It has been common in our society for some time for older men to date younger women. Perhaps only recently has some of the stigma been lifted when it comes to older women dating younger men, though it is still by far the rarity (when talking about a difference of more than five years, that is). Of course, even in the movies and celebrity culture, it is commonplace to see older (even old) men dating women half their age. It may cause a snicker or two, but is there any reason for it? Does age really make a difference when it comes to dating?
Well, it's not so much the numbers, as what you did to fill them. There are plenty of thirty year old men who would be perfect for a twenty year old woman, because their maturity levels are about the same. This could either be because the girl is mature beyond her years (in rare cases) or because the man is emotionally and maturely stunted (much more common). In that case, the age difference shouldn't matter much at all. But in other cases, that gulf of ten years could make a match virtually impossible.
When you start talking about age differences beyond ten years, then the game becomes a little different, and the chances of success a little smaller. After a while, most people will simply be into different things and have experience far too much in life to be happy with someone so much younger. Conversation will be stilted and uneven, and your goals in life will be disparate and hard to reconcile. Of course, this can also be the case for people of the same age, but the age difference simply compounds it that much more.
Of course, even if the age difference is there, you have to look at what you both enjoy. Do you have common interests and desires? If so, then an age difference of any size can potentially be overcome. There's certainly no sense in throwing away a chance at happiness just because of a number. It's just a good thing to be aware of, in case some difference should arise. But if two people are committed to making something work, it can, in spite of any obstacles that might come up.
One thing to make sure you put up front is your separate goals for a long term relationship. This can save either of you from wasting your time. Now, this may not be first date material, but then again it may. If one of you is ready to have kids and the other is looking to start a family ten years down the line, this could be a major warning sign. The key is to talk it out and find out where, if anywhere, your compatibility lies. If it's there, and it's strong, the difference in years may be nothing more than the foibles of any new relationship.
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