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Why Am I Attracted To Older Men? (17 Compelling Reasons)

Do you find yourself consistently attracted to older men? Whether they’re a few years or even decades older, there can be something irresistible about an older man. Unfortunately, there can be a stigma around dating older men and some people will judge you both for your relationship.

Let’s look at why you might want to date an older guy, and why it’s not just as simple as “daddy issues.” I’ll also give you a few tips to make your relationship with your ‘silver fox’ more likely to succeed.

Key Takeaways

  • There are many different reasons why you might be attracted to someone older than you
  • There are challenges associated with dating older men, but you can overcome them
  • Talk to your partner about the challenges and face them together as a couple

Why Am I Attracted to Older Men

1. Older men can be a source of stability

One of the attractive features of an older man can be that they give you a sense of safety and stability. If you’re naturally an anxious person or you’ve faced a lot of struggles in your life, it can be tempting to feel as though you have a partner who has life figured out.

This kind of stability can include them being financially stable, which means you don’t have to worry about money as much, but this isn’t the only way that an older man can bring stability into your life. It isn’t even the main one.

An older man can be more emotionally stable, offering you the opportunity to connect with someone who can handle both their own emotions and yours. This makes it easier for you to open up. Their experience means that it’s harder to surprise or shock them.

They’re also less changeable than younger men, which can also feel more secure. Their personality and their likes and dislikes might be more stable than if you dated someone your own age.

There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with liking stability. Lots of us want stability from our partners, no matter how old they are. The important thing is that we’re not getting into a romantic relationship solely because we want security. That wouldn’t be fair to you or your partner.

Make sure that your attraction is genuine and based on more than just a desire for stability.

2. Older men are more mature

Stating the obvious, older men are more mature than younger ones. That’s pretty much the definition of maturity. That can be an attractive prospect, especially if you’ve been dating guys who have been showing their immaturity.

If you’re regularly attracted to older guys for their calmness, emotional strength, and integrity, you might be someone who is attracted to maturity in men.

Of course, not all older men are mature, and not all younger men are immature. Often the difficulty is that it can be harder to tell whether an older man is actually a more mature man, or whether he’s just older.

3. An older man might be more confident

Life is complicated and full of challenging situations. Most of us feel insecure about our ability to handle some (or even all) of those challenges. It’s not surprising that younger men can lack confidence in themselves and their abilities.

In contrast, older men have already faced most of those challenges and they’ve dealt with them. They don’t lack confidence or feel insecure because they’ve already succeeded in life.[1] They’re also less likely to feel insecure about themselves and their identity.

4. You don’t want to allow someone too close

Another possible reason for being attracted to older guys is that you might have difficulty allowing other people to get close to you. If you see age-gap relationships as unsustainable in the long term, they can be a safe way to have a relationship without having to really commit.[2]

Again, this doesn’t have to be a problem, provided that you’re aware of what you’re doing and that you’re honest with your older man about how you see your relationship progressing. For some people, it can actually be healthy to have a loving, affectionate relationship that isn’t always focused on going up the relationship escalator

5. You’re attracted by how he feels about you

We tend to think about our partners in terms of what we want and our personal preferences. That isn’t entirely accurate, though. We’re also affected by how other people feel about us.[3] For some people, being desired can be a relationship catnip.

Older men can often be even more enthusiastic and overawed by young women than younger men. They know that they’re incredibly lucky to find themselves a gorgeous younger woman. If your older man is captivated by you, and especially if he’s vocal about his appreciation, this can make him much more attractive.

Being more attracted to someone because of how they feel about you isn’t a problem, as long as it doesn’t create a power imbalance between you. If they’re strongly physically attracted to you but you’re only slightly attracted to them, this can make your relationship unbalanced and unstable.

6. He’s just an incredible guy

Younger woman kissing an older guy

So far, we’ve been assuming that your attraction to your older guy is because he’s older. That’s not always the case. In fact, his age might have nothing to do with your attraction. He might just be an incredible guy who ticks all of your boxes.

One sign that you’re just attracted to this specific older guy rather than older men in general is that you date a wide range of ages. You’re responding to the individual people, rather than specific expectations or qualities.

7. An older man can be an unselfish lover

If you’ve dated older men in the past, you might have discovered one of the big advantages of going older; older men are often great lovers. If you haven’t dated older men, this might sound surprising.

Younger men will usually be stronger and have more stamina, but (contrary to the lessons of porn) great sex doesn’t depend on being able to continue for hours on end or in gravity-defying positions. It’s about paying attention to your partner and responding to what they enjoy. Older men have usually learned this lesson.

Obviously, not all older men are great in bed. Some men don’t get better with experience. They’ve just been bad in bed for longer. Those who do learn, however, can be incredible. 

8. He’s too old for mind games

One of the worst parts about dating a younger or less mature guy is the mind games. He might play hard-to-get, compete over who texts first, or have some other random mind game or set of expectations about relationships that makes sense to him but leaves you feeling off balance or disrespected.

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Older guys have usually been through that and, hopefully, learned that it’s a complete waste of time and effort. They’re simple, straightforward, and honest about their feelings, which can be a refreshing change to someone used to ghosting, gaslighting, and more.

9. You want someone to take care of you

One of the advantages of dating an older man is that he might be someone who can take care of you, and who actually wants to. There can be something deeply attractive about someone who is caring and protective in this way.

This can be associated with the “daddy issues” that so many people will talk about when they find out that you’re dating an older man. In some cases, your older partner’s care and affection can help you heal childhood wounds.

10. It’s a way to avoid dating a man-child

If you’ve dated young men recently, and especially if you’ve been living with one, you might know what it’s like to date a “man-child.” These are men who don’t take responsibility for themselves or look after themselves. Dating one of these men can leave you feeling like a combination of a parent and an irritated kindergarten teacher.

When you’re dating an older man, he’s much less likely to be a man-child. Again, it’s not impossible, but it’s far less likely. He’s probably lived by himself and he’s had to take care of himself. He’s learned responsibility and self-sufficiency, which is highly attractive.

In my experience, older men who are still irresponsible are even worse at hiding it than younger guys. If you’re dating an older guy who seems to have it together, you can probably be sure that he really does.

11. He treats you well

Older men can also have different expectations for how to treat someone they’re dating from younger men, and those standards can be genuinely lovely. For example, he might be more likely to suggest a proper date rather than just a casual hookup.

12. You want to have children now

If you’re keen to start a family soon, you might find that older men are more likely to be at a similar point in their lives. Younger men might still be starting out in their careers and enjoying spending their free time hanging out with friends and drinking beers.

Not all older men will want children. Some will already have a family of their own and others might be happily child-free. There is a significant subset of older men who are looking to have children with a younger woman, however, and they can make wonderful, dedicated fathers.

13. He has more time for you

Some older men will find that they have more free time to spend with you. Again, they have their lives a bit more sorted out. They don’t have to work long hours to get noticed by their boss. They might even have retired and have lots of spare time.

If you want a partner to have lots of time to devote to you, an older man might fit the bill.

14. It’s just your natural preference

You don’t feel the need to analyze why you prefer blonde men over those with dark hair or that you’d rather date someone slim than someone with big muscles. Not all of our preferences reflect something deep and meaningful in our past or our psyche.

You might just like older men because you like older men. There doesn’t always have to be anything more to it than that.

Older Man, Younger Woman: Relationship Psychology

Old and young couple by the window

If you’re in an age-gap relationship with a much older man, it’s sensible to ask whether you should be worried about the age gap between you. Here are some of the most important things you need to understand.

Daddy issues

When you date an older man, people are quick to suggest that this is due to ‘daddy issues’. They mean that you didn’t have a fulfilling relationship with your father and so you’re looking for a surrogate to fulfill that role.

In reality, we all react to people in our lives based on the patterns we learned in childhood and lots of people date partners who help them to heal a childhood wound. There isn’t actually anything wrong with that. It can even be healthy as long as it doesn’t create a damaging power imbalance between you.

Power imbalance

One of the biggest risks of an age-gap relationship is that it can lead to a power imbalance between you and your partner. This doesn’t always mean that he has more power than you. Some older guys are so flattered by having a younger girlfriend that they’ll do anything to keep you, and that’s not healthy either.

Older women will typically call older men out when they behave badly. Younger women can be less likely to do this because they assume that the older man has more experience. This can also create a difficult power dynamic.

Check whether there’s a power imbalance in your relationship with an older man. Can you see the things that he does wrong and express yourself when something doesn’t work for you? Does he take your interests and desires seriously? If so, you’re probably doing great.

Different life stages

Dating a much older man means that you’re probably at different life stages which means that you might have different expectations. He might have already done lots of the things that you want to do. You risk missing out on some of the experiences that other women your age are experiencing. You need to decide whether this is a trade-off you’re happy to make.

You also need to think about how things are going to work in the long term. Be aware that he’s likely to need much more care as he becomes older. Are you ok with that if it’s needed? If you do have children, what does this mean about how long they’ll have their father in their lives? 

None of these things mean that there’s anything wrong with an age-gap relationship. They’re just additional factors that you will usually want to consider. 

How to Make It Work

1. Set boundaries with people who judge you

It’s understandable for the people who love you to worry about you being in an age-gap relationship with a much older man, but that doesn’t mean that you should have to deal with unkindness or judgment.

Listen to their concerns and explain how you feel about your partner, but then draw a line under the conversation. Make it clear that you’ve taken their comments on board but that your relationship is your business and it’s not up for discussion.[4]

2. Talk about the challenges you face

One of the key features of a strong relationship is that you face problems together as a couple. This is especially important when you’re in a relationship with a much older man. Talk about the difficult situations you’re facing and things that you’re finding difficult.

3. Make plans for the future

Dating an older guy means that you’ll have to think about the future a bit more than you might with someone who is younger. Discuss topics such as old age, illness, disability, and death to make sure that you have similar thoughts and expectations.

One of the most important steps is to make sure that you both write wills. Remember that he might want to leave his money and property to any children he already has. That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love or care about you. He just has multiple different responsibilities that he needs to balance.

4. Do things by yourself

One of the possible disadvantages of dating an older guy is that he might not be interested in doing all of the things that other people your age are doing. One way to deal with that is to make sure that you still do things alone as well as the activities you enjoy as a couple.

In fact, doing activities alone can be helpful in many ways. It’s an opportunity for you to be independent and make sure that you trust your own judgment, rather than always relying on his.

5. Don’t defer to him automatically

Finally, make sure that you don’t fall into the habit of assuming that he always knows best. He will probably have more life experience than you, but that doesn’t mean that his decisions or opinions will always be the right ones. 

Take his thoughts into consideration, but ask plenty of questions and don’t be afraid to form your own beliefs.


Is it normal to be attracted to much older men?

There are lots of women who like older men, even much older ones. 8% of couples have an age gap of over 10 years and many go much older.[5] Dating older men might mean that you have “daddy issues,” but this isn’t a given. You can have perfectly healthy reasons.

What are the challenges of dating a much older man

Dating an older man can have pitfalls. You might find a power imbalance between you as he has more resources and experience than you. You might also face judgment from people you care about and you’ll have to consider old age and death sooner than your peers.

How can I have a good relationship with a much older man?

Having a good relationship with a much older man relies on the same ingredients as any other; honesty, trust, and communication. You will also need to think carefully about the future and make plans for events that would be a long way off if you were dating someone younger.


Dating a much older guy can be rewarding, especially if you’re relatively mature yourself. Be alert to the potential risks and have open discussions about your relationship to make sure that it stays healthy.

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Whether you're married or just started dating someone, infidelity rates have risen by over 40% in the past 20 years, so your concerns are justified.

Do you want to find out if he's texting other women behind your back? Or if he has an active Tinder or dating profile? Or even worse, if he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?

This tool can help by uncovering hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more, potentially putting your doubts to rest.

5 Sources:
  1. Harrington, C. (2021). What is “toxic masculinity” and why does it matter? Men and Masculinities, 24(2), 345–352.
  2. Lehmiller, J. J., & Christopher, R. A. (2008). Commitment in Age-Gap Heterosexual Romantic Relationships: A Test of Evolutionary and Socio-Cultural Predictions. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 32(1), 74–82.
  3. Luo, S., & Zhang, G. (2009). What Leads to Romantic Attraction: Similarity, Reciprocity, Security, or Beauty? Evidence From a Speed-Dating Study. Journal of Personality, 77(4), 933–964.
  4. Whitfield, C. L. (2010). Boundaries and relationships : knowing, protecting, and enjoying the self. Health Communications, Inc.
  5. Rush, I. R. (2022). Age Gaps in Relationships: Do They Matter? PsyCom.

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