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15 Surprising Pros and Cons of Dating Older Men

I am 17 years older than my ex-wife, and the woman I’m dating now is 10 years younger than me. So in those relationships, what are the pros and cons of dating older men?

Here are some of the top pros and cons of dating an older man:

  1. They tend to be more mature
  2. Have greater financial stability
  3. More life experience
  4. They tend to be better at communication
  5. They have more experience in the bedroom
  6. They aren’t afraid of commitment
  7. They can be too possessive
  8. They may not take their partner seriously enough
  9. Erectile dysfunction issues
  10. Not wanting to go out as often.

But there’s a lot more to the pros and cons of dating an older man than that!

I think you’ll agree with me that there’s something intriguing about dating or marrying someone much older or younger.

As we get introduced to their world (and they to ours) it broadens our experience and perspectives. We find ourselves in new situations and looking at the world in a new way.

But dating someone significantly older or younger has its challenges too. Habits, pop culture interests, energy levels and what we do for fun can be radically different.

But fear not.

In this post, we’re taking a look at the world of dating older men. We’ll review all the top reasons this can work and some of the challenges they present.

That way as you review the pros and cons of dating older men, you can decide if that type of relationship is right for you.

What are the pros of dating an older man?

There are many older men pros, mostly thanks to all the lessons they’ve learned over the years.

1. They are more experienced in life

One of the good things about dating older men is that they can actually teach you a thing or two.

An older man probably made or seen all the mistakes that you are yet to make, so he will know how to guide you or advise you.

Whether in the bedroom or in life, older men don’t have a problem being leaders and helping their partners reach the next level. Younger guys can’t usually measure up in that regard.

Also, confidence often comes with experience, and there are very few things more attractive than that.

2. They know how to communicate

With a younger man, there is always that issue of them not responding to your messages for hours, which can be quite frustrating. And on dating apps, it’s often guys in the younger age group that seem to want to just message back and forth endlessly instead of having the balls to just ask a woman on a date.

On the other hand, one thing an older man is never going to do is ignore his partner. They understand good listening skills (click to read my article on how to improve your communication skills.)

They are also capable of expressing themselves much more clearly. Most importantly, they actually want to talk about everything, and they are good listeners as well.

3. They are financially stable

Older men are much more stable, both financially and emotionally.

Now, just because younger women want to be with somebody who has a nice job and a stable income does not automatically mean they are a gold digger.

The thing is, older men are not only better at earning money but also at investing, spending it wisely, and saving for the future, which is quite comforting regardless of age.

Such a man is also less likely to play emotional games and has unrealistic expectations about love.

They know what they want, and thanks to the above-mentioned communication skills, they won’t leave their girlfriends guessing.

There are also benefits to being an Older Father. So if kids might be in the picture down the road, it’s important to know that too!

4. They are not afraid of commitments

As much as people dislike talking about this death, everybody has an “expiration date”.

An older male knows that his is just a bit sooner than his partner’s. He’s been dating for a while, or already been married and divorced once. He knows his goals in life (and has probably already reached a few). Thus, he’s ready for a meaningful relationship with one person.

5. They know how to please a woman sexually

Let’s be frank and call it what it is.

Older men have been around the block a few times. They may have been married once or twice and have doubtlessly dated several other women.

So, in the bedroom, they just flat out have the experience that a twenty-something just isn’t going to have. Practice makes perfect, and your sex life is no different.

His libido may have dropped a little, but he’ll more than make up for it with his intimate knowledge of how to please you. And with testosterone replacement therapy, he can easily get his vigor back combined with his knowledge and experience!

6. Greater maturity

Maturity is basically emotional intelligence gained through experience.

So it stands to reason that an older beau will have a lot more of that than younger men. So as they have gone through good times and bad, long-term relationship breakups, failures, and seen disastrous consequences for poor choices, the older person will have learned a lot along the way.

That experience brings maturity. And to a young lady, that maturity may just help make for the best relationship she’s ever had.

7. Bigger nest egg

Saving for retirement is something that just naturally gets better over time.

The way compound interest works, retirement accounts, 401ks, and IRAs naturally grow substantially the longer they sit there.

So it stands to reason that there are a lot more 50-year-old millionaires than there are 30-year-old millionaires.

8. They have thick skin

Make no mistake. Emotionally unstable guys can happen at any age.

So as with dating anyone else, it’s important to vet the people you date or are considering dating. Weed out the psychos and damaged goods (goes for both men and women).

But what you’re left with are the good ones.

And the older of those good ones often have been around the block enough times that they don’t lose their shit every time you say something you regret or every time you forget to text them back or whatever.

These guys are more apt to be like James Bond; cool, calm, collected, masculine, and centered at all times.

pros and cons of dating older men Middle Class Dad older couple kissing in a field at sunset

What are the cons of dating an older man?

Of course, they are just stereotypes and can occur in any relationship, but still, it’s good to keep them in mind.

And there are challenges and risks with dating anyone – which is why I always recommend running a personal background check on someone before you get serious, especially if you two first hit it off online.

1. Your parents may not approve of an older partner

Meeting your partner’s family is always exciting, to say the least.

However, when your man is closer to your parents’ age than to yours, it can become a bit awkward. Not everybody understands such relationships, especially when their family members are involved.

However, if you and your partner keep showing them how happy you are together, the opposing family members will be more likely to come around.

2. Older men might not take their younger partner seriously

Unfortunately, age does not always equal maturity.

Instead of becoming wiser as they get older, some men just become condescending. This leads to them not taking their partner seriously.

They may even be patronizing to a young woman because they think they always know better. They sometimes are not even willing to try to see things from a different perspective, which nobody finds attractive.

3. They can be too possessive

An older man may feel threatened by your younger male friends. This can lead to him trying to control you, being needy, or clingy.

Sometimes an older man dating a younger woman can be insecure. And he could be seeking out young women because (in theory), they won’t challenge him the way an equal partner closer to his own age might.

This is mostly because they are aware of their aging looks and their lack of energy. Thus, jealousy can spring up and turn your amazing older man into a Clingy Guy (click to read my article about some of the clear signs of a clingy guy and how to handle it).

4. They are not the life of the party

A mature man sometimes prefers quiet evenings, an early night, and dinner dates to new things, late nights, or partying in a club.

After all, they have already gone through the stage of their life where they were going out and living it up. If you still like going out and dancing all night, try to find a balance between what you like and what your partner does.

If he’s really not into clubbing, you can always call your girlfriends and make it a girls’ night out.

5. Health issues

Let’s be honest. When we’re young, we think we’re invincible. Young people smoke more, drink more, do drugs more, and over the years, they can begin to take a toll.

So while that older guy may no longer do much of those things, they may have health issues from years of it. Or maybe they live a more sedentary lifestyle and don’t exercise much.

And stuff just begins to hurt more as we get older too.

6. Fewer older guys use dating apps

Dating apps are generally the way people meet these days for dates. And naturally, they are more geared toward younger people. But do apps like Tinder really work for older guys?

True there are a few apps that are actually geared toward the older crowd. But those are often for older men and women.

So for a young woman wanting to meet an older guy, the dating apps aren’t exactly a great place to start unless the girl is looking for a sugar daddy.

7. Less apt to use social media

Social media is both a place where people can meet and set up dates, but it’s also used to show family and friends what we’ve been up to.

So naturally, it’s nice when the person we’re dating or in new relationships with uses social media, tag us in posts and generally make their online presence known.

But, generally speaking, older people are less likely to use social media. And of those who do, they are less apt to post as often, and some may just outright not totally understand the platforms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a 16 year age gap too much?

Since my ex-wife was 17 years younger than me and we met in 2005 and were happily married for most of our 15 years together, I’m going to say no.

But ultimately, it’s not so much the years of age difference as it is shared life goals, dreams, vision, and values. My wife and I have the important stuff in common.

Yea, she doesn’t always get my 80’s pop-culture references and I don’t always get her 90’s hip-hop references, but we “get” each other on the stuff that really matters.

So don’t focus on the age as much as the connection and how you each make one another feel when you’re around each other.

A great relationship should build you up.

It’s not your spouse’s job to make you happy; only you can do that. But it is important that they not knock you down, control you, or see you as less than equal. Ultimately things like respect for you don’t come from age.

However, you do often find that maturity, communication skills, and treating you the way you want to be treated are traits that come with age and time.

How can I impress an older guy?

When I met my ex-wife, then 24 with me being 41, she approached me at a mutual friend’s birthday party which was at a bar.

At the time, she impressed me with her energy. She was highly charged, but while a little sassy, she was upbeat and positive.

We ended up talking for hours about who knows what.

I will also say that while we did kiss and got affectionate quite a bit that night, we did not have sex that night. As an older man who’d had 4 serious and a couple of less serious relationships, it is impressive when a woman doesn’t have sex on the first date.

That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have done it or wasn’t thinking about it.

But it does tell me that she doesn’t just give it away to anyone, and when it did happen it was that much more special. Plus we had gotten to know each other a little bit better too.

But the top qualities that a younger woman can show to an older man to impress him would include:

  • Confidence
  • Positivity
  • Sassy/flirty
  • Make him work for it a little

Why am I sexually attracted to an older man?

Why is anyone sexually attracted to anyone?

If we get a little metaphysical for a minute, let’s acknowledge that everything in the universe is made of energy. And like when you played with magnets as a kid, sometimes that energy repels and sometimes it attracts.

But we don’t usually know which until we try it.

Yes, there could also be childhood or daddy issues at play too, but if you’re in your 20s and find yourself attracted to guys in their 30s or 40s, it could also just be that they seem like they have their act together better than the average 25-year-old guy.

Younger guys driving late ’90s Toyotas with bean bag chairs in the apartment they share with 3 other dudes just aren’t as appealing as the guy who owns his own home and carries himself with more confidence and maturity.

Now if you do have a damaged or non-existent relationship with your Dad, that is worth exploring with a good therapist so you can work through that.

After all, when we bring unhealthy baggage into a relationship with anyone of any age, it stands a much higher chance of failure.

But it’s OK to be drawn to a sexy older man who has his act together.

How do you keep an older man?

I won’t lie.

When my ex-wife and I were still dating, we did break up a couple of times. We had both exited past relationships right before we met, and neither of us was in a great place mentally to start a new serious relationship.

That being said, we also both knew this was something special, like a soulmate.

The signs of a soulmate (click to read them on my site) aren’t always clear, and they don’t always show up in our lives at the perfect time. But when they do, we often just “know”.

Just click the link to read all the most important soulmate signs coincidences in a recent article on my site.

But to keep an older man engaged and getting him to see you as a serious partner and not just a fun fling, use these tips:

  • Be yourself – Be confident, engaging, and upbeat. You want him to fall for the “real” you
  • Take an interest in his world, likes, and passions
  • Avoid insecurities – He may have kids, or an ex, or female friends. These things sometimes come with age. They don’t mean you can’t be his everything eventually. But jealousy and being neurotic can definitely push him away.
  • Spend time doing a variety of things and not just going out
  • Ask questions. While you also have a lot to share, there is wisdom just in the sheer number of extra years he’s been around
  • Engage with his friends and co-workers – show him you’re serious about getting to know his world
  • Avoid childish behavior – Everyone of every age sometimes does this, but nothing will remind him more of the age difference than you doing this with any frequency

Final thoughts

In this post, we took a detailed look at relationships women have with older men.

Every relationship comes with certain challenges. So we compiled a list of the top pros and cons of dating older men. That way you can analyze whether dating older men or staying in your current relationship with an older man is right for you.

What is the age difference in your relationship?

About the co-author of this post:

Georgia Selih is author By nature an artist, by profession a journalist. An irreparable print lover who is enjoying this hot digital affair.
pros and cons of dating older men Middle Class Dad Georgia profile pic

Photo credits which require attribution:

Torino. What else? (George Clooney) by Fulvio Spada is licensed by CC2.0


Jeff Campbell

Alexis Cooper

Friday 27th of March 2020

Hi Jeff, I’ve been seeing this older guy for about a year now, he’s 49 and I’m 24, me and my daughter lives with him and his son who is 16 and doesn’t approve because of the big gap in our age.. I love the man so much, we connect on a whole level that I never thought I’d connect with anyone, but I’m kinda to embarrassed to be seen out in public.. how can I change that? Thank you

Jeff Campbell

Friday 27th of March 2020

Hi Alexis

There's a 17 year age gap with my wife and me, and I'm sure she struggled with that too early on (we've been married almost 15 years now). With his son, bear in mind at age 16, everything in the world can be frustrating. I have a 13-year-old daughter, but I also remember being 16. My relationship with my mom was never worse than it was then. He's not only dealing with the fact that you're closer to his age than his Dad's, but also the loss of his mom and dad's relationship. Even if their relationship wasn't great and needed to end, it's still a huge loss to kids. And you're being there in the house sort of symbolizes the end of that, even if you had nothing to do with their breakup.

Also, I would suggest trying not to take the son's actions personally and to just be there and offer support. Don't try and win the son over with material things. There's a good chance he's trying to push you away to see if you stop trying. And if you keep trying, he'll see that you aren't going anywhere and will begin to draw closer to you.

With the 49-year-old, you say you're "embarrassed to be seen out in public". Is that because of his appearance? If so, I recommend helping him on it without seeming critical; whether it's going clothes shopping with him, treating him to a great haircut at a salon, etc. If it's just the age gap, in general, that makes you uncomfortable and you're worried people might think you're his daughter, that's just something you'll have to work through.

With my wife and me, we didn't quite have that as the age gap was smaller and I tend to look younger than my age. But we did have to work through our insecurities and learn to not care what others thought. If you are happy, that's all that will really matter to your friends and family. And if someone doesn't like it despite your being happy, if I were you, I'd spend less time with that person if I thought I had made my feelings clear.

I hope that helps!

Thanks for being here and keep me posted!


Sara A

Sunday 8th of September 2019

Hi Jeff, I am currently 25 and the guy that I'm interested in is 47. We've been friends for a few months and have gotten drinks on multiple occasions. We both know we are interested in each other but he is hesitant to pursue anything more due to the age gap. He's said things along the lines of how he might ruin my chances with some other guy my own age who could make me happier for longer. I would still like to give it a go, but he is worried about me being alone. Not sure what to do exactly.

Sara A

Jeff Campbell

Monday 9th of September 2019

Hi Sara

Well, there's a 17 year age gap between my wife and (she was 24 when we met and I was 41). So we were fairly close to the age gap between you two. Now, we didn't discuss age at first. I thought maybe she was late 20 and she probably thought I was late 30's. It was only later we realized it was 17 years.

It's noble for him to claim to be worried about preventing you from meeting guys your own age, but when I read that it did make me wonder if that was 100% honest on his part. For me, I think if he's interested and you're interested, it really shouldn't matter that much. You go on more dates and see what kind of common interests you have and see if there's chemistry between the two of you. Then over time, you get into seeing what kind of goals each of you have and if there is common ground there.

My wife and I shared a great deal in common. We both wanted to start a family (which I hadn't done previously) and we shared political beliefs and had a lot of common ground on parenting styles and how we viewed the world. In fact, I would honestly say, at least from my point of view, our age difference has never been an issue. Now when I'm 80 and she's 63, maybe that will change. But honestly, it's an incentive for me to stay focused on my health and staying in good shape.

If you haven't been 100% clear with him (guys can be a little dense sometimes), I would start by being 100% crystal clear that you would like to date and have a relationship with him and see where it goes. If you have been totally clear and he's still got a lot of excuses, then I would take that as he's not interested but somehow feels like it's kinder to blame it on the age difference.

Hope that helps. Let me know how it goes!



Saturday 20th of October 2018

Thank you for this wonderful post. It hits home and is encouragement. I am a younger woman in a relationship with someone 26 years older than me. Our relationship is beyond great and we plan to get married, but like you said, there are cons, and that specifically is due to stereotyping and family. Thank you for getting awareness out there and sharing this.

New Middle Class Dad

Saturday 20th of October 2018

Thanks for taking the time to comment!

As a husband who is 17 years older than my wife, I can definitely a test that the challenges are different when the two people are similar in age, but I definitely wouldn't have it any other way and I don't think my wife would either. We've been happily married now for over 12 years!

Thanks for being here, Jeff


Friday 26th of January 2018

So I been seeing this guy, we are pretty much good friends with benefits, he is 45 and I am 34, He doesn't want to commit because he is worried about the age difference as far as me not being in my prime yet and worrying about when he gets older and has equipment issues. How do I make that not an issue to him?

- Diana C

New Middle Class Dad

Saturday 27th of January 2018

Hi Diana

Thanks for commenting. At the time of my response I'm 53 and my wife is about to turn 37; a 16.5 year age difference. In your case the age difference is barely over a decade. It's also not uncommon for guys to be older in relationships, so my first thought, which admittedly could be totally off base, is that there is some other reason he's scared to commit. If he's concerned about ED issues, those will be concerns no matter who his partner is and there are manageable soltutions to that issue too. If it was a 20+ year age difference I could accept him being cautious but an 11 year difference is fairly common.

You mention "seeing him" but also describe him as a friend with benefits, and to me, those are 2 different things. If you're dating, then the relationship should be progressing and should involve more than just sex and would fairly quickly become exclusive. In the other scenario while you might hang out some platonically you wouldn't be going on dates and the relationship would mostly be sexual. There would also not likely be any agreement about being exclusive.

I suggest describing exactly what you're looking for in the relationship, letting him know you're prepared to be patient about issues relating to aging and see what his response is. Don't put demands or expectations on him, just clearly and plainly say what you want from the relationship.

If he's not on board then I would probably end the relationship altogether unless you are able to separate the sexual relationship from your feelings.

Hope that helps. Feel free to chime in with additional info if you think it helps or follow up after you've had that conversation.