Dear Dr. Romance:    

I enjoyed your article: Age Differences in Dating? Do you have any articles about younger women dating older men? I'm interested in the younger woman's motivations, and what the older man can say and do to will her affections.
Have you written any articles on this or do you know of any books or articles that relates to this? I'm an older guy, interested in younger women, and just needed a basic idea as to what to do. I suppose my specific question is what's the psychology behind a young woman's motivation for an older man? What attracts her to him besides his money and why?

Dear Reader:

Young women who like older men are usually looking for  someone who will take charge, take care of them and protect  them.  That is not always what they get.  The first thing I'd do is examine why you want a younger woman?  If you just want "arm candy" you're probably going to have to pay for it.  Pretty young things don't go usually out with older men unless they're treated extra well.  If you're interested in a particular type of person, focus on that, and not so much on the age.  I've seen many older men wind up alone because they're too focused on age.  It's a common fantasy for lonely older men who are not good at making friends or succeeding in relationships.

Whether or not a relationship is healthy is not determined by age differences, but by the interaction between the partners.  A ten‑year difference is not too difficult to bridge, but differences of twenty years  or more in age can lead to some difficulties as the partners get older.  For example, the younger partner may mature and reconsider his or her choices, or an older partner may confront aging problems much sooner.

As long as both parties are adult, and the couple have talked about the age difference and the future possibilities, I don't make judgements about their ages.  There are healthy and unhealthy reasons to date someone of a different generation.  One motivation for dating a younger person that usually isn't successful would be fear of aging on the older person's part.  Obviously, a man or woman who dates someone as young as his or her children is going to run into some social opposition, but the differences that can cause the most problems are differing maturity levels.  

It depends on what the motivations of both people are.  Some older people feel younger at heart "than their contemporaries, and like to date people who are as active as we are.  Chronological age doesn't always reflect either physical capability or emotional maturity.  Sometimes an age difference is a mentoring relationship; the older person advises the younger one on life or career.  This can backfire when the younger person decides he or she has learned enough, and wants to be more independent.

For more information about creating successful relationships please read "The Fine Art of Squirrel Hunting"; "Aspects of Love"; and "Where is Love?"

Dr. Romance's Guide to Finding Love Today speaks about age differences in dating.


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.