Trendsetting: Dating an older woman

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Are there more guys dating older women nowadays?

Anecdotally, we’ve observed a nascent trend in couples where women are increasingly dating younger men. As with most relationships, attraction must work both ways, but this emerging trend hints of an almost revolutionary change in mindsets – that men are also increasingly open to dating older women.

Sexual intimacy – sexual peak

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While most people speak about differences in life goals, values, and priorities, the conversations around physiological or sexual peak differences are much more muted. A surprising observation given the significance of this aspect in the success of a relationship. Research suggests that men reach their sexual peak in their late teens and early 20s, while women reach theirs in their late 30s or early 40s. While most women stare down the barrel of menopause in their 50s, men in their 40s and already having to grapple with problems of sexual function deterioration. You can talk about emotional needs, but when it comes to maintaining the delicate balance in a relationship, physical needs and desires still have to be addressed – for both. And we haven’t even touched the surface of the aspect of fertility, which we leave for another discussion. While the average life expectancy for males in Singapore has gone up from 76 years in 2000 to 81.1 years in 2021, and from 80 years in 2000 to 85.9 years in 2021 for women (, the gap remains at about 4-5 years. What this means for women with older partners is that not only are they facing sexual solitude in their 40s, they’re likely to be dealing with physical solitude in their twilight years. Does all this not speak of the practicality of women seeking out younger partners to meet their innate needs?

Financial vs emotional stability

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While the traditional role of men being the main breadwinner stands strong, there is an increasing number of men taking on the burden of running the household. But does it really matter if the man I’m dating (and may eventually marry) earns less than me? Would I mind footing the bills for diapers and date nights (however mutually exclusive they may be) next time? Why not? If all my other needs are met emotionally and sexually, and we’re financially stable as a couple and family, does it really matter who pays the bills?

But of course, relationships are a two-way thing, and it’s always worth discussing with your partner whether he’s okay with you taking on the financial responsibility. I spoke with some of my younger male colleagues about this potential scenario with their partners, and almost all are happy to be supported by their significant other. Not statistically robust observations, but still speaks volumes about which way it is trending. And according to these (enlightened) men, fulfilling their partner’s emotional and mental needs matters more than anything else.

What about communication?

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As with any relationship, communication is important in building a strong and healthy relationship. Partners should aim to have honest and open conversations about their expectations, concerns and goals to find a way to account for both of their needs and preferences so that the relationship can flourish.

This can be especially tricky for couples where both or one of whom has had a previous marriage, and more so when children are involved. But embracing a person as a whole, involves embracing a person’s history including their achievements, missteps, baggage and everything else that makes the person who they are today.

Gossip, gossip, gossip…

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Perhaps the hardest thing to deal with for older women-younger men couples is the societal judgement that’s freely handed out. And we don’t just mean their parents but friends and acquaintances and even strangers are guilty of it. No one bats an eye when they see a much older man in a couple, but everyone starts losing their marbles when it’s an older woman instead. While it can be difficult to completely avoid gossip, it’s more important for partners to focus on building a strong, supportive relationship that is based on mutual respect, trust, and understanding.

Perception. The pool of good men is supposedly shrinking by the day, should we make it even smaller by setting age expectations? We could open ourselves up to new and exciting experiences just by changing our perception!

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