Should I Keep Dating My Young Lady or Find Someone Older?

BY: - 1 Aug '17 | Relationships

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Dear Dr. Buckingham,

I am 35 years old and I am dating a 26-year young lady who has no job, but she is full of ideas. My fear is that she will rely on me. I am also fearful that about what society will say about the age gap between us. She looks younger than her age and I look more mature than her. Should I Continue Dating my Young Lady or Find Someone Older? Is It Better to Date Younger or Older Women?


Matured Man


Dear Matured Man,

Your decision to date a younger lady is no one else’s business. Regardless of what society thinks about the age difference you should continue with the relationship if you feel a connection with the young lady. Also, a nine-year age difference is not very significant. However, you have to determine if you can cope with what appears to be a difference in mental maturity. As you stated the young lady is full of ideas, but does not work.

Dating young can be fun, but it can also be challenging. She might need to you to guide her since she appears not be to an action-oriented individual. Be mindful that the guidance thing could potentially become problematic because it can shift the relationship from a partner dynamic to a mentor/father-like dynamic that creates an imbalance. Also, I realize that you are concerned about her level of stability, but remember that age does not determine how stable or mature a woman is. I have provided therapy to hundreds of older women who required a significant amount of guidance. Therefore, if you decide to move forward with the relationship make sure that you continue to assess your progress as it relates to her ideas.


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Take some time to research male and female maturity development. Some researchers argue that our brains do not reach full development until we reach age 25. This means that we are not always certain of our goals and desires at age 25. Given that the young lady is 26 years old, she might perceive and approach relationships different than you. With this in mind, I recommend that you spend some time talking with her about what she desires and see if her desires line up with yours.

Lastly, please keep in mind that psychological age, which refers to an individual’s maturity level, intellect and life experience is the best indicator to determine compatibility. Chronological age should not influence who and how you love. How long you have been alive does not determine how well you have lived. You want to be with someone who shares a similar lifestyle, not just similar age.

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 220 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at


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3 Heart Strong Ways to Stay True to Your Vow of Celibacy

BY: - 4 Aug '17 | Relationships

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For a long time, celibacy was seen as a thing for nuns and priests, you know, people of the cloth. Anyone outside of these life choices was viewed as having a few screws loose if they opted to join this club. So, here you are. You’ve decided to become celibate. But now you’re catching flack from everybody and their mama!

You hear things like:

  • “You’re crazy.”
  • “There is no way you’ll be able to do that.”
  • “What does your man think about it?”
  • “Just wait ’til the mood hits you, then talk.”


It won’t be the first time you will be faced with self doubt.  And you will feel, on a daily basis, as if you are fighting an uphill battle. On some days, the challenge will be internal. Staying true to your vow of celibacy will seem an impossible task. Every man will look fine. Every prayer will sound hollow. On other days, the challenge will be external. You’ll be asked out on a date every hour, on the hour, seven days a week. And they’ll all look like Denzel. All of them.

So, what’s a girl to do? When the naysayers attack and you’re not sure if you can trust your decision, arm yourself with these 3 important keys to successfully conquer your season of celibacy:

Remind Yourself Why You Made This Decision

Okay. Go ahead and pull out all of your research.  What were your reasons for making this decision? Are you a Christian? Was it for health reasons? You just don’t think you’re ready for sex? You just want to save yourself for marriage?

Whatever the reasons, you did the research. So now is the time to strengthen your resolve. Journal your experience daily.  On the harder days, find the entries where you were celibate strong and get inspired. On the easier days, thank God and keep on growing. Come what may, submit your fears to your greater purpose and stand firm in your convictions. This mindset will serve you well beyond your single and celibate days.

Surround Yourself With Friends Who Share Your Values and Convictions

Well, you don’t get to choose your family, but you do get to choose your friends. Ditch the ones who don’t have your back and find and befriend those who will champion your goals. There are many people out there who will support you. In fact, you may be surprised at just how many.

And you may also be surprised that you can become an influencer in the process. In fact, there may be some people on the fence who may come over to the purity side of life because of your example.

While it’s true that celibacy is ultimately a solo journey, having the right people in your corner to talk you off the ledge when the going gets tough is definitely a plus.

Believe You Can Do It

No matter how hard you are hit with negativity, you must believe that you can joyfully champion your season of celibacy. In life, celibacy will be a challenge. But, chances are, it won’t be your greatest. Personally, it prepared me for some doozies. And, aside from trusting God, it taught me to trust myself.

  • I learned that I was stronger than I thought.
  • I learned to love myself even more.
  • I learned that sex wasn’t the most rewarding part of a relationship.
  • I learned that if I upheld my commitment to celibacy, I could overcome just about anything.

So, when you begin to question your ability to survive a season of celibacy, remind yourself why you started, make friends who will share your convictions, and believe in yourself!

BMWK, how else can you stay true to your vow of celibacy?

About the author

Joann Fisher wrote 157 articles on this blog.

Joann Fisher has been a writer and editor for both print and online newpapers and magazines for the last 10 years. She now serves as a Writer/Editor at BMWK and lead Editor for The Joy Network.


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