No boy is left behind
I am a woman in my early twenties. I am considered pretty, and I’m in good shape. I started dating much older men (in their 40s and early 50s). I love that they’re grown-ups and I don’t become a girlfriend-slash-nanny, motivation coach, and CV editor like when I date guys my age. But these older men and I are at different stages of life with different goals. They want to get married much sooner than I do, or they have had children and don’t want more. How can I trick my brain into wanting men my age who are less mature emotionally and otherwise?
– Elder Dating
In my 20s, moving from Michigan to Manhattan, I was quite Grandpa’s hunter. I have a weakness for the inhabited male face and the mature mind. But at the time I felt personally and professionally adrift–not sure who I was and what I wanted to do. In the end, I think I was drawn to much older men the same way Kate Winslet’s character was drawn to the door she held onto when the Titanic fell.
These men had what you might call stability: established careers in impressive and prestigious fields, and they lived in civilized apartments (unlike my sinister walk-up, so small you could breathe or think; pick one). But, now, looking through the prism of evolutionary psychology, the attributes that attracted me reflect the evolved preference of women for men who can “invest”: to provide for a wife and all the children they have. together.
This priority of females, found in all cultures and even species, has surely evolved because it is females (with the exception of seahorses, pipefish and sea dragons) who get pregnant and leave babies to feed. . Because the dangers of single motherhood were not an issue for ancestral men, men evolved to prioritize physical attractiveness. This preference is considered “superficial”, although it is anything but. Characteristics that attract men–smooth and unblemished skin, shiny hair, full lips and youthfulness–are clues about a woman’s health and fertility. Men who rather had a crush on wrinkled 70-year-old ladies would have left no descendants to pass on their biddy-banger genes.
In all cultures, the other characteristics most sought after in men and women are kindness, intelligence and good health. Most of us can’t have it all; we have to adjust to some extent. But evolutionary psychologists David Buss and Todd Shackelford find that women who are very attractive physically and therefore have high mate value wanted all four of a group of partner characteristics in a man–those who say that: 1. It will invest. 2. He will be a good parent. 3. He will be a loving partner. 4. He has good genes to pass on (suggested by his physical health, masculinity and sexiness).
If you have a high partner value–physically attractive, with other qualities that men look for in a partner (kindness, intelligence, etc.)–you will probably feel less inclined to settle down. This creates some challenges. Much older men can be a bad bet for a number of reasons, including crushing child support, sperm past their prime, and the possibility that you are changing a baby and husband in a relatively short time. short.
Sadly, in many younger men, 30 appears to be the new 18. Financially, the pitfalls of an adult life (like a house and children) are out of reach for many young people in a way that they are. were not in the past. Plus, since casual sex is widely available, young dudes are in no rush to end Tinder Rando’s sex parade with an “I want it”. Finally, many of this generation grew up with a helicopter, without the “Be home by dark!” independence from us who grew up in the 70s and 80s. Many got trophies just for showing up and were not asked to do chores or were allowed to ignore them. Does it really come as a shock when a guy doesn’t appear at 23 loaded with adult responsibilities and instead wants to play World of, uh, Warcrack all day while you write his CV and cover letters?
Your best bet is probably to look for guys that are a bit older.–in your late twenties or early thirties–who may not be fully together in their careers and finances but show potential. They are ambitious, intelligent, and hardworking men with reasonable goals (i.e. goals that seem achievable without the services of a wizard). Look for the signs they care about more than their own immediate comfort and ease–like noticing when you’re cold and giving you their jacket.
To be fair, there are women with much older male partners who have happy, fulfilling, and maybe even magical, relationships. Still, a good rule of thumb might be that a guy is probably too old for you if, when he was your age, he might have called you “baby”, but “3 month old fetus” would have been more medically accurate. .