Here’s Why I’ll Never Date Someone My Own Age Again

Here’s Why I’ll Never Date Someone My Own Age Again ¬©iStock/Ivashphotography

When it comes to setting our dating preferences online or in “real life,” age is an important factor to consider. Lots of us like to date people who are at least around the same age as we are, but after one too many bad experiences with guys as old as me, my preferences have definitely changed. It might sound weird at first, but here are a few reasons why I’d be happy to never date a guy as old as I am again:

  1. There’s still a huge gap in maturity levels. You’d think that by age 23, the maturity disparity between men and women would have closed up a bit, but nope. I’m hardly the perfect picture of what a grown woman should look like, but I sure seem like it compared to most 23-year-old guys I know. Are there older men out there who haven’t mentally moved past age 15? You bet. But they’re a lot harder to find than immature early-twenty-somethings.
  2. I want someone in the same stage of life as I am. I’m already a few years into my career and living on my own, and lots of guys my age are still in the process of finding their footing outside of college. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, and they deserve all the kudos for finishing school and finding the jobs they want most. But the difference in lifestyle wouldn’t be conducive to a healthy relationship for either of us. I’d be better off finding someone who already had an established career and was fully financially independent, just as someone who is fresh out of college would be better off finding someone else who was fresh out of college. I’m sure I could find a few guys my age who had also taken a similar path in life that I have, but realistically, I’m going to have a more luck on Tinder if I up my age minimum by a few years.
  3. I’ve accepted I just like older guys. I used to push back on my preferences for men, but at this point, I’m cool with the fact that most guys who look like they’re in their early twenties just don’t appeal to me. Even when I was a kid-kid, all the actors I had a crush on were usually in their early thirties at the youngest. I once felt weird about it, but at this point in my life, I’m comfortable with what and who I like, and I’m going to go for it. You can keep your baby-faced cuties all for yourself; I like my men with a couple of crinkles in the corners of their eyes, and I’m proud of it.
  4. I want someone who has his act together. And unfortunately, not many men my age do. I’m a hard worker. I pay for my own place. I take care of my body. I still have a way to go, but I can’t be bothered with guys who are still living like they’re in college. While you can sometimes find the rare unicorn who is in his early twenties and living like he’s in his early thirties, it’s much easier to just skip ahead a few years and find a guy in his early thirties who’s living like he’s in his early thirties.
  5. I kind of like the slightly unbalanced power dynamic. Okay, look — I’m a staunch feminist, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to be a part of a relationship in which my partner thinks I’m a lesser human being than he is. That said, there’s something ridiculously sexy to me about dating a guy who does have a bit more life experience than I do. Maybe it’s because I have such a dominant personality in everything else I do, but when I date someone, I enjoy being able to take on the role of someone who has just slightly— very slightly— less power in the relationship. It’s not always something that makes for sustainable long-term relationships, but being as I’m not looking to settle down right now, I’m OK with it at this point of my life.
  6. I’m so over the “early 20’s” lifestyle. The last thing I want is a guy who wants to spend the weekend alternating between being drunk and being hungover. I’m fine with going a little crazy every once in a while, but I definitely can’t go as hard as some of the dudes I see partying hard every single week. I’m not looking for a guy whose days of having fun are over; I just want someone whose idea of “fun” matches up a bit more with mine. When you’re in your early twenties, it’s a lot harder to find a guy your age who prefers a night in to a night out. Who knows? Maybe by the time I’m in my thirties, I’ll get a second wind and want to go a little crazy with a guy who’s a few years younger than me.
  7. I want someone who has a different perspective on the world. Right now, that’s most likely going to come from someone who has been alive for a little longer than I have. I like being around people who challenge my own view of the things happening around me, and it’s hard to find that in someone who has been around for exactly as long as I have. Yeah, that “new perspective” feeling might not last forever, but it sure is nice while it does. Perhaps in a few years, I’ll prefer someone half a decade younger than me for the same reason.
  8. It’s just so boring. Basic? Probably. True? Definitely. Yeah, we all take different walks of life, but in the end, I know what it’s like to be a 23-year-old in 2016. Rather than sharing my experience with another 23-year-old in 2016, I’d prefer to share it with a 29-year-old in 2016. Maybe in a few years, I’ll prefer to share it with a 23-year-old in 2020. As much as I love my fellow 23-year-olds friends, I could never imagine dating any of them for this exact reason. It sounds a bit snobbish I guess, but when it comes to finding someone to be romantically involved with, I think we’d all be a bit better off if we accepted our dating preferences without worrying about how they come across to other people.
Averi is a word nerd and Brazilian jiu jitsu brown belt. She's also a TEFL/TESOL-certified ESL teacher and an equine enthusiast. Originally from Pennsylvania, she lived in Costa Rica for a while before moving to Australia. In addition to her work as a writer and editor for Bolde, she also has bylines with Little Things and regularly writes for Jiu-Jitsu Times.

You can follow Averi on Instagram @bjjaveri or on Twitter under the same handle.