guy holding girl cute couple

Online dating, or should we say, dating apps, are the way of the future. Modern dating is a hard scene to break into, but these apps make finding your perfect pair much easier…or do they? It’s tough to say. We’ve heard countless success stories, and then we stumble upon studies like this.

For online daters, apparently, women peak at 18, while men peak at 50. Oy. What does this mean for the online dating scene? For those of us over age 18, perhaps we have some younger competition. On the other hand, if you and your gal pals are attracted to older men, you’re not alone.

Some advice we share around our circle of ladies is this: subtract 6 years from his age. This simply means if you’re dating a guy, remember that he’s probably acting roughly 6 years younger than you. It’s no secret that women mature faster than men. This explains why men seek younger women, and women seek older men. Of course, there are always going to be exceptions to this rule.

This particular study suggests that women’s “sexual desirability” peaks at 18 and falls from there. Unfortunately, this may make dating life more difficult at the beginning (if your dream guy is more attracted to 18-year-olds, um okay), but every long-term and healthy relationship isn’t built on pure sexual desire. So here’s the good news—once you hook him, focus on what matters.

Show that boy (at least now we have a study that suggests we can call them boys instead of men) what you bring to the table. Show him your deep, soulful self, what makes you passionate, and how you like to have fun. And ahem, show him your experience (something not all 18-year-olds can boast about). Ask any guy in a long-term relationship, and yes he will say his bae is beautiful, but he will list her many non-physical attributes that have to do with what truly makes her attractive—and that is what makes her happy. Things like watching her while she does what hobby or activity she loves most. Seeing her be independent. The cute thing she does every time she gets embarrassed. And on and on and on he goes.

What we’re getting at here is to not let this study alarm you and swear off dating for life. Girl, seriously? Instead, just be yourself. Don’t ever change your appearance or personality just to get a guy. If you do, he’ll be the wrong guy. Try the dating apps, they may very well work for you. But in addition to that, go do the things you love to do and you will likely run into your perfect partner that way. A relationship built on common interests, shared passion, fun, and humor is more promising than one built on looks and sexual desire. So shove it, stupid study.