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Should Age Matter?

Discussion in 'Coming Out Advice' started by RaeofLite, Aug 16, 2009.

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  1. RaeofLite

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    I suppose there should be a point where age should matter. (Ie: a young adult in highschool shouldn't be with someone 7 or more years their senior imo)

    But what if a girl is 20 years old and she meets someone who's ten or so years older? Should it matter if the chemistry is right?

    Should there be an age limit on attraction and dating? And should it be more or less of an issue of gay/bi relationships?

    Opinions please.
     
  2. Jack2009

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    Teen years matter

    Adult years do not matter (both are adults)
     
  3. djt820

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    Being an 'adult' is subjective in my mind. It all depends on maturity really. Some teens have it. Some dont. If the chemistry is genuine and mature, age doesnt matter. But thats just my interpretation.
     
  4. stratavos

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    teen years matter because of legality, and the social norm with friends is that you don't date anyone more than 10 years older/younger... often 8 years for the gap is acceptable though. (*hug*)

    well unless you're early 20's then you're frowned upon for being with someone more than 6 years older for some reason :S
     
    #4 stratavos, Aug 16, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
  5. Beachboi92

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    with dylan on this one
     
  6. BitterEdge

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    It depends, and I should stress should only be taken with really adults. It's not so much the age experience, but life experience of each individual may vary thus causing issues in the overall relationship. I seem to actually have more problems with people my age and date men mid to late 20's; it works for me.
     
  7. EM68

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    Age should not matter if the chemistry is there. My first bf was 10 years younger. If you guys hit it off go for it see how it goes.
     
  8. Starshine16

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    As long as niether person is under the legal age,it doesn't matter.As long as the maturity and chemistry is there for both people involved.
     
  9. Chip

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    The real issue is less about age than about the locus of control and balance within the relationship. The control and balance issues are greatest with an age difference of more than 4 or 5 years where the younger person is maybe 22 or less, so I'll focus on that.

    Putting aside the obvious issues of legality for a moment, and focusing solely on age, it's safe to say that the majority of people under 22 or so have not had a lot of life experiences, and most people under 18 have had very few life experiences. Contrast this with people who are 25 or 30 or older; most have had many different experiences. I'm speaking not about *sexual* experience per se but life.

    The problem arises when someone with a great deal of life experience partners with someone with little. This creates an inherent imbalance in the relationship; the person with less experience ends up leaning on the person with more experience. In most cases, this means the younger person forms a dependency on the older person, and in general, this means a codependent relationship that is rarely healthy for either, but particularly for the younger person. One of two problems arises: Sometimes, the younger person gets "stuck" in a dependent phase of his life, because the older person cares for him, and the older person has a (conscious or unconscious) vested interest in maintaining that dependency, because without it, the relationship won't function. If the younger person does continue to grow, then the relationship usually fails unless the older person also grows and works to overcome his codependent nature; even then, it still often fails because after the younger person is no longer dependent, s/he frequently sees that the relationship is unhealthy and leaves to seek a more age-appropriate relationship.

    Additionally, the majority of older/younger relationships I have seen or been aware of have elements of unhealthy power and control; sometimes overt, sometimes covert. I've seen a number of cases where the older person controls many or most of the actions of the younger person, in some cases dictating who they can talk to or see, or threatening to take away privileges or money or cars or phones if certain behaviors are not followed; this is exceptionally unhealthy for the younger person, as it prevents him or her from growing and taking on adult responsiblities.

    Now... of course, this is not true of all older/younger relationships, and there are also older/younger relationships where the roles are reversed, and it is the younger person who is controlling of the older. That situation is equally, if not more unhealthy. I have seen cases where the younger person manipulates and controls the older person by threatening to leave the relationship, withholding sex, or other actions to gain what they want.

    The additional factor is the preying on and manipulation of younger people by older ones. Before anyone gets their panties in a wad, I am not saying this is always the case, but I suspect if you ask a random sampling of people under 25 if they have had an unpleasant (lewd, graphic, manipulative, or otherwise unwanted/unpleasant) experience with an older person, the overwhelming majority will say yes, and most will describe multiple occurrences.

    And many young guys, those lacking a father figure in their lives, or being closeted and not feeling comfortable, are easy targets for those older people. Yes, in a few cases, the relationships can be genuinely supportive and caring, but in the majority, they are not.

    So all of these factors, in my opinion, have to be considered when looking at older/younger relationships. If we were truly talking about age, disassociated from social development, life experience, and other factors, then age would not be a factor at all. But we cannot separate those factors in most cases.

    Will it necessarily hurt the younger person to hook up with, have a fling with, or even have a longer term relationship with a person significantly older? Perhaps not, but it depends a lot on the psychological makeup of the young person, and it depends heavily on whether the intentions of the older person are selfish or genuinely to have a rich and positive experience for both. And that's near impossible to tell beforehand.

    I am speaking of generalities here. There are always exceptions, such as very mature young people, or older people who are emotionally much younger, or two people who are reasonably healthy emotionally, where there's a power imbalance but also a strong bond and a genuine desire between both parties to work through whatever issues might prevent the relationship from working in the long term. And there are hookups that can be fun and fulfilling for both parties if they go in with equal footing and with their eyes open. But I suggest thinking of these as the exception, rather than the rule, and making decisions accordingly.
     
  10. Greggers

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    I dont think ANYONE can give a simple "Yes" or "No" answer to this question.

    I dont think there even is a simple answer to this question.

    If your with someone older/younger than you by a significant age gap and your BOTH fine with it and neither one of you is ashamed, bothered or worried by it then whos to say that age gap is too large? No one has the right to say that expect the two people in the relationship.

    Same goes for the other way around. If one person is ashamed, bothered or worried about the age gap, no matter how much they like the person, its not going to be a successful relationship. For the same reason being closeted never works out in the end. You cant ignore feelings.

    Its natural for us to react negativity when we hear about these age gaps. It feels weird to us because "society" says that the "normal" thing to do is date someone very close to your own age. However, we just have to all remember that how long you have been on this earth does not translate to how far along you are in the game of life. Some people never get past the beginning stages because something is stopping them. Some people are forced to grow up and mature, even if they dont want to, at a very early age because something is pushing them.

    I just know i would freak out if someone used the "well you are only 19" card on me without knowing what ive been through. Ive had more hardship and struggle than some people who are going into retirement. Ive collected enough baggage for my entire family. I can understand how someone might fall for an older man or woman. I know know that age is just a number.
     
  11. Black Cat

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    As long as both are over or under 18 then I say it shouldn't. Age is only an issue if the law says so. Of course maturity plays a role, but attraction would manage that in my eyes. I don't get why certain people limit themselves by deciding they only want to date certain age groups. I’m not saying that a freshly 18 year old should go cruising retirement homes, unless that's your thing. I think that if you truly fall for someone or feel any general attraction towards them, then age is a minor factor (again: unless it is a minor paired with a legal adult).
     
  12. Lexington

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    Once they're both over 18, the only issue is "coming from different worlds". Someone who is 20 generally has different ideas, priorities and whatnot than someone who is 35. As long as they can both keep this in mind, and keep compromising, it can work out great.

    Lex
     
  13. Jekko

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    Age is only a number.

    Love is universal, maturity is not.
     
    #13 Jekko, Aug 16, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
  14. Gerry

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    No, age shouldn't matter at all. Unless it's to do with minors or something like that. But I say once both are over 18 then it definitely shouldn't matter.
     
  15. carrie90

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    Everybody is going to have different opinion's on this so you won't get a straight answer it's really about what's best for you if the age gap doesn't matter to you and it feel's right then you should go for it only you can make the decision about what's best for you
     
  16. littledinosaurs

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    It shouldn't matter, but it does.
    Age differences can create problems in a relationship, but with enough effort most of those problems can be overcome.
     
  17. Emberstone

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    i wouldnt see myself being comfortable in a relationship with somone ten years older/younger than me.
     
  18. SwissBoy88

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    I'm dating this guy who's 34 and I'm 20. It feels great... for now... we'll see what the future brings....
     
  19. justinishere

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    I kind of agree with everyone else said. My opinion though, age is but a number. If you find a person that makes you happy then it probably won't even come up in a conversation. The only place where age matters is the law. Being involved with a minor is a big no no for people over 18!

    Love is love and has no boundaries! :slight_smile:
     
  20. Jack2009

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    Preach the Truth!

    [​IMG]
     
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