Dr. Paul Dobransky is a Chicago-based psychiatrist, author, and CEO of www.doctorpaul.net, specializing in the areas of trauma, men’s psychology, dating, relationships, and their missions in life. He is an innovator and inventor of unification theories of psychology, as well as a frequent teacher alongside David DeAngelo, Neil Strauss, Mystery, and most “men’s community gurus,” adding science and professionalism to the men’s community training programs at every opportunity.
He was a first-responder to the Columbine Tragedy and has been a contributing expert to CNN, Fox News, NBC, CBS, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Men’s Fitness, Blender, Maxim, and many other national media outlets.
Do you think that’s one of the key mistakes older men make when they’re trying to approach, have sex, or date younger women? They blow their chances by pushing for sex too fast, and making their intentions too obvious?
Yes, absolutely, because of two factors. The first factor is the most significant problem men that over 40 have: they buy into a stigma that age matters. The second factor is an over-concentration on learning to be seductive and attractive, but leaving out a deep understanding of the psychology of women. Women are in many ways more complex psychologically than men, especially in how sexual attraction occurs. This is, in part, because of evolution. Men produce billions of sperm over a lifetime, but women have only between 200 and 300 viable eggs.
For men, we use pardon the pun the shotgun approach. We are sexually attracted to many, many women over our lifetime, even if we are committed to only one. We would be dishonest to not admit that we are sexually attracted to many. Meanwhile, a woman’s reproductive strategy is to be highly selective. Women are looking for a man they are sexually attracted to, but it’s also about a man’s ability to indicate friendship potential and commitment potential. Those are features of character. There is nothing out there that teaches you character development. So women need to feel you are sexually savvy, but they also need to have indications that you could be a good friend and be of high character. The high character tells the woman that you’re the type of guy that will stay around if she gets pregnant. Being of high character means that that sex will be special with you, not cheap, and it would be meaningful, lasting and a bonding experience—as opposed to a one-night stand.
Being able to show friendship and character are strengths of men who are 40 and above, because they’ve had a lot of life experience that gives them the opportunity to grow character. Having character makes him more attractive to younger women. Guys in their early 20s might just be up for one night stands. Generally, they don’t know what they want to do with their lives, don’t have much life experience, and haven’t had much of a chance to grow a rich and refined character. So there are strengths and weaknesses to an older man/younger woman pairing.
When you work with older guys, what sort of approach do you recommend when they’re looking to form relationships with younger women?
However you approach younger women, there are going to be foundational strategies that have nothing to do with your age or culture of origin that must occur, because sexual attraction doesn’t just “happen.” An older man needs to approach a younger woman in a way that is age appropriate for him. It’s not going to serve him well to wear crazy Hawaiian shirts or platform boots with blinking lights on them. That will make him look strange and uncomfortable, and it probably won’t suit his level of sophistication and maturity.
A lot of people in the men’s community would lead people to believe that it is possible to approach any woman any time and be successful. While it is possible to approach any woman at any time, and successfully get her attention, I think most guys want the ability to hold and maintain her attention and make her feel sexual attraction. Women are the ones who start this sexual attraction process. They give us what sociologists call “submission signals.” If they’re not giving off these signals, then the man isn’t doing his job correctly. He’s not triggering her to feel curiosity and attraction towards him.
So how does a 40+ man trigger curiosity in a 25-year-old woman in a way that will get her to send him those signals?
I would suggest a man might start talking to a woman over his shoulder, or from the side, because it conveys high self-esteem. You might wear one interesting article of clothing. You might have a lot of friends and know a lot of people in the environment, and she notices this about you. You can be indirect in your approach. It’s the opposite of walking up to a woman and basically implying to her, “You’re hot. I know you want me.” Rather, start a conversation that is stimulating and sophisticated. These would generally be the best approaches a man 40 and above could use.
What are some other important things older men need to understand about younger women?
Well, a women’s sense of femininity, identity, and passion for life is very much rooted in her sense of acceptance when she’s around other women. Anyone could observe this and say, “Yeah, women always have girlfriends and they like to be in their girlfriends’ good favor.” The reason and depth of this, however, goes back all the way to hunter/gatherer tribal times and evolution, and back to ancient times when men were out hunting and killing things and extending their territory, oftentimes in isolation from one another. Women would be gathered together back at the village, and if they did not develop a sophisticated sense of reading each other’s emotions and being accepted by the group of women, their lives would literally be in danger. If there wasn’t a lot of talk and communication between the women, a child could possibly die, or a tiger might show up and attack someone. This stuff is all rooted in evolution.
Today, we have a sophisticated society that is not ancient “hunter-gatherer” style, but we still retain these ancient instincts and reflexes. One of the core instincts of women is the need to belong, and be considered normal and accepted. So one of the biggest challenges, in approaching and dating younger women, is the social stigma of an age difference. Is it considered by her and her peer group to be abnormal to date an older guy? Or can it be normal, if the guy has a really rich, fun personality and has something to bring to the table? This will also center on how mature the woman is, and the maturity of her peer group. Some very beautiful women, who have beautiful friends, are immature regardless of their age. The less mature a woman is, the more driven by instinct she is. Therefore, the less of an individual she is.
So you can be blocked from the get-go, simply because her peer group is immature and not accepting of older men?
Even if she’s mature, her immature peer group may still rule the day if you’re not able to win them over. And it’s probably not going to work if her maturity level if far lower than yours. But this is okay, because why would you want to date an extremely immature young woman? This just leads to a high-maintenance and often co-dependent relationship.
This leads to the second mistake men tend to make when wanting to date younger women that they only value the woman’s physical beauty. If that’s all they value, then there is a large chance that they’re going to have a significant drain on their resources: their time, energy, and money. Oftentimes, very beautiful women carry with them a very immature state of character. They never quite feel like the man makes them look good to their friends. When they are immature and young, they value their friends far more than they could ever value an individual man.
So what are some concrete steps that our readers can take, in order to prepare themselves to go out and start dating quality younger women?
Well, I encourage men to not just take action, and not just get over their approach anxiety, but to also be very selective. Ignore beauty as the only criterion for all that you want in a woman, because if beauty is all that matters, then you’re going to do a lot of failing and lose a lot of resources. You have to care about how mature the woman is regardless of age or beauty, and how mature her peer group is, too, because her friends are going to have a very significant influence on her. If you’re a 40-year-old construction worker, and she’s a 25-year-old grad student, there is a fair chance that her peer group is used to being around older men and mentors, and are of higher sophistication and character. There is a much higher chance of success with that kind of woman. Even if you do not understand at all what her career is about, and you’re more of a blue collar type of guy, that’s a better match than you being a banker and dating a 25 year old model or actress who has no real career.
Thanks Dr. Paul, now let’s review the key points you’ve covered…
Friendship is of the essence. It can’t just be about sexual attraction tactics. There has to be a way to form a friendship with a woman. If you look at what friendship is, it boils down to mutual positive emotion. It’s critical to boost her self-esteem.
Having a well-developed sense of humor is very important for older guys as they attempt to relate to younger women. The age range and cultural stigma greatly expands if a man is humorless. Humor becomes far more important than it ever was when you were 25, because you need to be able to form a friendship with a woman and make her feel positive and happy to be in your presence.
2. Be Unique
Anything that can make you unique sets you apart from all the wanna-bes. Cultural stigmas, and the maturity level of her and her friends, may present challenges—but you can overcome them with the strength of your life experiences. Your ability to be a speaker, to express yourself, to tell stories of your unique and broad life experiences, will automatically set you apart from the vast majority of younger men.
When it comes to alluring any women of any age, one of the first strategic steps is to be somewhat mysterious. This comes from the “female Oedipal period of life.” It’s the most primal core sexual attractor for women, regardless of your age or her age. The reason for this is that her very first encounter with masculinity came from her father. She came to view “daddy” as a powerful and somewhat mysterious figure. For the rest of her life, whatever pattern of communicating, loving and connecting with her dad—most importantly, her experiences with her father between ages three and six—she is going to unconsciously apply with every man she ever meets, falls in love with, or is ever sexually attracted to. Maintaining a level of mystery is the most powerful way to trigger these instincts in her—to make her want to win your affection and approval.
When talking to a woman, don’t put all your cards on the table. Don’t give her a verbal resume, or tell her everything about yourself. By doing so, you’re killing the mystery. As a cool, confident, sophisticated older guy, you have no need to “prove yourself” to younger women. The idea is to make her want to prove herself to you.