On JDate, there is a search category entitled, “age range.” This is there for a reason. I’m not discounting anyone for giving it a shot if you are out of the person’s desired age preferences, but the chances of you receiving a response are small.
I had a man contact me once who was in his mid 50s. I’m in my mid 30s. At first I did what probably most people do: I didn’t write back. Then the emails and photo comments kept coming, so I politely told him I am looking for someone closer to my age, but I do have a friend who is in her early fifties and I would love to introduce them. He said, no thanks, as he wanted to start a family and therefore was searching for a woman in her thirties. Even after all this, he still hoped to go out with me. Part of me understands where he is coming from, and I’ve heard of people with huge age differences who make relationships work, but as harsh as it sounds, I was thinking, “Too bad buddy, you missed the boat!”
I’ve always said that a ten-year age difference should be the max in dating and pursuing a serious relationship. It comes down to life experience. Are you really going to be able to relate to someone just out of college if you are already established in a career and have experienced more struggles and achievements? Relationships are built on so much more than similar tastes in music and movies. You also need to know what you each want out of life in order for the relationship to progress. If you go out with someone much older or younger than you, you may not be looking for the same things.
Granted there are exceptions to every rule, but one of the most important elements of a healthy relationship is being upfront with each other at the beginning. I met a very nice guy recently, but I had a feeling he was a good deal older than me – even though he had a somewhat younger look and personality. I asked him twice how old he was and he switched topics immediately both times. When he asked me to go out again, I said no. If the two of you can’t be upfront with each other at the beginning, the foundation for a good relationship is not going to be there.
Dating is difficult enough. Be sure to set realistic expectations. If you spend your time going after what could be a very small minority of people who would actually date you, you are just going to be wasting your own time. And if you are still in your 30’s and 40’s, take a lesson from those older than you and realize time does not stand still. Set priorities and date for marriage. As the song goes, “Desperado, you better let somebody love you before it’s too late.”