For women, on the other hand:
- The preferred age for marriage, relationships, falling in love, casual affairs as well as sexual fantasies seem to out-shoot the minimum bar set by “the rule”.
- In terms of the maximum preferred age bar, the study reports that in reality women are more conservative.
While “the rule” indicates that a 30 year old woman can date anyone up to the age of 46 (subtract 7 from 30 and then double 23), the study by Buunk and Djistra quotes that most 30 year old women prefer that their partners are within 40 years of age.
In a more recent study conducted by psychologists from the Abo Akademi University in Finland, however, it is seen that men’s prospective partner age choices vary more as they grow older.
For women, the age range remains narrow throughout, with their preference being men of slightly older age than themselves.
The study used observations collected across 12,656 adults and reports that even when it comes to sex, unlike earlier when men would in all likelihood, prefer much younger women, men have actually grown to consider women of their own (or similar) age too. (5) And while men as they age may continue to remain sexually interested in younger women, they necessarily don’t convert this interest into manifested behaviour.
The study also recorded that like heterosexuals, homosexual men and women exhibit similar behaviour – where older homosexual men prefer younger men while homosexual women continue to want partners close to their own age.
So, what should you do?
Results reflected by studies are enlightening in terms of gender behaviour, but then the question still remains –
what should I do if I am still looking to date?
Talking to people and reading about different takes, my conclusion is this:
Stay aware of your own context and needs.
What sort of engagement are you looking for? How much seriousness does it entail? Are there hidden psychological motivations that might be guiding you to choose someone of a certain age?
Whether we like it or not, it is true that from the evolutionary point of view, men and women are different.
More women have embraced their ambitious sides and men have accessed certain aspects of their emotional worlds. Each gender largely continues to have their own ways of functioning. So if you care what the world or your current society thinks is acceptable, acknowledge it and make your choices accordingly.
When it comes to love, many people are of the opinion that age does not matter. However, there’s nothing wrong in considering multiple contexts when you’re trying to go out there and date somebody.
- Dude, She’s (Exactly 25 Percent) Out of Your League
- Who Is Too Young or Too Old for You to Date?
- The Moon is Blue
- Age and Gender Differences in Mate Selection Criteria for Various Involvement Levels
- Women’s and Men’s Sexual Preferences and Activities with Respect to the Partner’s Age: Evidence of Female Choice.