Tips for Dating Someone Older or Younger than You

We’ve all done it.  We’ve broken with tradition and dated outside the Five Year Range at least once.  A lot of people will avoid dating outside of their age group because of potential problems that may arise due to the age difference.  We’ve compiled a list of “tricks” for dating someone older (or younger) than you to help you broaden your dating horizons.

Going Younger

One of the biggest traps to fall into when dating someone younger than you is a desire to “teach” him (or her) about life.  Whether done consciously or unconsciously, this is a common mistake made by older people who are dating someone younger.  There is this almost paternal/maternal need to help your date grow, to get him or her to try something new or learn something that he or she didn’t know before.   It’s great to want to take your younger date to the opera or theater if he or she is interested in going to the theater, but if they aren’t don’t force the issue. We can only ever make choices for ourselves.

Do, however, try to explore their interests, see what they have to teach you.  Rather than trying to teach your younger date something new, explore what their interests have to offer.  Don’t lose yourself by pretending to be someone you’re not.  You’ll regret it later.  If you’re idea of good music is Sade then pretending an interest in Cazwell will just come off as disingenuous. 

Plus, no one over 24 should wear a swagger hat.  That’s just a no-no.

Going Older

If you’re going to date someone older than you, be aware that they may be in a different place in their life.  Their job, for example, may require them to be there early and they therefore cannot burn the midnight oil at the hottest clubs in town.  Or perhaps, they already own a home and pets.  They might be in a situation where they can’t just jet off for the weekend or stay over without making arrangements first.  Be respectful of their life, so that they can be understanding of yours.

Dating someone who has experienced a bit more of life than you can be a great learning experience for you.  By observing how they managed to (for example) start a business, or hearing about their trip to Rome you can learn a lot about things you may not have experienced for yourself.

Dating someone outside your age range isn’t a problem if both parties are respectful of the other person, understanding and celebrating differences, and learning to maintain a sense of self within the relationship.  Long-term couple, Sir Elton John and David Furnish, are a great example of a successful relationship with a rather sizeable age difference.  Part of their success is based upon the fact that each man is able to maintain their own career, sense of self, and independence.  It would not have worked had David Furnish turned into a groupie instead of a partner.  Remain true to yourself and respectful of your partner and you may find happiness in a Winter-Spring relationship.