“I could never see you dating a guy your age.”

That was the response I received when conversing with one of my new friends about my relationships with older men. He understood, as I’m not the typical 22-year-old being two years out of college, owning several businesses, having visited (and lived in) numerous countries, and worked a few “real” 9 to 5 jobs.

“You’re abnormal. But I wouldn’t recommend that most women your age date men as old as you have.”

I’ve dated men a few years younger than me, twenty years older than me, and a plethora in between. I stopped lying about my age once I graduated college, as I found no reason to hide it from my lovers and partners. And what I’ve found is that while relationships can be affected by age, they are more so sustained by maturity, similar interests, and common values, which doesn’t always require a close birth dates.

That being said, it is important for two individuals, age aside, to want the same thing from a relationship. Often, if there are differences, people cite it as a conflict due to age. But really it has more to do with what stage you’re at in life, and what type of relationship you feel would be best for you right now and in the near future.

Personally, I’m ready for a serious relationship, and would love to build a deep partnership and eventual marriage in the next few years…with the right person. I’m not in a rush, and in fact, I’m really enjoying the numerous male friendships that are being built out of my casual dating life. But even in these casual scenarios, I’m still seeking meaningful connections, as I want the men I bring into my life to stay as friends, even when I do find myself in my next serious relationship.

When I date, I don’t target men older or younger than me. I simply enjoy people as people, and whatever age they are—they are. I’ve dated older men that act like toddlers at times. And I’ve dated younger men that, looks aside, could fool anyone into thinking they were close to forty. There really hasn’t been a solid pattern of behavior with the older men I’ve dated or the younger ones. But I will say that the ones that I’ve kept around have similar attitudes about life, vast ambitions, and powerful wisdom to share.

So when my friend says that he could never see me dating a guy my age, he’s actually wrong. I don’t discriminate (minors aside), and do believe in many ways that age is just a number. I’m more interested in the individual connection that I feel with each man that comes into my life. I don’t want to miss out on a beautiful opportunity to experience love because I judged a man by his number instead of his humanity.

How about you?

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