Is Age Really Just a Number?

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When you’re trying to find the prefect partner, it may be the looks or the personality that initially draw you in, but eventually you’re going to get to  the point where you ask each other your age. When you do find out, how do you respond? What’s the golden age to date? Whether younger or older, should age be the determining factor in a relationship, or is age really just a number? 

The Intrigue
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Whatever your age, finding out you’re attracted to someone younger or older can seem captivating. There’s something exciting about dating someone who has a different level of experience, who’s done more than you or who has fresh, new insights on life. Maybe you’re used to dating your own age. Or maybe you always date younger or older and are interested in what the latter may offer. 

What’s the appeal to dating younger? For men, dating younger offers the opportunity to be with someone who has a more lively, unique take on life, separate from the stress that comes from work. Younger women also offer a greater sense of connection and availability, which older men begin to crave after they’ve settled down in life. And then there’s the obvious, the sexual appeal. The looks and promise of a wild sex life. 

Now women. With women taking on higher roles at work, there’s less of a desire to marry equal or for the financial promise. Some women find it empowering to take on what’s known as the man’s role. More women today are looking for a man who can fulfill that missing aspect in life: connection. Women often crave connection, and dating younger may offer the emotional and mental stimulation that someone older or the same age may not be able to provide, based on the stage of life they’re in. The same can also go for women as well, whereas dating younger may just be more sexy and fun. 

When it comes to dating older, men find that older women offer a stronger foundation to build a relationship off of. Someone who is more mature, who knows what she wants: a sense of deep devotion that someone younger may not be ready to offer. There’s also a power that older women seem to hold. Stronger, dominant and more authoritative. A woman who knows what she wants draws a man in.

For women, dating older offers a more cultured and experienced man. Someone who already has a stable life and who is ready to be serious and commuted. Who knows how to meet the needs of a woman. Older men also offer more financial stability, and overall just have more to provide for a women, approaching life with a level of sophistication that is absent when dating younger. 

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Dating when there is an age gap can draw quite a bit of attention. Visually, there may be shame that comes when you look older than your partner or younger, which can make you feel ashamed and uncomfortable. There’s often judgment rooted in relational inequality from the general public about one person “feeding” off of the other. People create their own stories about how a couple ended up in a relationship and what the dynamic must be like. Forming conjectures that they otherwise wouldn’t normally with people in a couple who appear to be of the same age.

Your Choice

The outcome ultimately boils down to you and what you want from your relationship. Whether it be a fun fling, a new experience or a committed relationship, there are costs and benefits to whichever you choose. The dating scene has become more and more socially accepting of age gaps in relationships, but taking that out of the consideration column, what  matters most is what makes the most sense for you and what will give you the greatest satisfaction.

Follow @VALLEYmag on Instagram for more relationship insight!  



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