Monday, August 8, 2022
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Does Age Difference Matter?

Readers Question: How young is too young to pursue a relationship? 10, 20, 30 years? Or does age difference even matter?

Age in the Bible hardly seemed to matter, and today we see older women dating younger men and older men dating younger women. There is no limit on what God can do to bring two people together. However, the thing that really matters is the heart. Ask yourself why you want to date a person so much younger than yourself. Assuming all of the faith-based questions are in alignment, dating should be for the purpose of leading to marriage. Here are some other questions to ask:

  1. Does this younger person have the ability to support me emotionally and spiritually?
  2. Do we have similar tastes in entertainment and activities?
  3. Do we have the same goals for the next 5 or 10 years?
  4. Can we have conversations that are fulfilling and challenging?
  5. Is this younger person interested in dating someone older?

When it comes to dating, a substantial age gap between males and females tends to have less of an impact on appropriateness later in life. For instance, a male of age 27 pursuing a 17-year-old female seems drastically more inappropriate than a 47-year-old male pursuing a 37-year-old female. Even though the age differential is the same in both cases, it seems that a 37-year-old female would have far more life experience and a better developed ability to make decisions with respect to whom she chooses to date. Dating someone 10 years younger may not pose a challenge in the above questions. However, once you see an age gap of 15 to 30 years, there are more challenges.

Since this question was sent in by a man, we’d like to comment from a younger woman’s perspective. If a man 15 years or older approaches her for a dating relationship and there is not a substantial pre-exisiting friendship, the woman sees that man as a predator. It’s uncomfortable for women in their twenties to be approached by a man in his forties and up. The same goes for a woman in her thirties to be approached by a man in his fifties and up. So, if you are wondering if you can ask someone out who is 30 years your junior, please ask yourself why a 50-year-old would want to date a 20-year-old. If it’s purely physical attraction, there may be other things you need to consider before dating.

All that being said, submit your desires to God. Ask Him to take away any desires that are not from Him. Then ask God to lead you as you interact with potential partners. First, become a friend to that person. Be direct in communicating your intentions. Then, if you are rejected, accept it with grace and move on. We pray you are united with someone who is a blessing to your life and the Kingdom.

Doc Matters

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