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Age Differences

You’ve met someone that you think is just great…until you see their driver’s license. What is an acceptable age gap in today’s dating world? I have heard some half-baked theories about dividing your age in half and adding that to your age as a maximum, but those don’t actually work. Here is how to actually determine if someone is an acceptable age to date.

What you should NOT do:

Judge someone based solely on their physical age. Assuming that someone is a certain way simply because of when they were born is a surefire way to limit your dating options. I know plenty of people that are more mature than what their age says they should be….and plenty of people that are less mature. The saying “age is just a number” could not be more right.
Choose ages based on the standards of someone else. Who you date is your choice and your choice alone. Everyone worries at times what others think, especially those we care about like family members. Be cautious that you are not limiting yourself based on others’ opinions. Trust your own instincts when it comes to your age standards.

What you SHOULD do:

Judge someone based on their mental age. Take some time to reflect on your own mental age. Be aware of yourself and find someone who is at the same mental maturity as you are.
Pick someone based on where they are at in life. If you are a professional looking to settle down, you probably should not date the new intern (without even looking at the complications of dating within the workplace). Dating someone in a different place in life is usually going to end in disaster. If you have graduated from college and your significant other is graduating in a year, it won’t usually cause issues. Be wary if there is much more than a year gap in your goals. It is difficult to reconcile these problems within a relationship.
Set your own standards. Be very aware of what you are looking for. If you have certain standards for age derived from your own experiences, allow them to influence your decisions. I have realized that you can have an age “type”. Different generations raise children different. People grow up with different media messages or different experiences. I have a personal preference for people that are approximately four to five years older than me. That is perfectly okay.
Be flexible. Everything in this list can go out the window if you just know. If the person fits you in every way possible, but just has a bit of growing up to do, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Just be aware that people grow and change. This person will not always be this age and you can wait for them to mature just a little bit.

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