Single Career Girl: Does Age Matter?

Posted December 1, 2012 by Marcy Farrey in Life After Five

During my many adventures speed dating and attending singles mixers, I met a wide range of potential dates — some younger, some close to me in age, some older, and some much older. I set my limit usually at ten years older than me, but I’ve recently learned that I’m not so great at estimating the ages of others.

I wasn’t quite so concerned about this until I had older men asking me on dates. I even went on a date with a man who was 14 years older than me — and we both realized this 3/4ths of the way through the date. He wrapped it up pretty quickly after discovering I was 26, and I was surprised that a 40-year-old man pulled the “I’ll call you,” line on me. I guess men of all ages handle these awkward dating situations poorly.

When I tell the story of my date with a 40-year-old, some women think it’s totally fine. In fact, some insist I date at least five years older than me, since men my age tend not to be the most mature. But others tell me, “Oh no, honey, 40 is too old for you.” I get such a wide range of arguments for or against that I’m making my official pro/con list, based on personal experience and what others have told me:

Pros (Why it’s good to date older):

  • I’ve dated guys five years or more older than me, and they’ve still been completely immature. I might be better off with someone who has, hopefully, grown up.
  • He’s already established and knows what he wants.
  • If you have chemistry, age doesn’t really matter.

Cons (Why it’s not a good idea to date someone older):

  • If the difference is significant, you will always be at different stages of life, making it difficult to relate.
  • If you’re younger, you might start to miss doing what people your age do — your interests may be different.
  • You might want certain things (like a family) at different times, and compromising might not be possible.

Clearly, there are pros and cons to both, but to say you should only date within a certain age range seems too restricting to me. My hope is that it’s about the chemistry. At speed dating events, I find that I’m more attracted to men who are 6 to 12 years older than me. I can’t help it — they already know what they want. But, the question is, do I know enough of what I want to settle down with someone older?

Keeping those questions in mind, I think it’s all about being in the same mental space as your potential partner. Be aware of what you want in a relationship and when you want to take major steps (like living together, getting married, having a family), and make sure these match up with the wants of the man you’re dating — regardless of how old he is. And of course, make sure that he is supportive of the career you want.

What do you think, Career Girls? Have you dated someone older or younger than you? Would you consider it?

About the Author

Marcy Farrey

Marcy Farrey is a videographer, writer, and editor. In her previous life, she worked as a broadcast news reporter and producer in Lincoln, Nebraska and as a writer and producer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has a Master of Arts in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University. Learn more about Marcy on her website


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