When It Comes To Dating, Age Doesn’t Matter

How to Make It in America: Season 2 [Blu-ray]
How to Make It in America: Season 2 [Blu-ray]

Dating is hard enough as it is.

First, we need to find someone who we are attracted to and can stand to be around. Then, we need to hope they are attracted to us and can stand to be around us. Then, one of you needs to work up the courage to ask the other out. Then, it needs to go smoothly; and so on, and so forth.

Dating is hard enough as it is. But when you factor in the “unspoken rules” of dating — particularly with age — it only makes things more difficult.

If a girl dates a guy significantly older than her, she’s either: (a) a gold digger; (b) has daddy issues; or (c) both. If she dates a guy younger than her — by any number of years — she’s a cradle-robber. If a guy dates a girl older than him, it looks weird. If a guy dates a girl significantly younger than him, he’s either: (a) a creep, if he’s young (21-30); (b) using her for sex, if he’s older (40-50); or (c) wants a trophy wife, if he’s really old (60-plus).

I’ve had everyone from friends, to my parents, to family members and everyone in between tell me what “my range” for dating is. At some point this year — maybe around April — I made the conscious decision to, frankly, not give a damn what other people said.

I’ve always believed that as long as you two are good with one another, age shouldn’t matter (I mean, keep it legal, but you know what I’m saying). I’ve dated girls of many different ages, at least for this point in my life — three years younger, two years younger, same age, six years older.

I think age is vastly underrated. Please, give me a college freshman that has direction in her life, a good head on her shoulders and brings something to the table over a 20-something whose only concern is still acting like life is a giant party.

Maybe it’s odd, maybe it’s not, but I never really ask a girl’s age anymore; I just go along with the conversation and determine from there if I would want to see her again. If we get along great and then she mentions in passing that she is 19, am I supposed to be like, “Oh, I didn’t know that. Well, this was fun. Have a good one.” The same if she mentions that she is 32. Is that supposed to spook me into running away?

I get that a significant age gap means that you will likely be at different points in your life, but — I feel — it’s worth it to at least explore the possibility. Maybe neither of you want kids; maybe you’re both ready somewhat soon; maybe neither of you want to get married; etc. You’ll never know unless you give it a shot.

I’m honestly sick and tired of seeing a girl and saying to a friend, “She’s cute,” and the response being, “Dude, she looks like she’s 16.” If she’s 23, what does that matter? I’m 25 and still get asked if I’m with the school newspaper when I cover sporting events for local high schools.

Because someone thinks another person looks young, that means you’re not even supposed to approach him or her? It’s ass-backwards logic and it makes no sense to me.

Dating is hard enough as it is. Even with online dating, speed dating, blind dating, mixers, etc., it’s still very hard to find someone you are willing to sacrifice your time for. The stigma of the age gap is just another way of making things more difficult.

Dating is hard enough as it is, so stop making it harder. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Mike is a New York-based writer and admitted hopeless romantic. If Ted Mosby and Carrie Bradshaw had a son, it would be him. When he’s not writing about love, dating, and relationships, he’s working his actual job as a sports reporter and columnist.

Tune into his podcast, “Heart Of The Matter” here.

Keep up with Mike on Instagram, Twitter and mikezacchio.com

More From Thought Catalog