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