Why millennials would rather date someone older

Indian Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra (L) accompanied by Nick Jonas arrive for the pre-engagement party of India's richest man Mukesh Ambani’s eldest son Akash Ambani and fiancee Shloka Mehta in Mumbai on June 28, 2018.
PHOTO: AFP

Apart from providing romantic matches, online dating is also proving useful with finding out partner preferences.

Certain conventions still remain - older men like younger women, surprise - but there are other insights to be gleaned, especially from the younger generation using the app.

Dating social network Badoo released a study which found that among 10,500 users, 26 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds would date someone over 35, reported Business Insider last May.

This goes for both men and women: nine per cent of men revealed they would date someone 20 years older while almost one-third of women have gone on a date with someone 10 years older.

The preference was attributed to more visibility of famous couples in relationships with big age gaps, said Abbie Moujaes, Badoo's in-house dating expert to Business Insider.

Examples given were French President Emmanuel Macron and wife Brigitte (25-year gap) and George and Amal Clooney (17-year gap). These high-profile couples somehow soften the stigma towards May-December relationships.

Seeking stability was also a factor. "Dating someone older can be seen as a fast-track route into leading a stable life, which for a lot of millennials is enticing," said Moujaes.

Such a preference is not exclusive to Badoo. According to its report published in February 2018, online dating app Zoosk found in 2017 that while 60 per cent of men prefer younger women, 27 per cent of men are attracted to older women.

However, the common trend was that the older a man becomes, the younger his match, with the age gap between half a year to three years according to the app.

Dating site EliteSingles, which surveyed over 450,000 members back in 2015, found that men between 20 to 29 years old said they were fine with dating a woman 10 years older. However, women of the same age did not want to date someone past three years their junior.

Psychologist Sam Owen said one reason younger men prefer older women could be the shifts in gender roles in modern society.

"Young men nowadays probably also recognise that older women are adept at diligently juggling so many responsibilities (career, children, housekeeping, fitness, finances, socializing), which makes them intriguing and attractive and a more secure option," she said.

More female celebrities are also shedding the stigma towards the "cougar" title.

Recently, 39-year-old Kourtney Kardashian was linked to 20-year-old model Luka Zabbat. Priyanka Chopra, 36, is happily engaged to Nick Jonas, 25. Shakira and longtime partner, Gerard Pique, 10 years her junior, have a family together.

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