Age factor plays a key role in deciding who to date: Study

23 February,2024 01:15 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  mid-day online correspondent

45 per cent of men exhibit a preference for women either younger or of a similar age to them, while 55 per cent of women tend to match with men older than themselves. It was observed that the ideal age gap for both men and women was around three to five years

Image for representational purposes only. Photo Courtesy: iStock

In the quest to find the perfect match, age factor plays a key role, says seven out of 10 people participating in a comprehensive consumer study arranged by one of India's online dating apps, QuackQuack. 13,000 men and women belonging to key tiers participated in the online research; most are working professionals and business owners. A group of the respondents are students. The highest number of individuals hailed from metros like Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, and Hyderabad and smaller cities like Nagpur, Jaipur, Bhopal, and Indore. The participants ranged between 22 and 50 years of age.

QuackQuack's founder and CEO, Ravi Mittal, commented, "While we see a lot of couples matching despite the unusual differences in their age, a lot more users skip potential perfect matches because of the same reason. The age-related stereotypes are changing, and thankfully so, but we still have a long way to go."

The seniors
While the app saw a surge in the number of seniors joining the dating club, there are still some hindrances that this group faces that the younger generation doesn't, according to the study. 36 per cent of users between the ages of 40 and 50 revealed that they struggle more to find a compatible match aged below 35. They went ahead to say that there have been instances where compatibility was off the charts, but they were rejected based on age. 41 per cent of women from this age group explained how it is worse for women than for men.

Age preference
The findings of the study revealed that 45 per cent of men exhibit a preference for women either younger or of a similar age to them, while 55 per cent of women tend to match with men older than themselves. Additionally, it was observed that the ideal age gap for both men and women was around three to five years.

Examining preferences across different city tiers, about 33 per cent of women in Tier one cities expressed more openness to dating younger men, and conversely, a similar percentage of men in Tier one cities were open to dating older women. However, Tier two and Tier three cities displayed a more rigid outlook concerning age factors in dating, suggesting a split in dating preferences based on geographical locations and cultural nuances.

Evolution of dating norms across age groups
A significant 45 per cent of participants, both male and female, aged between 20 and 26, expressed a desire for a more open-ended approach to dating. Rather than seeking a predetermined outcome, they are inclined towards experiencing love, navigating the intricacies of relationships, and ultimately determining if a lifelong commitment is in the cards. In contrast, those in the 30 to 40 age bracket are actively pursuing a life partner, showing a readiness to settle down.

19 per cent of the younger age group cited this relaxed approach as a key reason for their preference to date within a similar age range. The demographic, aged 30 to 40, demonstrates a more decisive and goal-oriented approach in their pursuit of a partner, while their younger counterparts tend to adopt a more easygoing stance.

Age-related stereotypes
32 per cent of female users above 40 from Tier two and three expressed concerns about the societal pressures and judgments associated with dating in the later stages of life. Within this demographic, 26 per cent highlighted the perception that engaging in dating automatically implies a readiness for marriage, a stereotype they find limiting; one per cent also complained about how people instantly tag them as indecisive because they believe dating is casually exploring your options without the headache of commitment, especially in smaller cities.

Success stories
17 per cent of men from Tier one and two cities are dating women older than them. The appeal lies in the maturity, kindness, and overall life stability that these women bring to the table. Conversely, 15 per cent of women admitted to dating younger men at some point, yet only eight per cent reported sustaining a long-term relationship. The main challenge cited was a disparity in attitudes towards life and shared interests.

This reveals that while initial attractions may exist, navigating the complexities of a lasting connection proves to be a nuanced challenge when age differences come into play.

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