Random Thoughts On Age Differences Between Men and Women

Nov 12, 2004

The Bottom Line While age differences may not seem to be a big "deal" in many relationships, this does seem to make a difference for women when they "hit" their 40s.

Age is a state of mind. That, by far, is one of my favorite things to say when individuals point out how “old” I am. The truth be known, though, I do not know how to “feel” 47 years old. It is just inconceivable that I am “old”.

In some places, the senior citizen discount starts at age 55. That’s less than 8 years for me now. Does this mean that I am about to be “old” or a “senior citizen”? God forbid!

Yet, what does age have to do in the entire spectrum of life? Who makes up the rules as to how individuals can act or be at a certain age? And who is the person who made up the “rule” that the man must be older than a woman, but not “too” much older?

With those questions in place, I’d like to address some of my thoughts on age issues and whether or not these are relevant in relationships.

The Man Must Be Older Than the Woman

I have no idea who made that rule up, but in my life the opposite has seemingly been the scenario. In 90 percent of the relationships that I have been involved in, I have been older than the man. Now this may not be but a couple of months, but the bottom line is that when the relationship developed, this was just the way it turned out to be.

After all, I do not know of many people when becoming close to another person even in friendship to boldly come out and ask that other person: “How old are you?” Does that really matter at that stage? When you are with another person and getting to know them, you have a general sense of how old a person is by the way that they look, their mannerisms and so forth. So, why push the issue?

When things have gone past that initial stage that is when I discovered that I was older than the man. Did that matter? In some cases, the man was very uncomfortable. I have yet to understand the reasoning for that. Is it really a big deal?

It isn’t to me, so why do people care? I’ve seen parents cringe when meeting their child’s potential mate, only to find out the age is out of sync in this manner. They seem to believe that it is a tragedy, and that the woman is robbing the man from the nest. I really don’t get that either.

Now I can understand perhaps if the woman is 35 and the man is 18. But even then, whose business is it if both individuals are of age? As I said before, I don’t get it.

Marrying a Person who is 15 years Older/Younger Than You is a Mistake!

Again, if the individuals are consenting, who cares?

One of my best friends married a man who is 19 years older than her. I have to admit that when she did that, I was very concerned for her. Even though she was in her early 20s, I did not know if she really realized what she was doing.

However, she has been married now for over 25 years! So, who was wrong in that thinking. More than this, I see lots of heads turn when a woman marries a man who is 15 to 20 years younger than she is. Again whose business is that if they are mature and consenting adults who are aware of what they are doing.

When Age Does Make a Difference

There is one instance where I have seen where age differences do make a difference even if the ages are very minute.

That instance is when the woman is in her 40s. In Sleepless in Seattle, there was a reference that it is easier to be killed by a terrorist than to get a husband after the age of 40. Now that was written a long time ago when it probably was very unlikely to get killed by a terrorist, but even with that increased risk, let’s face it – it probably is very unlikely that a person is going to get killed by a terrorist in this country.

Returning back to subject though, I would like to address this issue. If you take a woman in her 40s and find a man in his 40s, and put them together – you will find that the situation may arise that even if the two are compatible the man may not ask the woman for marriage.


The reason may remain that the man is desiring to have his own children by his own blood. This is very evident in men who have never married by that time. Usually a woman in her mid-40s is finished with childbearing, but a man still may desire fatherhood at that age.

With that in store, it is very likely that a man would seek to find a woman in her early 30s in order to be able to father children, and even possibly settle for a less compatible woman because of that.

But is that right? Right or wrong, that is irreverent, because it is the truth.

Women who are in their 40s really seem to be more likely to not become married, at least until she becomes in her upper 40s and becomes more attractive to men who are in their 50s. At that point both of them are usually content with being “over” with childbearing and living their lives as potential grandparents instead.

So What’s a 40ish Woman to Do?

Now that’s a good question since I am now at this age and experiencing these things! I meet wonderful men who would be an ideal spouse for me, and great father for my teenager, and the men don’t seem to want to commit in that fashion.

Now many of them are noncommittal because they just don’t want to get married – they want to play and get whatever they can for free (which is NOTHING from me, because I don’t play). However, I see that the age issue is indeed one of the main things that seem to be causing my potential relationships to falter.

It appears that even though I look remarkably younger than my 47 years, that as soon as these men find out how “old” I am, they bolt away to the younger women who in numerous instances are not compatible to them at all! Many marry quickly, have those children that they so “desire” and then find heartache as they find themselves in a loveless relationship or a divorce.

So what should a 40ish woman do? Lying is really out of the question because that would lead to the entire relationship being based in deception. Throwing oneself at a man is out of the question as well, because that just shows how desperate she is.

My best advice to a woman who is in her 40s is to just be herself and content with her life on her own. Find out what your purpose is in life in relationship to Christ and then pursue that purpose. Find contentment and peace with God.

And as you find satisfaction with your life the way it is, I have found that men will begin to gravitate to you as you blossom in your maturity. Then when the right man comes who is no longer chasing a hopeless dream, you will discover a treasure of men who are filled with confidence and secure in their own identities. And the issues of age will become again truly moot once more – as you continue together on life’s journey.

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