Dating Younger Women: Risks and Benefits

It's a pretty common pattern for men to date younger women--and this extends to marriage too. In the Unites States, on average, a groom is 2.3 years older than his bride, according to the US Census Bureau. While it might seem obvious that dating a younger woman can make you feel younger, did you know that dating and marrying a woman 15 to 17 years your junior could make a serious difference in your lifespan?

A study conducted by Germany's Max Plank Institute found that a man's chances of dying early are cut by a fifth if their bride is between 15 and 17 years younger than them, and the risk of premature death is reduced by 11 percent if they marry a woman seven to nine years younger, compared to couples where both partners are the same age.

Aside from reducing your risk of premature death, you may be wondering about the other benefits of dating a younger woman. There are many.

Benefits of Dating a Younger Woman

If you want to feel better, have more energy, and live longer, dating a younger woman could be the answer for you. Chances are if you are dating a younger woman, you will be more physically active. Here are some of the many benefits of physical activity:

  • You'll feel happier. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that can leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than before the activity. Regular physical activity can even help prevent depression.
  • Increased confidence. You'll look better and feel better when you are more physically active, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.
  • Disease prevention. Regular physical activity can help you prevent, or manage, high blood pressure, reduce your cholesterol level, and prevent type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and certain types of cancer. 
  • Weight management. The increased physical activity will help you manage your weight because when you engage in physical activity, you burn calories.
  • Better sex. Because you look and feel younger, the sex can be great. According to staff at the Mayo Clinic, a healthy sex life is not only fulfilling, but it's also good for other aspects of your life, including your physical health and self-esteem.
  • You'll sleep better. Physical activity is sometimes the key to better sleep because regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep.

The Risks of Dating a Younger Woman

Men between the ages of 40-55 show signs of what some call "the male menopause" also known as andropause. This is a health condition that occurs when a man's testosterone levels begin to decrease. For some men, according to staff at the Mayo Clinic, low testosterone may cause:

  • Changes in sexual function. This may include reduced sexual desire, fewer spontaneous erections--such as during sleep—and infertility. Your testes may become smaller as well.
  • Changes in sleep patterns. Sometimes low testosterone causes insomnia or other sleep disturbances.
  • Physical changes. Various physical changes are possible, including increased body fat, reduced muscle bulk and strength, and decreased bone density. Swollen or tender breasts (gynecomastia) and hair loss are possible. You may experience hot flashes and have less energy than you used to.
  • Emotional changes. Low testosterone may contribute to a decrease in motivation or self-confidence. You may feel sad or depressed, or have trouble concentrating or remembering things.

If you experience any of the above symptoms of andropause, the following become risks in your relationship with a younger woman:

  • There could be sexual incompatibility (e.g. she wants more than you can deliver).
  • She might run you ragged (e.g. you might be staying up later than you prefer, or drinking more than you prefer).
  • If you can't keep up with the younger woman, she might lose interest in you and look for a younger man.
  • Your stress level could increase due to worrying about keeping up with her and keeping her interested.
  • You might get a social response that could be embarrassing, such as "Is she your daughter?"
  • She may want to have children and to start a family, and you may feel too tired for that, or even may be infertile.

Bottom Line

If you can handle the faster pace, increased activity, and potential of an embarrassing moment, then the benefits of dating a younger woman outweigh the risks.  And remember, research suggests you'll even live longer.


BJS. "Old Men Chasing Young Women: A Good Thing." Science Blog. Web. 7 June 2010.

Drefahl, Sven. "How Does the Age Gap Between Partners Affect Survival?" Demography. 2010 May. 47:2 pp. 313-326.

"Marriage and Life Expectancy." Press Release. Max Plank Institute for Demographic Research. 12 May 2010. Web. 8 Jun 2010.

Mayo Clinic Staff. 'Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity." Web. 23 Jun 2010.

Mayo Clinic Staff. "Male Menopause: Myth or Reality." Web. 23 Jun 2010.

Wardrop, Murray. "Men Live Longer if They Marry a Younger Woman." 2 Jun 2009. Web. 8 Jun 2010.