20-Something Question: What’s the deal with dating older men?

Q. I’m a current MBA student. What is your opinion on dating older men (I’m late 20s) and dating men in the workplace? And, just how much older?

A. Most people are all for it but their general rule of thumb, limit it to 10 years older and not more than 15 older when you’re in your twenties.

The benefit of dating older men is that they are more mature, particularly in your late 20s when some of your male peers are still in delayed adolescence. The only caution —  do make sure that the older guy is as emotional mature as he is physically. You don’t want to invest too much time with a guy just going through puberty at 40.

The bottom line, as with any relationship, look for similar values, respect, some common interests, and the ability to laugh and be together drama free. Here is what some women who have been there and done that have to say:

A:  First let me start by saying that I’m married to man who is 13 years younger than me!  When I first started dating him (10 years ago) I was very concerned about it.  My younger sister put me straight by telling me that no relationship has security because of age. An older man could leave you just as well as a younger man could and that made a lot of sense to me.

It really does not have to do with the age of the people, but the compatibility of the people.  I also dated a man 8 years older than I was when I was in my 20s.  It was great. They have more interesting things to bring to the relationship and they typically have more focus on career growth and have had time to explore life.  I say go for it! – 40-something, fashion designer, entrepreneur, wife, mom, Brooklyn, NY


A. I’ve dated older men since I was 16 at university. Older men are typically more together and more interesting.  There are some younger men that are organized and focused in their life, so the key word is typically.  I think around 10 years is a good guide, as you still have similar cultural history-knowledge.  And it’s easy to mix with each other’s groups of friends and socialize. Be careful that they are serious about dating you and not just about having a hot, gorgeous lady on their arm, making their ego inflated.


A: Don’t go for the hottest guy in the room, go for the most interesting. Often that is a guy over 30. My first husband was the former…(it lasted one year) my second the latter (married 15 years and going). So I may be biased but I think the older, the more interesting, the better. – 40-something, Chicago, IL


A. My husband was 20 years older when I met him. At the time I thought, “If I can have 10 good years with him it will be worth it. I will still be 35 if it doesn’t work out.” I think that was what made it work. When you are twenty you think that everything is forever. I figured, ten years is not so bad. The age difference seemed manageable. Now we have been together 19 years. I would have to say the age difference is probably more noticeable now. Nobody talks about the aging. It’s little things like hearing.

On the other hand, things become more equal in a way. I was in awe of his experience in my 20s. He seemed so worldly. That’s probably what I fell in love with. I’d say we have grown together in that sense. People think when they see a 40-something with a 20-something woman that it’s about the man wanting to be with a young thing…a mid-life crisis thing.  But for me it was positive. There was so much life experience. It certainly wasn’t about money!

In addition, these are a few other answers from previous posts on dating older men:



on Twitter

on Facebook

on Google+