I hate it when someone answers my “wait, how old are you?” with “guess!”
I’m not guessing. I know better than that.
Especially when my age-radar is faultier than my ‘99 Acura.
And when it comes to dating guys, the ‘what age is age-appropriate’ confuses me more than this whole online dating sensation. (I can barely buy a sofa on Craigslist —you want me to trust an internet write-up on a complete stranger?)
You don’t want to be in one of those commercials where the couples are holding hands in matching bathtubs in the meadow. While at the same time, you don’t want to go financing your dude’s cheap beer, fast food, and video-gaming lifestyle.
In my early 20s, I taste-tested the buffet-line of ages. I spooned a Freshman when I was a Senior (in college, don’t be weird), I sprinkled a same-ager in there to cleanse my palate, and I even forked a 40-year-old to see how it tastes.
But ultimately don’t we all want to find the one? The guy who’s in the age-comfort-zone where there isn’t the worry that he’s not going to get into the club with his fake ID, nor the fear that he’ll peacefully pass away as we wait for our drinks to arrive.
Here are my go-to guidelines for dating in your age-range:
He’s too young if…
– He has eleven roommates and they’re all in Sigma Pi. Sorry, he’s not emotionally nor intellectually there yet. (Unless you’re looking for a quickie and a game of beer pong, then by all means).
-His roommates are his Mom and Dad. (Unless he is Middle Eastern, in which case it’s the norm. So just hang out, the food is incredible!)
-He needs you to sign for him as a legal guardian and/or asks you if the club you’re going to is “tough on I.D.”
-He doesn’t remember Fraggle Rock.
He is too old if…
-You’ll likely live another 40 years after he’s dead.
-His pop culture references are about when Elvis first appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. (Who are these people, right?)
-His number of ex-wives or children is greater than your sexual partners.
-You’re using a calculator to compute his age based on the year he mentioned he graduated high school.
-His age disclaimer is “yeah, but I’m a young (insert age).” If you’re trying to finesse it, dude, that ain’t a good sign.
Apparently there’s this proper age-range formula where you take half your age and add something. Not so sure about it. But what I am sure of is that there are necessary boundaries for testing the dating-age waters. You don’t want to traumatize yourself with an acne-faced Friday night date immediately followed by a wrinkle-faced Saturday brunch. It’s jarring.
So take some time to do your due-diligence. Check out his favorite shows on Facebook (DeGrassi and Teen Wolf are a sign of TOO YOUNG, just as BONANZA and M*A*S*H are a sign of either TOO OLD, or way too boring for you anyways).
Ultimately dating in your age range means finding the sweet spot, the middle ground, the space between. And while those lines are blurring nowadays, with Cougartown at an all-time-high, I personally suggest staying within a buffer-zone that allows you to feel like you’re connecting with your boo, and not educating him (if he’s on the young side) or being schooled (if he’s on the older side). It’s all about finding your personal balance.
At the end of the day, if you mess up and find yourself on a date of inappropriate age-rangeness, just lay back and think of Ryan Gosling. Or drink up, ‘cuz Daddy Warbucks is paying.