He Said-She Said: An Acceptable Age Difference in Dating Relationships
- Thursday, September 04, 2008
- “Why is she asking me out?
- Is she desperate?
- Is there something wrong with her?
- Does she feel as if time is running out for her?”
As a long-time single, my hope for a mate is in God’s hands. He has shown me through His continual faithfulness that He knows what is best for me. Although I have experienced some disappointments along the way, I have been protected from relationships that were not right for me; I just see it as God’s grace. Several Scripture passages have helped me often throughout the years.
He that finds a wife finds a good thing (Proverbs 18:22).
With God’s help, I will be the one who finds a wife (not the other way around) and when I do, it will be amazing!
Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is worth more than precious rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She will not hinder him, but help him all her life (Proverbs 31:10-12).
Wow! I want to look for and find this kind of wife. Why wouldn’t I want to wait for the right one?!
There are verses in the Bible where women take the lead, but they are not the type of women I would want to be with.
He was walking down the street near the corner on the road leading to her house. … Then the woman approached him … So I have come out to meet you; I have been looking for you and have found you (Proverbs 7:8, 10, 15).
I empathize with you. I really do. What I have found to be true in my life is that God’s plan and design never feels contrived or forced. If you have to ask if there is an “appropriate age difference,” then I believe you already know the answer in your heart.
SHE SAID: I’ll have to start out my answer on a personal note, since I know a thing or two about age differences when it comes to relationships.
I’ve had dating relationships where there have been significant gaps in age and ones where there have been differences of only a few years or less. Some men have been older than me, while others have been younger. I guess you could say I’m an “equal-opportunity dater.” Well, as long as no gold medallion necklaces, pointy boots or mountain-man beards are involved (sorry!).
In hindsight, the closer in age I have been to those I’ve dated then the easier the relationships have seemed to go. Surely, there were other factors involved to determine the success and duration of each relationship (faith, maturity, interests, values, goals, etc.). But I think that a significant age difference can also make or break a relationship.
As believers, we don’t really find a clear answer for your question in Scripture. Thus far, I’ve only found references to relationships or marriages where the man is older than the woman. And to my knowledge, I don’t think that there are any biblical examples of older women in dating or marital relationships with younger men. So I am left with the world around me (and perhaps a little common sense and hopefully some divine inspiration) from which to draw.
I suppose a significant age difference in a relationship (with the woman being older than the man) is more culturally acceptable these days, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good thing. You would have to investigate on a relationship-by-relationship basis to see what works for some and what doesn’t work for others.
The more I think about this, though, I’m drawing the conclusion that an age difference is more of a “red light” factor when two people are younger. If one partner is 20 and the other is 28 or 29, that can be a problem. Considering how men and women mature at different rates, will a 20-year-old man be able to lead in a relationship with a woman who is pushing 30?
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