June 2, 2017

"When men message women, women tend to respond most often to men around their own ages. But when women message men..."

"... they’re actually more likely to get a response from younger men than they are from older ones. A 40-year-old woman will have better luck messaging a 25-year-old man than a 55-year-old one, according to the data. And a 30-year-old man is more likely to respond to a message from a 50-year-old woman than a message from any other age group. When women make the first move, the age gap dating norm is reversed."

Is that mysterious?

The comment at 10:04 pretty much punctures the mystery.

ADDED: In case you can't see the "10:04" that I see, here's the comment:
The difference is that most 45 year old women would happily date men their own age or older but, as the survey suggests, men their own age aren't interested in them. And when those men do show interest, it is often with some implied sense of pity and biding their time until someone better (younger) comes along. So if you're a middle aged women and men your age won't respond to you but younger men will, might as well seize those opportunities and enjoy them.

43 comments:

David said...

I can't find a comment at 10:04 on the linked post. Mysterious.

Unknown said...

Comments time stamps are time zone dependent. The 10:04 comment does not show as 10:04 for people in different time zones.

Crimso said...

I'm in the same time zone as Althouse, and I see no 10:04. If it is dependent only on the location of the commenter and not the reader, she wouldn't see a 10:04 either unless there was a 10:04 but now there isn't.

Crimso said...

I'm guessing it's the 8:04.

Ann Althouse said...

Weird. Had no idea.

I put a special link on it in the post. That should work.

rehajm said...

The difference is that most 45 year old women would happily date men their own age or older but, as the survey suggests, men their own age aren't interested in them...

I recall something Candace Bushnell observed about older women looking for men. It wasn't that men their own age weren't attracted to them, it was that the type of men their own age they like weren't interested in them.
Women have a very large no-go zone and older women are no exception, but the good looking established, moneyed, master of the universe types they tend to be attracted to don't reciprocate.

I'm sure the younger attractive women who like those men too have something to do with it.

michaele said...

This made for an even more interesting read for me because I mistakenly read the word as "massage".

rhhardin said...

If you're looking for women, morse code on ham radio isn't the way to go.

1982 contacts as of May 31, 3 women (judging from name).

There was one in ND the other day, the only state I'm missing, but she apparently wasn't listening, just transmitting. Transmitting her call every minute or so.

It's like birds perhaps. A territory thing.

Todd said...

The difference is that most 45 year old women would happily date men their own age or older but, as the survey suggests, men their own age aren't interested in them. And when those men do show interest, it is often with some implied sense of pity and biding their time until someone better (younger) comes along. So if you're a middle aged women and men your age won't respond to you but younger men will, might as well seize those opportunities and enjoy them.

I can understand that, I can also understand the man's perspective. Why pay that much money for a used car with that many miles on it and all of the maintenance issues when you can get a much newer one with fewer miles and problems for the same money or less...

MayBee said...

So if you're a middle aged women and men your age won't respond to you but younger men will, might as well seize those opportunities and enjoy them.

that doesn't really explain why the younger men are more likely to respond, does it?
It only explains why women may be more likely to try younger men.

Kevin said...

"I can understand that, I can also understand the man's perspective."

PTSD from the still-too-recent divorce.

Todd said...

Kevin said...

PTSD from the still-too-recent divorce.

6/2/17, 10:23 AM


My condolences and sympathies. Have not experienced such a thing first hand but have been a witness, multiple times. No one gets out unscathed.

eric said...

Here is my guess.

Older men are more willing and patient with younger women. Remember, these are younger women. They still believe their looks will last forever. They are still thinking about career and family and life that is ahead of them. So, they are picky.

Young men are probably annoyed by this pickiness. That's where older women come in. They are more "desperate". For lack of a better term.

Older women realize their days are numbered. Each day they get older and less attractive. So, they are more willing to overlook those things they didn't use to overlook.

So, it's all about patience and wisdom on the older persons part.

Younger men probably like the way older women treat them. With respect. Interested in them. When for younger women it's all about her.

Older men don't care. They are happy to make it all about her. Because they are just looking for the sexiest girl they can find. For the older man, it's a shallow pursuit.

tcrosse said...

Any or all of these factors can be altered by the application of Money.

walter said...

There's responses..and then there are selected acceptable age ranges. And the selection by women of an age range that skews younger than them correlates highly with how physically attractive they are...(seemingly moreso in urban midwest than L.A.)..even when they have children living at home.
MILF is trendy..women dating older guys is not..because Patriarchy or something.
However, there is mixed info in terms of actual relationships..some suggesting millenial women are seeking much older men.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The original mystery:

But when women message men they’re actually more likely to get a response from younger men than they are from older ones.

The comment supposedly puncturing the mystery:

So if you're a middle aged women and men your age won't respond to you but younger men will, might as well seize those opportunities and enjoy them.

How does that puncture the mystery? The mystery is about what the younger men do, isn't it? How does a comment about the opportunities women seize address that?

MayBee said...

I think eric is right.

Young men can get a young woman any time they want. That's their peer group. But women in their 40's are often very beautiful. They look so young now! So why shouldn't a young man message her back? He may not want to marry her, but why not date her (or go out with her)? It isn't that he can't just go back to a younger woman.
But the older man has already dated older women. And the younger woman may not come along again, because it isn't his peer group. And he doesn't have as much time ahead of him to just date and discard.

Crimso said...

The Althouse Vortex has caused a two hour rip in the spacetime continuum. It's later than we think.

MayBee said...

Ignorance is Bliss- yes, I too am confused about how that solves the mystery.

It makes more sense if it is *men* seizing the opportunity when younger women message them.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

My explanation:

When middle-aged women message older men, they don't message a representative sample of those men, they only message the cream-of-the-crop, most successful ones. Those men, having a buyer's market, only respond to the best few of the women. There are many other older men who would be happy to respond, but never get messaged.

When middle-aged women message younger men, they are less discriminating, and end up messaging a wider variety of the men. These men, getting fewer messages each, respond to a much greater percent of the messages.

Earnest Prole said...

For those who learn visually, here are two famous charts on male and female sexual desirability, one from the “manosphere” and the other from Jezebel. Enjoy!

1. “You can see that the peak years for women’s SMV [Sexual Market Value] tops out at around 23 years.”

2. “While women desire men more or less the same age as themselves, ‘a 50-year-old man’s idea of what’s hot is roughly the same as a college kid’s . . . if anything, men in their twenties are more willing to date older women.’”

MayBee said...

When middle-aged women message younger men, they are less discriminating, and end up messaging a wider variety of the men. These men, getting fewer messages each, respond to a much greater percent of the messages.

That actually makes sense. As you get older, you see more beauty in youth itself.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paddy O said...

I thought this was about text-messaging at first.

It's OK Cupid messaging.

That's a very particular kind of dynamic, probably not representative of people in general.

Both younger guys and older guys are on OK Cupid to connect with those outside their social circles.

Paddy O said...

I had an OK Cupid account before I was married, I certainly didn't take it seriously. I never really followed up with anyone, though I tended to reply to those who messaged me. I wasn't interested in meeting people for any real-life purpose, just enjoyed the personality tests and such. I updated my relationship status as dating/married once that happened so they'd stop sending me people I was like, and they had a nice message saying they're glad I'm in a relationship, here's other elements of the site to enjoy. They used to send me birthday messages for a long time, but I think at one point I switched off all notifications.

mockturtle said...

Ben Franklin who observed that older mistresses are better than younger because:

i. Because as they have more Knowledge of the World and their Minds are better stor'd with Observations, their Conversation is more improving and more lastingly agreable.

2. Because when Women cease to be handsome, they study to be good. To maintain their Influence over Men, they supply the Diminution of Beauty by an Augmentation of Utility. They learn to do a 1000 Services small and great, and are the most tender and useful of all Friends when you are sick. Thus they continue amiable. And hence there is hardly such a thing to be found as an old Woman who is not a good Woman.

3. Because there is no hazard of Children, which irregularly produc'd may be attended with much Inconvenience.

4. Because thro' more Experience, they are more prudent and discreet in conducting an Intrigue to prevent Suspicion. The Commerce with them is therefore safer with regard to your Reputation. And with regard to theirs, if the Affair should happen to be known, considerate People might be rather inclin'd to excuse an old Woman who would kindly take care of a young Man, form his Manners by her good Counsels, and prevent his ruining his Health and Fortune among mercenary Prostitutes.

5. Because in every Animal that walks upright, the Deficiency of the Fluids that fill the Muscles appears first in the highest Part: The Face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the Neck; then the Breast and Arms; the lower Parts continuing to the last as plump as ever: So that covering all above with a Basket, and regarding2 only what is below the Girdle, it is impossible of two Women to know an old from a young one. And as in the dark all Cats are grey, the Pleasure of corporal Enjoyment with an old Woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every Knack being by Practice capable of Improvement.

6. Because the Sin is less. The debauching a Virgin may be her Ruin, and make her for Life unhappy.

7. Because the Compunction is less. The having made a young Girl miserable may give you frequent bitter Reflections; none of which can attend the making an old Woman happy.

8thly and Lastly They are so grateful!!

John Christopher said...

Why not?

I'm divorced at 39 but only recently back into the waters of dating. I live in a large city and have the various apps on my phone. My children stay with me three or four nights a week and get all my attention those evenings. I am out to some extent almost every other night. I was home with the family every night for the decade I was married, so it's a bit of a change.

I hope this doesn't sound too crass, but here is my assessment, after 10 months, which included a 4-month relationship in the middle:

Extremely easy: dating women my own age or up to four years older (we could have been in high school at the same time) who have children already.

Not difficult: Dating never-married women aged 21-27. The further they are away from the age where they imagine being married, the more open they are to a relationship with a middle-aged man with kids.

Impossible: dating a women aged 31-38 who hasn't been married and still plans to do so and have children.

walter said...

I should have included "Cougars" above...with perhaps peak Cougar being its embrace as a tv series.

But as mentioned..and in line with John Christopher's experience:
Why Millennial Women Want to Date Older Men

traditionalguy said...

Men learn love from intelligent women who are willing to take them on and teach them for a season. But those relations tend to graduate, and the younger one find someone about their own age... five years either way being close enough to being the the same age.


Leslie Graves said...

I was very confused by this post until about halfway through, when I realized I had been misreading "message" as "massage".

David said...

Find a woman near your age who has been married before. (Preferably only once.)

Near = 6 years or less.

Figure out why she divorced and make sure she isn't selfish or crazy.

Proceed, while being nicer to her than her ex was.

There are a lot of terrific women, including numerous very beautiful ones, in that category.

The further you stray from this range, the more difficulty you will encounter. There are exceptions and you may hit the jackpot but your chances diminish rapidly.

walter said...

I was unaware of this but was certainly aware of Madison women explicitly warning off Trump supporters in their opening bio:
OK Cupid Trump Filter

Kirk Parker said...

"Young men can get a young woman any time they want."

Only someone who was never a young man could possibly think that.

The Godfather said...

Look, it's taken me some time to figure out that what the folks at that site are "messaging" about is getting laid. Implicit, not explicit, but that's it. And there's nothing wrong with that. I found myself unattached (detached?) in my mid-40's, and I tried dating women of varying ages. I concluded fairly quickly that I couldn't have a successful long-term relationship with a woman who was too much younger than me (did she remember the Kennedy assassination?). If I were on a website looking for a hook-up, my standards would have been different. Fortunately for me, I followed the old low-tech route, and I've been happily married to a woman of my own age for more than a quarter century. I'm not "messaging" anyone, and I kind of pity those who are.

Jupiter said...

This isn't rocket science. A young man receiving a ping from an older woman imagines Mrs. Robinson. An older man receiving a ping from a woman his age imagines his ex.

At least we appear to have abandoned the idiotic notion that there are no important differences between men and women. Wonder how long that will last. Shouldn't there be some way the City of Lansing can punish old guys for not responding to pings from old biddies in pussy hats?

walter said...

Godfather,
Not necessarily so. One of my friends married someone he met on "Nerve"'s personals.
Apps like Tinder are more specifically hook-up oriented.

Earnest Prole said...

Half plus seven. Am I really the first commenter to quantify the ideal age for a heterosexual male's romantic partner?

Rt1 Rebel said...

As a young man that dated older women, and as an older man that dated younger women, this is no mystery at all. Women of any age want a older man for commitment and financial security, so the older man in demand, depending on his needs, has options. Many older women give up on that possibility and settle for companionship and sex, and younger men are happy to oblige.

The Godfather said...

@Earnest Prole: I think your formula tells a man not the ideal age of his romantic partner but rather the youngest woman he can be involved with and not look like a fool.

Earnest Prole said...

I think your formula tells a man not the ideal age of his romantic partner but rather the youngest woman he can be involved with and not look like a fool.

The ideal age is actually younger than produced by this formula, but men observe it to avoid looking like a fool. For confirmation, see the Jezebel link above, "a 50-year-old man’s idea of what’s hot is roughly the same as a college kid’s."

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Bad Lieutenant said...

punish old guys for not responding to pings from old biddies in pussy hats?
6/2/17, 5:17 PM

Jupiter, it's a shark hat, Inga has said this many times.

Kirk Parker said...

David @ 1:16pm,

"Figure out why she divorced and make sure she isn't selfish or crazy."

AWALT.