Dating Younger Women

What You Need To Know

  • Between the ages of 18 and 23, women fall in and out of love every five minutes – beware.
  • You can date young women, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Date other girls simultaneously
  • Until she grows up, it’s not likely she’ll stick around for the long-term.

This week, a reader questions the age gap between him and his love interest. Is dating young women setting yourself up for relationship failure?

Reader’s Question

Hey Doc,

First of all, let me congratulate you on your column. I’ve become your fan from reading it for so long.

Here’s my problem: I volunteer my time at a nonprofit organisation. Recently, a co-volunteer, Valerie, started showing a lot of interest in me. I didn’t know how to react to it. I like Valerie, but my first thought was that the age gap was (and still is) quite big — I’m 32 and she’s 18. So I did nothing about her interest and kept our interactions friendly and nothing more.

One day at an organisation party we started talking, and suddenly Valerie managed to maneuver me somewhere that wasn’t so crowded, and she made her move. We kissed, and afterward I told her, “I don’t think this is right because I’m 32 and you’re 18.” She got upset at my reaction and argued that age doesn’t matter, that I look much younger than my age, and so on. So we decided to give it a go and started dating.

Right now I’m still with Valerie. She still lives with her mother (who thinks I’m 25). She cooks for me, and even paid once when we went out for dinner. Sometimes we stay at her house and just watch movies. My first priority is to get to know Valerie well (I’ve had some “crazy bitch” experiences that left a mark), and then to see if her head matches with her body (in other words, if we can talk about something other than her ex boyfriends or the local club).

Doc, I feel that age is an issue (if not the issue). I know you’ve said not to get too serious with a girl between 18 and 22, and I agree. But it’s hard to put this to work because my dad is 13 years older than my mum (and they’ve been married for 30-something years) and my best friend is a 21-year-old girl I met when she was 17.

Everyone, including Valerie’s friends, tells me to give it a go, see what happens, and enjoy the ride. What do you think? Do you think this relationship is proper? I’ve never considered myself to be a “manther,” and I don’t want to be seen as one.



Hi Lex,

It was a big mistake to reprimand Valerie when you two kissed for the first time. You insulted the girl, Lex. You don’t tell a girl she’s too young or too old. In fact, like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “You never tell a girl she’s too anything.” You just smile, and go right on kissing her. That’s what a smart guy would do.

And you never should have lied to Valerie’s mum. Who did you think you were fooling? Yes, the relationship is proper, but the odds of it lasting are really, really horrible.”

The fact that Valerie cooks for you and paid when you went out to dinner shows that she’s a Giver. This is a wonderful trait, but she’s much too young for you in terms of life experience. If she were 24, 25 or 26 there would be hope for the two of you, because she would know something about herself and life, but she still has to go through the ages of 19, 20 and 21, which are the years when people first start to figure out which end is up and which is down. In other words, she’s still got a lot of growing up to do. And that’s not a good thing for you.

That said, it’s smart that you’re trying to get to know Valerie before taking the plunge with her. And you hit it right on the head there, pal: You have to find out what’s between her ears. Maybe you’ll make the lucky discovery that you have a girl you can date for four years and she won’t be flaking out on you over something every other day. But I doubt it, because the odds are against it — and I’m an odds-maker.

Your mum and dad are one of the rare cases where a big age difference has not mattered in the relationship. But you can’t rely on the rare cases as an indication of what is likely to happen. You have to look at the majority of cases. And if you do, you’ll see that you’re not going to have this girl when she’s 23. Between the ages of 18 and 23 Valerie has so much maturing to do that you’ll be lucky if you can get through one year with her. Because, like the great Doctor Freud once said, “At the age of 18, a girl falls in and out of love every five minutes.” As far as your best friend is concerned, a friendship is not the same as a romantic relationship, so you can’t make a valid comparison between the two.

Solution: Date Multiple Women

What do I think you should do? If you’re smart, you’ll date this girl and date other girls at the same time. And, most importantly, you can’t allow your interest level in Valerie to get too high! So keep your interest low, Lex. Like my cousin says, “Don’t lose control of yourself, dawg. You’re goin’ out with a little girl.”

Yes, the relationship is proper, but the odds of it lasting are really, really horrible. And who cares what other people think? If this girl is good-looking, likes you and she’s of legal age, that’s all that counts. Just make sure you check her ID card, soldier.

Remember, guys: until she grows up, she can’t possibly keep you.

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One Response to “Dating Younger Women”

  1. aga
    November 19, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    I must say, this article is a load of tosh for the most part! I’m getting married to a man 27 years older than me, I’m 22, and we’ve been together for nearly five years. I’m not a retarded, immature bimbo, I don’t ‘fall in love’ (or what you refer to as love, anyway) ‘every five minutes’ and if he was to date multiple women at the same time, he could quite frankly go stuff himself.

    Quoting Freud on female sexuality and maturity is not a terribly good idea, by the way, unless you trust a male junkie to decide what constitutes a proper female orgasm.

    Being young does not equal being immature, and being in your late 40s and getting on perfectly well with a younger girl does not render you immature. And no, sex is not the centre of the universe.
    I’m sorry but this is full of very broad and unfound statements, which mainly imply that young women are thick because of their age alone, readily ignoring any other factors at play in a relationship where an age gap occurs.

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