A young woman is extra-sensitive to the subtle signals that a man gives off when he is a little too happy to be with her.
Dating someone of your own age can appear to the man as making himself more vulnerable to the situation of having someone to care for without the depth of devotion that came to them in their first marriage over time. You are right in saying that the difference between ages when speaking of ages like 42 and 65 are not very significant.
Sometimes there might be a question about why the younger women date the older man.
What would be the motive in an older man dating a younger woman from his standpoint? When older men become widowed they find themselves unique in a large field. Men who are widowed find themselves with a wide field to search for relationships in.
If you’re over the age of 40 and have ever said, “But I’m told I look five years younger than my age”, then you’re not immune to it yourself. And nobody has more choices than a 28-year-old woman. So if a woman finds it more appealing to just step into that world – to jump from the prolonged adolescence of the late 20’s into full-fledged settled-down womanhood – that could make sense.
But see, for men who covet younger women, it’s not whether you look good for your age – it’s what age you really are. If she wants to date a guy who is 6’2”, makes 0,000 , likes skiing, is within ten miles of her house and five years of her age, you know what? All she has to do is go on Match.com, and wade through a few thousand applicants. There are many other things that are attractive about older men. They can afford nicer restaurants and vacations and have cultivated greater tastes in the arts.