Dating Older vs. Younger: Is Age Really Just A Number?

by Arielle Loren

“I could never see you dating a guy your age.”

That was the response I received when conversing with one of my new friends about my relationships with older men. He understood, as I’m not the typical 22-year-old being two years out of college, owning several businesses, having visited (and lived in) numerous countries, and worked a few “real” 9 to 5 jobs.

“You’re abnormal. But I wouldn’t recommend that most women your age date men as old as you have.”

I’ve dated men a few years younger than me, twenty years older than me, and a plethora in between. I stopped lying about my age once I graduated college, as I found no reason to hide it from my lovers and partners. And what I’ve found is that while relationships can be affected by age, they are more so sustained by maturity, similar interests, and common values, which doesn’t always require a close birth dates.

That being said, it is important for two individuals, age aside, to want the same thing from a relationship. Often, if there are differences, people cite it as a conflict due to age. But really it has more to do with what stage you’re at in life, and what type of relationship you feel would be best for you right now and in the near future.

Personally, I’m ready for a serious relationship, and would love to build a deep partnership and eventual marriage in the next few years…with the right person. I’m not in a rush, and in fact, I’m really enjoying the numerous male friendships that are being built out of my casual dating life. But even in these casual scenarios, I’m still seeking meaningful connections, as I want the men I bring into my life to stay as friends, even when I do find myself in my next serious relationship.

When I date, I don’t target men older or younger than me. I simply enjoy people as people, and whatever age they are—they are. I’ve dated older men that act like toddlers at times. And I’ve dated younger men that, looks aside, could fool anyone into thinking they were close to forty. There really hasn’t been a solid pattern of behavior with the older men I’ve dated or the younger ones. But I will say that the ones that I’ve kept around have similar attitudes about life, vast ambitions, and powerful wisdom to share.

So when my friend says that he could never see me dating a guy my age, he’s actually wrong. I don’t discriminate (minors aside), and do believe in many ways that age is just a number. I’m more interested in the individual connection that I feel with each man that comes into my life. I don’t want to miss out on a beautiful opportunity to experience love because I judged a man by his number instead of his humanity.

How about you?

  • Blue Ocean Breezy

    I partially agree that age is just a number.

    I’ll be 26 this summer and if I were interested in having a romantic relationship with a man, he would have to be between the ages of 26 – 30, because I have no interest in much younger or much older men.

  • Perverted Alchemist

    I have said this before and I will say this again: Nothing good has ever come of May-December relationships. Sure, it’s cute as a short term thing, but in the long term? Yeah, right…

  • jamesfrmphilly

    olde men last longer in bed……..

  • mamareese

    As long as you are not jailbait…..and have a good heart. Gray or young and popping….it doesn’t matter.

  • EbonyLolita

    All about maturity. I’m 32 & talked to a 45 y.o. male for less then 30days. You know why? His mind was NOT right nor his overall situation. At times he talked to me like I never experienced Life on MY own. Meanwhile I was living an overall better lifestyle while he was unhappy with his own. I walked right out. 90 day rule allows you to check the Manfax! I saw that he was a Lemon & kept it moving.
    However, I would not let that stop me from dating an older man. However, you have to be realistic. I’m a woman w/no children & looking for marriage & children. An older man is a challenge to that b/c realistically can he “keep up” with the aspect of having children?
    Most older men are looking for “honeypots” so you have to steer clear of that mentality too. *Shrugs* Once again, Check the Manfax whether he’s older of younger. I just want someone who is MATURE :)

  • lostluv224

    I’m 26 and i’ve dated younger and older…and honestly the youngest one was the one i loved & love the most. As someone stated before its all about their mind frame, heart, and the love they have for you. As long as you aren’t about to go to jail or have to plan a funeral soon lol i think you should keep and open mind and heart.

  • Don

    I’ve dated younger and older, so I tend to agree with it all boiling down to what type of intimate connection and meaningful connection I share with a woman, and not necessarily whether she and I around the same age level.

    Like you said, not everyone acts their age.

  • Pingback: » Dating Older vs. Younger: Is Age Really Just A Number? Arielle Loren

  • binks

    True at the end of the day it depends on the person and their total package but dating older men seems to work for me but i don’t shun younger men either

  • mluv

    I feel age is just a number.. in MY opinion, I had this notion that men past a certain age will act more mature, and have some stablity in life but that is NOT the case. I’ve “dated” older men and they too can act just like teenage boys. Yet there are some guys my age that wise beyond their years. I personally want to give my self a limit. I’m 22 and the last guy that ive “talked” to was about 11 years my senior and yet he acted like teenage boy with raging hormones. But I think i want my limit to be not above 10 years. IMO

  • Gabby

    Age is definitely just a number. Just because a man is 45 doesn’t mean that he will be on the financial and maturity level that most of his peers are, and vice versa with men who are 22 years old. I speak from experience.

  • African Mami

    I like my wine mature and refined….

  • goodness

    I’m 28 and prefer early to mid thirties…Irecently went out on a couple of dates with a 45 year old but could tell there could be no longevity…his comments on a lot of things showed that he was very set in his stability aside, I can’t deal with a non open minded person.

  • LemonNLime

    I have always dated older but they were pretty immature. The one time I dated younger he was much more mature. I still prefer to date older though, just sane mature older men 27-35 ish.

  • Guest

    Yup. add strong and dark to the list babe

  • jamesfrmphilly

    i got a few numbers in my day……

  • Erica Riva B.

    Humanity first. Always. Amazing article.


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  • Nana Akua

    Well this is interesting. I live in Ghana and over here dating a guy 10 to 15 years older isn’t really much of an issue. When we say she’s dating an older guy, we’talking 20 to 30 years plus. I have seen both older and younger people and truly age is just a number. You meet a 50 or 60 something old he could be a complete gentleman, knowing how to treat a lady old school style (which is kinda glamorous) or he could be worse than a 20 year old who still acts like a teenager. It’s more the person than how old he is. But of course older men know that we as younger women expect them to be a certain way so may act the part. Which may or may not end nicely

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  • Brittany

    First of all very well said. I am currently 21 and also seeing someone who is 35. Ive always been referred to as an “old soul” per say, i also graduated college this year, have lived in different countries and accomplished more than my adult counterparts. Although I have always seen no significance in age, I haven’t told any of my close friends or family in fear of judgement. The age gap did weigh in the back of my mind at first, but as time continued I realized the conversations this man is able to carry with me I RARELY find elsewhere, and we each have amazing stories of life events. I would much rather be with someone on the same wave length as me mentally then be with an individual of similar age with unbalanced maturity.

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