Ultimately, I’ll argue that they would be well-served to expand their search upwards, to women in their thirties and forties.
Because it has been a successful way to introduce previous posts, I wanted to put real faces on this demographic before I delve into a bunch of numbers.
So that’s the lay of the land, and now I’d like to say why I think it could be different.
It’s no secret that dating changes radically as you get older.
As you can see below, the number of online daters peaks at 24, drops sharply at around 30, and then gradually tapers off, as the remaining singletons either find mates or withdraw themselves from contention: The bar chart here shows how the woman to man ratio changes over time. In a better world, this would imply that older people don’t necessarily have a harder time finding decent mates than younger ones, as the composition of the dating pool holds relatively steady from age to age.
Metaphors aside, we can evaluate the potential matches for a given age/gender by summing the area under the curve (AP Calculus, ftw!
) I made these calculations in the chart below, and we can see that women have more pursuers than men until age 26, but thereafter a man can expect many more potential dates than a woman of the same age.
Put another way: a 45 year-old woman shouldn’t have a harder time finding a date than a 20 year-old, because the female-to-male ratios at those ages are equal (roughly 11:9).
Of course, we all know that 45 year-olds do have a much harder time, because the male fixation on youth distorts the dating pool.I, on the other hand, can make my claim by looking at a woman’s stated preferences: This is a nationwide “age progression” of American women, a normalized heat map similar to the ones you saw above, but with an added geographical component.By moving the slider you can watch how attitudes become more sex-positive as the population gets older.Pictured below are some single users in their mid-thirties or early forties, taken from the first couple pages of my own local match search.Nothing I’ll talk about today pertains necessarily to any one of them, but I wanted to put forward some people to go with the statistical discussion.So you can see how differently women think about dating and age, here are the corresponding charts for them: Except in their early to mid-twenties, when they apparently want nothing to do with younger guys (i.e. ), women show an admirable openness to both reasonably younger and reasonably older men.