Do I Look 10 Years Younger?: The Truth About Dating and Age
Vanity, youth and sex appeal have always been factors that influenced dating. Many daters judge their attraction through how someone looks without even getting a chance to know, let alone have a conversation with someone. Today, modern technology has made this process even more of a challenge. Everywhere we look there are pictures of stereotypically attractive people and dating apps that are used to find someone solely based on your physical attraction to their photo.
Why has physical attraction and youth become a major focal point in finding the “right” relationship? Has the influence of TV, movies or even what our friends think become our expectation? And is this realistic? We live in a culture where dating someone significantly younger is highly desirable. But is this always best for us?
The biggest mystery is why do we think this way? Yes, there is outside encouragement – but why do we feel succumbed to the idea that what someone looks like on the outside is the #1 quality we need, expect or deserve?
Why Do We Think Like This?
I have repeatedly heard clients say that they look 10 years younger than their actual age. While that may be true, there is nothing wrong with being 50+ and still looking, acting and feeling youthful. Why do we feel the need to justify our age? Why do we feel the need to say, “I’m 55, but I look 45”? Why can’t we just say, “I’m 55 and I look great!”? In this day and age, isn’t 55 the new 45 anyway?
It’s all a part of the “Better-Than-Average” effect. We are constantly comparing ourselves and rating ourselves against our peers and most people rate themselves higher or pick things out that make them superior to others. So, how does this translate into dating?
As matchmakers, we understand that you want to find someone that is as attractive as you feel you are. However, even in the most extreme circumstances of age and stereotypical attractiveness, feedback shows us that people are most comfortable and find the most attraction when dating someone their own age or within a few years.
Having this thought process can cause a good amount of strain in ones dating life. Having skewed expectations brought on by the media and modern “realism” isn’t doing your dating life any favors. It often leads to unmet “fairytale” expectations of other singles also looking for “the one”.
Benefits of Dating on a 15 Year Spectrum
Are you someone who justifies not wanting to date someone their own age because you don’t “feel” your age and still not finding a successful relationship? If so – come back to reality! Stop focusing on the number—youth and beauty are not what matter most for a happy relationship.
When considering age and attraction in the context of dating, it’s about vitality, chemistry and connection. If you are only looking to date someone significantly younger because of what’s on the surface, chances are you haven’t considered other things that attract you to them. Youth and beauty do not keep you connected over time. They don’t say you can’t stop the clock, and age and beauty fade for no reason, so what do you have left? A lasting relationship needs more.
When dating someone that’s outside your generation, or basically over the 15-year scope of age, 7 years younger and 7 years older you limit yourself. You may run into someone who is looking for something completely different. Or they may have a different plan for their life, not to mention be in a different place in their life.
Dating someone within your generational range means that their maturity and life goals will realistically match more cohesively with yours. You have moved through stages of life at the same time and established the same levels of independence and independence is a real turn-on.
Keep in mind, you are more likely to find someone who has gone through the same milestones. A partner who will be more likely to have a clear sense of who they are and what they want, which can be extremely attractive. It will be a more natural blending of your lives as you begin to travel through those milestones together and challenge and support each other. This will create a partnership and a genuine appreciation for one another.
We say it all the time – when it comes to dating keep an open mind, discover why someone is unique and attractive rather than decide they are not. Yes, we are in a time that often you see both men and women to date younger, but don’t make that your only option. Stop dating based on a number, date based on lasting factors. Look at the benefits of each relationship and see which will match more with the lifestyle you are trying to create. At It’s Just Lunch, we base your matches off what you want in a lifestyle partner through genuine and matched commonality.
Jolene Beaton is a nationally renowned matchmaker and dating expert. Her expertise, passion and unique ability to truly understand singles and the complex dating scene have made her a sought after expert in matchmaking, dating and relationships. Over the past 11 years Jolene has established herself as a leading Dating & Relationship Coach with It's Just Lunch and remains focused on one key goal – helping her clients find love.