To preface this entry (as I usually do), I have to say that I generally prefer not to write about people from my personal life- especially in a public space such as WordPress where they can easily find that I have written about them.
But, in order to make my point, I have to introduce this individual (who will remain UN-named) so that you can see the bigger picture.
Here it goes:
I recently ended things with a guy that I had been dating for approximately 2 months. I met him in mid-December and broke things off shortly after Valentine’s Day (ironic, I know)
His major qualm between the two of us was our age difference and to be honest, there wasn’t much of a difference at all. He’s 26 and I’m 22. From my own personal experiences, I’ve noticed that after the age of 21, people within the 20’s age-group are all pretty much in the same playing field. We’re all lost, searching for ourselves, etc. etc.
Now back to this guy…
It always irritated me at how concerned he was about the fact that I’m 22 and had just graduated college. He insisted that I still had so much to learn and so many experiences to face, which I can’t disagree with. I definitely still have a lot to learn and experience. I, on the other hand, believed that despite that one, tiny factor of age, we generally saw eye-to-eye on most things.
This may be an exaggeration, but it seemed that any time that I contributed my opinion on a serious topic, he would practically remit my contribution and insist that I still have “so much growing up to do”. And this was usually only whenever he didn’t like what I had to say.
I hated that.
Now here’s another piece of information…
My ex-boyfriend whom I dated for 3 years was his exact same age- their birthdays were actually only several weeks apart- and he never once, critiqued our relationship based on our age difference. This was also because I had far surpassed him in maturity levels.
I don’t want to sound like a young, naive, narcissistic 20-something year old who thinks that she has it all figured out, but I will say that I actually am mature for my age (at least far more mature than a majority of my friends) I’m proud of myself for how much I have accomplished as well as the life experiences that have been bestowed upon me to make me the person I am today. I was fortunate enough to graduate college in 4 years as well as get a job right out of college- even more so, a job at my favorite magazine of all time, Runner’s World. And this did not just happen because of luck, of course. I worked hard throughout college and had a great internship. I’m also a driven and self-motivated individual.
Now getting back to my point about the guy that I dated…
It’s safe to say that I was often discouraged to give my feedback on a situation whenever I talked to him because I felt that my opinion would immediately be dismissed.
I felt like an elementary-school student whose teacher would harshly tell them that they are wrong after enthusiastically answering a question.
This really made me question my credibility as an opinionated person.
But then I thought, it’s my opinion. There shouldn’t be a right or wrong, nor should it be heavily correlated to my age.
And so, the moral of this story is this:
Everyone has an opinion. It’s neither right nor wrong. It’s just how a person feels about a certain topic or scenario. Everyone experiences different things at different times. The relevance of age is that it is irrelevant. Someone may experience flying on an airplane at the age of 50, while another person has been flying on planes since birth. Experiences make up the things that we are familiar with and they shape our opinions. I’m not saying that age should be completely thrown out the window when it comes to wisdom though. I completely respect my elders and am always willing to take advice from them. As you grow older, you do gain more wisdom and insight towards life, but when it comes to dating, a 4-year age difference when you are in your 20’s really means nothing.
The verdict: Age is irrelevant.