Men Are Lying About Wanting This One Thing in a Partner, Study Says

It turns out this may be one area where actions speak louder than words.

Whether it comes from past experiences or trying to plan for the future, most people have an idea of what they're looking for in a partner when they hit the dating scene. But it turns out that there can be a big difference between what some people claim to want versus what they actually pursue. That's because a recent study has found that men are often lying when they say they want this one thing in a partner. Read on to learn more about this dating discrepancy, and for more on relationship warning signs, check out If Your Partner Is Asking You This One Question, They Could Be Cheating.

Men are often lying when they say they want an older partner, the study shows.

A younger woman hugging her older male partner

The findings come from research recently published in the Journal of Family Research, which analyzed 197,519 invitations sent between users on the Czech online dating app Pinkilin in July 2017. The anonymized data only considered heterosexual couples due to a lack of data on same-sex couples. In the final sample set was 10,528, 68 percent of whom were male and 32 percent of whom were female. On average, respondents reported they were seeking a partner who was within two years of their own age.

Results showed that while members of both sexes between the ages of 18 and 23 typically accepted invitations from users close to their own age, the preference declined with age for males. While between 50 and 70 percent of invitations from 18- to 23-year-old men targeted women their age, that number dropped drastically to 25 percent once men reached the age of 30. On the other hand, older women were far more likely than men to contact partners their own age as they got older.

And for more age difference research that could affect you, find out why If Your Husband Is This Much Older Than You, Your Health May Be at Risk.

Men also showed less interest in older partners overall.

older man with younger wife
Shutterstock/yamel photography

The study also found other major differences between how men and women initiated contact with the opposite sex. Data showed that men were much less likely to reach out to older women, especially as they aged. However, while women tended to prefer men their own age or slightly older, they showed a widening of preferences over time when it came to age difference and were more likely to message much younger men by the time they reached their mid-40s.

And for more on how you can better your odds on the dating scene, check out This Is the One Pick-Up Line That Works Every Time, Experts Say.

The results uphold previous studies' findings on online dating.

happy couple on date - dating vs. relationship

While acknowledging the limitations of their data set to just one dating app, the study's authors concluded that their findings upheld their hypothesis that evolutionary theory plays a part in partner selection, which says that males are attracted to younger partners capable of bearing children while females are searching for a partner who is fertile and can provide for their offspring.

But the study authors also acknowledge that a shift in traditional gender norms factors into their results, writing that "not all dating site users are in search of a serious relationship."

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Age differences can also create issues with your physical health, another recent study found.

A mature woman and younger man hug while spending time at a spa

Despite what your preferences may be, other research has shown that a wider age gap within a couple can potentially bring on some serious problems. A new study published in the March-April 2021 edition of Health Gazette found that in Spanish couples between the ages of 65 and 81 that were studied, women whose husbands were six or more years older than them had a higher probability of having health problems than those in relationships with other disparities in age.

Among women whose partners were six or more years older than them, the probability of having poor health was 65 percent, whereas among those with a male partner between three and five years older, the probability of having poor health was 57 percent. Among men with female partners who were six or more years older, the probability of poor health was just 49 percent; and similarly, among those whose female partners who were three to five years older, the probability of poor health was 50 percent. And for a surprising factor that could predict the health of your relationship, check out If You Eat This on a First Date, Your Marriage May Be Doomed, Survey Says.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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