Dating for women over 35

There are many urban myths in this department — that women like older men, that men like younger women (and avoid women over 30), etc.

We’ll look at these as we analyze how often users of various ages “Like” each other on the site. How to read this chart (nerds, skip this): Green blocks are where women really like men.

Let’s break up that last graph by women under and over 30: Older women universally “Like” men more often, of all ages, so yes it appears they get (marginally) less choosy.

Especially when considering more-than-slightly-older men. In brief: women aren’t actually seeking older men, but they are more tolerant of them. Silver foxes, besides George Clooney and the Dos Equis guy, are still more wrinkly than sexy.

For any age, even 22 year old women, more than half of their appeal is not fertility-motivated.

One bonus of being an older woman is that while you get fewer likes on average than your younger counterparts, those likes are much more attributable to something specific to you.

They vote for men who are about the same age, regardless of what age that is.

Perhaps they are optimizing for long term companionship, or parental investment, and indeed their preferences align extremely well with what actually happens in marriages.

A man’s virility peaks around age 22, declining over time, and as he enters his 40s, it can take many more months to conceive a child with his partner.

Yet women’s tastes resoundingly don’t vote for the fastest swimmers.

The downward slope is pretty consistent from ages 22-35, with every year mattering about the same as the next. Yes, men tend to prefer younger women, that’s pretty conclusively supported. There’s a great wikipedia page on Age and Female Fertility, but the upshot is summarized in one sentence: “A woman’s fertility peaks in her early and mid-20s, after which it starts to decline, with this decline being accelerated after age 35.” As you can see in the graph above, the gap between how often men and women are liked is greatest at 22, and gradually declines, eventually vanishing around 35.

And yes, the All Men Are Scoundrels theory is one (cheap) explanation that fits. Lots of reasons — for fun, for sex, for companionship, or to start a family. Whether you buy the causality is up to you, but the biological correlation is undeniable.

Buckle up boys, it’s going to be an uncomfortable ride. The women at least required some thought to understand, but men’s tastes are about as complicated as a four-piece jigsaw puzzle.

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