The late, great Aaliyah once sang, “Age ain’t nothin’ but a number.” It should be noted that she was also fourteen-years-old when she and singer R Kelly illegally married…but maybe that’s besides the point.
So, what am I saying? I’m saying that sometimes, yes, age really ain’t nothin’ but a number. My current boyfriend is almost exactly two years older than me, an age difference which means virtually nothing, but could seem like such a big deal if, say, I was an eight grader dating a tenth grader. Likewise, there are people dating people who are upwards of ten years older than them, and when you’re a little older, this difference isn’t too crazy. But sometimes…age does matter. When you’re young, even a five year age difference between you and the person you’re dating can feel like a huge gulf, especially if you’re under 18-years-old.
Maybe that gulf is part of the intrigue; maybe dating someone older beats dating all the immature jerks that are your age. Hey, understandable. We’re not here to tell you what to do–though we’d strongly persuade you to not date grown men if you’re underage–and in the end, you do you. But just as any other relationship, there can be complications to dating someone who is older than you, especially if you’re a straight girl dating an older straight man. Here are seven cold hard truths about dating an older guy that you should always keep in mind.
You're At Different Stages Of Your LifeIt can be tough dating someone who is at a totally different stage of life than you are. Maintaining a relationship with someone in college while you're in high school can make you feel worlds away; hell, the same can be said if you're 21 and you're dating someone who is, day, 28. This is the part of life when even a couple of years can mean moving on to totally different stages of life; this slows down when you're way older, but for now? Woof. You'll be reminded of this constantly, and it's going to suck. Clueless
If You're Underage, You And/Or Your Partner Could Get In HUGE TroubleThis should go without saying, but that doesn't stop people from taking this risk every single day. Frankly, if you're underage and having sex with a partner who is above age, your partner is performing statutory rape; this is a serious charge and your partner, if caught, could face jail time and even land on a sex offender registry for the rest of their life. You're not off the hook either; if you're caught sending a sext to them (regardless of how old you are), you can be charged with sending child pornography. You can think you're being secretive, but the second a concerned friend or an angry parent finds out, you never know what could happen. It's honestly not worth the risk, and more than anything, you need to take this next point into serious consideration... My Mad Fat Diary
Let's Be Real: Dude Might Be A CreepIt's time to stop beating around the bush: If you're a teenager and you're dating a dude in his twenties or older, chances are...this guy is a creep. It says nothing about you and everything about them. There are guys who date girls who are young because they've got fetishes for underage girls, and there are guys who date young women because they're not mature enough for women their own age, but seem plenty mature from the POV of a teenager. We can't tell you how to live your life, but please be careful and make sure whoever you're seeing isn't taking advantage of you. Lolita
You'll Probably Be Condescended Like CrazyCondescending a-holes happen in every relationship, but if you're in a relationship with a pretty big age difference, prepare for this to happen even moreso than usual. Why? Because at the end of the day, you'll always sort of be like the kid in the relationship, and your partner holds more power. Sure, maybe bae was attracted to you because of your maturity for your age, but that doesn't mean that they'll always treat you with the respect you deserve on that front. Which brings me to another point... Pretty Little Liars
Any Moment Of Immaturity Is A Strike Against YouYou might be more mature than other girls your age, and maybe you're pretty precocious as well. That's probably partly why your partner is into you! But yo...any mere glimmer of immaturity or petulance--understandable or otherwise--will be used against you as potential proof that you're not as mature as you think you are. Sometimes, this can be a wakeup call. Sometimes...your partner is just being The Worst and wants to make a dig at you. Either way, this is harder to do if you and bae are the same age or pretty close in age. American Beauty
It Might Be Hard For Your Friend Groups To MergeIt's great when your friends and your boyfriend's friends can hang out together in a group; at the very least, it's nice when they can get along. This is pretty damn hard to do if your group of friends and your boyfriends group of friends are part of different age groups. Like, what the hell is a 16-year-old girl and a 23-year-old man going to talk about? Hell, it's hard enough to talk to people who are a four year age difference from you sometimes! Also, your boyfriend's friends might not be interested in being seen hanging out with a bunch of teen girls. Some Girls
You Can't Really Go As Many Places As ThemThis might not seem like the end of the world, and it's not, but it can definitely interrupt an otherwise great night out. Let's say your partner is of legal drinking age and you're not. You can't go to any bars or clubs with them. Skins
What other cold hard truths are there about dating older guys? Tell us in the comments!