“One gram of brain weighs more than a kilo of stupidity.”
To use a metaphor, this post offers guidance for men who could form oblivious guilt in being a canary in a coal mine. It is advanced warning to guys in their late teens or early 20s who are currently with girlfriends of similar age. Older men, if honest, will be in agreement come the end of reading.
I tend to think that many readers of this blog will be familiar with Rollo Tomassi’s Sexual Market Value (SMV) graph. To date, and in my opinion, it offers the most entertaining, informative and, more importantly, furthest degree of accuracy and validity in terms of how female and male projected attraction onto the opposite sex is fluctuated by their respective age. In summary, women peak at 23 and men do likewise at 38, and they hit a compromising level at around 30. This is Tomassi’s view on how it works. To cynics and pie-sky chasers, they could claim there is no evidence to back this up. To people living in the real world, they will point to what they see with their own two eyes.
Not that the SMV is without a couple of restrictions, and Rollo himself has made reference to this. In my view, the biggest caveat would be that the male peak value age of 38 is with consideration to men who have looked after their physical look. Whilst physical attractiveness is not close to being a deal breaker for men to attract women as it is in the inverse situation, it is still important. The vast majority of 23 year old women would, in an ideal world, prefer to be with a 28 year old man than a 38 year old man, if all else was equal.
Whilst not a huge issue in the modern day, there is still a small stigma attached to a woman dating a man 15 years her senior. So although the 38 year old man could be potentially earning in excess of $40k/annum against his younger self of 10 years ago, this factor, more often than not, would not be enough to attract a very cute or hot woman (in relativity to his own look) if he sports a high waistline, double chin, baggy eyes and grey hair. However, if he still looks good, the pull of wealth and status will act as a 7th gear to surpass his younger male competition. Although I’m not a fan of celebrity examples for “real world” illustration in the sexual market, Enrique Iglesias shows how a man in his late 30s can look just as eye catching, if not more impressive, than he did in his 20s.
But I take on a slightly different route on all this, in looking upon the possible implications of men dating women of age parity. From first-hand experience, and from how I see older men now emote with their respective female partners, a forthcoming underwhelmed portrait on a man’s face is a likely consequence if he chose to settle down with a woman of similar age.
18 to 22: When they met
Many young men will meet their loved ones during the University years or post further education, and this will typically be from 18 to 22. It all makes sense. Men of this age, who were losing out on girls their own age a few years previous due to general female puberty and maturity being a couple of years advanced, are now mentally and physically mature enough for these young women to no longer feel the need to look for older male takers like they did through high school/sixth form. There may be a year or two gap (usually the girl being the younger), but no great disparity is seen in any respect. The physical look, mental wavelength, values and plan of life is pretty much on a par.
I’ll mention once more: they both, with negligible allowances and exceptions acknowledged, physically look their actual age. In other words, the ageing notifications will not show any imbalance on either side. Also, the majority of women in their early 20s have not reached the female driven thought mechanism to locate a wealthy and high occupational status man who can provide for her future. It is, mainly, about the way her heart beats.
This isn’t to say that all women go for the best looking man they can possibly attain at this age (it’s actually no more than half of them who will), but a man’s physical attractiveness plays a major part in the whole selection process. Even the 50% and more of women who do consciously “date down” with a lesser looking boyfriend are driven from motivations by how he makes her feel and what he does for her – hence his comparative ugliness to boost her ego, and his appreciation of her existence – as opposed to his financial providing capabilities.
23 to 25: Post University / Next life step conundrums
From a physical looks perspective, everything during this phase is hunky dory. Although a touch of boredom will be an inevitable consequence on a man’s part if he is still with the woman he met in the previous timeframe, there are only negligible signs of his female partner’s declining beauty. In fact at this phase, on the basis she has lived a healthy lifestyle, he should have seen her grow into a beautiful woman – relative to the up and down glamorous scale she will go through in her entire life.
Nevertheless, as they reach 25 a pivotal stage encounters both of their worlds. They both will have reached the same crossroads with alternative turns being contemplated. The woman, with dual residence, marriage and kids sitting firmly on her impending mind, will be living with this concern simultaneous to slowly being passed in the streets by younger (therefore likely hotter) female rivals. She won’t be ignorant to her boyfriend taking crafty glances at them more than he once did. As a pre-selected and physically developing man, rest assured that these younger cuties will be looking at him too. In the same period, the man in this dynamic will be juggling with thoughts of losing independence and no longer having the flexibility to fornicate, if the temptation was too much to resist.
26 to 30: Does he or doesn’t he?
A woman who is happy with her man will now be rowing that little bit harder to settle down. Needless to say, a woman who isn’t happy with her man would have left him by now due to the clock ticking that bit quicker in locating a suitable future husband.
Tomassi’s SMV curve indicates a meeting of sexual market value equality at 30 years of age, but my personal take on this is that it occurs, in a general context, a couple of years earlier. The only reason I state this is because most men will physically look their best around their 28th birthday, whilst women will be on a slow but noticeable decline down at this same point. All things equal, an unmarried man in a relationship with a woman he was with at 21 should be in a far more powerful position at 28. In terms of choosing to track down higher calibre members of the opposite sex than they currently hold on to, the man at 28 should, in theory, be looking through a far more optimistic telescope. This isn’t to say he will have more options in numbers per se, as the woman will still have the usual supplicated and desperate nice guys following her, but his options of younger and hotter women are at an all time high.
As far as the physical analysis side of things goes, this is a difficult time for a man. As stated above, most men will aesthetically look their best during the late 20s, and this is concurrent to escalating pay cheques and promotions at work. From my observations, a man who is born with run of the mill looks, genetics and intelligence will never be seen as more appealing to women of all ages than in his late 20s to early 30s. Younger women find this incredibly attractive, and he will pick up on this. Although he will love his older girlfriend, human nature dictates to manifest a predilection to recall those fresh times during the college days. I would expect there isn’t a man in this position who hasn’t closed his eyes in hope that he could spend the days with his loyal, faithful, personable and empathetic girlfriend, yet the nights with the younger interlopers who have been eyeing him up in the bar or gym.
31 onwards: Decision time
Unless it is a rare woman who knows an uncommitted long term life with a high calibre man is an existence worth far more than portraying a diamond, wife status and motherhood, she won’t be sticking around any longer. It’s all been said before, so I don’t need to elaborate on why women crave to speed the committal path up post 30 years of age.
As female sexual compulsions are every honest man’s daily thoughts, it is an unfortunate course of events that whilst he is near on his pinnacle look in conjunction to being desired by other ladies, his female partner is no longer the fresh thing that passed him by 10 years earlier. Sure, she still may look decent, but the man in this bond will start to think he could do better. The choice is down to him, but sometimes the biggest regrets are ascertained from what you don’t do.
Some men will take on a tail wagging the dog proverbial mindset when they reach decision time. The bigger part of their mind acts as a voice within telling them something isn’t quite right, but then many will mitigate this itching feeling with words of “the grass is always greener on the other side”, “personality and love conquers all”, or “a younger girl would be too high maintenance”. As I say, the decision can only be made by the man sat inside his own bubble, but one thing I can assure anyone is that if you have doubts over being with a woman after a significant amount of time together, you never will be ready. Simply put: if it isn’t right for you today, it sure won’t be right for you tomorrow. Do the right thing, and let her move on. It will be the best for all parties involved.
I may be biased with regards to this topic. I have dated and been in relationships with younger women for the better part of my adult life, and my father was 8 years older than my mother. I can also relate to being that guy who fell in love for the first time during University days to a woman of the same age. She was the nearest thing possible to perfect girlfriend material, but 4 years on and there were noticeable physical attractiveness movements from start to finish (mine escalating whilst she, at best, stayed the same), interests from younger women, and polar opposite commitment requirements come the day we called it quits.
I cannot track down the actual source, but a few years ago I came across a formula for the ideal age gap for men and women to produce a successful relationship. It was a simple equation that divided a man’s age by 2, then to add on 7. Therefore:
- A man of 30 with a woman of 22
- A man of 40 with a woman of 27
- A man of 50 with a woman of 32
This post is predominantly analyzing from a physical viewing perspective alone, whilst the formula considered many criteria. We all know that the more a man can offer – mainly money and status – the easier it is for him to pull a younger bird. I would re-iterate once more that, for it not to look like the vision of a creepy old man with a younger trophy wife, it is most critical for a man to have looked after himself and be blessed with kind genetics. Some 50 year old men can look a few years younger, but then women rarely look much younger than their birth certificate proof once they pass 30.
I wouldn’t necessarily fully adhere with this theoretical formula. I see it as a little stretched as the man’s age ascends. But one aspect that realms true is how women, by and large, show defects at an earlier age and at a faster rate than men. With this in mind, the formula is more relevant for a man who looks after his welfare to bring about a viewing that looks much younger than his chronological number indicates.
But when all is said and done, and unless I’ve missed something along the way, the true substance that a successful relationship is measured on is if it stays together on a happy basis. If a woman and man meet at respective ages where they will eventually collide in pronounced physical slide at a similar date – on average, the man will be 45 and the woman roughly 35 - I would expect this would, in theory, keep both parties with a smile on their face.
I would add that there are 3 scenarios where a long term relationship could work where both the woman and man meet at the same age:
- A man considerably less physically attractive in relative terms than his female partner. This physical evolution concept would never reach a stage where he is better looking than her, thus reducing the temptations for him to stray in the future.
- Women with very kind physical genetics. Naturally, she will age at a similar rate to her better half, and his appreciation of her beauty remains higher than that of a woman with the “normal” ageing process rate.
- Men who are so sex hungry that they can become aroused just on the thought of a vagina. Believe me, there are some men out there who epitomize this low arousal threshold requirement. How she looks is a mere formality with these men. If this is the fortunate (misfortunate?) situation for a man, and this format can last indefinitely, there becomes little reason to look elsewhere.
The information as subscribed to above will go a long way to explain why the majority of women consciously select less physically attractive men than their own self-assessed likewise grade. They will know their maximized beauty will not last forever, but they will still hold desires to be more eye catching than the man they are with. Call it a contingency plan, if you will. The unavoidable observation of 10% to 15% leverage is the usual occurrence with regards to a woman being better looking than her male partner, but even this differential at a young age may not be enough comfort zone for her crystal ball visions of 10 to 15 years ahead. As although she will still likely be marginally more physically attractive than her man on this future date, his heightened value – due to increased job power, occupational status, earnings and charisma – may lead him to believe that he can now do better than the woman he once bizarrely idolized back then.
Acknowledgements and further reading