How old is too old for me to be dating? I’m 23, and I started dating this man I met at a bar who is 44. My older sister told me I have no business seeing him because he’s too old, but I like him. He’s well groomed, has a good job, and makes me laugh. And he’s so much more mature then the guys my age. What do you think?
Young But Ready
Dear Young But Ready,
Thanks for writing to me. The great Aaliyah once had a song entitled “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number.” While I’m a fan of her and her music, I can’t totally get behind this notion. My past experience has taught me that age is more than a number, and can matter in a relationship. (And I don’t just mean if someone is at least 18 and legal.)
For me, I can’t see myself dating anyone old enough to be my father. Well, again. I’ve tried the “dating the older guy” thing, and it just didn’t work for me. While I loved his maturity, the longer we dated, the more I realized the age gap mattered. Me in my early 20s at the time, and him 46, he wasn’t always as eager to get out of the house and unwind as I was. And unfortunately, he wasn’t always as understanding of why I wanted to either. I enjoy the occasional happy hour and going out, and I got a little tired pleading with him to go out with me.
Another reason dating that much older is a “No Go” for me, is that based on my experience the older guy always feels he’s right. When I had disagreements with him, without fail he would attempt to use his age as leverage to win the argument. Because he had more life experience, he would constantly use it to justify why his way of thinking was better. I don’t know about you, but that type of thing drives me crazy. I can’t stand when someone belittles another because of his youth.
Now although I’m not an advocate of dating someone 20 years older than me, I won’t tell you not to do it. Dating someone that much older than you may work for you. And in that case I say do the thang! Don’t let me or your sister deter you from seeing the guy if you think a lasting relationship is on the horizon. Only you can determine who is too old for you to date.
Going forward here are my suggestions.
- If you want to continue dating this man, then date him!
- If things get really serious between you and the guy, then invite your sister to meet you and him at dinner somewhere. Provide her with the chance to get to know him better beyond his age. She may come to like him
- If you really do like this guy and continue seeing him, then you need to stay strong in your commitment to date him. You’re probably going to face plenty of people that disagree with the age gap between you two. Your friends could think he’s too old for you, and his friends could think he’s robbing the cradle. Just prepare to hear such negativity.
- REMEMBER! No one but YOU should have the final say in who YOU
- And if you’re a man of faith like I am, don’t be afraid to ask God about advice on who you should date. Trust me, prayer works.
As always, nothing but love,