Friday, September 01, 2006

Is Age Really Just a Number?

Specifically in the context of dating, is it really true that “age is just a number?” I must admit that I tend to make rash generalizations when it comes to boys simply in an effort to formulate foolproof theories to avoid repeating mistakes. I know, it’s stupid. And it doesn’t work. AND I’ve been trying to keep a good attitude and be open minded this go ‘round.

The other day my friend Kate left me the most excited voicemail message I’ve ever received from her. She sounded so happy that I couldn’t wait to hear the good news. So I called her back, and she and her husband had not won the lottery or anything like that—she was in a meeting with a guy from her company that she had forgotten about—he’s a Christian, athletic, nice, etc, and of course, she thinks we should meet each other. First off, I am constantly reminded of how much my friends think for me, and I feel incredibly blessed to have a friend who would get so excited about a guy that I might like. That’s just really sweet. So as she is telling me about this guy, I’m thinking he sounds great, but I feel like something is missing. Then I realize she hasn’t mentioned his age, which is usually one of the first things people seem to mention when wanting to set you up (as you’ve gathered, I’m getting a lot of experience at this stuff this month). So he’s 24. That seems so young to me. Sure, I’m just 28, and the last two guys I’ve dated have been a year to a year and a half younger than me but 24?

Anyway, as for all of this age stuff, I’ve been (inadvertently, of course) generalizing some in my head about guys, age, and dating. The last two guys I’ve been out with have been over 30, and they just don’t try as hard—they aren’t as mannerly, sweet, etc. And this is consistent with the other older guys I’ve dated in the past. It’s like they’ve already been there and done that, and they aren’t going to try to impress you like younger guys do (who haven’t been dating for well over a decade). And they aren’t intimidated either and seem more relaxed and self-aware, which are positive things in my mind. I will say, however, that I’ve recently realized how much I prefer super chivalrous behavior and have taken it for granted.

So what do you think? If you were me, would you go along with the set-up with the 24 year old? To be honest, I feel weird about it, but then again, what’s the harm--especially when the guy is recommended by a friend of whom I think highly? I tend to think it would be ignorantly close minded not to go even if my gut instinct is to feel weird about it.

On an unrelated note, I had a first last night--I killed a lobster. Fun!

p.s. If age is "just a number," would you contend I should go out with any guy who is of "legal" age?


Aaron said...

I can't help but observe a disturbing trend among your blogs and rants that I have entertained from a couple of other female friends regarding dating. In particular, yours almost compliments hers exactly.

I have a friend who seems to have a "successful" dating thing going. I use the word "successful" as it clearly could mean different things in different circumstances. BUT, if your idea of "successful" means men are continually asking you out -- then she has a good thing going. The line I'm trying to draw between you and her IS that you both seem to plenty of "new material" to meet yet you over-analyze what's going on here. Considering your dating sample size, you can afford to loosen up your dating criteria a wee bit. There seems to be a list of people willing to recommend dates. Take them up on it and see how it unfolds!

Blind dates are the best! You have no negative premonitions going into the date (unless you hate blind dates). Your first impression is usually your first impression. You aren't looking at a picture trying to guess good/bad chemistry possibilities. You aren't listening to your friends tell you everything *they* like about this person. (That's not to say what they like isn't important, but it's their opinion, not yours -- yet.) Hopefully you'll see the person for you they are.

Face it, guys need all the help we can get! I'd hate to think that someone filled some gal's head with all sorts of misconceptions about how great a person I am. What a let down that would be! Let her discover my character flaws on her own. Maybe I'll even get a second date? Wait, this is about you -- not me. :D

Anyway, let’s re-cap the Ally dating criteria this guy meets:
[X] Christian
[X] Recommended
[X] Nice (heh)
[X] Athletic (A bonus.)
[ ] 24?!

I'm about to reveal an interesting perspective on dating from each sex's point of view:

Let's compare and contrast:
Gal: So I'm going out on a date tonight with this guy BUT...
Guy: Rock on! I got a date tonight!

He's 24. 4 years your junior. Big deal! He's younger. He'll need that energy to keep up with you! Lighten up, have a good time. We've got the rest of our lives to grow up. Why waste it now?

kimberly said...

age limit rules (i think this was developed by politicians):
half your age plus seven is the age limit when you're dating someone younger. so he's well within the acceptable limits. go for it! I know some 24 year olds that are much more mature than 35 year olds.

spam_price said...

Women certainly are a lot more analytical about these things than guys. Just to supplement Aaron’s comparative analysis of a Guy dealing with the age difference plus or minus:

4 years older: Rock on! I got a date tonight with a 28 year old!
4 years younger: Rock on! I got a date tonight with a 20 year old!

Do you see the happiness either way?! Wisdom is not always directly connected to age, some guys grow up too fast and some never do; incidentally, the same is true for women. That is the beauty of experiencing God’s diverse creation and enjoying His plan for you unfold!

ilLegal said...

I wish i was still 24.

ella w. said...

I agree with Kimberly. I know 24 year olds who are married and grounded. Whereas there are guys in their mid to late 30s who act like they are still in college.

Go for it! In any case one date won't kill you.

Ally said...

Boys: I am totally guilty as charged. One of my biggest weaknesses is that I over analyze things. I'm working on it though despite how it may appear on my blog:)

Girls: You're absolutely right. I'll keep you posted.

Everyone: Thanks for the input; I really appreciate it. The three day weekend is finally here. Enjoy!

Jordan said...

Ally, trust me.. some of the guys in their 30s and 40s aren't any more mature than when they were 20. Go out on the date... you never know. Of course I would never date a 24 yr old but I'm in my 30s. I would date someone 4 years younger though, (and have). Look at it this way.. when you're 85, he'll be 81. hehe

Anonymous said...

There are several reasons ,historically speaking, as to why older men usually date,marry older men. Most of this goes back eons to the day of the cro-magnon man who chose his mate by knocking over the head and dragging her back to the cave. More recently, men typically live at least 5 to 6 years less than women therefore with this logic when you are 85 he will have only have been deceased 9 years rather than the typical 5. I have found through much research there is very little difference in the happiness achieved or the divorce rate in those with only a few years different in age especially with the popularity of plastic surgery. I find that the greatest factor in unhappy marriages and failed romances have more to do with a female earning a significantly higer salary. Therefore if you still work at Burger King your chances for happiness are quite high. Dr. RJJ