Average age for dating
In another study from 2001, researchers asked Dutch men and women between the ages of 20 and 60 about their age preferences for various types of intimate situations, ranging from sexual fantasies to marriage. Malouf of Endicott College wondered if testing the age differential hypothesis using a new source of data might yield more insight into the matter.
They, too, found that men predictably preferred younger partners than did women. To this end, they collected all available ratings of blind dates that were published in two well-known American newspaper columns: “Dinner with Cupid” from Both newspaper columns advertise for singles who are willing to give a blow-by-blow report of a blind date as well as a numerical rating in exchange for a free dinner at a restaurant.
It is a commonly accepted idea that men prefer the company of younger women, while women prefer men who are older.
This is also in keeping with Parental Investment Theory, which maintains that men are attracted to women who advertise signs of fertility — that is, youth.
(Couples who were the same age were not included in this analysis). For sample, there were significantly more couples in which the man was older as opposed to the woman being older, 133 and 56 pairs, respectively.
And although this finding was not statistically significant, the ratings of the dates were opposite to the predicted direction.
It is important to distinguish between mate preference and mate choice.
As men get older, they seek younger and younger women (i.e.And in a 1993 study that analyzed over 1,000 personal ads, researchers found that women typically sought older men, and men typically sought younger women.Similarly, in a 1994 study using a nationally representative sample of single Americans younger than 35, the results revealed that women were significantly more willing than men to marry someone older by five years; conversely, men were significantly more willing than women to marry someone who was younger by five years.As the investigators note, more research is needed. We often felt that older women (even if by on a year or two) was a bit of a taboo.
This probably stemmed from those artificial (but nonetheless real) boundaries we would not cross that were a left over from school days.
After all, much of the support for the age differential effect was conducted when the gender wage gap was larger. is a licensed Clinical Psychologist in Washington, DC, and an expert on relationships, managing anxiety and stress, and building health and resilience. Mehta provides speaking engagements for your organization and psychotherapy for adults.