He Said-She Said: An Acceptable Age Difference in Dating Relationships
- Thursday, September 04, 2008
EDITOR’S NOTE: Each He Said-She Said column features a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you’ve got a question about anything related to singleness, please CLICK HERE to submit (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: Should a woman in her late twenties pursue a godly relationship with a man in his early twenties? Is there an acceptable age difference?
HE SAID: In a way, this is like asking “How much money do I need to retire?” Many thoughts, besides age, should be considered in answering such a question.
Age alone is not a determining factor of the compatibility of two people. The emotional, mental, and spiritual maturity of each individual is much more important. In general, males mature at a later age than females. (This is probably the excuse many older men use in order to “chase” younger women.) Although you may think your circumstance is different, take the time to observe a person over time and in different situations. First impressions can be misleading.
Along the same line, does a man in his early twenties have his priorities, focus, and career in order? Many guys at that age think they do—I did. However, at this stage, a man is just beginning to experience life, he’s starting to see what is in the world, and he’s finding out who he is and what he wants to do.
Spirituality plays the greatest role in a godly relationship.
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart (2 Timothy 2:22).
Is the man pursuing righteousness and ready to be the spiritual leader in a relationship? Is he ready to sacrifice some of his freedom, time and desires in order to reciprocate in a relationship? Will this relationship bring you both closer to God?
Just for fun, I Googled “woman pursue a man” and received over 17 million results! This seems to be a popular question.
What is your definition of “pursue”?
- Does it mean letting him know that you are available?
- Does it mean walking up to him to initiate communication?
- Does it mean acknowledging you have interest in him?
If this is true for you, then there is nothing wrong in letting someone know you are unattached and interested. In this busy world we live in, sometimes we (I’m speaking for some guys, including myself) miss signals that are right in front of us. I would be flattered to know someone is interested in me and had the forthright to initiate contact.
However, if your definition of “pursue” is this:
- Does it mean tracking down his phone number and calling him?
- Does it mean asking him out on a date? Or dates?
- Does it eventually mean asking him to marry you?
Then, I would caution you.
If the man knows you are available and interested in him, but isn’t pursuing, this is an indication of how he feels.
- Maybe he thinks the age difference is insurmountable or something he isn’t ready for.
- Maybe he isn’t interested at all.
- Maybe he isn’t ready for a relationship.
- Maybe he doesn’t have the guts to ask you out (not a good sign).
Most men want to be the “hunter.” It is in our blood to see something we desire and to go out and get it (Ok, conquer it … I said it). When pursued, the flattery that was felt earlier quickly changes to questions of:
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