Ask What You Want Wednesdays, Dating with Anxiety, Readers Questions
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Ask What You Want Wednesday | The Age Factor


I’m older now (like 32) and have never really even dated. Although, I’ve been in love with a lot of guy friends. I think I’m ready to try again but the only ones around me my type (either at work or college) are almost half my age. I even have a couple of buddies who are 18. Is it weird for an older female to consider dating guys 11 and 12 years younger? I honestly don’t know how to find people more my age who aren’t already taken, or stuck in a career, or out of my league. 

When it comes to dating and age and what age group you “should” be dating, here’s how it works: if there are two consenting adults who both agree to trying out a relationship, that’s all that matters. End of story.

But here’s what actually happens: external voices enter the situation. People’s opinions. Your own insecurities of what people might think. Will people judge? Will the relationship even last? etc etc

There are plenty of relationships that don’t work out where both partners are the exact same age. Then there are couples who are 5, 10, 15, and 20 years apart who are living happy, healthy, relationships.  There will always be voices that tell you you’re doing it wrong! whether they are from yourself or other people, but what it comes down to is what you need, in that moment, from life. Even if someone is not a forever-partner, they can be there for you in significant ways, for a period of your life.

However, the only caution to maybe process is our penchant for self-fulfilling prophecies, self-sabotage, or reaching lower than we might otherwise. When we feel someone is out of our league, it might be speaking to hidden insecurities.

In other words, sometimes our own deep insecurities or feelings of unworthiness can push us into relationships we believe, on some level, might not work out. For example, I often felt screwed up because of my anxiety and cycles of mild depression. I worried no man would stick around with me, or even want to date me in the first place, because I thought I was “a lot to take on.” One of my first significant relationships was with a man who was recovering from drug addiction. It turns out he was also, which I found out midway through our relationship, relapsing.

Because of my own feelings of unworthiness I sought out an intimate relationship with someone who I viewed, in my own unfair way, as “more screwed up than me.” And I knew the relationship was doomed for failure. This was my own version of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Here’s how it breaks down
My fear: I’m not capable of being in a successful, healthy relationship.
My action: Found a man who was not in a healthy place for a relationship and tried to force a relationship out of him.
Result: Relationship was unhealthy and fell apart.
= reinforced fear and reinforced belief that I am unworthy of healthy love

So, my dear reader, that being said…always evaluate where your patterns come from. Then trust your gut and give a relationship a go if you feel it will lead you down a path of mutual joy, respect, and positive growth, regardless of age.

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