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Monday, April 5, 2010

The Age Factor

After the very first person I dated, I vowed never to date anyone younger than me,once that relationship went south. That was back when I was 19 years old. I'm in my late 30's, and have stuck to that vow. Since that relationship, I have had two others. One was with a man my same age, and the other was with a man two years older than me. Both, of course, went down in flames as well. My last real relationship ended nearly five years ago. Since he was two years older than me, I had to rethink the limits I set forth as far as dating went. I finally decided to give someone younger than me a try. I didn't go drastically lower in age, if I remember correctly, it was a five-year age difference. It was okay for the most part. But he too, turned out to be full of it, and forced me to reinstate my vow.

All this, still leaves me asking the question, does age matter? Most of my life, my answer to that question would be a definite yes. At this point, I'm now going back and forth on the subject. I'm thinking lately, it may be more about the type of person I'm choosing to get involved with, rather than the number of years they've been on this planet. Once I think I have a firm handle on the matter, I come across situations where, age proves to be a factor. Herein lies the problem :)

This is weighing heavily on me, as a result of my friendships with several people younger than me. I like to think I can get along and relate to most people I cross paths with. But how important is it to be surrounded by people of your age group? Outside of my age preference when it comes to dating, I'm a fairly inclusive person. I love meeting people from all walks of life. I enjoy the variety it brings. Lately, it feels like the age factor is hitting me over the head.

The handful of younger people in my circle of friends, seems to be bringing me back to when I was their age. I can truly relate to what they're experiencing, but am I thrilled to be reliving the trials and tribulations? Mostly I'm not. Does this mean I should be seeking out more people my age to connect with? It would be nice, to have people who get what I'm going through for a change. I'm usually the one sympathizing and offering words of encouragement for those traveling through the tumultuous 20's. What I would like, and probably need, is for there to be more people who can appreciate what it's like entering my 40's.

I'm not sure my younger friends understand how draining it is on my spirit to have to relive, through them, all the hardships I went through. I had a rough journey through my late 20's and into my 30's. To all those that know me, this is very common knowledge. As I empathize with their situations, I offer what made my experience better. No, it's not always right for everyone, but overall, can help. When it seems to be a complete miss, it makes me wonder, is it me who's lost patience or is age becoming a factor?

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