How to Date Despite an Age Barrier

While it is most common to find a significant other among a group of similarly-aged friends, sometimes circumstances afford us the opportunity to date someone who is not as close in age. Follow these steps to enjoy your dating experience despite this "issue".


  1. Image titled Date Despite an Age Barrier Step 1
    Take stock of your priorities. Determine if dating at this time in your life is worth it. This is always a good idea, even if you aren’t dating out of your age group. Make sure that you are going into a relationship with the idea that you may stay in this relationship for a long time, even forever. It will take time, money, and other resources to make your relationship work.
  2. Image titled Date Despite an Age Barrier Step 2
    Get to know your significant other. It makes sense to get to know them. With an age difference, you are more likely to enjoy different things and think different ways. Get to know the person and find out all of their likes and dislikes; what makes them tick.
  3. Image titled Date Despite an Age Barrier Step 3
    Talk about your ages. This seems a little strange, but it’s helpful to clear the air. If one or both of you has a problem with the age difference, but you still want to try the relationship out, go ahead. Often times, you will forget about the age difference and enjoy each other’s company.
  4. Image titled Date Despite an Age Barrier Step 4
    Learn how to deal with people who point out your age difference. In social settings, mean-spirited people will often call the older person a “cradle robber” or some other such thing. More often than not, they are jealous of the fun and happiness the two of you share.
    • At first, you will try to ignore people like this. When that gets tiresome or impossible, don’t try to reason with them or explain why you are in the relationship. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. Simply say something like, “You’re right, we are a few years apart, but I don’t think I’ve ever been happier.” You’ll be surprised how quickly that quiets busy-bodies.
  5. Image titled Date Despite an Age Barrier Step 5
    Enjoy one another as you would someone who is your age. The first stages of dating involve learning how to be the best of friends. Do that! Beyond getting to know each other (step 2), learn about each other and how to know what the other is feeling. Learn body language, changes in voice, etc.


  • Realize that you'll need all the same things in this relationship as you do in one with someone your same age -- trust, communication, etc.
  • If you ever feel like the other party disrespects you for you age or lifestyle, mention it. This can influence someone to change their lifestyle which will most likely make them dissatisfied.
  • While addressing the issue of your age difference is important, try not talking about it for the first several weeks of your relationship. This will allow you to follows the first two steps to their fullest before hunkering down and talking about your differences. You might find that after all you have learned about each other, your age difference is hardly worth mentioning.


  • A relationship like this is a remarkable test of who your friends are. Good friends will stick by the two of you, and hardly change their reactions. Bad friends will constantly point out the age difference and try to make it a point of contention.
  • At the same time, if you are younger, don't discount the fact that he or she may find you more mature for your age and that can give you more confidence.
  • Research sexual consent laws- they are very strict in some states and countries.
  • Realize that each one can have different plans and aims on the relationship; discuss them.
  • If you are the younger, be aware that there may be a reason that your partner is at your own maturity level. He or she may never grow up even after you've matured, and this may make a long-term relationship more difficult.
  • Some people can be very skeptical on these matters. Secrecy can be a good thing.
  • Beware of people who want a relationship without discussing the issues. Someone who avoids talking about the age difference is probably in denial.

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Categories: Long Term Dating