Dating Advice from Liz: You're probably not looking for a posse; you're probably looking for one person who's a good fit for you. Making anything anyone thinks they can say is universally true about "men" or "women" rather irrelevent at the end of the day.
I got more than one email this week from a guy on OKCupid who was way over my desired age range, which goes up to 46. I am 41. Historically speaking, I've tended to date younger than myself, and I prefer to date someone right around my own age. This doesn't preclude the possibility that in real life I might not find myself dating someone older, but it would be surprising.
Emails from older guys on OKCupid despite my stated preference, at this point: not surprising. They often make mention of the fact that they are outside my desired age range. And then they email me anyway.
I sympathize with how they might be feeling. It's a bummer when you read a profile, love it, and then discover that you're too old for that person. It happens to me quite frequently.
The only difference is, I'm looking at a profile of someone who's the same age as me, and these dudes are looking at the profile of someone ten years younger than themselves.
Oh, and also, I respect what people say they're looking for, and I don't send emails to people who aren't looking for me.
I have a couple of personal online dating rules in regards to dating age range:
- I will not date anyone who's desired age range doesn't include their own age. (Just not a match.)
- I try not to interact with anyone who's desired age range doesn't include my own age. (Just rude.)
I asked my friends on my Facebook yesterday:
For a potential blog post - Thoughts on guys whose upper limit in their desired age range in their online dating profiles is 3 to 4 years younger than their own age, GO:
Thank you to everyone who responded with such a great variety of answers. To briefly address the more obvious thoughts, I'm not talking about profiles of men who want, or may want kids (where I never get so far as looking at age range), and many men in their 40s are way too mature for their age, not the other way around like maybe I might agree it is in high school and your 20s. But honestly, I was less actually mature in my 20s, so much as I was just perfectly trained to do all the things that are traditionally attached to the word "maturity" to gain the approval of society.
When I first began online dating, I do remember that I tended to feel like "Order up!" Like you can just be really specific and put in your dream date's stats, and just use online dating for that dynamic. So some of it is probably that.
I find myself tempted to change my age range to an upper limit of 37 or 38. Just to see what it looks like, and what it feels like to do that. I get shit from people because I generally don't want to date someone in their 50s, but it's totally socially acceptable for a guy to dismiss out of hand someone their own age. What an amazing privilege that is! I kind of want to try it on for size, especially because it's rather rare for me to meet someone my own age who matches me in terms of energy and lifestyle.
I don't do that because it would be silly. But I do wish that OKCupid made it possible to block emails from guys outside my desired age range, and to remove from searches anyone who isn't looking for someone who's 41. A girl can dream... of superior online application functionality. So hot.
In the end, the why of some men dating exclusively younger than themselves doesn't really matter, nor does the extent of the phenomenon. It just is what it is, and I'm not looking for a posse.