Should You Date Someone Younger Than You?
Dating a younger partner can throw up some tricky relationship dilemmas. So, why is it sometimes so hard to date someone who is not your own age? From social stigma to different life goals, our article looks at dating with an age gap, as well as some of the issues that relationship age gaps can create.
Age gaps have long been a contentious subject when it comes to dating a younger partner. Studies show that, by and large, people tend to date roughly within their own age bracket, and an age gap of 10 years, or more, is considered exceptional. Love, or so the epithet goes, conquers all – so can a difference in age really determine your compatibility with a partner? Is age something you should consider when looking for suitable candidates on hookup dating sites? We dig through some of the pros and cons to help you decide!
Does Age Affect Who You Date?
If you’re not currently dating, you may be looking to connect with a wider pool of like-minded people. Age can be a real factor in this. You may meet someone you would normally date, but this might put you off if they are several years younger. On the other hand, if you only date people roughly the same age, you could miss out on wonderful connections that could be extremely fulfilling.
Gender also plays a role in this and can impact our decision making when it comes to dating a younger partner. It is stereotypically more socially acceptable when an older man is dating a younger woman, but it is often considered unusual for a woman to date a much younger man. Some experts insist that this is just the result of social conditioning – men have historically had more sexual freedom than women and, therefore, their dating choices are more widely respected.
However, others suggest that older men are often attracted to younger women because they are biologically drawn to fertility. While women lose their fertility as they age and approach menopause, men can father children well into old age, meaning that the reverse does not apply. Regardless of the social or biological reasons people choose certain partners, there are some practical pros and cons to consider.
Pros and Cons of Dating a Younger Partner
Pro: New Lease on Life
Many people dream about dating a younger man or woman because they associate youth with energy and vitality. For some, dating a younger partner is a chance to keep their own vitality and sense of fun alive. Older women may feel that dating a younger man after divorce will help them regain their confidence or sense of adventure, for instance. They may feel that a younger partner opens their eyes to new experiences or opportunities to travel, which an older person may not be interested in doing.
Even so, as time goes on, age does create limitations on what a person can do. This can cause rifts in relationships with a large age gap. However, it can be compromised if both partners are committed to making it work.
Con: Different Life Goals
One factor that makes dating across different ages difficult is the concept of life stages. Naturally, our life goals change and adjust as we move through new phases of life. For example, while people in their early 20s are often unconcerned with settling down, people in their 30s are more likely to want someone to start a family with.
So, if you’re a woman in your 30s, can dating a younger man work for you? This depends greatly on the individuals involved. Not all women want children and starting a relationship with a younger man who wants to travel. Similarly, some young men can’t wait to start families and may have no problem settling down right away. In general, however, people in their 20s and 30s occupy different life phases and will likely have divergent goals that make a relationship difficult.
Pro: Increased Security
Younger women who date older men generally report high levels of relationship satisfaction. The keys to dating a younger woman for these men often lie in their level of experience and the support and security they can offer. Older men have often reached a higher point in their careers and can easily provide for a young family.
Older men also have more life experience. They may be more relaxed and less driven than younger men. Therefore, they are less likely to stray and more likely to find satisfaction settling down in a relationship than longing for new adventures elsewhere. Many women find this comforting and opt for older men, as this gives them a larger dating pool to draw from. Older men may also find that the benefits of dating a younger woman include having a partner who gives them a new perspective on things.
Con: Social Stigma
For a woman in her 40s, dating a younger man can be tricky, and there may be a social stigma against it. So, is dating a younger guy weird? Many older women may be physically attracted to younger men and enjoy their energy and vitality. However, they may wonder how to deal with dating a younger man who is still in a formative life stage. Changes in career, changes in financial status, general life instability, all these are part and parcel of dating a younger man, pros and cons list.
On top of this, friends and family may be less than supportive when it comes to a woman dating a younger partner. Remember, regardless of social pressure, your relationships are your business, and even your most well-intentioned friends don’t always know what’s best for you. If dating a younger man works, feel free to enjoy it!
Overall, there is nothing wrong with dating outside your age range. Every relationship comes with pros and cons, and, really, who you date is something every individual must decide. As much as an age gap can create relationship barriers, it can also create beautiful opportunities. We hope our article has given you some things to consider when it comes to dating a younger partner.
Final Call: Have you dated people who are older or younger than you? How did these relationships work out? Is there an age gap between you and your partner? Share your stories in the comments!
Miranda Davis is a freelance writer in the relation and psychology area. Miranda is interested in such topics as building healthy relationships between people, love/sex compatibility, and how to find the right balance in life in general. She is currently doing specific research on the topic. Miranda loves cooking and long-distance walking.