Does age really matter when dating in our culture?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 07, 2007 11:35 PM GMT
    I just thought of this question when waking up this morning. My first sexual expierence was with a guy 10 years older than me, and for some reason it didnt bother me or him at all. Teens, 20's, 30's, 40's, and even 50's, does age really an issue when dating and hooking up?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 08, 2007 12:26 AM GMT
    I've dated guys older than me in the past but would not do it in the future. Not because age is that big of a factor for me (many older guys have the build that I find attractive), but because I often find I'm at a different stage in my life. I want somebody to share in the growing up process this time around. But if age does not bother you then I say go for it!
  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Mar 08, 2007 12:40 AM GMT
    Great question...especially as I am currently single...

    For me age is a factor...on two fronts:

    1. Although flattered, I tend to shy away from those more than 5 years younger than myself as I want someone who is emotionally mature enough to handle a relationship, financially mature so we bring in a [mostly] equal paycheck to our household income, and has similar interests as this 35 year old does.

    2. I tend to shy away from those more than 5 years older than myself as I want to have someone who is active enough, not supporting me, going through similar life events as this 35 year old.

    Doesn't mean that rules are meant to be broken and that I probably have horribly stereotyped 20-somethings and 40- somethings, but it has been my experience that 5 years up and 5 years down tends to get me closer to what I am looking for...

    Now, if I could just find the AVAILABLE 30-somethings...

    - David
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 08, 2007 12:42 AM GMT
    well isnt that something we the same age :O)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 08, 2007 8:45 PM GMT
    I tend to date guys in their 30s - and im 23... Most of my friends are over 30, some in their 40s.

    I have been out since highschool and very comfortable in my own skin... I think many guys my age, who were in highschool in the late 90s, have also been able to figure themselves out earlier than previous generations.

    Some guys dont care about the age difference... others can barely comprehend dating someone 10 years younger. Everyone has different experiences in life to make them think certain ways.

    In my opinion, if you have a connection with someone, you enjoy each others company, have great sex, and just love being around each other - go for it. No point in worrying about what may or may not happen down the road.
  • TallGWMvballe...

    Posts: 1925

    Mar 08, 2007 9:42 PM GMT
    Good subject JCarter; thank you for making this.

    I am sure there are many very strong opinions about this and here are my observations.
    When I first came out at 22 I tried dating all ages and types of guys until I learned eventually what works best for me. I then and now look for certain qualities physically (most important for sex or hookups) and personality if for friends and/or lovers) AGE is NOT one of the factors I look for.
    It seems that society teaches us, indeed crams down our throats the concept of youth = beauty - desirability so I understand why so many Gay men want to date ONLY much younger than their own age. The most common thing seen in profiles is "my age or younger" but what most mean is younger.. period.
    When we are under 30, it seems that every year is a huge milestone with large differences, but as we get past that it is apparent that the years difference matters much less than how the individual has handled the experiences and how the personality has developed.

    My hat's off to JCarter and norcalsf for NOT carrying that age prejudice,
    but I know from some nasty Emails I have gotten that many don't agree and think it is impossible to date above their age.

    It's too bad we put SUCH a big premium on the age first instead of looking at the more important characteristics. And for just hooking up for sex?
    What does it matter what age you are?
    It's just about sexually energy and attraction -- or should be.

    Now, having said all that; I DO believe that a good bond for LOVERS is such a complex thing that maturity level (NOT the age number) is a very important factor for most guys.
  • MisterT

    Posts: 1272

    Mar 08, 2007 10:11 PM GMT
    For me age is a factor, for the same reason as stated earlier in the forum, someone within 5 years of my age will most likely be going through some of the same things, and life events as I am.


    I have found that overall I have been attracted to guys my age and younger, sometimes 10 years younger, but I've dated guys older than myself and younger than myself. Sure I set age guidelines, as well as fitness guidelines, but that is all they are, and there have been exceptions.

    For friends, the age isn't a big deal, and if things happen to click well, and more develops, I keep an open mind, not automatically disqualifying them because of age.

    Everybody has different views on the subject, and are attracted to different types, that is what part of what makes us individuals.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 17, 2007 11:51 AM GMT
    No, if you are attracted and there in good intent on both individuals and there love is present, so be it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 18, 2007 1:33 AM GMT
    i think it does matter because eveyone ive come across doesnt want anyone younger. i guess they just dont want to have a good time because younger guys are better at sex. lol!!!!
    if u want a younger guy then im open! lol!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 18, 2007 5:52 PM GMT
    Age is a really tricky question for me because I tend to identify, emotionally, with people who are mature in that sense and USUALLY (but not always) age/experience tends to equate to emotional maturity (keyword being "usually"). But there is a problem with that:

    a) With anyone that is either over seven years older of four years younger than me, there may not be an emotional difference if we're both mature but our lives are in completely different stages. This may not sound like a big deal, but it is...for example I'm in college right now, trying to make something out of myself and I know at one point it'll become very difficult to spend time with anyone. Something that someone who isn't in that stage of life would empathise with (maybe understand but not truly KNOW where I am at or remember what it was like).

    And...

    b) Even though I'm very serious about love, my dreams and my hopes for the future (like most people who are older than I am), I happen to be very light-hearted about everything else, including things like money (it's not that I don't know that value of it, so much that as to me it's one of the least important things in life) which people who are older than me usually seem to be very focused on (not that I blame them).

    Somtimes I feel like I'm in limbo: just between being older and being younger and it's become so hard for me to find someone because of it. I've been single for over a year now and that's one of the most crucial reasons.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 21, 2007 5:37 AM GMT
    Age really doesn't matter as long as the person is able to handle mature relationship.
  • duglyduckling

    Posts: 279

    Mar 21, 2007 4:40 PM GMT
    Age matters only to the individuals, however if you walk down the street and see a 18 year old hand in hand with a 60 year old, you would be thinking to yourself that one is definitely a "sugar daddy".

    With that said, for me personally, I feel that I cannot be with someone who is many years to my elder, and same with someone who is many years to my junior. I am simply not at the same life stage as they are and it would be difficult to share my feelings and my experiences with them. How do you share a mid-20s crisis with a teenager? or with someone who experienced it 30 years ago and barely remembers it?

    Whether one likes it or not, age matters.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 13, 2007 5:02 AM GMT
    From the perspective of a guy who a older than many of you here, I think age in fact does matter. As a society we worship youth; and gay men are very visual. I am not into younger guys per se, but I am only turned on by the sort of body that younger guys tend to have, super lean, nicely muscled, smooth... On the other hand, I definitely can understand life cycle issues if you are in a real relationship, and I really haven't figured out how to resolve the conflict. Also, as you get older, it takes a greater number of absolute years for a guy to be meaningfully younger; if a guy is 5 years younger than me, that doesn't feel younger to me. 15 years, on the other hand, is younger.

    Of course, for every ass there's a seat, and I remain guardedly optimistic I will find someone younger, who is more mature yet has the body I crave...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 13, 2007 5:11 AM GMT
    Skillover, good points.

    I add this. As fitter and fitter men age, the body type that you like (and I do too) IS found on older and older men. Take a look at my hotlist/buddy list, and you'll see guys in their 50s, 60s, and I defy anyone to say their bodies are not hot.

    That's a separate issue, of course, from that "boyish" look and bounce that many older men seem to crave. To me, a hot body surmounted by a mature face with character is ultra hot.

    And, to me, the 20-something year old drama...not knowing what they want (for good reason) and flightiness is something I'd want great distance from.

    Culturally, I do believe that once a guy gets into his late 30s and if we older guys stay functioning and interacting with our gay brethern in all sorts of settings....then guys at different ages have more in common than one would suspect.

    However, I was always out of step...I've always loved classical music and, mostly, deplored popular stuff as drivel (in terms of music culture), which means even guys my age are speaking Greek when they talk about the latest popular stuff... :-)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 13, 2007 5:29 AM GMT
    What ever Floats your boat. My Grandparents had a 6 yr difference. (grandpa born 1910, grandma born 1916) Remember tomorrow is never promised. And another quote that i need to put into the best advice. "Never leave the one you Love for the one you Like, because the one you Like will eventually find the one THEY Love."
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 13, 2007 3:05 PM GMT
    men of all ages can be immature, irresponsible, unable to commit, broke, rich it doesnt matter. i say take honesty, maturity and compassion and you may have a winner. its important to know what you from a relationship.. to grow with someone.. share your life... or a sugar daddy or arm candy. i think once you line up the things youi want and need from a relationship you will be able to make a more clear decision about whether ages does matter.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 13, 2007 3:34 PM GMT
    I don't know, age doesn't have to matter if the maturity level is right, though a difference can pose some issues. For example, a guy from the Boomer Generation will likely have a totally different take on sexuality than say someone from GenX (the Reagan years). As a GenY guy (defined as someone coming of age during the Internet, cell phones, the Bush II years, post-9/11, Iraq War) I can say that dating a GenX guy definately brought its share of challanges, none of which were insurmountable but which show when it came to politics, materialism, and notions of gender roles.

    That said, I tend to end up with guys a bit older than myself not because I seek them out, but because I tend to click with them better than guys younger than me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 13, 2007 3:50 PM GMT
    My ex and I had an 11.5 year difference (he was older) and there were some definite challenges with that, as we didn't have the same cultural upbringing (e.g. TV shows, what we experienced growing up, etc.) It's something that we managed, but it was always a struggle. He would keep thinking that I had the same experiences that he did, and that wasn't the case.

    There were also some power issues too, and I think many times that's not intentional, but inherent with the age difference. When we started going out, I had just been out a year, and this was my first relationship. He'd already had two LTR's and so I thought that he was much more experienced in dealing with relationships.

    We generally still like each other, and I think that being friends is going to be much easier than being partners.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Jul 13, 2007 4:21 PM GMT
    Well, I'll be honest, I'm looking for someone within 6 years or so of me in either direction, but my reasoning for it has less to do with attraction or maturity than it does with possible long term eventualities. I'm in my mid 20s, and find a lot of guys in their mid 30s quite attractive, but there are issues even beyond our different incomes and past life experiences.

    I know that most dates don't lead to relationships, and most relationships don't last. And I'm fine with that. But I'm the sort of guy who would rather not date someone I knew flat-out ahead of time I didn't have even a possibility of a long-term future with. A big part of the long-term future I'm looking for is family: I know I want kids, but I also know that I'm not ready for them yet, and probably won't be until I'm around 35. If I was with a guy 10 years older than me, he'd be 45 at that point, putting him somewhere around 60-65 when those kids are graduating high school and hitting college. That's a really difficult position to be in, both in terms of having the energy to be an active parent later in life and in trying to handle the expenses of college that close to retirement. If I were only looking for a short-term relationship, that wouldn't be an issue, but it's something I do think about when considering long-term possibilities.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 13, 2007 4:40 PM GMT
    MSUBIOnerd said: "..., putting him somewhere around 60-65 when those kids are graduating high school and hitting college. That's a really difficult position to be in, both in terms of having the energy to be an active parent later in life and in trying to handle the expenses of college that close to retirement..."

    Just being as a smart ass here, since I agree with MSU that these are exactly the issues, indepedent of sexual attraction, that "age differenced" couples should be considering, thoughtfully.

    Speaking as a man rapidly approaching that age range, I am still 12 years from retirement (in my own life plan), have plenty of money, and am still running, working out and have a zest for life that IS not consistent with many of my same-age slothful, give-in-to-the-age-stereotype-fatalism brethern.

    So...the news of my age and financial decrepitude is greatly exagerrated... :-)

    (Just yanking your chain, MSU, I agree with you in general).

    John

  • gymingit

    Posts: 156

    Jul 13, 2007 6:25 PM GMT
    fastprof--- taken from your comments, I have always said, I have found many hotties in the gym, but not all are sexy. There are a lot of older, sexier men on this site and considering I'm 37, that 40, 50, 60 range is very nice indeed.

    Confession: Though they may not be jocks, but very very cute, two 22 yo college students take care of my "needs". Quite often in fact. I say that to say this, it leaves me available with a larger opportunity to meet other men and allow myself time for a relationship to develope. Sometimes, I will admit, hormones have ruled in rushing things in the past... lol BUT I'VE GROWN EMOTIONALLY over the years.

    I don't like to think age is a factor, but I don't see anything developing with either one of these guys and we are talking 15 years here.

    I say live and let live and if things happen that's great. Brian was younger than me in my last relationship, I'm dating a guy younger than me now, yet I'm attracted to older men. Go figure. It's about like I love brunettes, but always end up with a blonde.... lol I don't get that either.

    LANCE
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 13, 2007 7:32 PM GMT
    I was going to say that it wouldn't for me, but actually that's not true - I'm rarely attracted to anyone my own age. looked twice, but never actually found myself attracted to them.

    I remember the first time I was really disappointed, 'romantically,' was when a guy I was very much falling for told me that he would never again initiate a relationship w/ someone in their 20's - said that it consistenly led to disappointment.

    Two thoughts ran through my mind, one being "but not me! I'm different!" The other and I'm a bit shocked that this came to my mind but I remember thinking, "I've never heard of someone complaining that someone is too young." Guess I was used to hearing about old straight men always going for some young thang. Made me look at myself more honestly - cuz I felt really shallow when that thought came to my mind.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 13, 2007 7:35 PM GMT
    gyming it: "...There are a lot of older, sexier men on this site and considering I'm 37, that 40, 50, 60 range is very nice indeed..."

    I'm looking for the line outside my front door, but don't see it...or is it that it takes a while to get to the Bay Area from all across the country...

    :-)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 13, 2007 8:16 PM GMT
    When I was in my 20's, I met and had one amazing afternoon with a guy in his 40's. He was built, sexy, and really knew how to handle himself - and me. But it was clearly a hookup, and not "dating" (assuming you're defining dating as repetitive hookups leading towards some kind of relationship).

    Ultimately I ended up in 2 relationships with guys about my own age. Not because age was important in and of itself, but because we understood each other better.

    But I also know several long-term and very successful relationships between men with 10-15, even 20 year differences in their ages.

    I believe that the main things are attraction, respect, and understanding. And while there's some kind of bell curve that suggests we'll find that in people of similar age, there are no rules - nor should there be.
  • TallGWMvballe...

    Posts: 1925

    Mar 11, 2009 6:43 PM GMT
    duglyduckling saidAge matters only to the individuals, however if you walk down the street and see a 18 year old hand in hand with a 60 year old, you would be thinking to yourself that one is definitely a "sugar daddy".

    With that said, for me personally, I feel that I cannot be with someone who is many years to my elder, and same with someone who is many years to my junior. I am simply not at the same life stage as they are and it would be difficult to share my feelings and my experiences with them. How do you share a mid-20s crisis with a teenager? or with someone who experienced it 30 years ago and barely remembers it?

    Whether one likes it or not, age matters.


    I STRONGLY disagree with this narrow form of thinking.
    Why not treat each PERSON as an individual instead of assuming in advance that a person because of his age will or won't act in a certain way? This is the perfect definition of Prejudice meaning judging before knowing.