Rules for Dating Older People

Dating older people has its share of challenges. You may misunderstand each other more because of a generation gap. You may face disapproval from others. You may have to overcome differences in life philosophies and goals. Nevertheless, the connections that people feel for each other are not bound by age, and dating an older person can open your eyes to different, more mature perspectives.

Talk First

Put off the physical element of your relationship for as long as possible. Younger people tend to "get physical" with partners much faster than older people. In order to create a strong foundation for your relationship, it's better to wait and get to know the person first. Ask her a lot of questions about her life. Find out what she's like and what she's looking for in a relationship before taking the relationship any further.


You and your partner have had different cultural experiences because you've grown up at different times. The music, films, commercials, and toys that he associates with childhood will be different from yours. Share your personal experiences with your partner, and have him share his memories with you. This constant sharing will make your partner feel less alienated when he doesn't understand a certain cultural reference. Explain things patiently, and remain open and receptive to his opinions. You can learn new things about life before your time, and give him insight into the younger person's perspective.


Talk about life goals with your partner early. Does he want children? Does she want more children? Does he or she want to settle down within the next few years? Seeing whether your life goals align earlier or later can tell you whether you two will work out. If you don't talk about these issues early on, your different goals will hinder the relationship later. Discuss how she feels about dating a younger person, and tell your partner your frank concerns about dating an older person. While voicing your concerns, include reasons and specific characteristics about your partner that make you enthusiastic about your relationship. This lets your partner know that while there is an age gap that may reveal differences, there is a connection and attraction that is tying you together.

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About the Author

Damin Chu is a freelance writer, whose writing has taken her down a number of avenues. In 2008, she returned from Shanghai, China, where she served as the managing editor of a China travel guide, in addition to writing travel features for the local newspaper. Her other projects have included writing for a Shanghai expat guide, a education documentary, and an environmental NGO.

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