When Dating A Guy, Ladies Look At 'Stage Not Age'

A good friend once said to me, “Stage - not age,” in response to me weighing the option of dating an older guy. I was 23 and he was 30 and for whatever reason that felt like the biggest difference in the world. Just listening to the numbers of our age said out loud.

 Photo taken from Twitter

Photo taken from Twitter

I’m 26 now and I’ve always felt an attraction to men who were older than me. That’s not to say that I haven’t dated men my own age and in some instances younger. But I wondered why I’ve always felt more comfortable with people who were older than me.

I questioned my friend as to what she meant. What is this cute little rhyme? She went on to explain to me that age didn’t matter so much after you turned 21. What mattered was that if you were in the same stage of life as the other person. “Stage - not age.” That means wanting the same things, compatible long-term goals, similar lifestyles.

 Photo taken from Tumblr

Photo taken from Tumblr

It really didn’t matter that he was 7 years older than me. We both were in the same industry. We shared similar passions. We both liked to stay up late and watch movies. We both were looking to move slowly. That man ended up being one the most successful and rewarding relationships in my life. After a year and a half or so, I wanted to become more serious and he didn’t. We broke up. We were no longer in the same stage of life. We wanted different things. We both envisioned different futures. And that had nothing to do with our age.

Fast-forward another year or two, I met a man, through a friend, only two years older than me. We both loved food. We had about a million mutual friends. We both loved to go out. We had the best dates. But he was always dropping hints about a long-term future together. Like really long-term. Like going away for the weekend long-term. Like marriage long-term. And even though he really was a lot closer to my age, we wanted very different things. He was in a different stage of life than me. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Needless to say, we didn’t work out.

I apply this concept of “Stage - not age” to all of the romantic relationships that develop in my life. The words now ring in my ears. This is always one of the first pieces of advice I give my friends when they’re contemplating a new relationship. So I encourage you, women, to never judge a relationship based on an age difference. Evaluate it based on what you want for your life and whether that’s compatible with what they want. Find someone in the same stage as you. And it’s the best when you find it because being in love is a great stage to be in at any age.