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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Framingham chapter.

When I was in high school, if I’d been dating a guy even one grade older, it got attention immediately. It was all my friends could talk about. Some even called it “gross” or told me I shouldn’t date him. For the longest time, it only seemed “appropriate” for me to date someone as close to my age as possible.

At the time, I would just brush off those comments and continue on with my life. I didn’t care what my friends thought about who I dated. But once I reached adulthood (I still have trouble adjusting to that word, and I’m 21), I slowly realized that age did matter to me with respect to dating… just not in the way my high school friends seemed to want.

As an adult, I don’t tend to find myself attracted to guys in my immediate age group. I tend more towards guys who are a little older than I am—usually by 2-3 years, but sometimes as many as 10. Now, you’re probably asking in your head, why? Why do I automatically veer towards guys who are older? Well, I’ll tell you…

I find that I have a maturity gap with guys my own age. I’ve been through a lot in the last couple years—to the point where I feel that I’ve grown at least six years in that timeframe. Because of that, I tend to look for a romantic partner who matches me in terms of life experience—as well as things that everyone looks for, such as shared interests and hobbies. The only guys I’ve been even remotely interested in during my college years have either been upperclassmen (when I was a freshman) or guys in my own year that happened to be a few years older.


This is not to say that guys my age are inherently immature, or that I am flat-out un-attracted to them. But if given the choice between someone who’s 28 with a good grip on life and plenty of mutual interests, or someone who’s 21 and mega-cute but still scraping through college, I’m going to pick the 28-year-old.

I need stability, both in my day-to-day life and in my romantic life, and college guys often seem to lack that. I need maturity in my romantic life, and college guys often seem to lack that (although I would give a younger guy a chance if he were really mature). Ultimately, I need someone who can really be a partner—not just someone to have drinks and sex with. Sure, going out on dates with a cute guy is fun, but I need more than that to be truly happy in a relationship.


I guess you could say the moral of this little rant is that you probably shouldn’t let age be an all-or-nothing factor in your dating life. Be willing to step outside your comfort zone for someone who’s worth it. Do what makes you happy, and date whoever fits your needs best. Don’t let other people’s petty opinions affect your love life.

Ultimately, be bold and follow your heart.