Dear Dr. Romance:

I saw your article "Age Differences in Dating "  I'm single, in my early thirties.  for the last, i'd say 6 years, i have been extremely attracted to women in their forties.  it's both a physical and mental attraction.  i live in an upscale part of the city and there are so many beautiful older women around.  that seems to fuel the attraction.  i'm not referring to those women that have had tons of plastic surgery, or implants, etc to try to make themselves appear younger.  i'm attracted to the regular soccer mom type.
1) what is causing this?  I've read a lot of the literature about younger men wanting to be with women who don't play games, who are more settled and know what they way, etc.  this is more than that, something more deep-rooted.  when i see an attractive older woman it's like something is activated in my brain, unlike when i see an attractive girl my own age.  when i talk to one on the phone, same thing happens.  don't get my wrong, i'm still attracted to women around my own age, but i think you get my point.
2) what can i do to deal with this?  should i try to fuel the desires or calm them?   i have a therapist that i go to but this is a realm of questions that i am just not comfortable asking someone in person.  i just want to start to understand why i've been attracted to women in their 40's since i was in my mid 20's.

 Dear Reader:  No one knows for sure where sexual and romantic attractions come from, but I find with most of my clients there's a connection to childhood or teen years.  Was there a woman about 40, real or fictional (like movies or TV or a magazine) that got your attention when you were young?  Someone you could only dream about?  A teacher, a neighbor, a relative?  Think back, and you may come up with the archetypal woman who formed the basis for your attractions. 

What you should do about it is relax.  It's OK to have fantasies.  You need to remember, though, that the fantasies are not the same as reality.  The women you are attracted to may not be a good match for you in reality.  So, don't let the fantasy run away with you.  If the attractive archetype of your past was an alchoholic, for example, you may find yourself attracted, not only to 40 year old women, but to ones that drink too much. Physical attraction is not enough to base a relationship on. Also, consider that if you get into a lasting relationship, your partner won't be the same age forever. 

Read my article "Stupid Cupid" for more information about what it takes to create a relationship.

Dr. Romance's Guide to Finding Love Today will help you figure out what kind of partner would actually be a good match for you, how to find that person, and how to begin a healthy relationship.


For low-cost counseling, email me at


Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.