7 Things You Absolutely Must Know Before Dating A Younger Man

The heart wants what the heart wants, and sometimes that means dating someone who is, ahem, a younger man. (Of legal ageof courselets get that established and out of the way.) If Ive learned anything from OTP Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Nick Jonas, and Kate Beckinsales fling with Pete Davidson, its that age doesnt have to be a deal breaker or a red flag. Its 2019, after all.

What To Know Before You Date A Younger Man

Sure, age-gap relationships are becoming more of a thing, but there are always those people who will do double takes at dinner or family members who say nothing but raise their eyebrows when they hear about your new boo.

People gave us a lot of shit about that [the age gap] and still do, Chopra Jonas told about her relationship with Nick. I find it really amazing when you flip it and the guy is older, no one cares and actually people like it. Preach.

At the end of the day, who you choose to dateand whyis your decision. And lets be real, its tricky enough to find someone who you want to spend time with.

The dating pool can seem full or empty, depending on how you look at it, says , PhD, a certified sex and couples therapist and author of The New Monogamy. Expanding it to include those who are younger can widen the possibilities of potential partners. You know a woman needs her options.

Clueless when it comes to modern dating? Everyone isbut you don't have to be...

So if youre eyeing a guy or gal who graduated college years after you, heres what to know before going on that first (or second! or third!) date:

First order of business: What do you want from this relationship?

If you just want to date around, hook up and have fun, thats great. If you want to settle down and have kids with your next partner, thats great, too. Just get that straight before jumping into the youthful (or any, really) dating pool.

When it comes to dating someone younger, you want to be thinking about whether your future goals align, says , LMFT, a psychotherapist in Chicago.

This also means having clarity on what you need from a relationship. Maybe you need to open up emotionally, a partner you vibe with sexually, or maybe you want a good travel buddy (or all of the above).

Regardless, don't be afraid to be honest about itthe only person you'd be hurting by covering that ish up is you.

To put it nicely, some people, guys especially, have a lot of kinks to work out in the maturity arena. If youre thinking about taking things with a younger man beyond a casual fling, get an early gauge on whether he can take accountability for his actions.

If their a little lacking in relationship history, no worries...but keep in mind that they may not be as adept at communicating their feelings or working through issues in a truly adult way.

That said, its okay if the younger person, understandably, has room to grow (dont we all), but , PhD, psychologist and author of Dating from the Inside Out, says to also avoid creating an uneven power dynamic, where youre the one always calling the shots.

It's important that you do not feel like you are becoming your partners parent or therapist, because that isnt sexy, she says. I mean...noted.

Duhyou were born in way different years, or in some cases, decades. But expect to feel a new dynamic with your young date compared with the one you might experience with whom you usually go for.

To get a better grasp on how mismatched you might be in this aspect, think about what the vibe would be like hanging out with his friend group. Does the idea make you cringebecause it'd feel like sophomore year of college? Remember that.

While age alone doesnt tell you how far along a person is in life, chances are you have way different experiences and dating history.

Is that going to create a power differential, if shes more successful and more settled in her career? says , a psychotherapist and dating and relationship expert. Answer: It could.

If you're interested in a long-term relationship and not just fun sex (no shame if you aren't!), its not a bad idea to chat about where youre both at in life and how youll fit into each others. Ask them where they see themselves in the next two yearsversus the five or 10 you might ask an older prospect.

Since things that come up intensely in relationships stem from our childhood, the younger person you want to date isnt off the hook when it comes to baggage, Schatz says. Sure, you might be a hot divorcee with ex-husband beef, but the younger person has sh*t of their own, too.

One difference though, she says, is that the older person might have had more time to work through some of the things that were hard for them. Oh yeah, this is a good time to plug something that should be a universal truth: Whatever your age, do yourself a favor and go to therapy.

Ah, the C word. Break out in hives yet? How you define commitment might be how a younger mate sees a fling. Or vice versa.

You may be at different places when it comes to the stages of dating, says Berry. You might just want to have fun and date around, but Young, Hot Eligible Bachelor or Bachelorette might want to start settling down. Or you could be the one who is ready for rings and babies while they're...not.

The important part, she says, is to find where you guys align, and put a definition to it. They may not know what they want for their future yet, but if you can agree on a present, that's half the battle.

Sex cant be your only hobby, says Nelson. (Okay, fiiine.)

The larger the age gap, the harder it is to have things in common.\"

More specifically: I think the larger the age gap, the harder it is to have things in common, Schatz says. Even simple things like references to pop culture are going to be different. Ever been around your or a friend's younger sister and been very confused? Yep, that.

Granted, this isnt the end of the world. People bring different things to the relationship (positive aspects only, pleaseLOL), but you do want to be able to relate to your younger beau. Otherwise, it's going to be very hard to ever see them as an equal.

The main thing to consider is whether they can accept and support the core things that are important to you in a relationship, Sherman says. The other stuffthose moments you preface with Im really going to show my age herecan get sorted later over a bottle of wine.

If you struggle with confidence, dating someone younger could bring up feelings of insecurity, notes Schatz. You want to feel empowered in the dating game, so ask yourself if you feel good when youre with the young buck and genuinely excited to spend more time with them.

Dating someone younger can be rejuvenating and ignite an exciting spark thats been bogged down by past drama. And youre probably so over that. Be open and flexible (literally and emotionally) to new experiences: Think cramming into a tiny music venue one night and exploring a new pocket of the city the next.

If the connection is right, age wont define your relationship. It will become just another number in the numbers game that is this crazy world of modern dating.

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