They say that age is just a number, but apparently people still have their preferences. For many of us, there has been a long-standing belief that older men prefer younger women and younger women prefer older men.
Recently, this trend seems to have shifted.The rise of terms such as “cougar” and “MILF” have increased in popularity. This has become so evolved in mainstream media that even “Hot Mom” photo competitions exist. The idea of “the attractive older woman” has been embraced.
In the past, if you were a woman who dated a younger man, you were laughed at, called a “cradle-robber” and even called desperate. Women were led to believe in finding an older man to ensure that they were nurtured and cared for. Times have changes and more and more women are leaning away from this path.
Sandra L. Caron, a professor of family relations and human sexuality at the University of Maine, told The New York Times, “For a long time we’ve been fed this idea that women should look for a man to take care of her, a man that is more educated, has a better job and makes more money. That might be fine and dandy if you’re in high school and have this fairy tale Prince Charming. But when you look at adult women, most are self-sufficient and they don’t have to look for that.”
When NBC News looked into this trend, they noted that women may be more interested in younger men because,
-Older women are looking better every day, thanks to creative medical advances and a gym on every corner.
-Women are more likely to come back on the dating market because of divorce and a longer expected life span.
-Not as many women are looking for the picket fence and two cars. Now companionship, travel, and fun are coming to the forefront.
-Women may also want a man with a less-developed career who could follow her or take care of children, if that is a factor.
-For their part, younger men often find older women more interesting, experimental, fun to talk to, financially settled, and more adept sexually.
While the U.S. has begun embracing the idea of older women with younger men, Japan has kept true to their traditional views on relationships.
Earlier this month, a Japanese dating app called Match Alarm asked nearly 3,000 singles if they preferred dating someone the same age, younger, or older. The response was unanimous for women- 81.3% responded that they would prefer an older lover. This percentage is not as large for men, but a majority (46.9%) still prefer dating younger women.
Despite this preference towards traditional ways, Japan was still surprised that one in three men want an older lover. In fact, once the numbers were separated by age group, more than 50% of men between the ages of 20 and 24 preferred older women.
Japanese women generally seemed to agree on older men. Even the oldest age group, 35-39 most preferred dating older men. Check out the results below.
So tell us- do you prefer an older or a younger lover?