Women Are More Likely To Get A Response From Younger Men When They Initiate The Conversation


In the world of online dating, two behavioural trends generally hold true – men initiate conversation more often than women, and men generally message women who are younger than them.

This was backed up by a recent report by OkCupid into age and dating, which revealed that of the total conversations started on the platform, 81% were initiated by men.

The analysis also found that of 10m “successful” conversations between daters, 61% were between an older man and a younger woman, and in almost half, the age gap was at least five years.

And as highlighted by the graph below, only 12% of these conversations took place where the woman was five years older than the man.


In general, women tend to message and reply to men around their own age, although when they reach 35, they do respond more often to younger men, the report suggests.

However, what happens when you look at interactions in which women initiated the conversation?

OkCupid data scientist Dale Markowitz decided to find out what happens when women “flip the norm”, and not only message first, but message someone younger than them.

Interestingly, the analysis found that when women message men, they are more likely to get a response from a younger man than an older one.

As Markowitz says: “A 40-year-old woman will have better luck messaging a 25-year-old man than a 55-year-old one, according to the data.

“And a 30-year-old man is more likely to respond to a message from a 50-year-old woman than a message from any other age group.

“When women make the first move, the age gap dating norm is reversed.”


In terms of percentages, a 40-year-old women had a 60% reply rate when they messaged a 25-year-old, compared to a 36% reply rate when they messaged a 55-year-old.

But why does this happen? One theory Markowitz offers is that older women’s profiles are better – profile length increasing with each year users pass 35.

She also speaks to Cindy Gallop, the 57-year-old founder of, who argues that apart from the physical upsides of dating younger men, “men her own age often have a problem with dating strong, powerful women who make more bank than they do.”

Check out the analysis over on OkCupid’s blog here.

Simon Edmunds

Simon is the former editor of Global Dating Insights. Born in Newcastle, he has an English degree from Queen Mary, London and after working for the NHS, trained as a journalist with the Press Association. Passionate about music, journalism and Newcastle United.

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