“Age is just a number.”
Does this phrase sound familiar? I Bet it does.
When it comes to dating, this phrase means that a person’s age is not the most important factor in determining whether you should date someone. Often, people use it to encourage others to date regardless of age (well, if they’re of legal age).
Traditionally, older men are expected to date younger women. But older women and younger guys’ relationships are becoming increasingly popular.
This brings us to today’s topic… Is it okay to date someone the same age as you?
Well, let’s find out.
Is it okay to date someone the same age as you?
A general rule of thumb in dating states that the acceptable age difference in relationships should be half your age plus seven.
For example, let’s assume you’re 26. Here’s how to determine the minimum age you should date: 26 = 13 + 7 = 20. In addition, you can determine the maximum age by taking your age and subtracting it by seven, then multiplying it by two (26 = 19 x 2 = 38).
As you can see, there’s a clear age gap.
So, how legitimate is this rule?
Age-gap relationships can work beautifully. However, they can have some challenges, including different levels of experience, life stages, cultural preferences, attitudes toward aging, etc. This study by Dr. Randal S. Olson shows that the bigger the age gap in marriages, the more likely it is to end in divorce compared to marriages with individuals around the same age.
So, for a more stable and long-lasting relationship, you can explore dating someone the same as you. This means being open to forming romantic connections with people around your age.
Well, how good is it?
That depends on your preferences and circumstances.
Benefits of dating someone the same age as you
Here are some advantages of dating someone your age:
- Shared history: People of the same age are very likely to be in the same stage of life. That means they share some life experiences, such as growing up in the same era, listening to the same music, watching the same TV shows, etc. This is a big deal when it comes to relationships since there will be compatibility and understanding.
- Similar interests: You can easily engage in similar activities and hobbies, such as traveling, dancing, and working out. This provides an opportunity for shared experiences and bonding.
- Same life goals: Can a 50-year-old have the same goals as a 30-year-old? No, because they are at different life stages. The difference in life goals is a major reason for most breakups, separations, and divorces.
- Better communication: Age can help or act as a barrier to communication. It can affect how you want to say what you mean and how you interpret what others mean. This doesn’t mean that older or younger people are better or worse at communication. It means that people of the same age can use similar language or vocabulary and have similar perspectives on life to understand each other easily.
- Equality: When you date someone your age, you look at each other as equals. No one is leading in age or experience. Therefore, there’s more tolerance and mutual respect.
- Emotional support: Age mates may have experienced similar life events and challenges. So they deal with almost the same amount of emotions. This makes it easier for them to understand and empathize with each other.
- Less social stigma: Stigma is common among relationships with a significant age difference. However, when you’re with someone your age, people don’t question it because it’s considered natural or socially acceptable to many. There’s less pressure and judgment.
- More fun: You may have more things in common and relate with each other better, especially when you have shared hobbies and interests. This can make your time together enjoyable.
Disadvantages of dating someone the same age as you
Here are some disadvantages you may experience while dating an age-mate.
- Lack of maturity: Being the same age doesn’t mean you’ll have the same level of maturity and emotional intelligence. People mature at different rates and in different ways.
- Lack of diversity: Same-age relationships may lack diversity in terms of life experiences and perspectives, especially if both people grew up in similar environments and backgrounds.
- High competition: This particularly happens in younger people, especially those just starting in their careers. One person may need to prove that they’re better than the other.
Tips for dating someone the same age as you
If you are dating or considering dating someone the same age as you, here are some important things you must remember.
- Communicate openly and honestly. Talk to your partner about your goals, interests, and expectations, and encourage them to do the same. This is important to build trust and a good foundation for your relationship.
- Being the same age doesn’t mean you share similar experiences and perspectives. Therefore, embrace the similarities and differences and have mutual respect for one another.
- Avoid being caught up in peer pressure. Focus on your relationship and what works for both of you.
- Maintain your independence. While it’s normal to spend a lot of time together and do activities together, it’s important to maintain your interests and hobbies to have a more fulfilled life.
- Be open to learning from each other.
- Prioritize each other.
Should you date someone your age?
It depends on where you are in life. Additionally, it depends on your values, personality, and interests.
There’s no right age gap in dating. But dating your age mate can result in a long-term relationship. The good outweighs the bad, from having shared history, life experiences, and life stages to having better communication, equality, and less stigma.
Remember, every dating experience is unique, and what works for one person may not necessarily work for another.