Age always seems to be a factor in relationships. Unless you magically find someone born the exact same year, and preferably the exact same month there’s always the younger/older dynamic. Now this certainly doesn’t affect all couples, but for some people it matters, and one thing that is certainly true is that the greater the gap in age the more likely it is that it will become an issue. Not unlike this conversation Carolyn had with a reader who sent a question about their conflicted feelings about dating someone significantly younger. In this example, the age gap is ten years, which as Carolyn points out really isn’t a big deal if you’re talking about 50 to 40 or even 40 to 30, however in this specific case the gap is 30 to 20. Here, I can begin to understand the readers issue. There is, usually, a significant difference between a person who is 30 and a person who is 20. When you’re 20 you’re fresh out of your teens, still learning to be an adult and still full of the fire of youth read to take the world by the horns. That fire and freshness has cooled off by the time you’re 30, and even the most passionate 30 year olds still have that extra ten years experience to help them know when to tone it down a notch. What struck me most about this dilemma however was the reader’s concern for their potential partner. They were worried they were taking advantage of them, trapping them in a committed, long-term relationship when they weren’t able to appreciate what that really meant. And personally? I agree with the reader, and with Carolyn. I believe entirely that there are 20 year olds who are ready to commit to someone in their 30’s, but it’s by no means a rule and I can agree with the caution Carolyn advices.
Carolyn Hax: Thoughts on Age Gaps
@AgentCory quite true, but then just as Carolyn points out, the older you get the less a difference in age matters. The difference between 12 and 13 is an entire grade, whereas the difference between 49 and 50 is hardly anything at all.