When it comes to dating, there’s a widely held belief that age is nothing but a number.
I agree with that sentiment to an extent because when you decide to get into a relationship with someone, you consider their character over their age.
When I was 28, I pursued a relationship with a man who was 6 years my junior, much to the disapproval of my girlfriends.
The relationship was fun and energetic, and it ignited a spark in me which had been dimmed by the humdrum of endless work and new found adult responsibilities. We partied and tried out new hang out spots, and did cool things like bungee jumping and road tripping without having a set plan.
He was a care-free soul, and he reminded me to live a little and not be so bogged down by the requirements of life. There were no pressures of commitment, and we just went with the flow and enjoyed each other’s company, laughing and being happy all the way.
I guess that was the honeymoon phase because after a while, the euphoria settled and we became two real humans, and our habits, thoughts and expectations started to unfold.
I became frustrated at his inability to take care of himself on a basic level. I would come home after a long day at work and find piles of dishes in my sink (yeah, during our honeymoon phase, it seemed like a good idea for him to stay with me), and he would be chilling on the couch, unbathed in his boxers, playing video games.
That’s all he ever wanted to do, alongside drinking, partying and skating. He had no clue on what he wanted to do with his life, and as a result, never tried hard to find a job. That left me with the responsibility of taking care of him.
It became apparent that he wasn’t as emotionally mature as I thought he was at the start of our relationship. He would sulk or throw tantrums whenever he wouldn’t get his way, and he would never communicate what he really thought about stuff until we got into an argument.
Besides being irritated with him, I had to think about my life and future goals. I did have hopes of the relationship working out, but I wasn’t willing to put my life on hold to wait for him to grow up and learn about himself and the world. I passed that phase in my early 20s, and I needed someone who was settled in who they are and what they want out of life.
I’ve since broken up with him, and I think that in future, it’ll be best to date someone on the same life level as me and not someone who’s growing up. I believe that age dictates emotional and mental maturity to a large extent, so when it comes to relationships, it does matter.
*image from Creative Commons.