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How to Date with an Age Barrier

Updated on May 24, 2013

Dating with an age gap, or an age barrier is often times looked down on, depending on how many years apart you are, your maturity level and countless other factors. The most important thing to consider however, is life experiences and maturity level, not the actual number itself.


How big of an age gap are you personally comfortable with?

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How Old is Too Old? / How Young is Too Young?

First and foremost, if you're dating someone who is a minor and you're significantly older, don't. Not only is it unlawful, but you're also in a sense robbing them of discovering who they are as a person and caring about someone means that you need to be the sensible person in this situation and be smart.

A lot of people like to think that there is some magic number that's the magic rule to dating someone who is older or younger than you are. This is not true, as each situation and relationship is its own case.

You want to make sure, above everything else, that there is a reason you want to be with someone who is older or younger than you are. Think about it and pinpoint why it is that you're attracted to this person. This will give you an indication of yourself and what kind of relationship this can/will turn into.


Before You Date Checklist

  1. Are you on both on the same life stage?
  2. Are you both of the same maturity level?
  3. Have you both had ample life experiences to grow as a person?
  4. Can you interact and relate to his/her friends?
  5. Is there an obvious reason you're both attracted to each other? (shared passion/moral views, etc.)
  6. Will the relationship be strong enough if people question it?
  7. Will you be okay with this person 10-20 years down the road?

If you answered "no" or "maybe" to any of these points, you may want to reconsider why you're attracted to this person.

Where are You Both at in Life?

Consider where you both are in your lives.

What Life Stages are You in?

If the person you are dating is ready to settle down and have kids and you're still in your 20s and would never dream about having kids and getting married at this point, you want to consider if this is the right person for you.

You may both have the same maturity level (which is essential), but if someone wants to marry and have kids, and the other would rather go out clubbing or hang out with friends, there's no way you're both going to be happy.

How Mature are You?

If dating older, enables you to finally be able to date someone that is of equal mindset, definitely pursue it. Being stereotypical, woman usually mature faster than men so it's not unusual for a woman to date older men. Especially if she wants a serious relationship, not one that is immature.

You should both be able to talk to each other freely and have discussions where neither one of you feels stupid or silly for asking. If at any time you feel like you're stupid or it feels wrong and weird to be with someone who's already gone through something you haven't. Don't pursue the relationship. It's not worth losing those special moments in your life if you're only going to be down on yourself and not enjoy them.

Have You Both had ample Life Changing Experiences?

If one person has not had enough life changing experiences to make them who they are, there's going to be a problem. If one person is more experienced or dominant and does not allow the other to experience life and come to their own conclusions, the relationship is not allowing that person to become who they can be.

It's not fair to either to have to "babysit" or walk someone through life, so be sure that you're both on the same page and neither one of you is naïve to the world.


How Do You Fit in with Friends and Family?

This may not seem important at the time, especially with a heart full of overwhelming attraction for this person, but it's something to really consider before either of you fully commit to this relationship.

There is nothing worse than feeling like you don't belong to a group, especially, especially,someone that you care about so much. Of course, there are going to be times when there's nothing you can add to the conversation (because you both hadn't met at that point), but the uncomfortable feeling I'm talking about is just feeling out of place.

At first, you both may be able to pass it off and just spend time together, but no one should have to give up their friends for another person, nor should they want to not be able to spend time with their love and not have fun together with friends.

If all the other person's friends' talk about babies and you're nowhere near having a baby, you may want to think about if you're both on the same page in your lives.

Family is the same. If the other person's family always looks down on you for being younger or older than your partner, there's no sense in putting the other person through that kind of hatred.

Part of being the older person in one of these relationships, is being smarter and knowing when it's just not fair. Even if you do end up having to break someone's heart.


What are Your Plans for the Future?

Where do you see the relationship going? Just be sure that if you're dating with an age gap that you both will arrive at the same point in your life at the same time. You want to both feel ready to settle down and have kids (if you want) at the same time and not make the other person wait around.

Will your interests still be the same in 10-20 years from now or will you drift apart as one person decides to pursue a different life stage or path than you.

Be sure that why you are dating someone older than you can stand the course of years to come and that it's not just a short cut in life.

A Good Relationship will...

  • make you both a better person than without your partner
  • make you happy
  • allow you to love and be loved in return
  • give you someone to experience life with

Advice if You're the Younger One

At times, there are going to be points where you are not going to know what to do or will appreciate the advice and knowledge of your partner. If you're comfortable in your relationship this will be a comfort for you and a way to get an honest opinion about whatever is on your mind.

Dating someone older can allow you to find someone who is more mature than people your age which really enables you to feel comfortable and feel like you can be more yourself than with someone who is younger and more immature than you.

Think about whether or not it is important to you to experience certain things together, or new experiences, like getting an apartment for the first time or getting married for the first time. If your partner has already experienced these, be sure that you are not self conscious about these facts otherwise it may poison the relationship. You don't want to drag insecurities and compare yourself if your partner is more experience than you are in certain situations.

Advice if You're the Older One

Doubtless the years that you have spent without your partner will have taught you different things. Maybe you were married before or have kids, while your partner has never experienced them before. Make sure that this is okay with both of you and that you won't feel self conscious already have experiences that your partner does not.

Be sure that you won't be annoyed if you ever have to explain certain situations to your partner. Ideally, you'll enjoy spending time with them and share in the wonder of certain things they've never experienced before. You may find that you can learn a great deal from this person, even though they have lived a shorter period of time than you.

If you're age bothers you in any way, or that you feel too old, be sure to ask your partner and talk to them about the issue. You may find that they don't even care about what it is you're worried about.

Closing Thought

More important than anything number in a relationship is the honesty, trust and happiness that two people can share together. If you feel good about your relationship and your partner makes you a better person, no one should be able to find fault in your relationship.


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    • AmandaJon profile image

      Amanda Jones 4 years ago

      Great job on this hub, keep up the good work!

    • noellenichols profile image

      Noelle 4 years ago from Denver

      Thanks for the comment, Carly. I'm happy to hear that your sister and her boyfriend are able to be in a happy relationship!

    • noellenichols profile image

      Noelle 4 years ago from Denver

      I couldn't agree more, Chace. Some people just seem to have a more mature mind and once they realize it, being able to date freely, without thinking about the numbers, allows them to be a lot happier. Thanks for the great comment!

    • CarlySullens profile image

      CarlySullens 4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Wow, this is a great hub. My sister and her boyfriend have a 10 year gap, she is ten years younger. Their relationship is amazing. I appreciate how you talked about this and indeed, love, trust and honesty is what matters not how many candles are on the cake.

    • NornsMercy profile image

      Chace 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      This is awesome. Some younger people have old souls as if they've lived a thousand times, while some older people seem to have the hearts of children... I think age "gaps" are all in peoples' minds. :)