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But this kind of thinking conflates practical responsibility with emotional maturity — which isn't really accurate.
We might think that certain concrete markers of adulthood — a prestigious job; a working knowledge of personal finance; properly assembled Ikea furniture —signify a related degree of emotional maturity.
We're all aging, and life is too damned short to not date someone who's younger than you just because society has psyched you out about it.
Our personalities remain more consistent through the years, but the window dressing of maturity tends to change pretty darn quick — which is how, despite having the same age gap, my once "scandalously young" partner is now seen as pretty age appropriate for me.
God knows that's what I felt, while dating the above-noted older dude — I felt like his desire for me marked me as more mature and interesting than my peers.
To date someone younger is to consciously reject a lot of this.
So if you're thinking about getting together with someone younger, don't listen to anyone who uses words like "cougar," "cradle robber," or "Samantha Jones;" instead, consider the five points below.
In your twenties, especially in the years immediately after college, an age difference of just a year or two can make you feel like you're a world apart from someone.
When I met my boyfriend Jesse, I was 28 and he was 24 — not too much of a dating age difference in the grand scheme of things, but to hear some of my friends at the time tell it, you'd think we were Harold and Maude — or at the very least, Ashton and Demi.