Guys, I want to offer you a extensive discussion of age as it is a huge topic as you approach international dating. You will often encounter the opportunity to date women much younger than yourself. Often this is just fine, even very enjoyable. Of course, it is wise to look down the road and think carefully about all the factors involved in an age difference. You see, all of us have been conditioned by society to date within a narrow range of the date on our driver’s license. This is not necessarily true in other cultures as you will hopefully discover.
How old should a date be? This is a very interesting topic. Beyond the obvious legal limitations, the only concerns should be compatible stage of life, and the perceptions of society. Americans are much more restrictive than other cultures in this regard. It seems to be universally accepted that men are often older than their mates. This is not absolute, of course. It’s just the way things are. In some cultures, this age difference is encouraged. The reasoning is that a more mature man has the experience and resources to properly care for a wife and family.
An important consideration is the maturity of each party. There are men who mature at an early age, although this seems to be atypical. It is generally accepted that girls and women mature more quickly than their male peers. Some men seem to physically age more quickly than others. On the other hand, today it is not uncommon to find men in their forties and beyond who have the same appearance, interests and vitality as much younger guys. These are some of the factors affecting age differences. Obviously, it comes down to the individuals involved. There are characteristics associated with every stage of life. If you share the same life stage, the odds of success are higher.
There is also energy level, for lack of a better term. When people are young, they typically have more energy than later in life. Some people lose this energy early. Indeed, some never seem to have it at all. Others keep a high-energy level for most of their lives. This is an area where a high-energy man might be more comfortable with a younger woman.
Now we are not making a case either way. What is essential is that you must honestly evaluate your own “age” and decide upon an appropriate age or stage of life for your potential partners. You must also look out twenty years or so.
First, consider mortality. Nobody likes to think about it, but women live a few years longer than men on average. If you add an age difference, your beloved will live some years as a widow. While this is commonly accepted, it’s something to consider before you get too serious. Reviewing your family history may be helpful when determining your prospects.
You should consider parenthood as well. A younger woman will want to start a family and can afford to wait a while, perhaps into her forties. If you are older, you should project your age through the childhood of your potential offspring to see how this will pan out. For example, a forty-year old man gets married to a twenty-eight year old woman. They decide to wait a couple of years to start a family. The man is forty-two when his wife becomes pregnant. He is forty-three when the first child is born. (There may be other children.) He is forty-nine when the child enters school. He is sixty when the child graduates from high school and enters college. He is sixty-four when the first child graduates from college. One problem is that college expenses are conflicting with saving for retirement. By the way, his wife will be twelve years younger at each milestone. Also, remember that women statistically outlive men of the same age. Of course, Charlie Chaplin had children at the age of 73, but he was rich and famous (and a bit eccentric).
When you look at things this way, it probably makes more sense for a man to marry an older woman! This does happen, but not often. American society seems to be most comfortable with a difference of five to ten years. Beyond the common sense factors discussed above there is some age prejudice alive and well in America. There is the “dirty old man” or “cradle robber” image associated with an older guy and a younger woman. Of course, this depends on the appearance and energy level of the man. Also, women harbor feelings that older guys should be reserved for the troops of their eligible older sisters. We say chart your own course. Determine the age group where you are most comfortable. How old are most of your friends and associates?
Some people are blessed with good genes. They stay youthful and energetic for decades. When combined with good habits (no smoking, minimal drinking), exercise and proper diet, some can appear many years younger than their actual years — effective grooming and youthful clothing also help. Do you attend your high school reunions? You should for a number of reasons. Here you will find ample evidence of this phenomenon. Some classmates will still look like the day they graduated, while others look like their grandfathers. The bottom line is that you can control all the factors mentioned above except your genetic programming which is the most powerful.
It is difficult to be empirical about this. There is no finite way to determine your biological age. It is totally subjective. The best you can do is play “Guess how old I am?” from time to time and average the responses.
Make a list of as many of your friends and associates as possible. These would be the people you gravitate to and spend the most time with. A group of at least ten would be best. Add their ages and divide by the number of people. You could consider this your social age. How does it differ from your chronological age? How does it compare with your biological age? If your social age matches with your younger woman it will increase your odds for success. Age differences will fade over time. Consider the difference between 25 and 35 when compared to 45 and 55. If you are older than your partner you may have to face other potential problems. You may be in better shape financially. Money still means power, no matter what anyone tells you. You may assume a fatherly role in the relationship which she may resent. You may discover yourself behaving in ways that are not the real you in order to keep up with her younger lifestyle. Of course there may be overriding positives such as strong compatibility and matching value systems that will minimize these negatives. It really is up to the two of you.
This is a huge issue. You must have an opinion about it. You don’t need to express that opinion on the first date, but it’s just good to have one for a number of reasons. The older you are, the more critical the issue becomes. Some women are already mothers. How do you feel about this? If you are absolutely certain that it is unacceptable, fine. Just have an opinion, although it will limit your options to some extent. You cannot expect to seriously date a woman with children without your lives becoming intertwined. It is something you must accept. They are a package deal. Of course, they probably have a natural father. That’s a whole other program. Some guys love the idea of a built-in family. There is a lot of complexity here. We are just asking you to give it serious thought. There is no sense starting down the road with a woman with children if you are not going to be able to deal with them.
If you have children, you have a challenge as well. Your dates are going to have to have this information fairly soon. It could go either way for you. We do not recommend that you introduce a date to your kids until well into a relationship. It is not fair to the kids or to her. Children bond easily. You are probably divorced, so they are already going through a lot. They don’t need to get attached to your girlfriend, only to have you move on in a few weeks. Keep your dating and your fathering separate. Also, make sure that your fathering comes first. We know this is tough, but that’s what good Dads (and real men) do.
As childless women approach their late thirties many of them begin to panic. You have heard of the ticking “biological clock,” no doubt. While medical science is doing incredible things with reproduction, there are serious problems for a woman at this stage of life. The longer she waits, the less likely it is that she will conceive. There are procedures to help, but they are expensive and marginally successful. Additionally, later pregnancies carry more risk for the baby and the mother. What does all this mean? It has an impact on dating. Time is now an issue for these women. They must find the right guy who will be a good husband and father and want to have children right away. That’s a lot of pressure. You need to be aware and sensitive to this when you are involved with her. The dating cycle is compressed. She will not be willing to give you several years to make up your mind. Also, you need to be fair and not trifle with her affections if you are not prepared to move at a faster pace. As always, honesty and communication go a long way. You will have to have frank discussions fairly early on. Another consideration is that some women in this position might behave more desperately than they would have ten years ago. You must take this into consideration.
If you are certain that you do not want children — that is your right. You will severely limit the pool of women who will be willing to seriously date you. It is something you will have to accept. If you really mean what you say, get a vasectomy. It is a very simple procedure — it just sounds bad. There is a reversal procedure that has a good percentage of success, but it is expensive. You should postpone such a serious decision until your thirties. Of course, you will have to communicate this to any woman you get serious about. There are women who are very serious about their careers or who don’t want to be moms for other reasons. There are just not that many of them. She may have elected to have a tubal ligation, which will prevent her from conceiving.
If you are younger and are not a father now, your options are wide open. You have time. You can date whom you please. Know this — most women want to be mothers. It’s a natural fact. You don’t have to face this right away, but once things get serious it will come up. Here is where you should have an opinion. Do you want them at all? Do you want them sooner or later? How many? It is best to have a general idea of what you eventually want. It shows responsibility on your part. That is always attractive to women.
I hope that this in depth discussion is helpful to you as you consider your journey in international dating. It is a huge topic since often clients are in mid-life or more, while the ladies tend to be much younger. The guidelines above may assist you as you enjoy the dating process that is available to you. You will only really understand the implications of all of this until you finally decide to change your life and get off that couch, turn off the TV and computer and book a romance tour. You will never regret it.