Does Age Matter?

Some people prefer dating someone closer to their own age, while others seek significantly younger or older suitors. Here, 3 things to keep in mind if your pursue someone older or younger.

By Michael Tresser

ost people wouldn’t give you a hard time if you tell them that you want to date a tall, extroverted blonde who excels in sports. So why do they raise an eyebrow when you say you’re interested in dating a tall, extroverted blonde who excels in sports and who happens to be 20 years younger (or older)?

While dating someone your own age doesn’t guarantee a problem-free relationship, dating someone outside age range opens you up to a
Be prepared to deal with the potential fallout.
variety of potential issues. If you are looking to pursue a relationship with someone older or younger than you are, keep the following in mind:

1. What are your long-term goals?
When considering a potential partner, keep in mind what your long-term goals and aspirations are. For example, if you want to have children, but your partner is older, and has been there, done that, then chances are that he or she is not the right person for you in the long run. Take a look at where you are in this stage of your life and see if it matches with your potential mate.

2. Can you take the heat?
If you are dating someone significantly older than you are, be prepared for
Let’s face it, not all 20-somethings act alike.
people to think that you are dating this person because you are looking for stability and a mother or father figure. Similarly, people may assume you are trying to recapture your youth by dating someone much younger than you are. You may be sure of your feelings for your new love, but others will make quick judgments. Be prepared to deal with the fallout.

3. Is age just a number?
Let’s face it, not all 20-somethings act alike. And the same can be said for people in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond. While you definitely have to keep in mind the age difference between you and your partner, you must also see beyond the number and see the real person inside. Maybe your date’s an incredibly mature 20-something ready to settle down and have children. Or, perhaps your partner is a thrill-seeking 45-year-old who wants to have a lot more fun before settling down. Get to know the person behind the number before you jump in.

Michael Tresser is a freelance writer who frequently contributes to Happen magazine.
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