#303 – Does age really make a difference when dating?
Have you ever wondered at what the attraction is for two people who are significantly different in age? I have and up until recently I’ve questioned their emotional maturity.
Today I’m going to share some personal observations about couples who date and even marry when there is a big age difference.
Are there benefits to dating younger…significantly younger?
Up until recently, I thought that dating younger was generally a sign of emotional immaturity.
I’ve had to re-evaluate my opinion based on some personal experience. Over the years, I’ve dated as much as 10 years older and 10 year younger. However, recently I had the opportunity to date someone more than 15 years my junior.
The interesting thing is at about the same time I met this woman, I had three people independently reach out to me and tell me that I should date younger.
This caused me to sit up and take notice. Was there something I was missing about dating someone so much younger than myself? Was this God sending me a sign?
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I’ve paid attention to all the negative aspects of dating younger.
Here are just some of the problem areas that I see in these types of relationships and they’re in no particular order of importance.
You don’t share a common history. We all experience life partly through our reference to history. The greatest generation can tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing when they hear that Pearl Harbor had been bombed by the Japanese.
They listened to big band music. Their primary source of news or information was the neighbor, newspapers, or the radio. Some of these sources were much more reliable than others.
Baby boomers grew up in the age of the Viet Nam war, rock and roll, and the invention of the personal computer. When you talked on the phone, you were talking through a device that was usually attached directly to the wall.
And then there was the Princess Phone. Anybody remember that?
Millennials have little or no experience of life without computes, CD’s, and cell phones. They grew up in the digital age.
When I think of my daughter’s taste in music, it’s nothing like mine, just as mine was very different than my father’s.
My point here is that each generation has different historical reference points they recognize as significant. When you date someone 10 or more years older or younger, some of these things start to become a factor for common interests.
As you get older, your energy level changes. The things you did 20 or 30 years ago are generally not done with the level of energy you had back then.
At age 60, your partner may still be full of energy and want to go out dancing while you, at age 75 or 80 will more than likely be quite content staying home.
I want to note that this is a very broad generalization. I know plenty of people in their 70’s and 80’s that are still very active.
Another commonly overlooked factor is that as you age, typically the younger mate is going to have to become a care giver. The greater the age gap the more likely that may be an issue.
What about the positive aspects of such a relationship?
Are there actually some good things that can come from dating someone younger?
One of my observations is the difference in energy level and that can be very attractive. I’ve noticed that as we age our energy level generally drops so it can be fun and exciting, at least for a while, to have someone that isn’t tired at the end of the day.
Being around someone with a higher level of energy or drive can spur on the older partner to do more and stay more active.
Studies show that the farther south you go into Central and South America, age-gap relationships become much more common.
There are a couple of reasons for this. One reason is women generally like an emotionally and financially mature partner. For most men, this doesn’t happen until later in life.
Another reason is that Latinas grow up in that culture. There was likely a significant age difference with her parents. That’s what she grew up with and that’s what she see’s as normal.
This is all just food for thought.
I’m not promoting age-gap relationships whether it be older men with younger women or older women with younger men.
I’m merely sharing my observations. For these relationships to work, and they can; there has to be a significant connection beyond just physical attraction.
In my opinion, the bonds of age-gap relationships must be significantly stronger and deeper that most if they are to work. There are outside social pressures that need to be overcome.
As open as our society is today to different types of relationships today, many circles still frown on age gap relationships.
Ultimately you’re the judge of what is right and best for you. I hope I’ve given you some food for thought to help you make healthy relationship decisions for yourself.
Please feel free share your thoughts, your successes, and your missteps to help others get better one step at a time. Leave a comment below or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.