years younger than her) and her response was that it was fairly common because women here realize that they tend to live longer than men, so this gives them the opportunity (assuming the relationship lasts) of "checking out" at about the same time! Makes sense I guess. You often see with couples who spend their whole lives together that one loses the will to live once the other one dies.
Other views regarding age
- Age, and 'baggage'
In my age choices I am guided by a wonderful friend, a retired psychologist of 78 years and vast
informed me age differences of up to seven years are the most likely to succeed. I want responses
from women my
own age [mid 40s] ...
Often, when I've met women my age I frequently find a generalized hostility and anger towards men for past hurts and injustices. This "mid life anger" idea is supported by two psychologist friends and exists in both sexes. Look at yourself and see if you harbor this attitude towards the other sex. From my experience younger women don't seem to harbor this anger and memories of hurt.
There is a lot of transference and projection going on out there. All I have to say is this, "I didn't do it, and it's not my fault!!" I am reminded of the Billy Joel song, An Innocent Man. Well, I have been there, trying to make up for something done by someone else to someone I care about, or even love. I will accept this for a short while because being suspicious of something that has hurt you is a normal human feeling and response. But both men and women need to remember the person whom we are meeting or are sitting across the table from is a new individual, not the one that hurt you, and is not guilty or responsible for what others have done to you!
- In defence of middle-aged men [In response to an earlier comment
made by a
female member that women peak (including in libido) in their 40s, while men peak earlier:]
I can appreciate this lady's comment that Mother Nature has played a cruel trick on women, but it
could also be
seen from the male point of view that a cruel trick was played on us too. I can recall as a young man
in my 20's
that I found women in their 30's very attractive... and women in their 40's even more attractive, but I
someone my own age. Now that I am in my 40's and have become divorced, it appears that all the
in my age range would rather chase after guys in their 20's... ironic, isn't it? Actually, I make this
somewhat tongue in cheek because I know it isn't a general phenomenon, but it does appear to be
increasingly popular for middle-aged women to seek "toy boys".
Actually, what I do object to is the suggestion that men in their 40's can't "keep up with" women in their 40's. I have had no problem "keeping up with" any of the women in their 40's that I have met since my divorce and they have all been very active. I am no less respectful, passionate or committed than a man 10 or 20 years my junior, and I would hope that this is true of men of my own age in general. I am no less likely to accept a potential partner's children... I have two of my own and love them... I can't think why I should not also be capable of loving my partner's children. From a sexual point of view, I would even suggest that middle-aged men, provided they keep in shape physically, might make better partners than younger men. They're more experienced. From a personal point of view, I don't feel that age has much to do with it. You are only as old or young as you choose to feel. My opinion is that people should ideally seek partners in their own age range. It means you will have grown up in the same era and will be more likely to have more in common... and you won't look silly together.
- In praise of older women Please let the ladies at sci-connect know that there are men who find older women very attractive. Most of the dating I have done has been with older women. I am 34 and would consider dating a lady in her early 40's.
- Age, appearance, and compatibility One correspondent made the comment,
surprised that men in science make such a point about physical appearance - a sad statement about
Why should "men in science" be any different in that regard from other men? Culture has nothing to
do with it; men
are biologically programmed to look for attractive women, because attractiveness is nature's way of
they are young and healthy enough to be able to produce and raise healthy children.
Many members have commented about age preferences. I am an older man, and over the past 45 years, I have dated women ranging in age from old enough to be my mother to young enough to be my daughter. (In case you're wondering, I don't actually look for much younger women - they seem to find me, rather than the other way around. I suspect a lot of them are going through some sort of "older man" phase.) Anyway, my point is that most women I have dated recently have been around five to fifteen years younger than myself, although a few have been somewhat older, and my choice of them has more to do with commonality of life experience than with the age itself.
- An octogenarian's perspective: Don't dwell on age
I read with interest the comments on age and sat back and laughed at the problems of the 40 year
olds. Next year
I will be 80 and I did mention a potential age problem when I joined the group. Unfortunately women
of my age are
apparently not proficient with a computer and so to use the membership I must correspond with
At present I have two very nice younger correspondents but at a distance.
As one gets older, age becomes less important so long as one is healthy and active. I am a world traveler, keep by myself a large house and yard, bike, sail, travel extensively, am trim, clean, have all my hair and teeth, and am active. I keep up with world news, read extensively, and am always learning.
I find, looking around the world, that older US women tend to excess weight, are not active, etc. Thus again if I want an active partner, I must look to a younger person. This is especially true of the Connection that has few older (70-80+) women listed. In this regard my age is quite a detriment -- no one wants an old man!!
I would like to find a viable partner who could keep up with me and who is willing to share everything, including accompanying me on frequent trips. I just returned from Italy and Turkey and expect to go to Indonesia, Japan, and the Philippines sometime this summer.
So there are exceptions to the age rule but I find myself resigned to the fate of old age. My mother was still painting the house at age 90.
I wish your subscribers and readers success. But don't dwell so much on age, dwell more on the person.
- It's never too late Too bad more retired people don't find membership in Science Connection. ... I've discovered that seniors with breadth of life experience can exchange enchanting and stimulating letters - long before they may decide to meet in person.
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