Celebrities are doing it, so are your neighbors, even your grandmother may have gotten in on the action. Dating young has become the soup de jour of the decade. Some applaud the movement, others judge it, and perhaps some just envy that hot young thing you’ve been dating. But societal buzz aside, is this paradox worthy of your consideration?
Regardless of age there may be fundamental differences of what men and women want out of a relationship. But, does dating young put an extra gap into the mix? Or can a younger man give her what she ultimately wants?
The older a woman gets the clearer she becomes on what she wants out of life and relationships. She also gets better at asking for it. She’s looking for a partner, a physical and sexual connection, devotion, someone to share her sorrows and successes with, and a man who can appreciate her and all that she’s accomplished. She’s no longer defined by her practical needs, because she’s too busy fulfilling them. A younger man is looking for guidance, spicy sex, new experiences, and he may be fueled by the fear and excitement of the unknown. This pairing has its obvious advantages, right?
Older men may seek adoration, validation of their virility, proof of success through an ability to nurture and care for another, and someone to affirm their sex appeal both inwardly and to others. He’s looking for a package of a woman that confirms to those around him that he’s still got it. Younger women yearn to feel special and worthy. They thrive on attention, and often possess a need to experience wealth and potential beyond their own means. An older man can represent a vehicle to usher them into the finer things that life has to offer, all of which make this combo equally enticing.
Age or intentions?
One of the most critical steps in any dating situation is an assessment of where you are and what you’re looking for. Age disparity may very well be insignificant but intentions and viewpoints around life’s more pressing matters can be what separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls. When contemplating if you’re equipped to date beneath your age bracket there are many things to consider, but aligning on goals at the onset of the relationship is the one most worthy of attention. Time spent here can mitigate misunderstandings and heartbreak down the road. By discussing these matters early on, you can evaluate if it makes sense to pursue or continue. Age difference just necessitates the need to clarify those intentions sooner than later. Look at this as your first test as a couple.
Check the temperature regularly
The older you get, the less likely you are to change your habits and interests. Conversely, the younger we are, the more likely it is that your tendencies and desires will fluctuate with the passage of time. At this stage we are more open to experimentation in our quest to uncover what it is we really want out of life. What we want today may not be what we want tomorrow, a week from now, or a year down the line. It’s not to say that just because someone is young they’re flip, but it is safe to say that tendencies shift more readily.
Set a regular date to see if you and your mate are still in agreement where it matters most (where and how to live – city or burbs, do you want children, how do you approach money matters). It’s great that you both wanted marriage, kids and the house in the country initially, but what happens when someone has a change of heart. It’s important to never stop assessing where you are at as individuals and within the relationship.
If there has been a shift, an assessment has to be made to determine if it’s the type of change that the relationship can and should sustain. Making those decisions based on the most current state of the union as opposed to a set of ideals that were established months ago just makes sense.
All about timing
But what happens when what you want is the same, but when you want it is not. Timing can be the single most defining factor in a relationship. What happens when one person is ready for marriage today, while for the other, it remains a distant desire?
When we get right down to it, it becomes less about age and more about incongruity in timing. How wide is the gap, and is it something you both can live with, without regret? This may be the one issue that love cannot conquer. Knowing where you both stand is half of the equation. The rest pertains to what you will do, knowing what you know. Is your love greater than a need for a piece of paper or the possibility of a cookie cutter life? Only you know the answer.
The choice to date young is an individual one. Whether you’re looking for a rocking date, someone to spend time with, or a lifelong mate, as long as you both want the same things and at the same time, you could have the makings for a wonderful ride – no matter what your age difference is!
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