Is age just a number to you or does it matter to you when deciding if you will date somebody?

Does age play a factor in whether or not you will date somebody? Would you write somebody off based on age? Or is it just a number and nothing more to you?


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Most Helpful Girl

  • It's not something I look at first, but it matters to an extent. What matters more is how compatible our life styles are. You know, 5 years age difference in your middle twenties is not that much (for me at least) but it matters more if one is a wild college student and the other one working her/his off to make a career, etc. I have dated both younger and older guys.

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    • I can appreciate this answer. The whole idea of stages of your life is a really important aspect of a relationships being able to work well from what I've seen/experienced. It's not a matter of character maturity but simply what you're doing with your life at that current time, which is important. Appreciate the response.

    • Thanks. I personally found it too hard when I was dating a guy 6 years older than me. It wasn't the age as itself but I was a college student, willing to go out with my friends. He needed to wake up early to his job. I had classes afternoon so it didn't really matter that much if I stayed out later. At some point, I realized he wanted to have a family in the near future, and that was something I couldn't think of. I needed to finish my bachelor, get my master, start my career, explore the world... All the things he had 6 more years to do than me, and then it was just too much a gap.

      When I was dating my last boyfriend, a guy 3 years younger than me, things were mostly fine. We were both studying and had mostly same lifestyle. He was partying a lot more than me, though. I didn't really mind it, though. The age wasn't the reason why we broke up but I noticed I was the one who was thinking more about the future and possibility of family, etc.

    • Sure that's completely understandable. It happens. The fact that you date within an age group that fits with your current life stage rather than strictly age is something I can definitely respect. To me, drawing lines in the sand based on age (I won't date younger) is actually something that ironically is a degree of immaturity. I find they lack the experience (or have yet to learn from their experiences) that makes them realize that you can meet a person at 22 have the same maturity as most 30 year olds or a 30 year old with the maturity of most 22 year olds. If immaturity is a lack of experience to understand people failing to be open minded and deal with the type of relationships they have with them, then certainly that constitutes as immaturity. But that's my opinion.

What Girls Said 22

  • Age makes more of a difference when you are younger. I dated much older men in my twenties but after a while, the gap was way too big plus these guys were not looking for something serious in the end. I am 37 now and my last BF was 50-I found that the age difference was a bit too much but if I had really loved him I would have made it work. I have met more immature older guys and more mature younger guys in the last 7 years since my divorce, so it depends on the person. In general, guys (and women) start reverting back to adolescent behavior in their forties and fifties (the whole cougar thing and women wanting younger guys plus we reach our sexual peak at 40). I find older guys try too hard to be young, when the reason I am dating them in the first place is because they're older! But all in all, if you have chemistry with someone much younger or much older, and it's based on something real and not just sex, then you should explore it. Connections like that don't come around too often. Are you asking this because you are interested in someone much older or younger?:)

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    • I asked because I don't really get the whole thing where age is a big deal. I'm not interested in anybody at the current moment. I will say that I usually have to draw the line at under 21 simply because I go to a lot of events and things that require the person be over 21 due to alcohol laws, so they would frequently be excluded from thing I do in my life until they were over 21. But even then if I met somebody who was 19-20 years old that I really clicked with, that would be easy to get over ad wouldn't matter after a year or two when they became of age. Just the same, I wouldn't be the least bit against dating a woman in her thirties depending on what stage of her life she was in. (priorities in terms of starting a family/when, what type of living situation she is looking for, etc.) Basically, I don't get what age has to do with any of that. Sure, the closer you get to your own age, the better the odds you're on the same page, but that's far from certain in my experience.

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    • I agree with you but I think two things: one, while a 20 year old guy may be mature for his age, he is still developmentally young and has also not gone through certain life passages. Two, as you get older, you accumulate more baggage and it not only changes the nature of your relationships but it also makes you less willing to put up with nonsense - basically, you don't want to waste time. You will see how fast time will fly- you will wake up one day and you will be 40 and you won't know how you got there. So that's a big factor, not wasting time. I am not being biased but there are truisms about age that you can't overlook. i have had enough experience to know this. It is not that people are judging you, and I am sure you are mature, but maybe it's safe to say that you don't have a proper perspective just yet because you are young. As you get older you will understand and look back at yourself now and say "Wow, I thought I was so mature at 20, but I was still a baby":)

    • Oh I have no doubt my maturity now is leaps and bounds from where I am now to where i am going to be in 10 to 15 years. But I guess between everything I have been through and my degree of intelligence, I have always been "quick to grow up". I dont believe anybody ever fully matures since we never hit a stage where we are "complete". I just find the way people put restrictions on age to be artibrary and senseless. Its like, for anybody over 20 if they met somebody 3 years younger that was literally everything they wanted, at the same atage of their life, etc. They wouldn't date them because the person is younger? I mean thats their decision but it is one that makes no sense to me.

  • I never thought I'd date a younger guy, but at 21 I started dating a 19 year old. I thought it was a little weird at first bu that went away fairly quickly :)
    I don't think I'd date a guy in his 30's. Seems too mature for me. I'd like a guy around my own age so we can experience life together. An older guy probably has a house and everything, they just seems so 'adult' haha

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    • Good for you for looking past that initial "weirdness" and being open enough to go with it anyway.

      As for the comment about dating a guy too old, that actually is fine. You are at a certain stage of your life, and guys in their 30's are (almost always) at a different stage of their life. If a guy has a house and is looking to start a family, if you're not at that stage of your life, it doesn't matter what age you are, that relationships is going to immediately be very strained. You're on two different pages.

  • Age is just a number... to an extent. While I know that some couples with a large age gap have a happy and successful relationship, and I personally have a thing for older men, there comes a point where the age gap is so large that the two people really just can't have anything in common and gets a little weird. Age is definitely most important for young people.

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    • What do you mean by "there comes a point where the age gap is so large that the two people really just can't have anything in common"?

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    • I see. I definitely like the whole stage of life versus age outlook! Thanks for sharing!

    • No problem. Thanks for answering.

  • I think the older you get the less it matters
    ie its ok for a 50 year old to date a 25 year old (maybe a little weird, but not unheard of)

    but when you are younger, the maturity level is just not there
    ie not ok for an 8th grader to date a junior or senior in high school

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    • I can appreciate that. Thanks for the answer.

  • Age definitely matters. As a 19-year-old (I will be 20 in a month) I would not date anyone younger than 18 and would probably not consider dating anyone older than 25, and even that is pushing it. (In any case it doesn;t matter I already found my soul mate, but if I hadn't, those would be my standards.)

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  • It matters to an extent.
    I'll date older, but not too old that we have nothing in common or he's old enough to be my dad haha.

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    • What about younger? (What's your age btw?)

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    • He'd have to be really awesome for me to date younger haha.

    • How would you know though if you wrote him off because of his age though?

  • It matters. I'm 24. The youngest I would date is 24, oldest, late 30s.

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    • Why is that?

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    • =P at the end of the day it is what it is. I'm not going to hold it against you or think less of you for it, it's a pretty common perception and it's not like you'll ill-intent with it or anything. It's just something that irks me sometimes is all. Appreciate your response.

    • yeah, i can definitely understand why it would be annoying... but hey, you made a difference with one person! was happy to respond :)

  • It matters. I am 33 and prefer guys in the 28-38 range.

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  • Personally, it matters to me. I prefer dating older guys than the ones my age. Most younger guys don't know what they want.

    Wouldn't go higher than 4 years my age though. Haha.

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    • Why such a strict limitation?

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    • Right, and I'm hoping that as you get older that sort of thing will matter even less. I guess I just find it frustrating how much emphasis people put on age because I don't really get how they are coming to these conclusions. Your answer so far is the only one that didn't have to do with maturity or some judgment on the persons character, which is what a lot of people mean when they say "maturity"- they are referring to characteristics like being responsible, level headed, respectable towards all people, treating people right, etc. which every time somebody says to me "Wow I'm surprised, you are really mature for your age" I get kind of insulted.

      Your answer simply talks about different stages of a person's life in terms of things like career, family life, etc. which is independent of things like "maturity".

    • Yeah thats true. You understood exactly what I meant. Maturity isn't based or at least it shouldn't be based off on age. We're all different, some mature faster some slower but it has nothing to do with age. For example, someone might be in their mid 30's and still not fully mature. And I agree with you, I'm sure it will matter less as I get older.

  • Unless it is a significant amount of time between us.. Or since I'm 18, if they are under 18

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    • At your age it's totally understandable to want to be dating within a certain range and not under 18. Appreciate the response.

  • Yes it does matter, but that because of my own age. My top rule currently is no more than four years. But that me personally, many people disregard age and can still have successful relationships :)

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    • Why 4 years?

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    • Maturity: Responsible, basic common sense, don't go to bed with teddy bears and drink soft drinks all day. Most (not all) teenage boys play warcraft, talk about girls and can get up to mischief without thinking the consequences. That's fine because that's why they are called teenagers, they are learning to become adults and decide their future for themselves.
      Old (like 30-40's) is disgusting. What would men do with younger girls my age? Besides they should be out of their parents' house (unless caring), and their mentality should be wiser.
      Maturity is about not sweating the small stuff, being considerate of others and having a common interest or least accepting of the other person, also in a relationship it is about understanding each other.

    • Now see that's what I think is odd. You go from "Responsible, basic common sense, don't go to bed with teddy bears and drink soft drinks all day." which to me all is reasonable and seems all good, but then you jump into generalizations that from my own personal experience simply hasn't been true. Not even most teenage boys act that way. Maybe we simply came from different environments but for every guy I met at that age that could fit that description there were just as many that didn't even remotely. You go to certain other countries and that's even more so the case.

      And then you go back into things that age I don't see the connection to age. Like not sweating small things, being considerate to others, and having common interests/understanding.

      I guess I'm just having problem seeing the correlation between the traits you listed and how they are connected to age at all.

  • yes if they are too much younger especially.

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  • Age is just a number. Never mattered. Never will... as long as you're older lol

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  • Age is certainly important. I mean I wouldn't want to date a teen when I'm already in my 20s. I'd say 2 years for young and 5 years max for older. But it really depends. If he's nice and my type, I'll overlook age.

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    • "If he's nice and my type, I'll overlook age." That doesn't really make sense to me. Wouldn't ALL the guys you'd want to date be nice and your type? So doesn't that just make your entire previous stipulation kind of pointless?

    • Within reasonable range. If he's nice and he's forty then no. If around 30ish, maybe I'll consider. I mean I wouldn't want someone who's old enough to be my uncle!

  • Its mainly just numbers to me but like everyone I have some limits.

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  • I don't care about age because it's just a number 😂💖

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  • Im having this kind of problem as well... my bf is 11 years older than me... :(

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    • What's the problem?

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    • Yes that is why I plan to have a quick marriage just right after I graduate from uni... or else I actually can date him for 2 years first..

    • well best of luck to you whatever route you decide to take.

  • well yes it is.. I prefer guy which is older than me , but not as old as my father :D

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    • Why is that?

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    • Don't you think that's kind of presumptuous to pass a judgment on a person's entire character and world view because of the number of years they have been on earth?

      (I can accept a person not dating a teenager because they physically haven't matured yet, but the whole idea that a person's emotional maturity is connected to age doesn't seem to ring true to me at all)

    • I used "somehow affects" ..
      yeah you're right but don't eliminate the idea that IT IS most of the time..

  • Age does matter to me. I'm 25 and seeing a 21 year old and I'm having doubts because I feel as if we are at different stages of life. I've dated someone younger before which made me think I never want to date someone who is younger again and then I met this guy. They haven't experienced all the things you may have in the past and haven't quite matured yet. I would actually prefer to date someone older, but I like this guy :/

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    • The stages of life thing is much more important, without a doubt. If he's not on the same page there it won't matter much what age he is, older or younger. Sorry to hear that. Thanks for responding though, and good to see you were open enough to date a younger guy despite the societal pressers to date older. I have a friend that has also dated younger guys and at times she gets little snipes about dating younger guys which is something that does annoy me.

  • Yes age does matter to me. I would never date a teen or a guy younger than me. I am in my early 20's now and if I were single I would give older guys a chance. 34 at the oldest. I am just guessing. I can't be sure how much older I would really go. But I don't think I would go for a younger guy though.
    Maybe if I were older, 28 or so, I'd feel more comfortable dating a guy a few years younger than me... maybe 25 or something. But I've always been attracted to older men. 3 years older or more seems to be the norm.
    And no I wouldn't date a teen even if he was 18 of legal age because most teens do feel they are "mature" for their age and that may or may not be true... But in my opinion you are still kind of a baby. I know how mature I thought I was as a teen, even just a few years ago and I now realize how young and how wrong I really was.
    I love that my guy is a few years older than me. How we are close in age yet he still has a bit more experience than I do. I always wonder how different my life will be and how different I'll be when I am his age. A lot can happen in 3.5 years c:. At the same time I love that we are basically growing up together and experiencing this crazy world together at a similar level.
    They say that your frontal lobe isn't fully developed until age 25, which is the decision making part of the brain. I don't know how true that is but it seems pretty true to me.
    I'm not saying extreme age gaps could never work or that it's wrong to date younger or older (so long as its legal). But knowing who I was personally at 16 or even 18 and who I am now... I couldn't imagine dating a teen, legal or not.
    I am still rapidly growing and changing now so though I am an adult, I feel like I am growing so much more now than I ever did in my teen years. Plus my dr says women are still developing their bodies usually until age 22. It's just not as noticeable.
    I've never dated a guy my own age or younger and I probably never will. I've just never been attr

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    • Right, I can understand limiting the large age gap at an earlier age (like 22 and under) because it makes a difference, but I still can't really get the artificial age lines that get draw, specifically the one where a persons says they would date older but not younger, or younger but not older. To me that just doesn't make any sense. If a person is say 20 years old, the idea that a 19 or 18 year old can't be just as mature if not more mature just isn't true. All the doctors numbers and such, those are all just averages at the end of the day.

      There are a variety reasons why I can see why a person would date a certain age "group" but I've never understood the "maturity" argument, which is the one that seems to come up the most. I find it so presumptuous.

      I 100% agree, I would never date somebody who was at my level of maturity when I was 20 now that I'm almost 24, but that doesn't mean another 20 year old would be at that level of maturity.

    • Yes I see what you're saying. In that way I pretty much agree with you. Like I said maybe when I'm older I wouldn't mind so much dating a younger man. You never know who you'll meet. c:

      Sorry for not spacing the paragraphs right... blah! Looks so ugly like that. I swear it looked double spaced before I posted. Anywayss I love this topic. Very interesting.

    • Yeah it's understandable. My theory is that part of the "age restriction" when it comes to relationships is actually an indicator of the person's current level of maturity. There was a time where I actually didn't consider dating younger because I had always grown up with people older than me. Most my friend are 3-4 years older than me, and up until a few years ago, I had never been involved with anybody younger than me at any point.

      It wasn't something I was doing consciously, but I found that when I went back to school at 23ish, I was going to have to face those things since most the people I was going to be around were around 18-21. While most of them I didn't click with and they weren't mature enough, I did meet a couple that definitely were mature enough. Granted we didn't click at a personality level, but in terms of maturity I would have had no issue with where they were. They were open minded, responsible, hard working women. Experiences kicks in.

  • I prefer someone close to my own age. Always have.

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  • I'm 19 and I think the oldest I would date would be 30. Tho most of the time, guys on their late 30's are the hottest...

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    • Like physically speaking?

What Guys Said 7

  • Age ISN"T just a number. That is why we have legal ages i. e. drink/smoke, and age of consent. Age plays a factor in that we are in different stages in our lives if Im young Im most likely looking to have fun while someone who is older is more ready and or open to settle down and start a family. We also mature more once we are older and that plays a factor too. Personally i'd like someone near my age but younger.

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  • It has very real effects. Younger girls are way hotter and sweeter and it's actually POSSIBLE to find one that is single and isn't defective in some way.

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  • I'm 21, used to date 16 year-old girl, and she didn't know what I indicate when I asking her out.

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  • It does matter, they need to be legal :P

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  • Yeah, it matters. I think it matters more for younger people than it does for older people though, because at that age there aren't so many age dependent physical differences.

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    • There aren't that many age dependent physical differences the older you get*

    • Since you're under 18, I can kind of accept the idea that age matters to some degree since a couple years in either direction can physically make a difference in terms of sexual maturity, so your point there is understandable.

    • Yep, a couple of years at this age usually makes quite a big difference.

  • matters, definitely.

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  • It is tough to generalize simply with a number. I am in my late 30's and most men my age are not on the same page as me. They have been married, had kids, done that whole "settled down" thing. I never did any of that stuff. It is often hard to have basic "life" conversations with these guys as I can not relate. The conversations tend to be about the nostalgic as that is all we have in common.

    Women are no different. There is a huge maturity difference in a single mom in her early 20's and a single with no children woman in her early 30's. The numbers are guides on where people are, but pretty much useless in deciding what stage they are at in their own unique life.

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