Should Women Actually Date Younger Men?

Man kissing woman on cheek

When it comes to love and lasting relationships, is age really just a number?

"They also seem to appreciate you more because of the age difference. They're more likely to listen to you because they're younger and less stuck in their ways." I'm Hopelessly In Love With An Older Man (And Our Friends HATE It)

I picked up the bottle of Cab we were sharing and added a little more to my glass. "This sounds too perfect," I said. "There has to be a downside."

"There can be. Depending on how old he is, you might find that he doesn't have enough life experience."

Life experience. It was one of the most subjective variables out there, and would certainly differ from person to person. Who was to say the fireman I'd met a few years back didn't have more life experience than I did? He was technically the one with a full-time job, while I was still a graduate student. Tiffany's speech intrigued me, and I vowed that the next time a younger guy asked me out on a date, I would give him a fair shot.

I got my chance right before I left New York City and moved back to California. I had known this guy—we'll call him Sam—for about a month, when we found ourselves sitting next to each other at an Irish pub. We were having drinks with some mutual friends, and throughout the course of the evening, we started to have our own conversation. We chatted about our jobs, and our backgrounds, and our experiences so far in Manhattan. Basic getting-to-know-you fare. And it was going well. In fact, there was one point when I looked across the table and was genuinely surprised to find that our other friends were sitting there. I was so absorbed in my conversation with Sam, I had momentarily forgotten.

Toward the end of the evening, the inevitable subject of age started to rear its ugly head. He was talking about his brothers and sisters and I asked how old they were, which led to the disclosure of his age—23. He was officially six, going on seven, years younger than me. I Met My Soulmate When I Was 17 — And He Was 42 And Married

"My sister's quite a bit older, though," Sam said. "She's, like, almost thirty."

I took a large gulp of my beer and pretended I didn't hear that.

We ended up going out a few more times before I moved away, and it was fun. And simple. And humbling. The thing I appreciated most about Sam was that he didn't act aloof or play games the way men in their thirties have a tendency to do. He was just being himself, and candidly expressing the way he felt about me. It was refreshing, and it made me realize something: I had been dating for almost half of my life, and over the course of those years, I had gotten a little jaded.

As all who do it most certainly know, dating can be fun, but it can also be incredibly tiring. Sitting across the table from someone you barely know, trying to make conversation, searching for common interests, deciphering their signals, wondering if you will get a second date—if indeed you want one. Somewhere along the way, I had stopped putting as much effort in. I had become a bit more cynical and guarded.

Dating Sam gave me hope, and more than anything, he helped me recognize that perhaps age doesn't matter nearly as much as I thought it did.

Have you ever dated a younger guy? What were your experiences?