If you find yourself striking out in the love department, you might want to set your sights on a different age demographic and start dating older women. If you’re an older woman or a younger man, you should consider getting your cougar on.
Madonna, Demi Moore, Halle Berry—all of whom are in their 40s and 50s—have dated hot and eligible younger men in recent years, proving that sometimes youth doesn’t always equal desire or compatibility. Seeing that these women are both sexy and smart, we sense there’s more to these relationships than just a need to explore the Mrs. Robinson cliché.
So what is it about older women that young men can’t resist? We chatted with Susan Winter, an evolutionary relationship expert and co-author of Older Women, Younger Men: New Options for Love and Romance, to discuss the top six traits that make mid-life women magnets for men.
She doesn’t play games. Forget playing coy or playing games, period. Older women don’t play games, and that’s very attractive for a man. “The fact that they don’t play games gives a younger man a road map to a successful relationship,” says Winter. “Younger women aren’t quite sure what to say. [They] don’t even know that they are playing games. Younger men like the clarity that older women have.”
Her confidence. When a woman shows comfort and pleasure in everything she does, it’s difficult for a man to resist her. “Confidence is sexy,” says Winter. “Whether it’s an attitude or in the bedroom, older women have gained a self-awareness and that’s desirable.”
Her ability to communicate. Clarity is key in every relationship, but it especially comes easier to an older woman—an attractive attribute for most younger men. “We are not afraid if someone likes us or likes what we like. We just like what we like and that equals easy communication,” says Winter. “Most men, I find, tell me, they just want to know, ‘What do you want, what do you need?’ They are the first ones to say, ‘Why didn’t just you tell me?’ This is something that you learn over time. ‘Wow, it’s easier to get along with men than I realize. I just have to tell what I want and need.’”
An older woman’s power. There is something very alluring about a woman who is self-sufficient and who can not only foot the bill for dinner, but who can also take care of herself financially. “This group of men is turned on by a woman’s power. The older men that I know don’t like women who are too successful or powerful. They don’t think it’s feminine. So they have an archetype of women and how it was in the ‘50s,” says Winter. “But the young guys, they’ve grown up with working moms, and also they find [power] a turn-on.”
Seeking “content over flash.” Younger men who are interested in older women are done with the sexual conquests and the nightclub behavior. They are now seeking something more. “They have a deep need for content,” says Winter. “One reason why I think we’ve tipped to this point in our evolution. Sexuality is open. Men can eat from the candy store anytime. It is not hard to get a hookup. Twenty years ago, you had to be a boyfriend. Fifty years ago, you had to be married. So because hookups are part of the culture, you get a lot of women. But what happens is, it’s like if you eat all the junk food you want, you’re like, now I want to eat a real good steak. Now [younger men] are connoisseurs, so they are looking for something more. They are looking for a woman to show up emotionally. A mature love, a depth. An older woman has a lot of content.”
Older women look good. Using Madonna, Moore and Berry as exemplary examples—yes, older women now are healthy and vibrant—and hot. “They look ten years younger for their age group. Sometimes fifteen, twenty years,” says Winter. “So now, visually, they are on the radar for younger guys.
Don’t your age disqualify you from a great relationship. Feeling sexy and confident in your skin is attractive to men of all ages.