Sorry, ladies, but if men were attracted to older women the world would come to an end

Sorry, ladies, but if men were attracted to older women the world would come to an end

I feel very sorry for older women who are looking for a partner. It must be immensely dispiriting to keep on being rejected by men you consider age appropriate who are in search of women half your age.

This Guardian piece tells a familiar story. Stella Grey – a non-de-plume – is sharing her experiences with online dating and, this week, she reports that “it’s disheartening that men in their 50s seem so focused on looks”. She goes on to relate how women in their 50s hate feeling that they’re invisible in public places.

But isn’t this a biological imperative?

Men can father children until the day they turn up their toes. Surely, in ancient times, a man who lived to a ripe old age would be carrying exactly the kinds of genes that could benefit society as a whole.  And the best way of passing them on would be via a nubile young thing at the peak of her fertility.

That could even explain why so many younger women seem to fancy older men – less because they’re attracted to experience, success and sophistication than a primeval drive to get hold of their genes.

Extrapolating to the extreme, if men of all ages found older women irresistibly attractive, we’d die out as a species.

It hardly seems fair, and it’s very sad for the women who despair of ever meeting someone who values them for who they are rather than the way they look. But, as they turn to surgery and snake oil in a bid to appear perennially 35, aren’t they missing a crucial point? Couldn’t their lack of appeal have less to do with the way they look than the cold, hard fact that they can’t make babies any more?

Of course, not every lonely older man will find his youthful ideal and many will share fulfilling relationships with women close to their own age. But if women started out with a more realistic approach to online expectations they might save themselves a lot of heartache and hand-wringing along the way.