The Defy Aging Newsletter

Anti-aging psychology, holistic health, and wellness

a biweekly e-mail newsletter for helping you think, feel, look, and be more youthful and live with purpose.

August 14, 2008 Number 193

This issue:

How Love Changes with Age


Embrace how love changes with age and become kinder and more mature.


Remember what you thought was important in the opposite sex when you were a teenager? For boys it was often how pretty she is. For girls it was often how handsome. Maybe it also was being cool, clothes, a cool car, being in or hip, or being an athlete or cheerleader.

What's important to you now? What do middle aged women look for in men? AARP did a study in 2003 that asked what middle aged women what they looked for in a date. They said:

  1. personality and sense of humor 70%
  2. common interests 53%
  3. moral/religious values 39%
  4. intelligence 38%
  5. financial stability 23%
  6. sexual compatibility 15%
  7. physical attractiveness 14%
  8. someone to take care of me 4%

When it comes to what middle aged women are looking for in a spouse or partner, the results are pretty similar with financial stability being a little more important at 35% and sexual compatibility a little more important at 20%. Men, notice there is little attention to muscles or having a full head of hair.

What do middle aged men want in a woman? That same AARP survey found that in dating men look for:

  1. personality and sense of humor 64%
  2. common interests 44%
  3. physical attractiveness 40%
  4. intelligence 34%
  5. sexual compatibility 31%
  6. moral/religious values 20%
  7. someone younger 9%
  8. sexual openness/willingness to try new things 7%

Women notice how physical attractiveness only comes in third. For seeking a spouse or partner sexual compatibility moves up a little to #3 at 37% and physical attractiveness drops to #5 at 31%. Thus while physical traits are much more important to men than women, they become less so with age. John Molly's research on attraction found that for men over forty who were about to get married 56% said that she "takes care of herself" (as opposed to letting herself go). Next on their list was kindness.

In short with time comes maturity and we are more likely to choose or appreciate partners for more appropriate, less superficial reasons.  That's more good news about aging.


As a general thing, people marry most happily with their own kind. The trouble lies in the fact that people usually marry at an age when they do not really know what their own kind is.

~Robertson Davies


I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.

~Rita Rudner

What is a date, really, but a job interview that lasts all night? The only difference is that in not many job interviews is there a chance you'll wind up naked.

~Jerry Seinfeld

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