Why Am I Attracted to Older Men? (According to Experts)

Have you ever asked yourself why you’re drawn to older men? Is it because they seem more mature, stable, and experienced in certain areas of life?

What is it about them that pulls you in and makes them so appealing? Is there any explanation behind this attraction?

If these questions are things you’ve always been curious about, you’ve come to the right place.

According to relationship experts, here are reasons why you are attracted to older men:

Amelia Prinn

Amelia Prinn

Relationship Expert and Editor in Chief, Her Way

The heart wants what it wants. But you can’t help but wonder why your heart happens to want an older man. Is it just a mere coincidence? In my seven years of work as a relationship expert, I noticed a pattern. 

There are a few common reasons why some women fall for older men:

Older men are emotionally stable and mature

Or at least you expect them to be. That is precisely one of the reasons you’re attracted to them.

  • They have mastered the art of communication
  • They have reached amazing levels of self-awareness
  • They are not afraid to show their feelings
  • They are realistic
  • They have a lot more patience than average guys of your age

Basically, an older man has no doubts about what he wants. And the best part is that he isn’t afraid to get it either.

Related: How to Figure out What You Want in a Relationship

An older man knows how to please a woman

Many people will assume that younger guys are better in the bedroom. After all, they’re probably fit and have more physical strength. Little do they know that experience beats all of this.

An older man knows how to please a woman. He has probably slept with more women than a guy your age and has encountered different types of females. He has had more than one chance to learn from his mistakes, which led him to perfection.

Besides, he has spent an entire eternity trying to figure out his preferences in the bedroom. He is not afraid to talk about sex and to tell you how to please him better.

At the end of the day, you don’t want to be someone’s learning experience. You don’t want a guy who needs teaching—that is why you are attracted to men who know what they’re doing.

They have a clear vision of the future

One thing that pushes you away from guys your age is their inconsistency. In most cases, they play mind games and send mixed signals. You don’t know where you stand and don’t have the time or energy to figure it out.

Related: Why Do Some Men Pull Away When They Are Falling in Love?

That is exactly why you go to older men. These men don’t have a problem putting a label on your relationship and have a clear vision of the future. They don’t play hard to get, and they see hot and cold games as a waste of time.

What woman wouldn’t be attracted to something like this?

You’re looking for a father figure in the men you’re dating

When you tell someone that you’re attracted to older men, most people will accuse you of having unresolved daddy issues. Even though this might sound like an empty phrase, most experts, including myself, will state that there is some truth to it.

According to some research, many young girls who go after older guys have dealt with an absent father in their childhood. 

I’m not talking about a physically absent father here only. Your father might be a figure in your life, but he was never actually emotionally present. He didn’t provide you with everything you craved; now, you’re trying to heal your inner child. 

So, what are you doing? You’re looking for a father figure in the men you’re dating. This is especially true for women who didn’t have a father at all while growing up.

Even though having “daddy issues” is not a psychological condition, it really can impact your relationships with men. Simply put, you’re looking for a father replacement—a man who will give you everything your father failed to provide.

You’re searching for financial security most men your age cannot give you

Dating an older man doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a gold digger looking for a sugar daddy. But the truth is that you’re searching for financial security most men your age cannot give you. 

You want security in the sense that you won’t be stuck with someone you have to support in the end. You don’t like the notion of being the only one earning and providing, so an older man with a steady job gives you the confidence it won’t come to that.

You see it as an opportunity to learn new things

When you meet an older man, he can knock you off your feet with his rich life experience in a blink of an eye. You see this relationship as an opportunity to learn new things — something you can’t do with a guy your age.

Instead of guiding him through life, you let him take the lead. He shows you the way because he has already gone down all the roads you’re just now venturing.

Michaela Bosquet Lambert

Michaela Bosquet Lambert

Transformational Love Coach, Your Second Soulmate

It’s their sense of security

Being with an older man can give a woman a sense of security, as he is usually more established in his career and has achieved more financial stability than his younger counterparts. 

In this case, attraction comes from female hardwiring, especially if a woman’s biological clock is ticking. It’s far easier for her to consider having children if the man has the financial means to take care of her and the kids.

They give the opportunity to heal old wounds

We often choose partners who give us the chance to heal wounds that have been sustained during our formative years. 

If your father was absent or if you spent a lot of your childhood chasing his affection and approval, then the chances are that you’ll subconsciously be attracted to an older man with some of the traits you associate with your father. 

We are usually drawn to these relationships out of an underlying desire to heal the father’s wound through a “father figure” relationship.

There is likely a two-way fascination

If there is a significant age gap, there will likely be a two-way fascination. The younger woman (mainly if she’s attractive) will boost the older man’s perceived status and make him feel like he has won a grand prize.

Consequently, he will treat the woman better than her previous (younger) partners had treated her.

In return, the younger woman will: 

  • Tend to treat the older man with more respect than women of his own age would treat him. 
  • She will also appreciate his more mature outlook on life which might seem more attractive than the younger men she had previously dated. 
  • She is more likely to respect his point of view and the wisdom that comes from his experience in life.

Related: How to Be More Mature in a Relationship

An older man who has already lived a full life before coming together with his younger partner can be extremely attractive.

Christan Marashio

Christan Marashio

Certified Dating Coach and Behavior Specialist, Dateology Coach

It’s because of your attachment style

Who we’re attracted to is often informed by our attachment style and relationship with our primary caregiver. 

If someone with an anxious, avoidant, or disorganized attachment style finds themselves repeatedly drawn to the same type of person, that could result from repetition compulsion. This is a result of a core wound that needs resolution

Sometimes we’re unconsciously drawn to older partners in an attempt to meet a need previously unmet by our primary caregiver. We repeat the pattern as a way to self-soothe

Unfortunately, the relief is usually temporary. Due to the maladaptive attachment style, we’re ultimately drawn to people incapable of meeting our needs long-term or consistently. So the cycle continues.

They have an unshakeable sense of who they are

In 2022, women aren’t looking for providers. They’re looking for equals. They want a man with an unshakeable sense of who they are so they don’t have to make themselves smaller to be more palatable. 

A man with life experience is more likely to understand the complexities of identity and appreciate a woman’s emotional intelligence without feeling threatened by either.

Dyann Bridges

Life, Relationship, and Performance Coach, The Relaters Manual for Men | Author, “The Relaters Manual

It’s a matter of transference

When I’ve heard female clients say how attracted they are to older men, it’s usually because they had a strong attachment to their father in a positive way. 

He made her feel safe and comforted as a girl. He was the protector she needed. The girl loved her father because of these qualities.

As a girl matures sexually, she can transfer these feelings of love and affection she had toward her father toward an older man. It feels natural, especially if the older man makes her feel the same way her father did. 

When we’re young, our minds are not discerning. The young are emotional and instinctual. As a girl goes through puberty, she’s often catapulted into the throes of hormonal chaos. 

Her father may be the one male who gives her a sense of stability during this time. If she is heterosexual, it feels natural to transfer feelings of affection toward feelings of attraction to an older man when she’s ready to date.

The love and support of a father (or father figure) create a deep subconscious desire to recreate that feeling with a man when a girl becomes a woman. 

This can often happen with older men who give the woman the same feeling as her father did.

It may be because of daddy issues

Sometimes little girls are sexually abused by their fathers, an older male relative, or a man in the neighborhood. When this happens, the psyche sometimes seeks to protect itself by inverting the damage done. 

Instead of loathing the man who took advantage of her, a little girl might blame herself. She may grow up feeling a sense of obligation toward older men, especially if they show affection toward her. 

If there was little physical pain involved in the sexual abuse, a child’s mind could twist it into something she wants to do instead of resisting. 

Resistance can be painful. The psyche seeks to shield us from pain, especially when we’re innocent. This is why you’ll see promiscuity among young women. They are trying very hard to please “daddy.” 

The attention and affection of an older man become something she must attain. Her subconscious mind will often twist the abuse, so she feels like she must do something to gain “daddy’s” favor. Otherwise, she might get badly hurt or even die. 

In the end, it doesn’t matter too much who you love as long as both people treat each other with love and respect.

Kevin Thibodeaux

Kevin Thibodeaux

Dating and Relationship Coach, From Casual to Serious

They have more wisdom and experience 

By definition, older men have lived longer; therefore, they have more time to experience things that help them learn and grow. 

Wisdom is the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment. This quality can be captivating to some.

Related: What Is the Difference Between Knowledge and Wisdom?

They are more stable and established

Older men have had more time to stabilize and become established. The stability and establishment enable confidence which can be appealing.

They are more mature

Older men tend to be more mature, responsible, and accountable. Who’s not attracted to that?

They have a distinguished look 

Older men can appear more distinguished because they have grown into their physiques. They may also have subtle gray hair, which can have an air of distinction. The distinguished look can be quite alluring.

Their secure nature and self-development can be mesmerizing

Older men have probably grown more secure in who they are and what they have become. They may have also done the self-work “to be” and “to do” and connect with others better

In the end, the knowledge that these insights are possible with older men can add to the attraction of experiencing them.

Robin Sutherns

Robin Sutherns

Relationship and Style Editor, Galtelligence

There is a stigma associated with when women date older men. Women also often receive negative judgment for dating a man older than them. It’s high time that we normalize the concept of true love despite age gaps. 

Here are common reasons why women tend to be attracted to older men: 

You could be looking for love from your father

It could be because some women had absent fathers as a child and are looking for someone who can replace the love and attention they did not receive from their fathers. 

It could also mean these women had a close bond with their fathers and were looking for the same qualities in a partner. 

They are financially secured

Some women find financial security in older men. Not necessarily because they want men to buy the latest luxury items but because they see them as stable, financially mature, and who can take care of a family (if they end up together). 

They know how the world works

Obviously, older men lived longer than you to know how the world works. They are often perceived as more likely to work on and nurture the relationship and learn from it.

Older men are sexy 

Some older men are simply hot and oozing with appeal. Think Brad Pitt or George Clooney. Gray-haired men are often associated with respect, strength, and maturity.

Did I mention that they tend to be better in bed, too?

They don’t play games

Older men tend to be straightforward. If he likes someone, he will tell her directly and make her feel assured that his feelings are real and that he is too old to play games. 

There is nothing wrong with liking older men. We should normalize loving someone romantically despite age gaps.

Related: How Do You Know If You Like Someone Romantically

Rori Sassoon

Rori Sassoon

Relationship Expert | Co-Founder, Platinum Poire

You may be seeking to fulfill a void in your paternal life

Whether your father was absent, jetted in and out of your life, or sadly passed away, daddy issues can come in any form. 

When you’re attracted to an older man, you may be (subconsciously or not) seeking to fulfill a void in your paternal life. It is very common to find that bond in an older man. 

You are an old soul

Not all women are made alike, and some women appreciate a more mature man. A woman who has experienced more in life from an early age may naturally gravitate toward an older partner.

You seek the comfortability of an older partner

Men take longer to mature. With men being more commonly known as the breadwinner, a woman may seek financial protection from a man who has been successful in his career. 

He knows who he is, what he wants, and has a certain joie de vivre.

You feel that an older man has your best interests at heart

Sometimes, the heart wants what the heart wants. Some women crave a man of experience, knowledge, and protection. 

They’ll feel that an older man has their best interests at heart—alongside being around the block and knowing how the world works.

Megan Santiago

Megan Santiago

 Mental Health Counselor Intern | Founder, Holistic-Momma

Women look for men who can provide for them in the future

The reason women are attracted to men older than them is that women look for men who can provide for them in the future if need be. 

Women are in a vulnerable place in that they risk becoming pregnant, and being with someone who could still financially support their family if they did get pregnant puts their minds at ease.

Women like to be with someone mature and responsible

Another reason is that the prefrontal cortex is a part of the brain that creates rational thinking, and research says that it is not developed until around age 25. Therefore women like to be with someone mature and responsible. 

Being older and having more life experience can also increase the man’s chances of having some emotional intelligence and knowing what he wants by now. 

Age does not always equal maturity, but experiencing more life events can mature individuals and help them prioritize what is most important. 

Emotional intelligence and understanding of a woman that may come across as angry but is petrified can be a turn-on for women to feel understood and cared for. 

This goes for both men and women: understanding how you think and why you feel that way makes for a healthier long-term relationship.

Related: 10 Signs of a Good and Healthy Relationship

Sameera Sullivan

Sameera Sullivan

Relationship Expert, Sameera Sullivan Matchmakers

They lack the insecurities that younger men possess

Finding older men attractive might seem odd to experience, but it is very typical. Most women feel a sense of security with older men as they believe they tend to be more accomplished. 

Another common reason is that women believe that older men usually lack the insecurities that younger men tend to possess and are more sure of themselves.

Related: Why Are People Insecure?

Also, older men come off as easier to communicate with as women believe they have better communication skills.

Plus, older men have more clarity in life which is an attractive trait for most women, so the next time you wonder why you are feeling a certain way towards older me, don’t be ashamed of it,

Michelle Devani

Michelle Devani

Founder, Love Devani

They are more mature in handling things

As I encountered many people as a relationship and dating expert, they have different perspectives in choosing whether they will enter a relationship with an older man or not. 

And the reason why people are attracted to older men is that they like people who are: 

  • more mature than them, 
  • who can lead them, and 
  • who knows better than them. 

Most older people tend to be more caring, mature in handling things, and serious in everything they do. 

Some might say that age doesn’t matter, but I think it does. It expresses how the relationship might go.

Arthur Worsley

Arthur Worsley

Founder, The Art of Living | Author, “Stop Working Harder

You modeled your ideal man in your father’s image

You have been raised by a strong, loving, emotionally available father, and you have modeled your ideal man in his image. 

Every girl’s image of her ideal man is first affected by her father figure. If she has been raised by a loving and emotionally available father figure, chances are, she will try to find that in her future mate. 

Since guys tend to mature more slowly than girls, especially when it comes to their emotions, women typically find stability, emotional availability, and love from older men.

This is the psychology of why some women are attracted to older men. 

Leslie Radka

Leslie Radka

Founder and Hiring Manager, Great People Search

I’ve always felt that being attracted to older men is reasonable and well merited. I believe that women who are attracted to older men are after certain character traits in them, rather than just their age.

Keep in mind that you might be old and not have these character traits, or on the other hand, you might be 25 and already brandish these attractive traits that women are excited about.

They most likely passed their wild phase and are ready to settle down

One reason women like older men is for the basic fact that they are more mature. As you know, women generally mature earlier than men. 

She may be ready to enter a serious relationship, but he is on the other end of the spectrum and wants to explore new, different things and people before committing. 

Related: How to Tell if a Guy Is Confused About His Feelings for You

This is one reason many women feel that guys their own age are not the right fit for them. So they turn to an older man, who has most likely passed his wild phase and is ready to settle down and start a family of his own.

They can be looked up to as a personal hero

Another reason is that older men have more experience in life. They have been through plenty of experiences in life which has taught them various lessons. 

As a result, they are more: 

  • calm,
  • patient, 
  • and understanding. 

They don’t get easily upset at my mistakes and can understand and help me better when I’m having my share of bad days. 

Women feel attracted to a person they can look up to as a personal hero while knowing that they are loved back, wanted, and understood.

They give a sense of security

The other main reason women are attracted to older men is that they give them a sense of security. Security is one of the basic needs of a woman, and who else could provide it better than a respectful, financially stable, mature man?

As younger men, in general, are still trying to figure things out in their own lives, women easily gravitate towards older men who have less mess and more stability in life—who can promise them the security they want.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some potential challenges of being in a relationship with an older man?

Some challenges can occur in a relationship with an older man. One challenge can be differences in life experiences and expectations, as older men may have already established their own careers and lifestyles.

There may also be differences in energy levels and interests, as older men prefer more low-key activities. Another potential challenge may be societal judgments and prejudices regarding relationship age gaps.

It’s important to talk openly with your partner and work together to address any challenges that arise.

Can being attracted to older men impact my self-esteem?

It doesn’t necessarily have to impact your self-esteem if you’re attracted to older men.

However, if you feel that your attraction to older men is causing you to engage in unhealthy behaviors or is negatively impacting your self-esteem, it may be helpful to seek the support of a mental health professional.

Also, it’s important to remember that attraction is a personal preference and that finding a partner who appreciates and respects you for who you are is most important.

How can I deal with the social stigma of being attracted to older men?

Dealing with the social stigma of being attracted to older men can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that attraction is a personal choice and not something to be ashamed of.

It’s helpful to surround yourself with supportive friends and family who accept you for who you are. It can also be helpful to seek out like-minded people in online communities or support groups.

It’s important to remember that society’s views on age gaps in relationships are changing, and what may have been stigmatized in the past is becoming more accepted today.

Is being attracted to older men a phase I’ll grow out of?

Being attracted to older men isn’t necessarily a phase you’ll grow out of. Attraction is a complex emotion that can change over time and is influenced by various factors, including personal experiences and preferences.

However, it’s important to remember that attraction is unique to each person and can change or evolve at any time. There is also no right or wrong age to be attracted to. The most important thing is to find a partner who values and respects you for who you are.

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