How Young Is Too Young?
I’ve been thinking about age and dating recently, only to realize, I haven’t covered the topic much. Age isn’t seen as a huge issue, often people date around their age range. The topic often arises in conversations of older men dating younger women. That conversation really leads to the question; How young is too young? When are you too old to date someone?
Everyone’s first response is to say “as long as they are legal”, meaning if they are 18 and over, you’re in the clear. A 28-year-old dating someone who’s 19 is a bit creepy. Other’s refer to a “dating age rule”, a mathematical formula that determines if the person you’re dating is within your allowable age range. Someone is too young to date if they are younger than half of your age + 7 years. So if you’re 28, the youngest aged person you can date is 21 (half of 21 is 14, plus 7 equals 21). That makes some sense, but doesn’t completely address the issue. At the end of the day, we’re still left with the question, “How Young Is Too Young?”
Age is a moving target. There isn’t an age chart for everyone to follow. The minute you turn 30, everyone under 22 doesn’t disappear from your dating pool. I believe to help answer the question, one had to think in the form or age ranges. For someone who’s in their late 20’s, dating an 18-year-old is problematic. They can’t drink and often excluded from going to nightclubs and other over 21 events. For someone in their early 20’s this isn’t much of a problem. A 30-year-old, dating someone in their early college years may present issues that aren’t experienced while dating someone in their graduate college years. There’s certain age ranges, and circumstances that mesh better than using defined age rules.
I would like to say that age isn’t such a major issue, but having dated older women, I’ve seen first hand how it can cause problems. There are certain age extremes that seem to work, but often fail in the long-term. The answer to this question is somewhere between a guideline, some math and life. I believe someone is too young if they aren’t near your current place in life. A woman who’s in her 40’s, who hasn’t had any children (but wants them), is in a different place than a 23-year-old guy. Often a 23-year-old isn’t ready or willing to start a family. For that 40-year-old, he’s too young, but someone around 27 may present a different option. Dating an 18-year-old, if you’re 28, also falls in that “too young” category. Usually an 18-year-old is looking towards college, and a 28-year-old is looking towards their career. Your views of life are quite different.
Using this premise, there is a lot of grey areas. To best navigate them, get to know the person. See if they are in a position to mesh with you, and not your age.
Photo Credit: NCMallory