The compatibility between an 18 year old with a 27 year old?

Postby depolarization » Mon May 08, 2017 7:05 am

I'm a 27 year old who got to know an 18 year old girl (will turn 19 this year) on Tinder. Is this age gap too large on average? It worked perfectly fine when I was 21 and the girl was 18, but will it be too much now when I'm 27?

At what age does a girl catch up in emotional maturity to a 27 year old male? Supposing the science is right and they mature quicker than men, I assume it's before 27 8)
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#1

Postby Candid » Mon May 08, 2017 9:25 am

Compatibility is about interests and commonalities, not numbers.

Is this age gap too large on average?


Too large for what? You're both legally adult, if that's what you're asking.
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#2

Postby tokeless » Mon May 08, 2017 9:42 am

I'm 16 years older than my partner and we get on just fine. She's my soul mate in every sense.
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#3

Postby depolarization » Mon May 08, 2017 9:48 am

tokeless wrote:I'm 16 years older than my partner and we get on just fine. She's my soul mate in every sense.


Sure, but it depends on if the age discrepency is before fully developed maturity, right?. This is a poetic and slightly philosophic girl, but I'm curious if I can really relate to someone with such a limited life experience as an adult, or if I will simply view her as a "child".
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#4

Postby Livetowin » Mon May 08, 2017 1:21 pm

I think you have to be realistic about a number of things here. No matter how sincere this girl may be, the average 18 year old is bound to her emotions until they change. How and why they change is not always something she can answer. True maturity comes from life experience. You can be a well intending person all through life, but how you arrive at life changing decisions is often crafted by things you can borrow from your past as you get older.

How much can an 18 year old know about the world at this stage? Has she been out on her own? Does she have ambitions for herself and has she challenged herself in life to meet those goals? Has she already had a good taste of freedom? I can see her perspective in wanting to date a 27 year old. That speaks to HER inexperience, but what about yours? Are you wanting to be a chapter in her personal journal or are you looking for a real partner?

How much do you really have in common with a person with limited experience at such a young age? And what about general social situations? Do you drink? She's not old enough to drink yet. Whats her situation with her parents? Has she cut the apron strings on them or is she independent enough to engage in conversations without seeking advice? The number of years here are not as relevant as WHERE the years start. If she were 38 and you were 47 we could probably dismiss the years and believe life experience has rolled up enough time for both parties to know what each wants.

I'm afraid what you have here is someone who is not quite as developed emotionally as you might be and probably needs the benefit of the next several years in front of them to see if any decision they make today will hold firm tomorrow. I can tell you firsthand that what my daughter thought and responded to passionately at 18 is entirely different from when she turned 21. I'm hoping that will continue to grow by the time she's 24. Food for thought.
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#5

Postby depolarization » Mon May 08, 2017 8:06 pm

I have been with a soon to be 19 year old in 2010 and the crazy thing is that her age was never even something I concidered. The only reason I concider it now is because I'm older, but the paradox is that I'm not significantly different from that 21 year old guy. I am less optimistic, but personality wise pretty much same.
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#6

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon May 08, 2017 8:56 pm

depolarization wrote:I have been with a soon to be 19 year old in 2010 and the crazy thing is that her age was never even something I concidered. The only reason I concider it now is because I'm older, but the paradox is that I'm not significantly different from that 21 year old guy. I am less optimistic, but personality wise pretty much same.


This "age paradox" should answer your own question. Given you believe you can be 27 yet be the same 21 year old guy, the converse should hold true that when you were 21 you were already the equivalent of 27. Does this paradox only hold true for yourself or do you think it is only one direction?

Any number of examples or case studies should easily demonstrate that age is not necessarily correlated with maturity or compatibility. Alexander the Great was 17 when he was leading an army to conquer the known world. What was his equivalent "age"? An individual raised in one environment or context (such as in modern day Syria) might have a much different worldview than an individual raised and living on a college campus in the United States. The two might be the same age, but one 18 year old is worried about being gassed while the other is worried about having a "safe space" to avoid anything that makes a thought cross their mind that is uncomfortable. Same age, but extremely different world views. Granted, it is an extreme example but it shows clearly that age is not the defining characteristic of compatibility.

What you need to do is start focusing on what you are looking for out of a relationship. Create a list of the top 5 things you are looking for in a serious relationship. A given is physical attraction, so list that as number one...

1. Physical attraction
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Now fill in the rest. What are the other things you are looking for? Shared interests, honesty, healthy? Is age difference really going to be one of the five?
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#7

Postby depolarization » Mon May 08, 2017 9:11 pm

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:
depolarization wrote:I have been with a soon to be 19 year old in 2010 and the crazy thing is that her age was never even something I concidered. The only reason I concider it now is because I'm older, but the paradox is that I'm not significantly different from that 21 year old guy. I am less optimistic, but personality wise pretty much same.


This "age paradox" should answer your own question. Given you believe you can be 27 yet be the same 21 year old guy, the converse should hold true that when you were 21 you were already the equivalent of 27. Does this paradox only hold true for yourself or do you think it is only one direction?

Any number of examples or case studies should easily demonstrate that age is not necessarily correlated with maturity or compatibility. Alexander the Great was 17 when he was leading an army to conquer the known world. What was his equivalent "age"? An individual raised in one environment or context (such as in modern day Syria) might have a much different worldview than an individual raised and living on a college campus in the United States. The two might be the same age, but one 18 year old is worried about being gassed while the other is worried about having a "safe space" to avoid anything that makes a thought cross their mind that is uncomfortable. Same age, but extremely different world views. Granted, it is an extreme example but it shows clearly that age is not the defining characteristic of compatibility.

What you need to do is start focusing on what you are looking for out of a relationship. Create a list of the top 5 things you are looking for in a serious relationship. A given is physical attraction, so list that as number one...

1. Physical attraction
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Now fill in the rest. What are the other things you are looking for? Shared interests, honesty, healthy? Is age difference really going to be one of the five?


I'm looking for a natural chemistry between between two people. One of my concerns is that a soon-to-be 19 year old doesn't instinctively feel reliable about anything. Nor do I expect her to be. The level of inhibition is not fully developed. I don't really think a sexual relationship at her age would make much sense either.. So I am stuck with no good options. Fast forward time 2 years and keep her available please 8)
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#8

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon May 08, 2017 9:28 pm

depolarization wrote:I'm looking for a natural chemistry between between two people. One of my concerns is that a soon-to-be 19 year old doesn't instinctively feel reliable about anything. Nor do I expect her to be. The level of inhibition is not fully developed. I don't really think a sexual relationship at her age would make much sense either.. So I am stuck with no good options. Fast forward time 2 years and keep her available please 8)


The above is not fact, it is not truth, it is your personal beliefs. Where might your beliefs not be working out for you? Which of the above beliefs might be dysfunctional, including the belief that in 2 years a 19 year old turned 21 is suddenly ready for a sexual relationship, the level of inhibition is fully developed, and instinctively things are reliable?

Note, I'm not saying you need to challenge your beliefs. More power to you if you want to just leave the 19 year old alone and go find someone that doesn't require you to challenge your beliefs. Heck, Tinder is full of people, so a really easy solution is to simply believe whatever you like, hold onto beliefs regardless the degree to which they are functional and go for an older match. No harm, no foul.

The other path is understandably more difficult, because it requires you to figure out where you are wrong, which belief you hold that is keeping you from dating a soon to be 19 year old. It is uncomfortable to admit the possibility of being wrong. Even more scary, what if you convince yourself you are wrong and you begin dating this soon to be 19 year old and then you decide you were right all along! Oh no...what a blow...lol.

The fact you posted the thread about the age gap shows you are struggling. You hold a strong set of beliefs about the age gap and you are asking for advice in hopes of someone providing evidence you can accept that allows you to date a soon to be 19 year old without issue. But, while multiple posters have provided you multiple reasons that challenge your beliefs, you continue to put forth beliefs to cling or solidify that 19 is too young, but somehow 21 is okay. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it is your beliefs.

Bottom line, which path do you want to take?

-1- The easy path where you are correct, your beliefs are not dysfunctional and the age gap is an issue?

-2- The more difficult path where you have to figure out which beliefs you hold are dysfunctional or flawed?
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#9

Postby depolarization » Mon May 08, 2017 9:52 pm

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:
depolarization wrote:I'm looking for a natural chemistry between between two people. One of my concerns is that a soon-to-be 19 year old doesn't instinctively feel reliable about anything. Nor do I expect her to be. The level of inhibition is not fully developed. I don't really think a sexual relationship at her age would make much sense either.. So I am stuck with no good options. Fast forward time 2 years and keep her available please 8)


The above is not fact, it is not truth, it is your personal beliefs. Where might your beliefs not be working out for you? Which of the above beliefs might be dysfunctional, including the belief that in 2 years a 19 year old turned 21 is suddenly ready for a sexual relationship, the level of inhibition is fully developed, and instinctively things are reliable?

Note, I'm not saying you need to challenge your beliefs. More power to you if you want to just leave the 19 year old alone and go find someone that doesn't require you to challenge your beliefs. Heck, Tinder is full of people, so a really easy solution is to simply believe whatever you like, hold onto beliefs regardless the degree to which they are functional and go for an older match. No harm, no foul.

The other path is understandably more difficult, because it requires you to figure out where you are wrong, which belief you hold that is keeping you from dating a soon to be 19 year old. It is uncomfortable to admit the possibility of being wrong. Even more scary, what if you convince yourself you are wrong and you begin dating this soon to be 19 year old and then you decide you were right all along! Oh no...what a blow...lol.

The fact you posted the thread about the age gap shows you are struggling. You hold a strong set of beliefs about the age gap and you are asking for advice in hopes of someone providing evidence you can accept that allows you to date a soon to be 19 year old without issue. But, while multiple posters have provided you multiple reasons that challenge your beliefs, you continue to put forth beliefs to cling or solidify that 19 is too young, but somehow 21 is okay.


Oh, no doubt about it. This is a mental hang-up. Yeah, I submit that 20-21 years of age is just "young adult". Soon to be 19 I would say is pushing it. She hasn't even graduated school. I would not be keen on attending my girlfriends graduation given my age. People would rightly think why I'm not with someone my age. I would actually have less of a mental hang-up being in a purely sexual relationship, strange as it might sound. Part of that is because it's biologically perfectly natural for me to be attracted to an 18 or 19 year old from a sexual perspective.
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#10

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon May 08, 2017 10:10 pm

depolarization wrote: She hasn't even graduated school. I would not be keen on attending my girlfriends graduation given my age. People would rightly think why I'm not with someone my age.


Ah, so it is mainly a cultural issue. Society doesn't approve. That is a fairly common mental hangup. Sometimes it is related to age, sometimes race or ethnicity, possibly gender.

I've dealt with those same beliefs in the past. I got over it as I recognized what others believe rarely has any impact on my life. I have dated and am currently dating a younger woman of a different ethnicity. What others or society believes means what exactly? If someone disapproves, how is that my problem? It isn't.
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#11

Postby depolarization » Mon May 08, 2017 10:22 pm

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:
depolarization wrote: She hasn't even graduated school. I would not be keen on attending my girlfriends graduation given my age. People would rightly think why I'm not with someone my age.


Ah, so it is mainly a cultural issue. Society doesn't approve. That is a fairly common mental hangup. Sometimes it is related to age, sometimes race or ethnicity, possibly gender.

I've dealt with those same beliefs in the past. I got over it as I recognized what others believe rarely has any impact on my life. I have dated and am currently dating a younger woman of a different ethnicity. What others or society believes means what exactly? If someone disapproves, how is that my problem? It isn't.


You think it's controversial in 2017 to be dating someone of a different ethnicity? I beg to differ. Deviant in some places, but not really controversial. I mean, one wouldn't be suspicious of the persons.

As to your other point, I feel suspicious of myself attending a girlfriends graduation from school. So I guess my problem is that I think that it's (in some ways) a well-founded opinion. I would be the first one to throw the stone viewing someone else :mrgreen:
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#12

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon May 08, 2017 10:53 pm

depolarization wrote: You think it's controversial in 2017 to be dating someone of a different ethnicity? I beg to differ. Deviant in some places, but not really controversial. I mean, one wouldn't be suspicious of the persons.


And I understand why you beg to differ. You live in the minority, the 200 million or heck, I will give you 1 billion people around the globe that live in your world. The other 6 billion people don't live in your world. They live in a 2017 much different than you, where dating someone of a different ethnicity is still controversial.

In some places they conduct "honor killings" for dating outside your ethnicity or approved social group. In other places individuals or couples commit suicide, because of the inability to date a particular person. There are even still plenty of places in the United States believe it or not that outside of your major urban areas where dating outside of your ethnicity is less than accepted.

I don't live in your world, neither does the majority of the population around the globe, but that is beside the point. Your thread isn't about whether in 2017 dating someone of a different ethnicity is controversial for the majority, but instead in your specific community, in your world where a difference in ethnicity is fine, but a difference in age is not....

Oddly enough, outside of your world a 27 year old to an 18 year old or even younger is considered perfectly acceptable, but outside your ethnicity, religion or social status? Nope. But, once again it isn't about the rest of the world, it is about your world.

As to your other point, I feel suspicious of myself attending a girlfriends graduation from school. So I guess my problem is that I think that it's (in some ways) a well founded opinion. I would be the first one to throw the stone viewing someone else


Yes, it is a well founded opinion in your world. Your culture, your society, your community look down on you for a perceived unacceptable difference in age. You have adopted the belief of the community and you too would throw stones. The belief is well ingrained in you. In your community the belief is functional, because you don't want stones to be thrown at you. I use to live in your world, in your community, but then I went out and explored the world. I explored other communities where age was not a big deal and in fact younger women pursue older men. Go figure!

Anyway, I understand the social pressure you are under based on your personal beliefs. Nothing wrong with that. Move on to finding a different match that is more compatible with your beliefs. Of course if you do ever decide to travel and experience other communities around the world you might end up kicking yourself when you realize that a difference in age isn't so "well founded" as you might want to believe.
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#13

Postby tashlentine » Tue May 09, 2017 1:37 am

Really good points by the other posters but I'd like to add a couple of things:

Firstly - I know it's early, but you have to think about what the immediate future and the slightly longer-term future may hold:

Does she want to go away to university? Could you be faced with a long distance relationship? Is that something you are prepared to deal with?
Do you have to travel for work? Could she be faced with a long distance relationship? is that something she is prepared to deal with?
She is used to seeing her peers all day every day at school - how would she be able to deal with only seeing you in the evenings after work when you are likely to be tired and grumpy? Do you have to work a lot of overtime? Is that something she would actually be able to understand and not take it as a personal slight against her (Yes, women can be irrational like that)
Does she want to go out partying all the time and get wasted on cheap wine - is that something you want to do too? or are you a bit more settled in yourself and would rather sit in a nice pub where you drink a nice beer and be able to hear yourself think ?
At 18 girls are still pretty irrational and emotionally unstable (I speak as a former 18 year old who considered herself mature) is that something you can put up with?
Does she work? If you guys want to go out would you feel comfortable paying for her the whole time if she can't afford to do the things you want to do?
How would she feel about that?
Would your age cause a conflict with her family or yours? Is that something that would put a strain on the relationship?
How would you feel about hanging out with her friends? Would you feel a bit weird hanging out with a bunch of teenagers who have very different life experiences to you? Would that difference between them and you, as well as her and you cause problems?
You're 27 - a lot of guys your age travel around for work, move house frequently, change jobs, change cities and are planning on buying a home and settling down to raise a family. She hasn't even started her life yet - children and settling down are probably the furthest thing from her mind - She probably hasn't thought much further than which uni she wants to go to if she wants to go to uni, what dress she's going to wear to prom, and a career is a distant thing grown ups have that she'll get around to thinking about at some point after university. Does any of that clash with where you see yourself heading?

At 26 I was at a stage where getting married and having a child was imminent and honestly that boyfriend did me a strange favour breaking up with me because when I look back now I was nowhere near ready for that, and I'm still not.
When I was on the market when I was 28, I tried my hand at Tinder. My lower age limit was set to 27 and my upper age limit was 33 - I dismissed anything older than 33 as being way too old for me believing 'most guys' older than that would have serious baggage - not just relationship hangups but divorces and children under their belts and that's just not something I want to deal with (yes, I'm not only selfish I am also wrong). Then I met a guy the normal way. He's 40. To me that is an enormous age gap - even now, after we have been going out for a year and a half sometimes I have to remind myself that I don't have to be heading towards middle-age at warp speed - I am only 30, and have to remember that he is an entire decade older than me (the realisation of how big our age gap is always seems to surprise me for some reason). But in the day-to-day we are on the same page in terms of mental and emotional maturity, we are into the same things, we have similar relationship histories, we're in similar places with our careers and neither of us are in a rush to settle down and do the marriage/children thing.
My friends all range between 21 and 30 so I admit I do feel like a child when I hang out with his friends - they all have grey hair and wrinkles and school-age children and I do find it a challenge to relate to that if I'm honest, although my chap doesn't struggle with my lot at all (even when they teasingly call him 'Dad').
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#14

Postby Livetowin » Tue May 09, 2017 4:56 pm

This has been a fascinating discussion about capability as it applies to various ethnic backgrounds. But I don't think this was the intended purpose. We're not working on a pie chart of cultural application to see which division wins the majority vote. We're talking about two individuals. Now we can stay lost in the weeds and just debate possibilities based on which cultural perspective you chose to apply. But if it's not applicable to her situation or yours, we're really just spinning our wheels and watering down the purpose which is to seek clarity in your situation. That Pygmy tribe profiled in Psychology Today is not going to get you there.

I also don't think we're serving you well if we're just talking about percentages and the exceptions to the rule as a kind of justification to take the plunge here. Ultimately, no matter how any of us want to feel about the ages involved and what merit they lend to your circumstances, the ONLY truth to your situation is how honest you are with yourself and how secure you are with your own identity.

You being uncomfortable about attending her graduation is not something you are being realistic about. We can sit here and say it's "society's fault" or you can ground yourself in your circumstances and own the fact you're insecure about it. If you have to worry about what everyone is thinking at something as basic as a graduation then maybe you need to rethink your intention to even pursue this. If a public ceremony backs you down, then you are not personally equipped to handle the true challenges that will get dealt to you if by chance this relationship does become real.

How is she suppose to find confidence in you if you do not have confidence in yourself? And that theme will thread itself into a myriad of other situations if you're not ready believe in the union as it is. So choosing to exempt yourself from public events and then pretend to feel younger than you are, as well as make statements like " she's almost 19" really tells me your discomfort level here. So irregardless of what society thinks, you are in the driver's seat here. No one can talk you out of those issues because their not born from what society tells you but from what you tell yourself.

Insecurity can be a major obstacle in relationships. It serves to undermine the best of intentions in all of us. So the better you can be honest with yourself, the more likely you are to make good choices in life. Could it be your insecurities made you seek a much younger person? Do you feel like you might have more control of those circumstances? I believe the truth of your circumstances resides more inside you than they do looking away from your situation and trying to make the image fit together through excuses. If it doesn't feel right to you then there is a problem and you need to be honest with yourself. And with her...
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