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Dating Age Rule: Does Age Matter When it Comes to Dating?

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Dating Age Rule: Does Age Matter When it Comes to Dating?

It’s one of the first fields you’ll fill out when completing an online dating profile – your age. And just a few lines down the page, you’ll state your prefered age range for potential matches.

For many singles, age is one of the most important factors when rating a potential match’s compatibility.

But is being the same age range really that significant? Here are three other factors that influence relationship success.

1. Life Experience

Sharing similar life experiences, the good and bad ones, helps improve compatibility, but this is not dependent on age. We don’t all live our lives at the same pace. An adventurous 20 year old may have crammed more into their life than a sheltered 40 year old.

It can be hard for someone who’s been divorced three times and has two children, to relate to an unmarried, childless singleton. Similarly, a globe-trotter who’s travelled around the world, is unlikely to have much in common with someone who’s always lived and worked in the same town. But they could all be the same age.

Having similar life experiences helps a couple understand and relate to each other. It also makes it more likely that they will have similar plans and goals for the future.

On the other hand, being at different stages in your life can also be a benefit. You won’t go through life’s hardships at the same time, so you can take it in turns to support each other. And if one of you is further along in your career, or have achieved more in life in some way, this can be a great motivator and inspiration to the other party.

2. Relationship Expectations

Not everyone on an online dating site is looking for a life-long partner to settle down with for the next 70 years. If your intention is to meet someone new, get to know them and enjoy each other’s company, finding someone with the same intention is a great place to start, regardless of their age.

Age often becomes an issue when people start to prophesize about a relationship’s future, doing the maths of ‘when I’m 40, they’ll be 63’. There’s little point discarding someone you like now, because in 30 years time you may no longer be compatible. You could pick someone with the exact same birth date as you and in 30 years time they might not be compatible either. No-one can predict the future, and so long as your relationship stands a reasonable chance of success, don’t write it off now for fear of problems that may arise at some point in the future.

3. Shared Goals

One area that gets mentioned a lot in relation to age compatibility, is plans to have children. It is often assumed that only people of a certain age will be planning a family, so a big age gap infers two people with very different plans.

It is not the age that is important, but the dreams and aspirations of the people in the relationship. You can be very different ages but both still want to have a baby, or go hitchhiking around Europe, or open your own bakery.

So long as you share your vision of the future, there’s no reason for an age gap to keep you apart.

If age is an important factor to you when choosing a date, that’s fine, and it is a genuine consideration for many singles. However, if you have found someone who is right in every other way, it may be foolish to overlook them because they fall outside of your perfect age range.