Why do men like younger women?

As a self proclaimed cougar, it might seem odd that I haven’t asked this question before, but perhaps it is because I’m no longer dating younger guys. Rather, I’m seeing a lot of older men falling for “girls” (which I will call them here) in their twenties. Call it the reverse-cougar. 
The reasons seem obvious:
1) Their faces and bodies look younger (read: good).
2) Girls don’t yet have the emotional baggage older women tend to have.
3) Girls are not as threatening as women in their 30’s or 40’s who tend to be stronger and more successful.
4) Girls “have time,” which allows the relationship to develop casually without the pressure of time. A guy can follow the standard chronology of dating, living together, getting engaged, then married with kids – in that order.
5) With a girl, a guy can cling to the idea of having “more than one kid,” as opposed to with a woman in her mid to late 30s.
6) Girls don’t necessarily know who they are yet or what they want, so they’re not imposing it on (or challenging) their boyfriend.
7) Girls look up to an older man who can guide and teach them, and it makes a guy feel manly.
I get it!
But I never thought that there was another appeal: immaturity.
Immaturity is sexy to a guy, because it disguises itself as “mysterious” and hard to read, and the inconsistent behavior that comes along with immaturity plays games with the heart.
Those of you who read this blog know I’ve dated up to three guys ten years younger than me, where the breakups all came for generally the same reason: difference in life stage and experience. Yeah. Duh.  And so ever since my latest cub breakup, you could say I have been avoiding expending energy on guys that are more than five years my junior, by staying open to men forty and older.
While that hasn’t yet proven effective (no new partner has appeared), I’m fine with it. And I’ve made many new friendships with cub-age guys, without any temptation to turn it into more. Besides, most of these guys have girlfriends whom are younger than them, in their mid twenties.
One of them happens to be an ex, who began dating a girl 14 years my junior, and seems to be very happy with her. I’m not jealous or disappointed. I predicted it, and part of me feels a touch of “I told you so.” It only reinforces the reason for our breakup.
A few other guy pals of mine in their 30’s are also in the midst of budding relationships with twenty-five-year olds, and I’ve noticed a kind of emotional obstacle course these girls put them through, ie. a few months into the relationship the girl breaks up with the guy, for reasons that range from jealousy, caprice, or fabricated irrational grievances.  
Guess what happens next? Rather than calling her on it and putting his foot down, or even telling her he is finished, the guy does the opposite. He suddenly realizes he reeeally likes this girl, and must win her back. Suddenly, a guy who wasn’t even sure he was that into her, decides that she could be “the one.”
Why? Is that all it takes? A fight, followed by a breakup and some ego bruising, to poke at a guy’s heart and mobilize him into action?
Maybe these younger and less mature women are onto something. Looking back on my relationship with my ex-cub, I recall being open, communicative, and understanding (and I believe he would agree). He always knew where I stood, even after we broke up. I do however remember him saying one thing that stuck: “You were consistent, Cougel. Being with you was easy.”
Mistake? If I had been a pain in the ass, or dumped him without cause a few times, perhaps we’d still be in a relationship. The thought has crossed my mind.
That’s silly, I know.
Immaturity isn’t apparent to the immature. Whether you’re in a relationship with someone immature, or in an argument with an immature friend, trying to convince them that their behavior is immature, or how it affects you, is futile. Sometimes it can take years, until that person grows up and looks back to realize it.
After my divorce, when the dating scene was brand spanking new to me, I was oblivious to these signs too. I was immature in love, and tended to want the guys who were inconsistent, unevolved, and obtuse with their emotions. I couldn’t read them (or their cryptic texts), and I mistook that confusion for a fluttery feeling, a thrill, which I described as “love.”
Is it frustrating to see these guys getting in a twist over girls who are clearly putting them through the ringer? Yes. But I guess it’s their problem. Or their wish.
After all, I dated younger men for a while and couldn’t see it either. So I understand it. I’m just glad I woke up.
Or grew up.
But to all those girls (and women too) who still behave immaturely in relationships (and I am not saying I don’t go there occasionally too), I might venture to say: don’t fight it too hard. Don’t try to change too much. Because it seems to be working. 
Is it  possible that immaturity can deepen – even mature – a relationship?
9 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    The answer to your question, yes! call it what you want, it works. Playing games, it works! whether you know you are playing or not. At least in the beginning of a relationship, just enough to force you to act based on emotions and stop thinking so much. And to realize you are in love. However the real love that lasts requires maturity and commitment (and a little mystery, immaturity, call it what you want, helps keep the spark alive).

  2. SingleMamma4God
    SingleMamma4God says:

    There are rules to relationship and behavior that are instinctive and this generation seems not to understand. I do not call it game playing but it can seem that way.

    No matter how things begin the problem with men dating a younger woman for her immaturity is that she will eventually mature and out grow him.

    You forgot on your list that being with someone younger can make a person look for feel more youthful.

  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    i also think a lot of these guys who date younger girls think if one of them breaks up with them, they probably won’t find another younger girl like that. it’s like they have won the prize and you don’t win that often so if the girl breaks up with him more than likely he’s probably thinking he can’t get another girl that age, so crawls back. this post is great. Really speaks to all sides of that situation. Not like I know anything about dating anyone younger than me. I just know my friends who land younger girls and how they hold onto it, regardless of immaturity because she’s simply a younger girl. i’m talking men above the age of 35 here.

  4. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I have to say that I agree with you in certain instances Cougel. Even at the tender age of 26, I have witnessed a sizable quantity of relationships which seem to be bound together only by the tenuous strings of immaturity and game-play. Yet, I would challenge you to also consider the distant, but nonetheless real possibility that your “ex-cub” has stumbled into a loving and healthy relationship with a twenty-something. Not every “girl” of this age acts with the motivation to manipulate and control her significant other. In fact, the “girl” in this instance may have sparked a dispute due to legitimate and honest concerns which to a partially informed and biased outsider may have seemed petty.

    Though you have claimed to at one time or another loved these “ex-cubs” it seems you have not considered the possibility that (a) they are genuinely happy in their current relationships (b) the effect your toxic words might inflict on this happiness. My years may not match yours, but I can confidently assert that I have felt love in two relationships during my lifetime. Yet, it was only once these relationships had ended that I came to understand the true meaning of the word. Love is the realization that you truly want happiness for another soul, even if that happiness is found with a person other than yourself. Very recently I ran into an ex and his new girlfriend. While the pang of loss and hurt gripped my heart, it was quickly replaced by a warm calmness because I realized happiness radiated throughout his being in a way that it never had when we were together.

    I have tried not to ascribe a motivation to your post because I know nothing about you. Though, upon first glance I could not help but to consider these hastily cobbled words as a thinly veiled attempt to plant a seed of doubt in your ex-cub’s heart about the strength of his relationship, a seed that would grow and strengthen with time, eventually forming a wedge in his heart against his new partner. Whatever the intent may have been, I encourage you to remember my definition of love above and also to look upon those of your fellow sex with a more generous spirit; if you met a few of us twenty-somethings you might be surprised at our capacity for maturity and love. Life can trample us all down with its endless barrage of hardships, why contribute to this by releasing more poison into the world?

  5. BigLittleWolf
    BigLittleWolf says:

    This goes far deeper than the 40-year old who wants the ease of dating a 24-year old (and it is easier, for many of the reasons you cite).

    This same phenomenon exists regardless of what you look like, when you are 50+ and the men your own age want a 30-year old or 40-year old (max). That leaves 65 and 70-year old men on the prowl for 50-year old women.

    A 50-year old woman is not immature. On the contrary. But nor do most of us want to be in sexless or sex-reduced relationships with men for whom we are expected to be caretakers.

    I have not found this same older man-younger woman phenomenon to quite the same extent in Europe, or in European men. A generalization, I know. But thankful that’s been my experience.

  6. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Older women should act like younger women. While you call them immature, I would call them “selfish.” And what you say in older women is “openness,” I might call desperation.
    When you are young, you are thinking about yourself and sure there will be more guys along the way. As you get older, you get scared to throw away men so easily, but men find this openness insecure and then run away.

  7. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I am a 26 year old male who is married to a woman that is 50 years old. We met on ***Cougara.com*** since I was 21. I fell in love with her shortly after meeting her and I love her more now than before. This is the most complete and loving relationship I have ever had. And to a person that posted before, I didn’t have any trouble getting girls my own age. And I do emphasize “girls”. Most women my age are not ready for a mature relationship even if they say they are. All they want to do is play house but when real life finally knocks on the door they don’t want anything to do with it. Age doesn’t have as much to do with the relationship as one would think. My wife and I both love and respect each other regardless of our ages and neither of us have ever been so happy.

  8. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    It is not all the men chasing younger women, most men in the United States of America are married to women 2 to 3 years younger then them. I think older men who date younger women are different then men who date women with in 2 to 3 years of their own age. I wonder if men who date women who are near to their age have more respect for women on average? I do not blieve older men, who desire younger women over 35, want a younger woman for baring a child for him. When we Know fertility for men and women decline after age 35. Ladies I’m not sure any of you are aware that they are older lesbians who date and are in relationships with younger women. So I do not believe older men seek younger women for giving him biological children. I believe older men are in these relationships for the same reason a older lesbian would be in a relationship with a younger lesbian.

  9. filipino dating
    filipino dating says:

    Part of the problem seems to lie in the insane idea many women have that an older guy can just go grab any young hottie that comes along with the greatest of ease. This is why they are so furious about this sort of thing. But like so many female notions, it’s all emotional weather and no logical highway.

    One of the reasons an older man likes a younger woman is flattery. But as men get older, with each passing year, it gets harder and harder to attract younger and younger women. They just aren’t interested in us! Quit worrying, ladies!


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