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Appropriate age difference


jazz_lover
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I'm almost 38. I look in my early 30s as I have boyish good looks and am in good shape. And I have never been married and have no kids. 

I have a preference for women in their early 30s and get matches on dating apps in this age range. 

I have a female friend in her 40s and she always gives me a hard time. She says that younger women want a fun cool guy and I am too boring and serious for them and should go for someone more mature. She also says I am middle aged and should be more realistic. 

Does she have a point?

I do sometimes feel a generational gap. I never really understand the social media obsession. To me it seems quite narcissistic. And a lot of women of that generation seem obsessed with their brand and very self promotional and confident to the point of being delusional. And quite shallow in many respects. And often ADHD which makes it difficult to have a proper conversation. 

But a lot of women on dating apps in that age range are looking for a relationship and are open to dating older men. And you get mature and immature people in every age range. And presumably a lot of women have realized from experience that the fun cool guys aren't always relationship material. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Does she have a point?  Yes and no but you are correct as well.  I have met women in their fifties that are shallow and care more about posting what they are doing than enjoying what they are ACTUALLY doing.

Will you encounter more people like that the younger you date?  Probably but that doesn't mean they are all like that and you should be able to weed them out fairly soon when you talk to them.

  Is your female friend single and not having much luck dating?  Could be sour grapes on her part or not.

 Go with what feels right but don't only go for women younger than you, remember there could be a wonderful match for you out there that is a lot like you.  Youthful, in great shape, mature, smart and looking for a serious relationship.

  I would say streamline your selection process to keep from wasting time on women that are hot but don't check any other boxes for you.  Talk to them on the phone before you think about meeting them and if it goes well set up a meet but if the convo is like pulling teeth and doesn't flow well you may want to take a pass.

  Keep an open mind you just might be surprised.

Lost

Edited by lostandhurt
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I don't think your friend has much of a point, since she's (a) speaking in huge generalizations about an age gap that (b) seems too minuscule to even be reaching for terms like "generation gap." Can only speak for myself but if I see a 38 year old dating, say, a 33 year old, what I see is much closer to peers than "younger woman" and "older guy." 

Will there be some potential differences? Sure. Someone in their early 30s is still shaking off the dregs of their 20s—that's their reference point still. While someone your age is looking through the door of 40, still kind of way out on the horizon to someone just getting into their 30s. But whatever. Go with what feels right to you.  

What is it you're looking for? Longterm relationship, marriage, kids? Speaking in broad brushstrokes, there are many ways I think a woman in her early 30s and a man in his late 30s are kind of ideal for all that. 

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So you're 37, almost 38, and the women you want to date are just a few years younger.  I don't see the issue.  If you were targeting, say, 20 - 22 year olds that would be a different story.

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Hey Jazz,

While I agree with the sentiment that sweeping generalisations are of limited value in real life dating and relationships, I will offer my own experience for what it's worth.

I too was a baby-faced, late thirties man who had always dated and generally connected with younger women (between 3-10 years). It was partly because my social circles were skewed younger, being that I started university later than most and stayed a long time lol. The relationships I did have were all important and I don't regret them, but I did feel the same vague experience gap you describe from time to time. Whether that is due to my own shortcomings or arrogance, or just the nature of aging, It wasn't until I met my now wife, who is the same age as me, that I was able to form the deep connection and partnership for which I was searching. Also, my wife is both fun, cool, spontaneous, and grounded, wise, and sensible, which balances me out well.

Overall, I guess the advice I would offer is to expand your horizons and you may surprise yourself.

T

 

Edited by WaywardKiwi
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I guess it depends on what you're looking for. If it's a serious relationship, older women in general would be more mature and able to handle that. Then again each individual is different. A woman in her early 30's could be mature for her age and looking for the exact same thing as you. Alternatively you could just date someone within your age range; 2 years up or down. 

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I agree @decibelx @WaywardKiwiwith trying to date women in your age range. They are more likely to be in similar life stages, and would more likely be on similar level in terms of maturity, experience, and expectations. And these are advantages over younger women. For traits such as "fun", any person at any age can be fun. This is something you get to know about someone with time.

But you can also go with what you feel, and see through several experiences how that pans out and what are your own preferences.

Edited by DarkCh0c0
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Hi Jazz,

 

People seem to always suggest sticking within your similar age range. I guess you are more likely to be compatible regarding, principles, goals, politics, living situation - maybe even at similar stages in your lives - but as bluecastle has suggested, if it is marriage and children, well, biology is on the side of the woman just getting into her 30s, but not for too long! 
 

Also, just because someone is the same age as you does not automatically mean you will get along.

 

Speaking from personal experience, I met my now husband when I was 18 and he was 28. The age gap seemed much bigger then, but we always felt equal in maturity and everything else. Now we have been married 8 years, together for 14, have 3 children. I have turned 32 he is 42. The gap still works amazingly! I just happened to fall in love with him and the age for both of us was not a concern. I don’t think we gave it much more thought after the 3rd date. If someone is right for you, they are just right for you. 
 

I always, always(!) preferred older men. I knew I wanted a family fairly young and a traditional relationship. If I had got involved with a 17, 18 year old well, chances are we wouldn’t even have bought a house yet, let alone married with kids and financially stable. Older men I found treat you as a younger woman in a different way. You receive a type of reverence from them. They adore you. They are more self assured by the time they have 10 years on you and have figured out who they are and what they want. This is highly attractive quality  in anyone regardless of age, but it does usually happen to people as they get older. Confidence gathers with age also. Older men, they do have the sizzle appeal! 
 

When I was 18, if my husband had said he was 35 at the time, I would have had no reservations still. 

My generation, it’s true, are sadly phone and social media obsessed. But there are exceptions! They are out there!

 

To give yourself a fair chance, I would ask yourself what you want in a woman and what you want for your life moving forward and, with those goals clear in your own mind, date both age ranges. See who you meet. She may be 28, 42, 33. If you click, you click!

 

x

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54 minutes ago, mylolita said:

Older men I found treat you as a younger woman in a different way. You receive a type of reverence from them. They adore you.

That's not true for all of them. It's a mixed bag. I think it really depends on the long term intent of the man.

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9 hours ago, jazz_lover said:

I have a female friend in her 40s and she always gives me a hard time. She says that younger women want a fun cool guy and I am too boring and serious for them and should go for someone more mature. She also says I am middle aged and should be more realistic. 

What kind of person puts their "friend" down like this?  The age gap you're talking about is inconsequential.  If it were 10+ years then she may have more of a point, but there are still nicer ways to make it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by poorlittlefish
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Eh, it's so different for everyone. 

I was 34 when I met my partner, who was 48 at the time. We're now 41 and 55, respectively. He's the best match I've ever had. 

Is your friend perhaps a little self-conscious of her own age? That what it sounds like to me. Maybe she feels a tad jealous that she's not the age group you're considering. 

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25 minutes ago, MissCanuck said:

I was 34 when I met my partner, who was 48 at the time. We're now 41 and 55, respectively. He's the best match I've ever had. 

That's rather the exception than the norm.

If we flip the genders table here, I'd see more people arguing on that age difference. But that's another topic.

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7 hours ago, waffle said:

So you're 37, almost 38, and the women you want to date are just a few years younger.  I don't see the issue.  If you were targeting, say, 20 - 22 year olds that would be a different story.

^ Ditto. I don't see what the problem is at all.

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1 hour ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

That's not true for all of them. It's a mixed bag. I think it really depends on the long term intent of the man.

Hey Dark!

 

Of course, I am generalising. Some still live with their mothers in basements, have four kids to four different women and just - are a mess. And then you can come across the most mature, intelligent and together 19 year old guy. It’s always a mixed bag dating but generally I found, as a personal preference, older men romantically tended to treat me differently. They came on and flirted in a different way as well. Not always! But mostly! For me, anyway!

 

I also found, men can go on longer reproductively, so they don’t get that “ticking clock” some women experience. They tend to want to settle down for marriage and children at an older stage. Women want it sooner, therefore an older man with a younger woman for those life goals are a perfect match in, a lot of cases. 
 

There’s more to life than babies and marriage when it comes to choosing a partner for life, I get that, but for a lot of people it’s a big desire in their lives and you find as a younger woman, dating the same age group, the guys these days just aren’t ready to settle down. Financially unable too, a lot of the time. 
 

I’m not saying you can’t have this, elegant and gorgeous knock out of a woman in her 40s, we all know ladies like this! They bring something different too the table than a 27 year old. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder 🥲 

 

I guess what I am rambling on about is, don’t worry about age gaps unless they are very extreme! There’s no issue that I can see here.

 

x

Edited by mylolita
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11 hours ago, jazz_lover said:

I have a female friend in her 40s and she always gives me a hard time. She says that younger women want a fun cool guy and I am too boring and serious for them and should go for someone more mature. 

Do what's right for you, not what's right according to her. There's plenty of "boring and serious" people at any age.

This friend seems good at backhanded insults but poor as far as dating advice. Is she single and looking?

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I agree the age difference you mentioned is not a big deal.  The generalizations are just you getting in your own way.  Some of it depends on the baby making risks you are willing to take -less so with early 30s, more so with late.  If you don't want biological kids and/or want to adopt (or if the lady in question has frozen her eggs which is viable now -wasn't when I was in my 30s) that also factors in. 

When I was 38 I dated a guy who was a couple of years older for about 6 weeks and ended it because he was so insecure and it presented as irrational jealousy and snarky comments -for which he apologized... until the next time. 

Two years ago -he is now in his late 50s, we've been FB/linkedin connected all of this time - he met this woman who was divorced around his age/grown kids very successful in her own right.  He posted incessantly about her -so in love - he even messaged with me and every other word was "my girlfriend is here" even though he knows I am happily married and I believe we were discussing a cycling trip he was planning on. 

She ended things with him around the one year mark and he blamed it on her (he messaged with me recently, a couple of months after she ended it)- she was too much of a workaholic/not ready to be in love again, blah blah.  He's single, always has been, very few LTR.  His age when I met him had nothing to do with his readiness for a commitment.  He looked much younger.  He wanted kids very much (and still does).  He blamed his exes in conversations with me when we met too. 

It's a personality issue not an age issue IMO.  He's handsome, successful, smart, family oriented. I'm not going to generalize here but it sticks out to me as a perfect counter-example . Please don't be him.  I think he was already really jaded when we dated in 2005.  

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Thanks for all the advice. 

My friend is a divorced single mother who is just looking for fun and generally has several men on the go at any one time. She claims a lot of women do this especially in the age range I am considering. 

I have noticed with quite a lot of the younger women I have conversed with that while they claim to be looking for a relationship they have been single for a number of years while actively dating throughout. So maybe a challenge of dating this age group is they aren't so young they feel they can waste time but at the same time still have very high expectations of their potential partner so are very picky. 

I do feel some of the pressure of approaching the big 40. I feel a bit of pressure to find someone that perhaps younger women do not feel. But at the same time I do not want to settle. And I would not want someone to settle for me. 

I have not really thought in terms of marriage and children. It is not a "must have" but I think I would want if I met the right person. 

And I do not really enjoy dating and sleeping with different women. Chemistry and mutual attraction is quite easy to find. But I want to catch feelings and really connect with someone and that seems quite elusive. I also want someone with whom everything feels quite effortless and unforced and we can happily spend time together doing absolutely nothing. 

 

 

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Narrow the age range then if younger 30s is too young or shallow to you. Of course you’re entitled to whatever you think about whatever age bracket. You’ll find some groups too naive in the same way people with similar life experiences seek others who’ve lived the same or walked similar paths. I know I have little interest in people who are ignorant of certain things and it is not just in demeanour or personality. 

I wouldn’t spend so much time worrying about people you don’t like or don’t get along with. Start spending time with the ones whose company you to enjoy.

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I think an age difference of 10 years, especially when you're both 30+, is usually not a big deal. I would focus more on personality and connection. You may find that with someone who is 31-33, or someone who is 37-39. Who knows! Focus on that.

In terms of sharing long term goals, I would focus on women 28+. Not to say that everyone around that age is looking for long-term but it's far more likely from a statistical standpoint than, say, women between 21-25. 

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If you're going to date women in their 30s then yes get clear on the long term goals sooner than later - many women in their 30s are feeling the ticking clock.  "Catch feelings" struck me as a really odd way to put it - if you are looking for potentially long term.

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18 hours ago, jazz_lover said:

Does she have a point?

 

Depends. Going for more mature women in terms of age doesnt mean you wont bump into immature one. Same way that going for young wont mean they are just looking for fun. For example here in my town, going for 25-26 year old would maybe get you pretty good girl that wants to commit. For example "village girls". They usually finish school by then, net some kind of job and are ready to leave their home and make a family on their own. Lots of people in local villages marry pretty young, just after high school. So they would generally want somebody to make a family whether its on their own or just by societal pressure. Talked to a girl at some event, she is 26. She said that she is already "old" and that she should be married by now. Me and other people told her that she very young and shouldnt rush but she also has big societal pressure to do so, so its undertandable from that perspective that she feels that way. 

Though, you would generally want to get around same age +/- few years. Its just way easier to connect due to the fact that you grown in the same age and experienced same stuff. Plus, yes, there is a statistical probability that they would indeed be looking for something more. 

What are your goals? Do you want to commit and make a family? Do you maybe want somebody to travel with before you commit to each other? You would generally want that your choices revolve around goals. Whether you find 20something or 40something to do it with you, it doesnt matter.

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This is always an interesting subject for me!

 

I always say, a meeting of minds is a meeting of minds, and that is ageless.

 

But there are practical things to take note of and it does get in the way of whirlwind romance. I have often thought, our age gap of 9 years is probably just about right for us. We have 3 kids under 4 and, if my husband was 45 and another 5 years older, he might be too tired to help with all the babies! And, morbidly, he might not see them get too old. We were laying on the bed and saying something about our middle daughter and I said, “Imagine …. being 30!” And my husband looked a little melancholy and said, “I don’t really like to think about that.” I agreed, I don’t either, but I asked why, and he said, “Hopefully I’ll still be around, but what if I’m not.”

 

Sometimes it also does cross my mind (it never did during my teens and twenties) that, statistically, he will probably die before me. I might be left a decade or even twenty years by myself. Who knows. These things do run through your mind. I would rather go before him ten times over than have to live without him. I might get ran over tomorrow and he lives to be 95! But, when you have an age gap, these thoughts do cross your mind.

 

I think ours is just enough to not be too much of a concern to me. I stand by what I said. If he had been 35 when I was 18, without hesitation I would be in the same place right now; married too him. But, I am glad the gap, for practical reasons, is 9 years, and not 19! Or something like that.

 

When our middle daughter is 30, I will be 62, but my husband will be 71.

 

x

Edited by mylolita
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