Study: Young Women Who Date Older Men May Not Be Looking for a Traditional Marriage


A lot of women grow up dreaming about marrying their perfect man before they’re 30, but judging by the high divorce rate, there are also a lot of people who obviously didn’t realize what they were getting themselves into by jumping into a marriage so soon.

The fact of the matter is that, like dating, the concept of marriage is evolving. More young women today have a better understanding of what it takes to make a long-term relationship work, and they know that a man needs more than good looks and chivalry to be a good husband. Women today want a man who’s successful, motivated, ambitious, and outgoing, in addition to being loving, caring, and romantic—that’s why so many younger women today prefer to be in a May-December relationship with an older man.

May-December relationships are the new age of dating. Young women want to be looked after both emotionally and financially, but they don’t want to be pressured into something they’re not ready for, like a marriage—a May-December relationship is the ideal solution. In fact, more women might want to consider a May-December relationship, because a new survey has found that a majority of millennials aren’t ready to commit to the traditional ideologies of marriage.

Nearly half of the people surveyed (aged 18 to 49) said they’d be on board with a two-year trial marriage, after which the couple could decide to either stay together or separate without paperwork or a formal divorce. Over a third would support a “real estate” marriage, where the terms of a marriage license must be renegotiated after five, seven, 10, or 30 years. And 21% of survey respondents would try the “presidential” approach, where marriage vows would last for a four-year term, but after eight consecutive years together, you’d be able to elect to have a new partner. Furthermore, 40% don’t believe in the traditional “till death do us part” vow.


These approaches to marriages might seem outrageous, but they align exactly with what the modern woman is looking for. “It’s not that they’re entirely noncommittal, it’s just that they’re nimble and open to change,” says the study’s author.

A May-December relationship is the best of both worlds for today’s modern woman. She can live her own life while still being spoiled and taken care of by a wealthy, mature man who really does care about her, and all without the obligation of a marriage. As many women can attest to, when you’re in a May-December relationship, there’s usually less pressure to tie the knot.

What do you think: Do you think marriages should have a trial period?



Bennett, J., “The Beta Marriage: How Millennials Approach ‘I Do,’” TIME web site, July 25, 2014;


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