Does Age Matter In A Relationship?
If you and your sweetheart were both born on the same day of the same month in the same year at the exact same time, congratulations, that is kind of creepy and this post is not for you.
For everyone else in the world, you and the person you are dating have some sort of age difference. How much is too much, though? A year? Two? Five? Fifteen? Older or younger, does that matter?
The point here is most people have a preference. There is a big difference between dating someone older than you or younger, and some people find the age gap hard to stomach.
I have a theory. Well, maybe not technically a theory. Anyways, I think you have two different ages. There is the age you are in terms of years on this planet, and then there is the age of your mind, like your maturity age. And I think your maturity age is more important than your real age (with the exception of dating underage people which I am not condoning).
For example, I am the youngest of 4 kids. In fact my oldest sibling is 11 years older than I am. And I think that’s a big factor. Anyways, my maturity reflects the fact that I’m used to being around people who are older than me most of the time. It is the case at work, where people just assumed I was older because of the way I carry myself. I like to think my maturity age is really more like 23, whereas I’m only 20. Also girls tend to be about two years ahead in the maturity level than boys.
My boyfriend, on the other hand, is currently 25. Five years sounds like a big gap, doesn’t it? My mom certainly thought so when I told her about him. But she noted that I have always been mature for my age, and in her mind that seemed to make it okay. So he is 5 years older than I am, and it bothered him at first, but now he has come to accept it. He gets to act his age, which is about how old I would say he normally behaves. I’m glad he doesn’t see this difference as an issue in our relationship.
Then again, if I was dating someone younger, I don’t think I would be so accepting. I feel like time slows down as you get older, so the gap from 12-17 feels a lot bigger than the gap from 20-25, and way bigger than 45-50. This takes into account the issue of where you’re at in life, which also comes into play. I dated a guy who was a year younger than me for a long time, and it was weird. Especially because he was still in high school when I was in university. We were just in different places. Also he acted more like a child than I would like in a boyfriend. I wanted a man, not a boy. In the end it didn’t work out. When I was 18, he was 17, but acted more like 15. And for me, the gap was uncomfortable.
One of the reasons my current relationship works is that despite the age gap, my boyfriend and I are in similar places. I’m almost done my undergraduate degree, and will be looking for work in 1-2 years. He, on the other hand, just stopped doing his undergrad degree (realized he didn’t love it so what’s the point in finishing it since it will get him nowhere) and is now looking for sustainable work as well. We are both trying to figure out what we want to do with our lives, and that helps a lot. One of my friends, who just took over his dad’s business, said to me about a girl we both know “she’s got her shit together, that’s exactly what I need in my life”. So even if you don’t consciously think about that when you meet someone, it’s there in the back of your mind.
This isn’t to say that the guy has to be older, or any of those social conventions people believe for no apparent reason. If you find the right person for you, age shouldn’t even matter. Some couples have decades between them, and they compliment each other very well. If the age gap does bother either of you, maybe they aren’t the right person after all.
But hey, if we start looking at age in terms of maturity level and not just the number you are stuck with since birth, the number of fish in your ideal part of the sea just got a lot bigger. Open your mind to new possibilities.