While fairly normal throughout most of history, relationship and attraction age gaps are a controversial topic these days (sometimes a victim of the mythical “Half Your Age Plus Seven Rule“). Sometimes society is fairly accepting, like when hot older celebrities like Johnny Depp or Harrison Ford date women ten to twenty years younger (or even more).
In other instances, society’s reaction may be hostility, like when a fat old guy gets caught checking out a college girl.
Even though most Westerners believe “love is love,” for some reason they rage and judge when they come across examples of legal age-gap relationships, with words like “creepy,” “controlling” and “manipulative” thrown around about the guy…. and “daddy issues” used to shame the woman involved.
I’m not going to tackle the question of whether large age gaps are natural here in too much depth. However, a detailed OKCupid analysis sheds some light on the topic. It showed that men of all ages (yep, all ages) find women in their late teens and early twenties the most attractive. The study also found that guys regularly message women much younger than their “looking for” information suggests (see Dataclysm by Christian Rudder).
Despite wanting to date younger women, the analysis showed guys still generally date women closer to their own age. This disparity is likely a mix of lack of opportunity to date younger women, and that a lot of older guys just can’t compete with younger guys in many areas of attractiveness. So, despite occasional stories of elite older guys (like celebrities) dating much younger women, age-gap relationships are pretty rare.
So what about older women and younger men? Despite media hype, one recent large, cross-cultural study showed that, outside of the Hollywood imagination, the concept of “cougars” is largely a myth, and that women still prefer dating older men, and men younger women.
So, to get to the point of the title…Despite all of this information, as I mentioned, some people like to shame women who like older men as having “daddy issues.”
Well, a new study suggests women who date much older men have no “daddy” issues, and have the same type of attachment that women in similar-age relationships have.
The whole “daddy issues” put down is usually a way for jealous people negatively impacted by age-gap relationships to shame those in them, i.e. jealous older women and younger men. Older women get jealous because a quality older man is choosing a more attractive, fun, and fertile woman over them, and younger men get angry because an older man has snatched up a younger girl they believe should date them.
So, ladies, if that’s your thing, keep crushing on those hot older guys. It’s perfectly natural, and not a reflection on you or your relationship with your dad (or lack thereof).