Older mans guide to dating younger

Though she'd always dated older men before, she "thought it was exciting to date someone younger" -- and, as it turned out, he thought it'd be just as exciting a match.

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According to a survey by dating website Elite Singles, 20-something men actually have a preference for older women three to six years older than themselves.

The biological theory has always been men prefer younger women because they are likely to bear more children, while women prefer older men because they offer resources and stability.

Terms like "cougar" (slang for an older woman seeking a younger man) depict the woman as a predator, rather than an empowered, independent and loving person.

NBC aired a reality dating show this summer -- "Age of Love" -- that pitted women in their 20s against women in their 40s in a battle for the heart of tennis star Mark Philippoussis.

The survey found men aged 20 to 29 prefer older women to younger ones, and women preferred a younger man as they age, according to Your Tango.

This contradicts the stereotype that all men are focused on finding a youthful partner, as these singles indicate a preference for a partner three to six years older than themselves.

"He likes that I am secure in our relationship and I have my own things to do without him." Indeed, the idea of dating an older woman is titillating for some younger guys.

Jeremy Abelson, a self-styled dating impresario who organized the Natural Selection Speed Date event that paired wealthy bachelors with beautiful women this past February in New York City, can see the appeal.

A common rule of thumb when it comes to dating is that it’s OK to be interested in someone who is half your age, plus seven years.

However, the rise of the "older woman-younger man" relationship has loosened this relationship convention and instead celebrates the age-gap romance.

"He's not thinking about kids and marriage," says Pender of her boyfriend, "and he bugs me when I forget to dye my gray roots." If you can work through these issues, the adage holds true: Age ain't nothing but a number.

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