It’s said that age doesn’t matter once your reach your twenties. I don’t think that age will ever ‘not matter’ in dating. I think more importantly, it starts to mean something different. There are some truths to dating and age. For instance, when you’re younger you base a lot on emotion rather than logic. When you’re older you start to match up logical needs along with emotion. The truth of it is that everyone has a different timeline in their life for when they realize what they want and need. The struggle is to find someone who is at the same place in their life as you are.
I’ve dated men who were older and younger than me, and age always came into play. Whether it was a question of having grown up in a different era and knowing different pop culture, or being younger and needing to be respected. There were many issues that arose about age, and what I’ve found is that it rarely was reflective of a number.
In my experience, women have different issues around age than men do. As women get older and remain single, they aren’t viewed as positively as men who are aging and is still single (Damn you Clooney!). I recently had a friend joke to me that, where “Men age like wine, Women age like cheese.”
Different problems arise for men. Women look for a partner who can support them. Dating a younger man doesn’t mean he won’t be able to support you, but it does pose a greater challenge as a woman might be quicker to dismiss a younger man based on his age. I have dated older men that were not emotionally or financially supportive, while I found younger men who were both.
The end result? I have seen successful relationships with over a 10 years age difference, and relationships where both partners were the same age that did not work due to differing maturity levels. My advice (while not at all qualified to give any): worry less about the number and more about the person. Pay attention to little details: how they deal with times of stress, how they resolve arguments, how they handle the obstacles in their own life and then decide if this is a person you want to be with rather than making a snap judgment based on a number.
Age absolutely matters when you are dating, but the number matters less than you know. Just remember, everything is relative.