What's Age Got To Do With It?
By Dr. Pepper Schwartz
I always wonder about the age ranges everyone puts in their profiles. Most men choose women a few years to 15-20 years younger than themselves. Most women choose men within a few years range above and below their ages. Very few men pick women older than themselves, and very few women pick men as much as 15 years younger.
I know what some of these age ranges are based on. Men think younger women will be more beautiful, more fit and, as one 50-year-old man recently said to me, "...more able to take care of me when I am 80…". Women are looking for someone who is older because he may have better earning potential, thinking capacity, and more likely to be ready to "settle down" and have serious intentions. Some women "poach" a bit downwards when they think men their own age will be too conservative about gender roles. They think they are more likely to get more feminist views from a guy who is a bit younger. Most women don't go too much younger in their choices because they are worried they will not look good enough for a man who could date someone 15 years younger than they are. They also worry they won't have much in common.
I understand this reasoning, and some of it may be true. But, for every rule, there is an exception. There is always the "older woman" who is fit, healthy, good looking, and vibrant-and the younger one who isn't. There is always the younger man who is sensitive, and less interested in bodies than souls, as well as the older guy who just wants chemistry, and nothing else is too important. In other words, people wear their age, life experience and values very differently. By having a narrow age range, you not only constrict your choices, you make a lot of assumptions which just aren't true.
Think about it. Is age really as important as you think it is? Or, are you really looking for qualities you associate with age, such as fitness, personality, health or wisdom? Consider opening up your age range, but not changing your standards. You might meet someone really special…without sacrificing a thing.
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