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.Further supporting this interpretation, the authors argue that their study had good “ecological validity.” This means that the experimental conditions of this study were a strong approximation of those in real-life.
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Those responsible at these respective newspapers make their best effort to make a match, which is based on participants' answers to an online questionnaire.
The questionnaires request information about the applicants’ age, height, occupation, marital status, sexual orientation, and race/ethnicity.
The thing is for me and a good number of my male friends, many older women were those who we would look to in terms of our dream dates and fantasies.
We probably didn't think that we could take those feeling anywhere though for fear of being out of step with societal norms and the prospect of having any chance of hooking up dashed because we were considered too junior and "not cool".
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.In a classic study of human mating from 1989, David Buss surveyed 37 cultures across 6 continents and found that in every culture in question, men preferred to marry younger women (2.66 years younger on average) and women preferred to marry older men (3.42 years older on average).In addition, Buss collected actual age differences at marriage for 27 of the 37 cultures, and across the board men normally married women who were younger than themselves.But could this finding also reflect shifting sands in the social landscape?Perhaps as women earn more money (i.e., they have their own resources), age matters less.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.