The effects our age has on our dating mentality

How our age impacts our dating behavior


Age plays a key role in the way we approach dating, so much that during certain years we often reject people based on meaningless things that they’ve done or said whilst during other years we give our dates more opportunities to prove they’re compatible with us this. Imagine this – you’re in your mid 20’s, doing well with your career, keeping fit, and enjoying life. If you’re not in a relationship you’re definitely out there looking for one. You meet people, you ask them out or they ask you out (depending on your gender!)…and then with every person you meet you’re faced with the same decision – should I, or shouldn’t I continue dating them? Should I continue and go on a second, third, fourth date with them? Should I allow it to evolve into a relationship?

For the most part aren’t any! Why? Because what one person thinks or values differs from what another person thinks or values. However, a lot of people do have TWO general guidelines they use in deciding whether or not to continue dating a person or enter into a relationship – that’s their youth and consequently the perceived time span to find a better partner and their fear of not being satisfied with their choice. Based on the first guideline if you’re in your mid 20’s you have all the time in the world…right?


And why not? Because while you’re in search for that “perfect combination” of things (intellect, looks, career, humor, playfulness, and the list goes on and on) in a person that captivate you, you’re turning your eyes away from dozens of wonderful people. And guess what, those people have some amazing traits that you don’t even bother to unveil!! Given more time and patience, you would appreciate and cherish such traits. So is the waiting around really worth it? Unfortunately, a lot of people think so – because the last thing we want to do is ‘settle.’ The irony is that in the end – we all settle. Maybe not necessarily for a particular person…but certainly concerning what we allow/don’t allow ourselves to do around people we want to date or pursue a relationship with.

The second general guideline where we fear making the wrong choice relates to our inability to see into the future a long side our tendency to believe we can somehow see it. We try to compensate for this limitation by making quick judgments based on little information, past experiences, and our own logic. In other words, we provide ourselves with a reason why we think a relationship with a certain individual will not stand the test of time. The reality of it is that it is often premature to make such judgments based on the above.

Waiting around for the perfect partner is a phenomenon that is generally predominant up to approximately age 28 for women and age 32 for men. It seems that beyond those years, we gradually give up many of our prerequisites in choosing a romantic partner. As we grow older our view widens and we develop a ‘tolerance’ for people that we wouldn’t necessarily continue to date in our younger years.

Why is that?

There are a million and one reasons to explain the shift in our mindset. To name a few, concerns over fertility for those of us who want to have children, increasing pressure from our parents and from our social circles to settle down, a realization that a booming career by itself does not lead to happiness, and perhaps not wanting to end up alone!

What’s important is to stop and think, do we really need to have some of those prerequisites in place to begin with or are they just a manifestation of imaginary desires? Are those extraordinary people we’re looking for in existence or are they a fantasy? Should we strive to meet the partner we think our friends have been fortunate enough to have (since in our view that partner is oh so amazing) and how do we really know what challenges they’re faced with in their relationship?

The answers to these questions are many and all depend on one’s point of view. However, one thing to remember is that the longer we stretch the search for a soulmate, the more we lessen our dating value in other people’s eyes.

In conclusion, we should be accepting the idea of ‘settling’ as early as possible in our lives since no matter what we do it is going to happen, unless we plan to stay alone. We should also not rush to make a decision after a date or two about another whether or not another person is compatible with us. We should not attribute too much importance to a comment that did not sit well with us, a gesture that we find inappropriate, or any negative initial impression as they are all minor things that carry no significance in the long run. Most importantly, we should really take a moment to weigh our list of prerequisites in a person and what got us to consider them as such. Are the reasons for having those prerequisites in place indeed eligible?

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