Last night I had one of those conversations where a guy was telling me about his dating woes and my response was, “That’s what happened to me with my girl-dating, too!”
The issue in question was that of age. Specifically, for him, why it’s hard to date girls that are too much younger than him. “They have no sense of responsibility or schedule,” my friend said. “They’re like ‘oh never mind, I’m going to get my hair done, instead,’ and they don’t realize that I have places I have to be at certain times.”
The women he was talking about were the just-out-of-college set, and of course he was generalizing. But I too have had relationship troubles with women who are a lot younger than me. In the early 20s, there is definitely more of a go-with-the-flow vibe to life, which is awesome and something I miss terribly, but is not exactly my speed anymore.
At 30 (or almost), schedules are more like “let’s sit for 20 minutes trying to find a date when we’re both free.” You should have been at my book club the other night. Trying to find a day to meet next reminded me of when Andrew Shephard asked out Sidney Ellen Wade, and then kept having to cancel for things like massive airline strikes.
In my year of friending, I was open to meeting anyone and everyone. I went to dinner with a senior in college and a woman in her mid-to-late 40s with two teenage kids. I was supposed to have lunch with a woman in her 50s, but got stood up. In the year since, the friends that have stuck have all been in the 26-36 range. More or less a plus-or-minus five years from me.
When it comes to friendship, connecting on a personal level has a lot to do with life stage. Women in this +/-5 range seem to have similar day-to-day issues as I. Also, and importantly for me, they understand my cultural references. (See above mention of Andrew Shephard and Sidney Ellen Wade.) A friend who’s dating a 23-year-old recently told me that the only time he noticed the age difference was when he quoted Coming to America and she’d never even heard of it.
If you’ve never heard of The American President, I’m not sure our friendship has legs. Let’s face it.
So I’m wondering, has age ever been a hindrance to your friendships? Is there any merit to an age formula for potential BFFs (ie +/- 5)?
MWF Seeking BFF, the book, is out in less than three weeks! December 20 to be exact. You can help send it to the bestseller lists! I would totally be your best friend if you might:
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