Age Gaps are a Relationship Stress

There’s a fairly well known average age differential in marriages where the husband is about 2.5 years older than the wife. Humans have a mild Sexual Dimorphism with the males growing bigger and stronger than the females and full mating maturity takes a little longer for the men. The rule of thumb being the bigger the males get than the females in any species, the more important male on male violence is to win female sexual interest. Which is the only reason football exists. The girls may have no interest in watching football, but they are interested to know who is on the team.


Average age difference is about 2.5 years older for the men. In more MMSL related terms, the male Sex Rank takes a little longer to build and the female Sex Rank is weighed towards the younger model.

Most couples are going to clump around the average and have normal age spread between the couple between about zero and five years in favor of the husband being older than the wife. So a married 35 year-old man for example, usually has a wife aged anywhere between 30 and 35. That’s going to be a mildly positive effect on the relationship. He’s a little older and it’s easier to lead someone younger than you, so there’s a nice built in Alpha dynamic there.

I know it sounds trivial, but all the little milestones like turning 40, if the husband hits them first… there’s this tiny sliver of knowledge and experience he has over his wife. It’s just a tad easier being Captain when you’re a little ahead of your wife.

However, once you start spreading the ages apart much further than that, it starts becoming increasingly a negative factor the further you get. Whoever is the older partner, must bring a more focused game to the table to maintain the relationship interest of the younger partner.

Take for example a much older man than woman. Say a couple meets when he is age 40 and she is age 25. She cute and bubbly, he’s in shape and has some cash and game. They marry. The 40-year-old husband though, had to be able to be competitive with age 25-30 men (her normal age cohort of interest) in order to win her attention. So he’s had to bring some serious skill and likely just straight up resources to the table. In fact she probably wasn’t immediately interested in him, but he won her attention. She’s probably said, “I didn’t think I would go for an older guy, but….” and then fill in the blanks about why wonderful Mr. X is the exception to the rule.

However, Mr.X is always going to have to remain competitive with men 10-15 years younger than him, to maintain her interest in him. So when he is 55-years-old and she is 40-years-old, he’s still having to act like his competition is 40 to 45-year-old men. Which as time passes, is somewhat of a risk. If Mr. X at age 55 has a major reversal of fortune in either finances or health, he’s quite likely going to have trouble maintaining his wife’s attraction. He must always be on top of his game.

Likewise in relationships with a woman who is older than the man, similar stresses exist. If he is 30-years-old, and she is 35-years-old, her competition for his attention are 25 to 30-year-old women. Thus she must always keep herself in excellent shape, pay attention to maintaining a youthful appearance and generally be pretty pleasing in the sack.

If you’re eager to tell me a story about a hot, sexually insatiable older woman, that’s just making my point. Men barely even notice women older than themselves unless they ooze sexiness and look great for their age. 35-year-old men don’t swap stories about obese 48-year-old women who wear granny panties. A totally put together 48-year-old who swallows, is down for anal and threesomes… well maybe.

There are particular risks for the older woman though. I’m very often seeing the younger man, older woman situation develop, because the man has some sort of limitation with women at the time the relationship begins. Whether that’s just terrible skills in meeting women, some sort of childhood issue unresolved, a lack of understanding his value in the sexual marketplace, it doesn’t really matter. In short, he has a problem. The risk for the older woman is that at some point… he solves it.

So say a couple meets when he is 23-years old and she’s 30-years-old. He’s not the greatest with women, she’s got some experience and makes it easy for him. He’s kinda broke and she’s established. He’s a little lost and she grounds him. It’s all good, because she’s good for him. But if when he’s 35-years-old, his life finally clicks in place, he’s in shape, his career is going well and he learns a little game…. well he’s solved his problem… he can fairly easily pull the interest of 30 to 35 year old women… and she’s 42-years-old. In that situation, if she has any weaknesses in her game, things can unravel rather quickly.

So… what to do?

Well if you’re already in a relationship and you’re the older one… you’ve absolutely got to bring your A-game. It’s no different than any other relationship, but the margin of error is smaller. You want to be with the young hottie… you gotta keep the young hottie interested in you.

If you’re getting into a relationship with a major age spread, it isn’t an automatic ruling out, but you do need to go into it with eyes wide open. Is this something that can be sustained over the long term?

Also if you’re getting into a relationship with a major age spread, is the relationship only interesting because it’s solving a problem for you now, that you will eventually solve anyway? Thus reducing your need for your partner over time, or possibly even encouraging them to sabotage you fixing it?

Plus for normal age distribution couples…

The way women out live men is always a concern for the endgame years. It’s no fun living alone for the last decade of your life. Mutual good health is always a priority in a marriage.

So yeah… kinda depressing to read and think about it I know, but knowing your Relationship Math can be the difference between an easy marriage and a hard one.


  1. *Wipes sweat from forehead

    As a 24y/o woman, taking the task at hand with full seriousness, it is really assuring to hear these things. Not your intended audience, I know, but 30-year old men are hot and affirmation that I’m fishing in the right barrel is welcome.

  2. good post. in late 30’s and the vast majority of men today are whiny little bitches that cant change a tire.

    Very little alpha is all you need.

  3. LisainVermont says:

    My husband is 9 years older than me. When we married I was 27 and he was 36. It was sexy to have the attention of an older man. I stil think he’s sexy, but now that I’m in my sexual prime, he’s starting to fade a bit. We’ve always been mismatched sexually. I have a super high drive; he has a lower-than-average drive. We didn’t discover this until we were married as we are Christians and waited until our wedding night to consummate our relationship. I don’t think I’d be happy with a younger man though. I enjoy having a husband who is older and wiser.

  4. Question – Does the acceptable age spread increase with age? It seems to me that a 20 year old man has a very tight age spectrum, while the same man at 40 can reasonably consider any woman over 30-32 as courtship material.

  5. Revo Luzione says:

    I will dissent here, Athol, specifically for the older guy, younger girl model. The more alpha the male, the younger, hotter, tighter his woman must be to keep his interest.

    True quality men are going to maintain their health, eat healthy, lift heavy, and generally maintain vigor. Older men who follow these rules will maintain healthy T levels and youthful vigor into old age. See: Charles Poliquin, who is in his 50’s and crushing it, or Art De Vaney, in his 70’s and showing us how it’s done, son. Either one of those men, I guarantee you, could pull young hotties and keep them. Poliquin, I believe, has a much younger wife and small children.

    I know several other fit, successful gentlemen in their 40’s who’ve wifed up young hotties in their mid-late 20s. If a guy is divorced or just late to the marriage game due to focusing on success, and he wants to have kids, the young hottie who swoons, and they do, is the best choice for child bearing, what with the age of a woman’s eggs being equal to her age, and all.

    The age-old equation: 1/2 male age +7 = optimal female age, is a damned good place to start for older high value alphas to start. For a more historical reference, Aristotle is said to state the best age for a man to marry is 38, and the best for a women is 18. The big age gap certainly raises a few eyebrows in some social circles, and I agree there may be some mild relationship stresses that result, but remember not all stressors are bad. Older guys with younger women should simply consider these stresses to be hormetic in nature–that is, they make you stronger and keep you sharper.

    The psychological dimension of an older man/younger women makes it easier to maintain the Captain/First Officer dynamic.

    As for the longer life span of women–men, you have to keep yourself ahead of the bell curve on that one. I think that’s largely due to the fact that it’s been men who go to war, work in coal mines, work with hazardous chemicals, and generally wear themselves out. Men who are not subject to so many stressors throughout life *should* be able to live as long or longer than women. Testosterone does have significant neuroprotective and immune boosting effects. Whether that hypothesis can be demostrated or not is a moot point, T must be maintained, period, no matter how old or young your mate is.

  6. The rule of thumb is generally half the man’s age +7 as a lower limit.
    So for a 20 year old man it would be 17, and for a 40 year old man, 27.
    YMMV, but ‘older wisdom’ like this to be ignored at one’s own risk.

    Also, to suggest that a 35 (40) year old guy looking to get hitched should focus on the 30-35 (35-40) year old range sounds a lot like… Man Up and Marry Those… women who may have a higher N count, probably have a history, and almost certainly have baggage of one sort or another.

  7. Older man, younger woman couples are common now, and have been before, but only recently has the gap been so small. As far as I can tell, feminist shaming has tried to close/invert/pervert, the male female age gap, and only sheer biomechanics has kept it alive.

  8. 14 year gap here, met when he was 35 and I was 21. I went through a brief stage where I was worried that I was missing out on the things other girls in their early 20’s were doing. But now that I’ve learnt about SMV I’m very happy with the age gap and that I was never part of the penis merry-go-round. I’ll have my child bearing out of the way by the time I’m 28 while most women my age aren’t even considering marriage, and when they do it will be too late.

  9. Story of my f… life.

    It took just a little introspection for me to understand, why all of my ex-GFs were older then me. But when I got it, it was not pretty – I basically realized, that I had (and have, actually) exactly 0 game and those girls closed me (instead of the other way around) There were a couple of complicating factors, that also made this outcome not just possible, but inevitable.

    Just one more lesson, that foundations to both happiness and fundamentally fucking up your life are laid in very early age.

  10. Y’all making my point for me with the 1/2 the man’s age +7 stuff. You’re all assuming /saying that the guy is a strong Alpha.

    The average 40-year-old man is not going to get a 27-year-old woman.

  11. “Y’all making my point for me by disagreein’ with me.”


    No, Athol, that is not the point we are making. 1/2 + 7 is the traditional standard for the lower limit of the age differential that makes for a good/stable relationship based on relative SMV, maturity/leadership, career/financial status, baby making and rearing ages, and so on. Strong Alphas can and do pull younger/hotter/tighter than that, and weak betas tend to pull older/less-hot/less-in-shape.

    Again, YMMV, but It’s. A. Traditional. Rule. Of. Thumb.

  12. It’s all about the product, the product being “You”. If you are in great shape , dress well and have an aura of confidence about you, it’s not hard to pull off a 10-15 year age difference in dating. Long term though it does becomes a matter of being able to maintain that much higher SR rank over your spouse. I’m 58 and after mapping up this past two years I’m constantly get IOI’s from woman from around 30 and up. Sadly most of them married, which indicates to me a lot of guys in the mid 30’s they are attached to are letting themselves slip.

  13. Trimegistus says:

    The “half-plus-seven” rule does reflect the fact that the age span can get wider with older pairings (as long as it’s the man who is older). A 50-year-old man can still be extremely sexually attractive, so can reasonably go for women in their 30s. Sure, he’ll start to age out of his prime sexiness in 10 years — but so will his 30-year-old wife!

  14. I have to agree with Athol. My husband and I have an age difference that was pretty close to 1/2 + 7 at the time we married. It wasn’t a big deal when we got married, but starting just a few years in, it became a big problem.

    I love my husband. He is a good man, one of the best I’ve ever know. I’d marry him again in a heartbeat. But it’s difficult, and if I wasn’t someone who is (as my brother put it) ridiculously loyal, I would be tempted to think about leaving him. His health is deteriorating at an increasing rate as we age, and right now, we’re at completely different places in our lives. I’m still young enough to be healthy and active. He isn’t. Our children are still at home, too, which further complicates matters. He’s a good father, but I wish they knew what it was like to have a young and healthy father, who could go places with us and participate in our activities. They’ve never had that.

    Like I said, I’d marry him again, even knowing how all this would turn out. But if I ever find out one of my daughters is considering a relationship with an older man, I’m going to sit her down and have a brutally honest talk about what she’s letting herself in for. It’s painful to watch your spouse turn into an old man, when you’re still a young woman. I have to watch myself all the time to keep resentment from making me bitter. I know there are no promises in life, and I never expected any – but sometimes, when I’m lying in bed crying silently from sexual frustration, I can’t help thinking that things would be so different for me right now if I’d married a younger man.

    He wasn’t like this when we married. He was still strong and healthy. The first few years of our marriage were good. It was never like being married to a man in his 20s or 30s, though. There were problems with ED from the very beginning. I’ve never had the physical relationship with him that I would have liked to have had and as he gets older, and that side of marriage is increasingly fading away, there are times when I ache with longing to know what it’s like to be married to a man who isn’t too old to be sexually vigorous.

    Over the course of my marriage, I’ve known other women in my exact shoes – younger wives of older husbands, loyal and faithful, but struggling with watching their husbands grow old and trying to come to terms with the fact that their marriages, as they knew them, are over and they’re going to be taking care of increasingly fragile husbands for the rest of their lives.

    One woman I knew was 30 years older than me. She was 60, and having a hard time because her 80 year old husband was getting too old to take care of himself at home. She had to work, however, both to support them, and to ensure that she had social security/retirement savings to support herself after he died and his pension went away. She had some help from their children, but the bulk of it fell on her shoulders.

    Another was around 15 years younger than her husband. 10 years older than me. She was in her late 40s; he was nearing retirement. He had impressive alpha when they got married (an American, at his physical peak, lots more cash than she’d grown up with), but when I knew them that was long gone. She used to complain to me that she wanted to go out and do things, simple things like go to restaurant or to a movie, or just go to a church social – but he only wanted to stay home. He was always too tired to go out, and she sounded to me like she was increasingly regretting the decision she’d made 25 years earlier to marry him.

    Yes, in the second situation, some alpha would have fixed a lot in their marriage – but only temporarily. He wasn’t going to magically develop the vigor and stamina of a man 10 years younger. I don’t know what happened with them – we moved and lost touch – but I’m sure he got tireder as he got older, and she got more frustrated. I doubt she would have left him (she once told me divorce was anathema to her culture.) I’ll bet she hasn’t stopped feeling bitter, though.

    That’s why I fight so hard to keep from being resentful. I saw in her what could happen if I don’t, and I don’t want to turn into her. My future is going to look a lot like the woman in the first example, though. My husband is going to retire in another couple of years. We’ll still have kids at home, and kids to put through college. I’ll be in charge of supporting the family at that point. I’ll also have to make sure that I have my retirement taken care of, because my husband’s pension will stop at his death. When I’m a widow, I’ll be on my own.

    The price for being his wife is high. Worth it, but still, very expensive. I wouldn’t change my decision. I love him more now than I ever could have dreamed was possible back then. It’s not tingles, although I do still desire him. It’s about who he is inside, and how much I admire and respect him. It’s about all the sacrifices he’s made over the years for our sakes, and the love and loyalty he’s given us.

    We’re a team, for better or worse. The remaining years are the worse, so it’s time to buckle up and throw my back into it. I’m glad to do that. Again, I love him, and this is what you do for the people you love. Loving him makes the “worse” times easier – but only a little. It’s still difficult. And that’s why I’d try to talk my daughters out of making the same decision. You can’t predict what life is going to throw at you, but you can avoid some of the obvious potholes, and I think this is one. It takes a pretty amazing guy to make it worth dealing with the consequences of the age difference, and there aren’t many around like my husband.

  15. Dealt with this over the weekend at St Paddies in Tempe on the ASU campus. The overarching issue is how a girl ranks you, not age per say.

    As a natural, I always had very young and pretty girls/wife, but a little older, they are getting younger and younger as institutional feminism destroys the gene pool. It’s patheticly easy, and frankly it really pissed off the 20 somethings watching “thier” girls open me. One smoking girl i just beckoned over, didn’t smile, and she litterally crawled over the table with a stupid grin.

    To something Athol has wisely stated prior, this is a male issue, not female. The men are pathetic and have forgotten how to be men, and the women have actually change very little if at all.

  16. 2manypasswords says:

    My sister-in-law (51) is married to a guy about 12-13 years younger, been married about 4 years. On the surface, you’d think they’re doomed b/c of age difference & other reasons. When they married, the ink on his divorce decree wasn’t dry yet & her husband passed away only 6 months prior. They’ve had problems with one of his kids. And my SIL can be a piece of work. She once told us – with him sitting there – that getting married enhanced his status but lowered hers (he’s a manager & they live in a small town where anyone in management is suspect). But their SR’s are comparable – he’s low-energy and quite overweight while she’s a slim Energizer bunny. She seems to enjoy the huge increase in standard of living, which he’s only too happy to provide. Based on what I’ve seen, I think they’ll go the distance, though that’s very much the exception with the woman being that much older.

  17. I don’t see that a 10 year gap should be a problem IF the man is committed to health and fitness, if he is successful, psychologically healthy, has friends family and hobbies, AND is game aware. At every level – 30yr old man 20 yr old woman, 40 to 30, 50 to 40 all the way to 90 to 80 – 10 years is largely irrelevant. A 40 year old woman is already past the wall so her smv for a new quality husband were she single is not high. If she has a quality husband 10 years older she should count herself lucky.

    The problems arise when you get past 10. And lets face it, very few men outside of the uber rich pull wives more than 20 years younger than them. Even 15-20 years younger is rare. 10-15 happens (especially if a white man is marrying a non-white female). At that range the man does need to be in top shape in all areas of his life. His margin for error is basically non-existent.

    A big problem is if the man waits to his 40s (or beyond) to marry. A 45 year old man would be looking at a 35-37 year old woman. There are women that age that are still super hot BUT most of them, if they were never married, are sure to have higher number counts. And the question then becomes, well she is a good woman now (maybe) but do I want her after she is been dick hopping for 17 years? If your answer is no then you are probably looking at being a lifetime bachelor.

  18. So when he is 55-years-old and she is 40-years-old, he’s still having to act like his competition is 40 to 45-year-old men.

    Another point. Very few 40 year old women are going to be able to attract a potential new alpha husband in the 40 – 45 year range. Those guys are going younger. So I don’t think the 55 year old in this example is competing with 40-45 year old men. That’s the marriage market though. For sex and affairs, then yes.

  19. Met her when she was 17 and I was 31 and couldn’t keep her. I was full alpha living my own life and that (plus getting the older guy every friend of her fancied) attracted her. There was chemistry, a lot of conversation, teasing, gaming, etc. She NEVER had enough of me, wanted to see me constantly, etc. With that scenario the usual happened and my betatude showed up while in a relationship. Tables turned and she was in control. I had this feeling that she should be the one longing to be with me but the opposite was happening. Moreover she was all the time questioning herself that while I had done a lot, had a job, had traveled, etc. she hadn’t been able to do that and couldn’t even decide what to study (she had no plans to do it soon though).
    Dumped me after about a year and in the last year she has dated and dumped 3 more guys (she is 19 now). She is fully on carrousel (a christian one though). Wonder if hypergamy lets room for some instrospection later in life or is it always when the wall hits? I don’t mean she is going to think I was the one, I mean if she is going to look at which emptiness is she trying to fix with a new boyfriend every third month.

  20. Athol is right about needing a high alpha and maintaining it. I think it works well for me as he is the most alpha man that I have access too. He has the height and build which makes it easy but is one of the youngest men of his rank in the geographic area. He looks great in his uniform too. If he was a corporate pencil pusher then no doubt it would leave us open to problems.

  21. Random Angeleno says:

    As a man of a certain age with lots more fitness and energy than most men my age, I ought to be pulling like crazy. But my charisma isn’t very good so the only women interested in me tend to be too fat or too old or both. On those rare occasions when I do find someone who is suitable enough in age and looks, her N is out there … I’m not investing in marriage with that. So life-long bachelorhood here I come. Need to have a good relationship with some of my nephews and nieces so they’ll take care of me in my old age. Join me for a scotch?

  22. I was 24 when we started dating, he was 44. At the time, I would say our SRs were evenly matched. What he lacked in terms of youthful vigor he made up for in income, maturity and perspective.

    His SR has declined steeply. He’s gained weight, health is suffering and his mood is low. I have maintained a positive attitude, eager to try new things, maintained and increased my fitness and expanded my income potential. He now seems to be the one with the biggest issue regarding our age difference. I’ve felt little episodes of resentment from him, as though he envies my youth. I didn’t see that one coming when I was thinking long and hard about what to expect from marrying someone 20 years older. I still love him, but its been difficult and its only going to get harder. Not everything can be blamed on the age difference but its certainly been a major factor.

  23. “The average 40-year-old man is not going to get a 27-year-old woman.” Why not? A 40 year old man is only two years past his peak SMV, while the woman is about 2 years from hitting the Wall.

  24. But my charisma isn’t very good so the only women interested in me tend to be too fat or too old or both.

    Charisma is one of the 2 pillars of Game. The other is dominance. Improve your charisma and you’ll start to pull better women.

  25. So do you think it’s hopeless to try to get some more alpha if the man is younger? My husband is three years younger than me. I had typically gone for older guys till then but at the time we met/married we were at the same stage in life and our age difference seemed really minor (we were both in our late 20s, moving up in our careers, etc.). Now that we are going through all the typical troubles (I’m the one who found MMSL, so you can extrapolate from that) I wonder why I married someone younger, but that’s neither here not there now. I am very petite so size-wise the dynamic works; also I was the youngest in my family growing up while he was the oldest (with a little sister). I don’t know if it’s age so much as personality. When we met we both felt “equal” but after years of being in charge at work all day, and in charge of the kids most of the time, what I really want in private time is to be a naughty little girl, NOT in charge. It’s very hard for me to get him to understand that.

  26. Revo Luzione says:

    The more that I think about Athol’s response to the 1/2*M+7=F equation, the more I realize he’s correct.

    The average American at 40 is fat, corporate, balding, unfit, and beta. That’s not a strong SMV position. Now maybe he *could* get an equally fat woman from a lower socieconomic caste. However, she probably has better options from her age cohort.

    I look at the successful older man-younger woman pairings, I see clearly that the men are exceptional, in that they are entrepreneurs, are in control of their schedules, and are much fitter than average, probably by 3 or 4 standard deviations from the mean. Most importantly, these men all maintain an implacability, an unflappability in the face of adversity, whether it’s a fitness-testing wife, a business challenge, or a fussy baby.

  27. A.B. Dada says:

    I really want to respond with something my doctor told me (he’s 80s, his wife is later 50s) but it suggests something illegal so I won’t.

    I’m 39 and I still date far younger, long term. I have yet to see an ex-girlfriend who has stayed more youthful than me. Marriage, if I try it, will be interesting.

    Guys: you can stay 10-15 years younger than your are suggests. Most guys act older than their ad due to bad decisions.

  28. Revo Luzione says:

    AB, not cool with the tease. Not cool at all. Now I really want to know what your doctor recommended, dammit.

  29. In the much older man and younger woman pairings, the younger woman tends to be going after a much more “alpha” man. It’s the woman getting a “finished product” by purchasing with her youth and beauty.

    In my case, I went for a guy my same age, who was not yet a “made man,” and I helped him through his school years before he had his first real job, at a time when he was still on the hard upward climb. We climbed it together, lived in apartments, worried about finances, and grew together.

    Because we went through that, our bond is very strong, and we are loyal to each other. The 20s are formative years. We shared the best part of our 20s together, and when we turn 30 I know there won’t be some young 20-something woman who can take him away.

    Meanwhile, to read the comments of the older men here who are dating much younger women year after year, it doesn’t sound like there is any plan to “stop.” The young women are said to be interchangeable. Why even be on a marriage advice website?

  30. @A.B. Dada
    Would you mind elaborating on your point that “Most guys act older than their age due to bad decisions.”? I’ve seen men make the “bad decision” to let their physical health go, for example, once they start making six figures. That’s certainly an attraction killer…except to the gold digging slut (who you don’t want to marry anyways).

    I’m *not* intending to ask for personal details here, but I’m wondering if you and your husband had a great relationship during the “climbing together” period. It would seem to me that a relationship that’s your “happy place” would strengthen the bond, but a relationship that took too much work would be “one more pile of crap to wade through”…and not turn out so well.

  31. Over It, we were very happy for almost all of it, except after losing our firstborn son. But that was outside of our control, and it’s difficult not to be a bit depressed in the aftermath. We are happier now since the birth of our healthy baby. The pregnancy was nerve-wracking, though.

    But we met after we both “took the red pill” so to speak, and we were both aware and in control of ourselves and emotions, so we did not have bad arguments or ugly fights through all the ups and downs. It would have been different if we met as teenagers. Too young is also not good. That’s another reason why the story of the 17 year old girl upthread probably went a bit wonky.

  32. Found it interesting that your example of the 55 year old man and 40 year old woman is exactly where my girlfriend and I are at. As others have mentioned, staying in shape and working out is paramount.

    Hard to say what the future will hold, for example, when I’m 70 and she’s 55? Who knows? I’m committed to doing what I can to stay active included testosterone replacement somewhere down the road.

    But then again, it’s often unproductive to project too much. So, live each day to the fullest, be with the best, most beautiful woman you can, and if it falls apart tomorrow, no regrets.

    And As someone once said: “5 minutes of alpha trumps 5 years of beta”…

  33. @Hope: I’m about two years younger than my husband, we’ve been together for 22 years. He just turned 44. I always thought I’d marry someone about 15 years older, but I fell for him hard very early in life and there could never be anyone else. Still feel that way. He recently asked me (basically told me), aren’t you glad I’m not 15 years older now like you wished I was when we met? I have to say, yeah I’m glad he doesn’t look like Father Time now. We’re growing old together as a couple, experiencing life’s ups and downs and raising our brood. We’re relatively affluent now (very poor for the first ten years or so).

    I guess with his income he could marry a younger person but it would be someone who would never really know him like I do or love him for himself rather than his income. I often wonder about this when I read posts by old men boasting about banging very young women. My mom was two decades younger than my father. For his last five years, he had a stroke and she was his fulltime nurse maid. It was a bad deal for her, but not really good for him either because she is a bitch and he was virtually immobile. I don’t know if they were ever in love, I don’t even remember any childhood memories where they seemed happy but I guess by the measure of some of the posters here this is a dream relationship (she was uber hot, of course, fortunately I inherited her looks).

  34. alphaguy says:

    A little late to this post, but since I have one of those marriages where my wife is older. The good news is that she is older than me by only a year or so. But, in a perfect world and if I had do overs, I would definitely marry a woman 2-3 years younger than me. It’s a dominance thing, being a tad bit older just makes for a more dominant position in the marriage. My wife and I have had our problems over the years and things are fine now, but I catch myself looking at her sometimes and wanting a woman that was a little younger than me. Most of the time I just let that thought go, but it does creep in there everyone once in a while…

  35. “She’s probably said, “I didn’t think I would go for an older guy, but….”
    This happens all the time in my country, Even if women are willing to trade their youth for some resources with an older man in the third world there is always excuses and explanations. When the guy is her peer or just slightly older they don’t need to explain anything. People can see why they are together. Is very interesting the way you put it.
    Hubby is 4 years older than me, same difference than his parents and my parents. Both set of couples are over 30 years together and counting. I will say this is the magic number for a marriage but I might be biased.

  36. For Dudes:

    If the man is 5 years older or so it is no big deal and can be completely ignored for all intents and purposes though I do believe in most cases it is a positive in his favor.

    10 years older is completely doable but there are some qualifiers and it depends if you just want to date or get married, or do something in between. First qualifier: you can’t be a screw up. Meaning, you need to have fitness and finances under control.

    The fitness and finance aspect changes based on your ages. If you are 30, you are certainly expected to have a higher fitness quotient versus finance than if you are 50. When you are 50, your finances better be a lot better than they were when you were 30, and you’ll get some slack on the fitness front.


    If you want to date YOUNGER women (10+ years), [no matter what your age is], and women who are hot, that is, women who have options, and especially if you plan to LTR or marry them, you had better keep the above two things above par for your age group AND her age group. Which is what Athol was saying in his article.

    It’s work. Are you prepared to do it? If not, don’t whine and expect a winner’s rewards and bounty if you are going to play a loser’s hand or be satisfied with being Joe Average. You need to be Joe Winner, and you need to keep it up after you claim your prize. Just like in a regular marriage, except harder because you’ve got this extra thing to pay mind to.

    If you are just interested in short term dating (sex), a 10 years gap is nothing at all and is no impediment as long as you keep in shape and can at least give the appearance of being financially responsible. If even. The Lolz.

    If you are a 40 something man, dating chicks in their early 30s should be old hat and stupefyingly easy. If you want to dip down into dating chicks in their twenties who have good qualities (and titz), you better have something special going on: good fitness, prestigious occupation or position, social clout, moola, exceptional style. Some combination of the aforementioned. In other words, your combined traits need to make you above average compared to other people.

    Or, another strategy is that you can date a woman in her twenties that comes with certain defects that you are willing to accept in return for access to a younger babe. Perhaps she is a single mommy. Maybe she has a bunch of drama. Maybe you could date a woman who is a 40 year old 8, but since you want younger you are looking at a 26 year old 6 with attitude or something. Whatever.

    Point being, if you want to date a classy, hot woman with options who is 10-15 years younger than you, you better have yourself really together. You can’t be a potato chip fed, couch boy, living in a stinky little apartment driving a Yugo and expect to have access to hot women 15 years younger than you. You mean the same women that a lot of other men are vying for? Yeah, those chicks. Duh. I know, the world is freaking unfair like that. What can you do?

    If you are couch boy, then you will need to do one of the following:

    1. Fix yourself.
    2. Date closer to your age. Much closer. If you are a real slob, cougar it up or go with dating fat chicks. Ain’t no loving like getting loving from a fattie. So I hear tell. Lolz.
    3. If you still want much younger women, but you don’t want to put in the level of work required to fix yourself (dumb-ass), you will have to accept defects in the woman that you can live with. Sometimes a lot of defects.

    15+ years gap is doable in the short term but I would not personally sign up for a marriage with that kind of gap. 20+ seems nuts. There are just too many structural problems to overcome down the line. The ages of 30-40 seems to be when most trading up/out/down for a new partner happens.

    Maybe you married her when she was 25 and you were 45. Now you are 55 and she’s 35. That’s trouble brewing unless she’s a woman of exceptional character and you have your act together at all times.

    Just like in a regular marriage where you are one serious bout of unemployment away from getting tossed out, you are now also one serious health issue or dick problem away from getting tossed out on your ass. Your margin of error is slimmer. I can’t see where you can afford any beta slip-ups, life setbacks, etc. without completely undermining your whole frame.

    Not to mention if kids are part of the plan, (whether you know it or not at the start – the Lolz!) there is a big difference between having a dad who is 30 and one who is 50 when you are a kid.

    I’m glad I had my kids in my twenties. I could do all the fun dad stuff. I’m still young enough to keep up with them now in their teen years. I wouldn’t want to have more. I’d be closing in on retirement age just as the new brood was getting ready to go to college. Who the heck wants to deal with teenagers when you are in your late fifties / early sixties? Not me man.


    Some ladies in comments above asked in a roundabout way if guys in their 40s want to put a ring on someone’s finger. I would say in general that if the guy has desirable qualities and he knows that he does, the answer is a default no, like always. Not what you wanted to hear, I know.

    There are a bunch of guys who are in their mid 30s and into their 40s who were married before, were ignorant of many things but who now know the score, and are not looking to put themselves in a spot like that again. Not to mention they are well aware that things have changed in their favor for good in dating / access to sex terms. They aren’t looking to put a ring on it unless it’s a cock ring.

    Then again, there are some guys who just can’t stand not being married and will take up with a new chick within months of their divorce papers drying. Why? I don’t know. Lolz. But they are out there. You probably don’t want a guy like that though.

    There are guys who are just your average Joe, good guys all around, who are probably pretty gun shy, but who might be willing to take the plunge again. These are dependable good guys who maybe had a bad experience first time out. You probably don’t want them either though, because that’s the way chicks are, and these guys don’t induce the tingles as readily.

    Depends though. As you get older, if you have any sense left in you (if you had any to start), you will be forced to accept that you no longer have access to the same kind of guy you once did (unless you are also very exceptional) and these types of guys will start looking pretty good to you when you are 35+. The market gets pretty unfriendly to women in your position. Notice I said unfriendly, not unfair. The Lolz!

    Unfortunately for you, we, the men of the Manosphere, are doing everything we can to reach these guys and to inform them of the options that they now have and to help them to get themselves together and to have access to that which they did not know was available to them.


    For chicks:

    If you are 18-20-something – the sky is the limit. You can date any age or kind of man your boobs and ass will attract. Same goes for getting a ring on your finger. Pick well, but pick sooner than you think. Your smarter and wiser sisters aren’t wasting time snapping up the best guys they can get. They know your 30s are coming faster than a freight train and when the years start piling on you, things change not in your favor Petunia…

    If you are 30 something, never been married, no kids, guys are going to begin to look askew at you the further you get into your 30s in terms of if they can take you seriously as an LTR or marriage risk. Seriously.

    Right at 30 years old never married, no kids? – no problem, you’re good – but hurry! 38 years old, never married, no kids – “What’s wrong with her?” is a question that pops to mind a lot. She’s not statistically “normal”, and you’re not. Why not?

    If you are 30 something, divorced, no kids. You’re actually in an okay spot and can still date guys your own age with relative ease as long as you are not fat. You are pretty statistically “normal” and maybe you got a raw deal first time around. If you really want to get married again and have kids, don’t screw around. Make it mission priority one to find a like minded guy up to ten years your senior to do this with. Hurry!!!! Seriously. Hurry!

    If you are 30-something, divorced, and you have kids, well…the rules still apply, the hotter you keep yourself, the better quality guy you can get like always, but let’s face it, you have baggage that is a serious consideration. But hey, so do a lot of guys at this point, but still, many guys put their nose in the air when thoughts of marriage and raising another man’s spawn come into play.

    You should hurry up and find a similar age divorced dad who has custody of his kids or a guy who is 10-15 years older than you with some money. It would be preferable if he had no idea yet how easy it is for him to date single moms in your age bracket and to get no strings sex. The Lolz!!!

    If you are a woman who is 40 something – here is where it gets even more complicated and diabolical. Hopefully your kids are late teens now or able to take care of themselves most of the time. This is good.

    If you are as hot as you can be (meaning you make the most of what you have – not everyone looks like a super-model.) you can find a guy pretty much in your own age range who you gel with and who wants to pretty much be in an LTR with you, as long as you don’t put too much pressure on about making it formal.

    You’ll have a “steady” boyfriend for all intents and purposes. Just don’t ask too many questions about what he’s doing when you can’t reach him on his cell. Certainly don’t start driving by his place looking for him without warning. Shh.

    If you are a woman in your 40s and your kids are still young (grade school), meaning you were weird and waited until you were 35 to have your first child or some other foolishness, you’ll be needing to date older guys who don’t mind dealing with all that. 50+.


    I hope what everyone is seeing in my tongue in cheek (but not too much) examples above is that what Athol is saying is correct.

    As you get older, you have to offset the age with exceptional characteristics. You also have to be able to offset your baggage you have accumulated. Or, you have to find someone with similar baggage or acceptable (to you) defects that offset your liabilities and “even you up.”

    In the end, the game of mating is always going to come down to whatever combination of youth, fitness, money, style, prestige, alpha, beta, etc. that you have, adds up to some number, and when finding a partner they are going to have to have a similar combination and “score” for a stable match. As we all know, much deviation beyond a point or two in either partner is going to be a mismatch and be unstable.

    Age is one factor of many, but it does favor men more, or it is at least less of a detriment and even a bonus to a point. Age for women after 29 is no bonus and is always a detriment.

    Welcome to planet Earth. Complicated, but rarely dull.

    The Lolz!!!!

  37. Cheeky Mary says:

    It’s my first day here but you’ll see that my ip address is all over your website – fascinating stuff my newest friend.

    I’m 38 in a relationship with a 28 year old male. He’s so Alpha (he lacks many of the Beta qualities I like in a man) but my goodness, he I dont feel obliged to bring anything to the table except my bubbly happy self.

    I secretly enjoy being submissive for the first time in my life.


  38. These things appear to be very small but they really play a major role in making the age gap relationship blissful. Love, respect and understanding are the key factors which will take your relation through the entire thick and thin smoothly and successfully.

  39. Well… that’s … ugh…

    That’s hit a couple of things on the head for me, and I don’t like it.

    I’ve historically been something of a manosphere lurker – but I’ve been away for a long time. The last few days I’ve had a heavy hankering to come and re-motivate my self improvement side (I’ve gotten a little static recently) by digging through the archives, hence my commenting on such an old post.

    I’m the younger man you described in that post: 7 year age gap, though I’m in my late 20s and she in her mid 30s. We got together a couple of years ago, and at that point I was a bit of a psychological mess: quite depressed, effectively an alcoholic, little motivation, not very good with women (though improving as a result of the red pill)…

    And my partner has been incredibly helpful and supportive, and has massively contributed towards me sorting myself out. I’m much healthier – physically and mentally – and I’ve embarked on some major career moves (starting up my own company, going back into postgrad education etc). I’m also finally sorting out some long-needed aesthetic improvements (eg, my teeth were ruined as a result of my depressions and drinking – I’m now in the midst of straightening, whitening, capping etc).

    And recently the loyalty tests have started. It’s in a jokey way, but several times in the last month or two she’s commented that she’s excited to see my ‘new smile’, but that she hopes I don’t then use it to leave her for a younger model.

    And over this same period I’ve really noticed that my sex rank is higher than I thought it was when we got together.

    NOW, here’s the very important thing: I love this woman, and I want us to remain together. I really really do. I have no intention of cheating on her. I’ve recently moved in with her, and I love it. We have a very healthy and happy relationship, and the sex life is pretty good (the only slight issue is that we’re both very busy, so tend to be a bit knackered at the end of the day, so sometimes we have to wait – *gasp* – a week or so). I genuinely want to stay with her forever.

    However, I worry about my biological imperative and the future. My sex rank has improved over the last few years, definitely. And I’m just now getting into the late 20s / early 30s peak that I read so much about. And I’m improving my fitness. And my career is taking off. And I’m noticing more and more that I get positive attention from younger women, and that I like it.

    And she is in her mid 30s, and struggles with her figure. She’s not fat, but she’s not thin either, and once the weight is on it is unlikely to come off. And I know that that is effecting my attraction to her already.

    Example: last night I was at an event without her, where there were several early-to-mid 20s women, and it really struck me how strong their sex appeal was: the beauty of their faces, and the shape of their bodies, and how just by their existing I wanted to talk to them, to impress them, to have them like me… and later in the evening, I’m sat in up bed with my partner, and I’m looking at a slightly less tight figure, and a slightly older face, and there’s a roll of fat, and the simple truth is that she doesn’t inspire the same automatic desire…

    I’m not a fool. I know that’s going to happen with ANYONE you have an LTR with, and how the male libido seeks variety. BUT – I don’t like that I’m already feeling this, knowing it’s likely to get more pronounced over the next few years and beyond.

    I’m not sure what the point of my comment is – probably just a chance for me to get some of that off my chest. I find it an odd position to be in: I want this relationship to last – really, it’s bloody fantastic. And the age gap doesn’t cause any problems that wouldn’t exist in another relationship, but perhaps it magnifies one.

    A final thought: like I said, I wasn’t very good with women and probably underestimated my sex rank. So I’ve not had much experience beyond drunk one night stands and crappy proto-relationships before this. And there is a part of me – a part I am REALLY not proud of – that sort of resents the possibility of not properly experiencing being with some young women at some point. Call it my inner PUA: there is a very real part of me that wants to sleep around with a variety of young women, and it’s never done it… that is the dangerous impulse. That’s the one I have to keep down. But it seems like more and more it’s waking up. That worries me. I don’t want this relationship to go sour. And if it does I don’t want the reason to be me being horny. But it’s always going to be there…


  40. Anonymous Girl says:

    Age gaps can be fascinating. I’m in my early twenties and for the most part have only dated men significantly older than I am (26-late 30s). I’m college-educated, live in a big city, and have a stable job. I work long hours, and while I’m earning more than most of my peers, many of them will outpace me soon (at least, those in grad school and on the “career-track.”) I’ve taken a lot of heat–from my parents, to some extent, but mainly from other women–for my preference for older men, but I find them much more attractive than guys my age for a number of reasons. Twenty something guys just aren’t ready/don’t want to commit to pursuing marriage yet, and I am intentional about wanting to marry as soon as I meet a good man who also wants to marry me. I’m intentionally not on a “career-track” like my peers, because I’ve always believed woman truly can’t have it all–and I’d rather be a kickass wife and full-time mom with domestic skills than try to balance motherhood with a high-maintenance. So as long as I know I can easily find a decent if not particularly lucrative job, I’d rather pursue marriage and motherhood than status. These men in their thirties tend to find that very desirable in young woman since it’s uncommon and most people think it is unrealistic. However, if you find a man older than you, with a stable job who desires to support a wife and young children…I think that’s like hitting the jackpot in the sense of predicting your mutual happiness as a family. I’ll take a mature 33yo provider over a 23yo guy looking to play the field ANY DAY. The 10 year age gap is much less important than how wide the gap is between the two of you emotionally and spiritually. Am I being unreasonably idealistic?!

  41. Anonymous Girl says:

    Sorry for all the typos…typing on my iPhone ;)

  42. Anonymous Girl says:

    On another note… Women don’t seem to realize this as incredibly obvious as it is. In dating, women can use sex as a powerful tool to gauge men’s intentions. Don’t sleep with him. If he sticks around, he wants to marry you. Men my age are far less likely to stick around (but some do). Men in their late 20s and 30s respect you for withholding sex as a sign that you are marriage material and don’t put out for every joe that dates you. It’s totally different when you’re dating–OF COURSE you have to withhold sex. And men aren’t stupid–they can tell the difference really quickly between a virgin who is a virgin because she’s a good girl and saving it for the right man, and another girl who just doesn’t like/want sex. Huge difference. This is a major reason I choose older men: they are looking for different things from women.

  43. i married age 30 guy & myself age 35 is there any issue in sexual relationship, we have daily sex , he very much sexy.i love him very much, i just afraid he should lose his weight after having sexual relation with me.kindly suggest me , is there any problem.

  44. Most men are NOT alphas.

    They couldnt get laid in their primes.

    Get real, guys. The alpha 25:year old women are NOT chasing beta 35 year old men.

    You most likely are a beta 35 year old man with a very much beta 25 year old woman.

    You tell yourself she is an alpha because she is 25, thus telling yourself YOU are an alpha
    because a25 year old is into you.

    You are wrong.

  45. My parents are 8 years apart. That doesn’t seem too bad. I guess it’s mostly a case by case situation. Some couples with a 20 year age difference might not have much in common, and it may eventually show up. If you and your guy have a lot in common and seem to be on the same wavelength, then I suppose there isn’t much wrong with it!

  46. This article is spot on.
    One thing to add do not forget that is a women is 5+ years older when she hits 50 and along with her estrogen her sex drive dips as well the guy will still be high and willing. That will be a serious issue. It is great if love and intimacy is still there but without sex it will not be too good of a life.


  1. […] Originally Posted by Cosmos Of course there are. Athol says so! Oh come on, Athol never says this. See his today's post: Age Gaps are a Relationship Stress […]

  2. […] I thought this comment on Age Gaps are a Relationship Stress warranted it’s own post. Pay careful attention to the fact that he clearly wants the […]

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