There are a lot of good reasons to worry about someone’s age when you start dating them, if only because society currently seems to have so many issues about what it means when we date someone older or younger than we are. There are definite pros and cons to both situations, but of all the dating taboos we think you should break, it’s that you shouldn’t hesitate to date someone younger than you, no matter what your friends say. (This should go without saying, but we’re talking about relationships over the age of consent here. There is such a thing as *too* young.)
When we start dating someone, we make little judgements about all sorts of things that matter to us. Like someone’s questionable use of emoji or whether you can keep up with their fitness routine (or lack thereof). All of those things are important when it comes to compatibility, and age matters, too, so you’re not out of line to spend a good hard minute on considering their age. But don’t spend too long fretting over the fact that there is a few years difference between you. Think about this: Tristan Thompson is 26 years old and expecting a beautiful baby with 33-year-old Khloé Kardashian and the entire world is all about their little family. (Kourtney Kardashian is also dating a younger guy: Younes Bendjima, who is 24 years old and 14 years her junior.)
Here are some reasons that someone being doesn’t have to be a turnoff.
1Age does not equal maturity.
A lot of people clutch their pearls when you say you’re dating someone younger because they’re scared that this person can’t be your equal, since they haven’t had the same “life experience.” But just because you’ve spent a certain number of years on this planet doesn’t mean you haven’t experienced a lot. Likewise, being older and having experienced “more” doesn’t necessarily make you mature. This isn’t school — you get one year older whether or not you’ve mastered the life lessons or not.
2Older people usually don’t know what they’re doing, either.
This maturity thing is a big deal. There are a ton of people in their late 30s and 40s who still wake up smelling like a college frat party and 28-year-olds with toddlers and a high-performing investment portfolio. The life markers we set for people based on age are all sorts of messed up. Even when they aren’t so extreme, life is full of adventure and there are a lot of reasons two people might relate hard to each other, despite their differing ages.
3You can learn a lot about sex.
There are a differing opinions from experts about sex drives and when they peak. We can say this: As you get older and have more partners, you inevitably become more comfortable with your body and what you want in bed. Even if a younger partner thinks they can do no wrong during sex (or have had more partners than you), it’s likely that you might be able to impart some wisdom in the bedroom. And that they’ll be ready to listen.
4Your playlists will thank you.
Of course, this all depends on the age gap and other factors, but we’ve found that younger dating partners has done wonders for our Spotify playlists and our closets. Although getting older means getting to know yourself and your tastes better, which is so empowering, sometimes it also means forgetting to absorb some pop culture *thing* that’s happening right before our eyes. It doesn’t have to be drastic, but getting an intimate peek into what a younger partner is obsessed with, whether it’s a new song or a fresh way to style your favorite hoodie that you might have missed, is worth having to explain what the early aughts were like.
5Sometimes, you just have to go with it.
How often do you meet someone in real life and ask them their age before you go home with them? Or just have a really good conversation with them over the snack table? There are times when it will come up, or even be obvious, but way too often that doesn’t happen. With dating apps, this all changed. A person’s age is front and center and we’re allowed to make judgements based on their birth date and hobbies. It’s too easy, when we have this info before getting to know someone on any real level, to assume that someone way younger than us was not emotionally, physically, or intellectually up to our standards, which isn’t always the case.
6Who cares what people think?
The whole age gap thing when dating is very loaded with sexist stereotypes. Being young doesn’t make a person dumb or not worthy of respect, so you should never forget that when dating a younger partner. Sometimes, a younger partner can be even more insightful and empowering than a peer or someone older. You just have to get over their age first. If Khloé can do it, so can you.