Is age just a number ... or a huge turn-on?
There's probably never been a time in your adult life where a potential partner has turned you away because you're too young — or too old. In a lot of ways, it makes the mystery of love all the more elusive: Does it really know no bounds? Is it really just a number?
The answer is a resounding yes. When it comes to men, love really knows no limits, and is just a number. Except, of course, for some exceptions.
1. Age doesn't triumph over fun.
"I met this girl in a bar my senior year of college, and the next morning she made mention of the fact that she had orientation and had to head back to campus. And then it hit me: She was a freshmen and it was move-in weekend. Looking back on it — would I have changed my mind about bringing her home if I knew her age? No. Absolutely not. We had fun, and knowing her age wouldn't have affected that." Derek, 29
2. Older women can be a HUGE turn on.
"I'm getting married to a woman who is both literally and figuratively wise beyond my years. I wouldn't have held back on asking her to marry me just because she'll be 40 before I'm 35. A lot of guys get a bad rap for being developmentally and emotionally delayed because girls are usually more mature for their age. But meeting a woman who actually wants to keep that lighthearted, carefree aspect of a relationship alive is really sexy." — Adam, 26
3. It's rude to ask how old she is.
"I have one rule: Never ask for age — unless she looks way too young to be at the bar. In that case, trust your instincts. But overall, I think that girls find it really tacky and tasteless when a guy wants to know their age, like it matters in the heat of the moment because ... well, it doesn't." — Jake, 33
4. Men tend to pick women who look older.
"I'm not saying that age matters to me because it really doesn't, but I'm not trying to take a girl too young home. I don't want or need that type of baggage in my life." — Ryder, 25
5. Age difference is similar to buying an article of clothing.
"Imagine you want a really expensive flannel. When it's overpriced, you covet it, thinking that it must be made that much better than all the other brands since only a few can afford it. So you want it more, right? Now, imagine that the same item is on sale. You only want it more because you know you're getting a better deal. In either instance, your immediate reaction isn't to shy away from it. You want it because it looks good and you know you'll look good in it." — Joel, 27
6. Bigger age gaps means better emotional understanding.
"I dated someone who was 11 years my junior — and it was one of the best relationships I'd ever had. We just got each other; there's no other way to explain it. But the space that we struggled with was understanding and absorbing each other physically. I think it's because our bodies were in different places and our physical needs had changed. But emotionally and mentally, I was sure there was no one out there who could complete me so fully. And I'd have been damned to let her walk away just because more than a decade separated us. In fact, being further apart in age gave us more in common." — Josh, 39
7. Friends affect relationships more than you think.
"I've dated girls that were both older and younger than I was — but none more than 5 years younger or older than me. We got along great, but in my circle of friends, I could tell that they didn't approve of the younger girls because they were 'needy' and 'attention-seeking.' With the older girls, it was a mix of intimidation and feeling responsible to be polite. I know it shouldn't come down to friends, but it always surprised me how it was the people outside the relationship that could affect what was happening on the inside." — Phil, 28
8. In the end, age is anything BUT a number.
"This is embarrassing to admit, but I called off an engagement with my fiancée because she was too young for me. I thought it could work out, but when push came to shove, we just didn't want the same things at the same time. I was ready to settle down and start a family; she was just peaking at the height of her twenties and wanted to be out and about with friends. I think that's the only time age held me back in a relationship." — Jamison, 29