Welcome back to another edition of ‘Ask the Urban Dater.' Today's question comes from a young maiden from America's Bread basket, Beulah Birkenstocks. She has a great question that's been on my mind a lot of late. So let's get to it!
So I work at a restaurant and one of the new waiters (Anthony) who I just met yesterday gave me his phone number. He seems like a very nice guy and I'm flattered but there's one problem….I'm 18 and a senior in high school and he's 26-28. I never told him how old I was (I get mistaken for being older all the time) so I don't think he knows how old I really am. But with an 8-10 year age difference is that even appropriate? How can I tell him I'm too young without making it awkward, especially if we have to work with each other? — Beulah Birkenstocks
Well, Beulah. First off, bless your heart for the thoughtful question.
First off, I personally feel that age really is just a number; it's not something that, in and of itself, is a basis of compatibility. That is, whether the age gap is 5 or 10 years doesn't mean that you're not going to have a chemistry. People can have a huge age gap but still have the same interests or just have that chemistry.
I'm 37 years old… Almost 40. I'm fucking old. I dated a couple of women, recently, that were over ten years younger than myself. They didn't last, but it wasn't because of the age difference; the issues that kept us from dating weren't age specific. We got along well, we had that chemistry.
More recently, a woman asked me “So, do you mind if I fall short of the half your age plus seven rule?” Meaning: Do I mind entertaining the interest of a 22-year-old woman. No, I don't mind.
It's not age that's at issue. I think it comes down to how one has lived their life. Experience informs who we are as a person, how we approach a problem and how we carry ourselves. The commonly held belief (based completely on my own assumptions) is that young people haven't experienced much. But I know that notion is false. Completely. I've met some young people who have lived a lot of life and experienced a great deal in a short amount of time.
At the end of the day, if chemistry exists and you guys have things in common I say you go for it. It's not inappropriate at all. That's how I feel about the age gap.
That said, don't shit where you eat. Dating a co-worker is a recipe for disaster. No kidding. I've been burned by this more times than I care to discuss…