Should I date older women?

Dear Meredith,

I wanted to ask about a question that popped into my head after podcast Season 2, Episode 4. In that episode you mention people becoming tired of the prospect of dating, and just not feeling encouraged about the effort it sometimes takes to date. My question: Is it OK to purposely not date even if you want to date? Let me explain.

I'm 24 years old. There's plenty to do in my area, and plenty of people to meet. I've done the apps with not a lot of luck (maybe I was too picky). Most of my friends are married, and the ones who aren't are all in long-term relationships. I've asked them to set me up but they either are unwilling or forgetful, because no matter how many times I remind them, it never happens.

Lately a few of them have told me that I should look to date someone older, who is more mature. I pride myself on being somewhat of an old soul. I like talking about things like politics, history, music, and sports. I'd like to think I have pretty wide-ranging tastes. They've suggested looking for someone in their later 20s or even early 30s. I'm not necessarily opposed, but I also feel most women that age don't want to date a 24-year-old. Which leads me back to my question. Should I just wait until I'm older and can meet someone more mature? I know there are more mature people my age out there, but I'm having trouble finding them anyway, so why not just put it off? Thanks for your time and for sharing your's and others' valuable insights.

– Not sure on mature


I don't see any reason to put off dating until you're older. I also think it might be fun for you to date older people. You sound curious about what it might be like, so why not find out?

It's possible that some women might be concerned about your age. We did have someone on our podcast who said that had she not met her now-fiancé in real life, she would have skipped over him on a dating app because he was just a few years younger. But not everyone feels that way. The age gap you're talking about is actually pretty small. And really, once you start talking to someone on an app, you get a sense of what they're all about. People will try to get to know you. Then you can show them who you are.

It does worry me that you say you might be too picky. I mean, be selective; there's no reason to right-swipe people you know you'd never want to meet. But remember that these dating sites don't give people a ton of room to work with. If you think someone is kind of cute and kind of interesting, it's worth finding out more.

I wouldn't rule out people your age, by the way. At 24, I liked to talk about politics, history, and music (not sports). There are no rules with this. It does take a lot of time to find potential partners. Try to be even more patient, and keep your options open.

– Meredith

Readers? Older?