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Age Ain’t Nuthin but a Number…Or Is It?

50

As I revisit 2008 and consider my approaching birthday a couple months from now (Pisces), I’ve realized I’ve come a long way over the X # years I’ve been on this earth. In certain areas of life, I feel like I’ve matured at a quicker rate than a lot of the peeps around me. On another level, I’ve been described as immature for things like my blatant silliness, strolling when a certain song comes on, and for writing blogs. Yes, one chick had the audacity to tell me that I wrote blogs for attention and that it was extremely immature. Can you believe that? Being the witty machine that I’ve been conditioned to be, I had a list of reasons explaining why she was a girl instead of a woman. There’s a distinct difference. As tempted as I am to share the list, I’ll save that for another day. Sorry folks.

What I really wanted to talk about were the roles of age and maturity from this SBM’s perspective. One thing I’ve learned is that age and maturity are 2 completely different things. I follow 6-7 blogs pretty closely in addition to running my own, and from what people are willing to disclose about themselves it seems like the average person reading and commenting is like 27+. And the older you get, the more experience you get…at least in theory.

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So maybe it’s safe to say that the people who read these types of blogs are pretty mature overall? But what about everyone else? We all know the 28-35 year old dude who is still living at home and playing video games and doesn’t really seem too interested in personal development. We also all know the chick with the OD strict parents that dominated her life until she had a ring on her finger. When it comes to relationships and handling the stuff  that matters, they can appear to be “a little bit behind.”

As I go to holiday parties, clubs, bars, mixers, and other social functions it just seems like people really are all over the place with where they’re at in their lives. I’ve dated the late 20’s chick who had the college degree and full-time job. I dated the college chick with all sorts of innocence that came from a really good upbringing. Both of which brought me joy in all sorts of ways, but ultimately didn’t work out for a variety of pitfalls that I failed to notice at the time.

What I once thought was mature and the way to go became the type of sh*t that made me wanna transform into the Black Incredible Hulk. Point here is that age isn’t the end all be all of what maturity is and supposed to be. As we’ve said time and time again…experience, experience, experience. As we get closer to those scary relationships that will become husbands and wives, we need people with a shared sense of experience who understand us and we can understand them.

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My question to the faithful and generous readers is multi-layered. What are your thoughts on age of potential significant others and how do you go about handling those who seem real mature but then drop an age on you that isn’t what you expected? And perhaps more importantly, how do you define maturity? We all grown in our own ways. Let’s get it crackin!

slim jackson

Comment(50)

  1. i wonder why i've never happened upon this blog before. baffling.

    lol. anyhoo… interesting post. i think it is a combination of experience and maturity (because all experiences don't make you mature and being mature doesn't make you experienced) that has to factor in when i'm considering someone's mate potential.

    because i have younger siblings, i can't see myself ever dating a man more than a year younger than myself though. call me discriminatory, but i can't do it. and considering that MOST men mature at a slower rate than women, that is just extra reason not to go there. lol.

    great blog. i shall add to the roll.

  2. i actually won't go younger than 30 (im old LOL)..I also hate to go much older than 40. But I think generally single men between the ages of 25 and 45 all act the same to me. Their approach sometimes and skill whereby they go about booty procurement is a little more sophisticated the older he get's however…he's still a man.

    but sadly or maybe not sadly…physical age doesn't soley dictate maturity.

  3. I have a friend mr.never gonna grow up lives w/mommy drives an audi a4 brand new has an excellent job 60 inch flat screen in the same room n bed he's had since he was 10. he's a video game freak and a huge baby. he threw a fit so his mom would cosign for his bike….wow!

    but I was just talking abt this the other day because this 19 young boi tried 2 holler at me by way of his step mom (wow). I'm 28 it was a lil strange 2 me that she was trying 2 hook her son up with me. first thing out my mouth was, that's a child and although I accepting applications 4 a man I'm like most employers …more experience required!

    Morning All!

  4. Darn this is an interesting question. I think at my age (whatever that may be for those who don't know, just 2?) is in interesting one…I still have years left to make mistakes and find myself but that usually closes out at my finances. Otherwise I tend to really think about things. As far as dating goes I have dated up as far as 40 and down as far as 24 (sans teen years). And it has worked for me because I can understand what needs to be brought to the table. I think a lot of it is recognizing duties tempered with adding fun to life. All work and no play makes for just dull everything and the inverted makes for lack of responsibility.

    More later, I just woke up [email protected] 🙂 Nice post Slim

  5. I prefer a man my age or a little older, but yet I don't want him too old bc I believe we won't be on the same level. Age will not automatically open the door thoug, I know some pretty immature "grown men." I just dated this guy who I thought was at least 34 when we met because of his ambiance, but he dropped the age 26 on me… I was pretty shocked.

    I define maturity as being able to handle any situation that is thrown at you… not running and ducking your problems.

  6. I'm only 24 and I think I'm fairly mature when I need to be but I also like to break out and go crazy some times. I agree that maturity is in a person nature and has little to do with thier age. Since I recently became a single black male, I'll have to see where my maturity age range really lays at.

  7. This has always been a problem for me. All through life I was very mature and aware for my age. I always attracted older women because of my demenor (even The Ex commented that older women like me).

    The funny thing is that recently I had two women from opposite ends of the 10 yr gap turn me down. Both didn't take the time out to find about my experiences and how I handled my life. They were only concerned about my age.

    I don't descriminate (too much) when it comes to age. Even now I have met a very nice woman that's 6 yrs younger than me and I even wonder if I'm up on her level. Sometimes you never know and just have to go for it and take that chance.

    The clues will be there. Just open your eyes to see them. People will always surprise you.

  8. I've always been more mature than those in my age group, so often my friends and those who I date have been older than me. But there is an age cut-off. My parents are only 20 years older than me, so anything within 5-7 years of my father's age or older is just old and creepy for me.

    Over the past couple of years, I've dated a few guys younger than me, who were still in college, and while I had fun, I never took them serious (hence their "boytoy" status). I've gone through the "finding myself" stages and whatnot and I"m really not interesting in going through it again with someone else.

  9. Come to think of it, of those that approach me or send blatant signs of interest, they are usually older women. There was a stretch where like 3-4 of the chicks I dated were older…not much older…but older. That was before I had the scruffy beard.

  10. I've always been considered "the more mature one" as compared to my peers, despite always hearing about women's rapid development (which I still challenge). When I was 16 I was getting hit on by women in their early 20s. Now that I'm in my early 30s, I'm in a pretty sweet spot. I'm not "old" yet and I'm still mistaken as being real young, so I can date women as old as 37 or as low as 25. Most of it has to do with how that women carries herself. I've met some immature old girls. I will not go over 37 BTW…even though I can keep up with them musically, It'd make me feel old.

  11. I'm like Jubilance in that my mom is only 20 yrs older than me and my pops is like 24 years older than me but with that being said my mom's friends have definitely flirted with me and I was flattered but disgusted at the same time. I'm 22yo so I would say that my age range is 20 – 35 and the older part is just cuz i kinda like the idea of a cougar.

  12. Peyso-Wow…look at that I had you pegged for older. 35 is magical for women…all those juices flowing cause they are at their peak. Man…I wonder what I'll be like then. Probably like Mississippi River wet… ALL THE TIME>

  13. u know it's funny, I've dated/been committed to men from 2x my age to men way younger then me and I agree that it's not the age factor so much as it's re maturity thing. in fact, relationships can't last on love alone. there has to be a level of maturity held by both individuals.

    what's maturity? I think it's the ability to do a thing u don't want to without malice or attitude. or doing it in such a way that people don't know u don't want to do it. I think it's also being able to see things clearly and acknowledge it faults and the faults of others without it moving you. I think that self control is also involved in maturity as is being able to choose to do the things that are healthy for u and others…

    clearly I've thought about this a lot… great post

  14. tunde-ummm…I might have to disagree some women have a higher experience level @ 19 than some 39…all about their background and lifestyle

  15. I'm 24 and have much more experience to experience in the future. As far as age goes, I'd probably rather have someone who is closer to my age. Now, I know that spells trouble especially since I'm definitely more mature than my male peers, in general, since I've always hung out with older people from childhood. It's definitely difficult to find that at my age, but I guess I want that shared experience of being this age. And as far as maturity goes, I have that balance of the goofiness and silliness, too. Simply put, I know when to turn that switch on and off.

    However, I also have enough sense and experience to know that maturity isn't defined by age. That it's relative.

  16. Nicki–I define maturity as being able to handle any situation that is thrown at you… not running and ducking your problems. —- I agree with this. It doesn't matter how old you are. Maturity comes with experience and how you handle those experiences.

    And lets face it a man playing the game doesn't equal immaturity. All men are into playing the game.

  17. I'm a little young too run with the crowd on this one, so I'll answer the question regarding my definition of maturity. In pre-school kids learn basic skills to co-exist in the world: to share, not to be selfish, to listen, to compromise, etc. They learn these in a subtle fashion, over toys and expeditions on the playground, to help them through the tougher times to come in life. Any man (or woman) who hasn't mastered those pre-school lessons by their mid-twenties is immature.

  18. If it's one thing I've learned throughout my dating life, it is age is not necessarily a barometer of maturity. I've known some very mature 20-25 year olds, and gone out with some of the silliest, jejune 35-40 year olds you'll ever meet. Most women I date and attract are usually 27 and older, so it appears an older woman is more likely to be mature, but it's no guarantee.

    And I've also found out experience doesn't equal maturity. Experience means nothing if you aren't willing to learn from it. Some people are just slow to learn from their past and are doomed to repeat the same mistakes.

  19. I agree that maturity comes with experience. And experience generally comes with age- if they learn from it like Hugh said. But then again, I've met plenty of older men who were worse than the boys that I dated in college….

    With that being said, age (for the most part) ain't nothing but a number… within the 25-35 age range. LOL… I'm so stupid.

    As far as dealing with someone who seems extremely mature and then drops that he is like, 23, or something, I guess I would have to deal with it on a case by case deal. Where is he in his life? Where is he headed? What has he accomplished? What does he want? Everyone is different.

  20. I agree Hugh Jazz experience means nothing if you didn't learn anything from your experience.
    I think what your daily routine and who you surround yourself with affects your maturity level also. Sometimes maturity only equals how much you'll himble yourself. And also knowing which situations to humble yourself in.

  21. I'm still in my early twenties, but people usually judge me to be a few years older because of my "maturity". For me, I think it comes from the experiences I've had to this point. But who knows.

    I think maturity (or lack thereof) really shows in how people act when this ish hits the fan. Liking to make jokes or have fun doesn't equal immaturity. We all need that stuff. But when times are hard, and the relationship and/or life gets tough, how she or he handles the issues or helps you through it speaks to maturity. I think.

  22. Hugh & Danielle-Exactly. It's kinda like putting your hand on a stove burning it and turning around doing the exact same thing to your other hand. You didn't learn. I think it's silly. Why keep doing the same damned thing expecting to come out with a different result and you become whiny when it doesn't work. I think it's sad because a lot of women and men alike are doing this up to age 45 (that's how far up my study has gone so far) So they have the experience they just have done nothing with it. But because of their age society labels them as mature. SUUUUUUURE they are.

  23. age is nothing but a number…

    well its a little bit more than just a number right??

    I just turned 29 and I happen to look like I am much younger (moms good genes 🙂 and because of this I have always attracted mostly young jones', (mostly 18-20 and a few 22 and olders lol..) I believe its all about what the person is looking for in a date that decides how you low you can go… lol if you want someone a bit more stable and in a better position to function independent of they parents, a older on top of hers WOMAN is for you.. but if you want a less experienced mostly dependent on they parents (and YOU after a while) type chick, a young one is definetly for you.. I don't want to take care of anyone elses kids, deal wit angry/bitter baby mommas or any other types of drama in my life and I like to keep it that way.. but I am not interested in babysitting either.

  24. yeah, i think maturity is really important…but too much maturity can be a problem. I'm 22, and since becoming single (at 21), i've been getting to know mostly older guys…some of these have been much older (30+), even though I find it hard to take a guy who's much older than me seriously (what would our families think if it were to get serious?). Still, I feel like the 25-29 age range seems to be the generallly accepted level for me, being that I need someone that I can interact with on a level other than getting into bed, which seems to be what most younger guys are interested in…can we do something else too please?? so, i go for the older ones..it works i think, because they're more comfortable with who they really are, which makes hanging out more enjoyable for us both

  25. HA! this hits home…first today is my b-day and I was thinking about this last night, with one of the guy's I'm dating who is 56. Last night, he pissed me off, and I thought being as old as he was, that he would UNDERSTAND my needs, or atleast know what to say and do. In anycase, age doesn’t mean you are grown, mature, responsible, wise or any more mature than the next person. Your life ex-periences, how you carry yourself and approach situations is what counts… now I’m thinking of dropping his OLD ASS and getting someone who “understands” me.

  26. It’s easy to say that women mature faster than men (an idea that I, as a woman, often challenge), but personally, I feel that my early maturation had more to with my individual experiences and personal growth. I grew up with a single mom, who had me at 19. I went wherever she went. So, as a child, I was surrounded by grown folk all the time and was always told the following: “Whenever you leave this house, you represent me.” Well, you know what that means: I had to act right! My mom and I never had the “birds and the bees” talk. At the age of nine, she straight told me while pointing at my special place, “Girl, that right there is your gold! Don’t let a ninja come close—especially, if that’s all he wants.”

    Ultimately, I grew up conditioned to be confident and selective. I applied this principle to both my friendships and relationships. It just so happens that people my age or within two-three years of it usually didn’t make the cut. During both high school and college, by the time I got to junior year, I had no (or very few) friends left; they had all graduated. I don’t do this on purpose…it just kind of happens. Younger folk in my life are usually weeded out without my having to do or say anything.

  27. I can't lie, I've been one to enjoy sugary snacks while strolling through the kintergarden yard, but now that I'm on the twenty side of thirty the 25 & unders make me very uncomfortable. The twenty somethings now aren't 1/2 as mature as the thirty somethings (now) were in their twenties, and we (thirty somethings) weren't as mature in our twenties as our parents were in theirs.

    Men are different though because I tried dating this guy who was 47 and he acted like my 27 year old ex. Then there was the young, tender who was interested and quite mature for his age of 22, but I coulnd't see the two of us in a serious relationship. We enjoy each other's company but still all I kept thinking was, "I'm 11 years older than you and you're 11 years older than my daughter."

  28. ShawnSmith-This is true my friend. People do not take time to get to know the person and their experiences. It takes a lot of time to do that. As for this woman..whose level you wonder if you are unsure…then probably not…but then again maybe her level is beneath you. Play on playa.

    Jubilance-Any one within 5-7 years of my parents age is old enough to be my Grandpa and that’s all I’m saying about that.

    Slim-Say boo-How old do you look?

    CPT-Morning.

  29. I've always been a "young-old" person. I like to hang with old people, go to the old folks club, listen to the old folks music, etc.

    As a general rule of thumb, I don't date down. Yeah there are mature 20 year olds and such but they probably aren't at the level of maturity that I need them to be at. Such as having a salaried job, a car, condo/house…things that to me at this age are basic necessities.

  30. Age definitely doesn't= maturity. I dated a guy 2x my age and he was probablly as juvenile as my H.S. boyfriends. A potential BF for me is usually 4+ years older. I've never liked yougins
    Hmmm what makes a person mature… him knowing himself and being secure with who he is. Ability to communicate and stable (mentally, emotionally, spiritually).

  31. I used to date women a little older than me. Now I tend to date women around my age. I rarely date women younger than me and if I do, I sometimes don’t take them to seriously. I’m 27 but I don’t think I could date a woman younger than 25. Its about an experience level vs a maturity level.

  32. I am 26 and have never dated anyone more than 2 or so years older than me. I have dated younger and there are major differences. Younger men are more doting and less concerned with dating "rules". I want to try dating older to see if there is any real difference.

  33. Jac- I feel the same, I don't how old I look either.

    Old dudes think I'm older, bartenders do a double take and just decide not to ask, and kids have always called me Ms. Depends on the day and my mood.

  34. Miss Jess—(being that I need someone that I can interact with on a level other than getting into bed)– All men old, young, mature or immature are interacting with you to get you into the bed. This is the main focus. Some men just entertain alittle bit more than others.

  35. Danielle-I definitely understand that part, but i feel like there’s a difference in how men of different ages go about it. I at least want to enjoy myself while hanging out with this guy outside of the bed…so i guess i feel like i should be entertained a bit

    Jac-Yayyy for my new e-twin!!!

  36. Thanks JAC…yeah, he’s almost 6 years older than Mom, and not too far from my Grandma’s age….ha!!! Go figure… Reminds me of the Girls Next Door Relationship with Hef, without the money, mansion, or fake boobs… next-time I’ll re-think the almost 30 year age difference!!!

  37. Im a young'n, only 23, but I generally consider myself to be fairly mature. Most of my friends are older and for whatever reason most of the guys I have dated have been older than me as well. Usually a few years, but sometimes as much as 9.

    I personally don't consider age to be too much of a factor, but I couldnt see myself dating a youner guy. As a matter of fact the thought is more than a little gross to me.

    I rarely meet 23 year olds (women or men) that I have too much in common with and its always been easier for me to make friends with folks a few years my senior.

  38. I’m in my mid-twenties and consistently date seriously with men at least 30-35, 35 is my limit. When I do date men my age, they are either immature or completly focused on some personal objective. I think my relationships with older men are more sucessful because I do act mature for my age and people are usually surprised of my age. It’s really down to individuallity and meeting that right person for you. No matter the age you have to be on the same level. I know some forty year old goof balls wondering why they’re still single.

  39. I think its more adversity and challenges that one engages in on their own and/or the ones we cant control in life that define our maturity. It may sound odd but really ALL true undergrads no matter how smart are horribly immature..why? Well you dont pay for a thing outside of what you want, loans, grants or Mom and Dad. As an UG I saw all the "innoncent" ones go nuts, so what they cum laude and got to college at 17…no one is thinking that on the first real college party they attend. If you think I am buggin then ask why the Facebook dude at 24 is making millions? In the end we all have some level of immaturity left but its really adversity that shapes it. The guy making 60k still at home might kill himself when mom dies…well when mine did I buried her and 6 wks later shot a movie. (Three Quarters of Face Value..IMDB)

  40. Somebody said it earlier… Maturity is a combination of how you act regularly & in crisis… More importantly in crisis… If you are immature on the regular… God knows what you are like when I truly need you…

    As a 22 year old black male… Older women don't take me seriously (not yet BTW)… I have to have my A+ game on because any little thing I do… I'm out of the running to be her sex partner… Where as a man who is her age (35) gets more slack…And looking my black female prospects who are 17 – 25… I rather deal with white women who are of the same age… Just easier to deal with…

    My test for maturity is simple… How do you act when no one is paying attention to you…

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