He Said: It's my experience that maturity and age are two things that rarely co-mingle.
Age does matter in relationships, and anyone that tells you otherwise is either in high school and has a crush on one of their teachers, is a Miley Cyrus fan, or worships Hugh Heffner.
Age is the vehicle by which we experience common milestones in life.
We all experience a first kiss, first partner, first sex, marriage, home, career, child, divorce, etc.
If you're at the end of this list, what on Earth could you have in common with someone near the beginning? When my divorce was final, I went out of my way to date women of different ages ranging anywhere from twenty-two to fifty-three years old.
There is a reason that most couples today do not have a significant age difference. I found that with younger women, I felt attracted but bored.
Consider that over the last one hundred years, the average age difference between married couples is 3.5 years. With older women it was just the opposite — I was interested but did not feel attracted to them.
With each woman I dated, things ended as quickly as they began.
In hindsight, the only thing I was clear on regarding the women I described was that I wanted to date and was initially attracted to them. It is a fairly accurate measurement that describes where you have been and what is left in front of you.
Their age should have been a warning to me that we may have nothing in common. It tells you what you may have in common with someone.
The second is to know what you are attracted to, understand what you want in a partner and a relationship, and confirm that these things are in agreement before you choose to spend time with someone.
Now, I stay away from age extremes, and in those rare moments I meet someone extremely younger or older that I'm into, I look for common interests before committing to a date. Save for my first boyfriend, who was just two years older than me, the men I've dated and clicked with have generally been anywhere from six to twenty years my senior.
This works for me because I recognize that age matters. Now a twenty year age difference may not be the norm or "average" (neither is six, for that matter), but I hardly think it's a strong predictor for the success of a relationship (after all, nearly half of those couples with the "ideal" age difference between them get divorced), and it amuses me how shocked people continue to be about an age discrepancy.
Do I think it's a great idea for 16-year-old Miley Cyrus to date a 20-year-old?