QOTW: "When Does the Age Thing Get Ridiculous?"

Posted by Christelyn, 18 May

Got a letter from a follower of this blog (not the man pictured here) with a question about age and online dating. Thought this is a good time to get all of you involved with giving him some answers!

Dear Christelyn:

I am a white man who has dated interracially on and off all my life – my first GF in high school was black!  It wasn’t intentional – I was an awkward skinny teenage boy who had no idea how to talk to girls.  But she approached me!  It was wonderful.  Here I am years later, single again and I found your site about 3 years ago and have been following you ever since.  It has been a terrific experience reading your topics and all the comments.  We are never too old to learn and one of the best ways is open discussion.  So thank you for all you are doing and for the forum you are offering.

Your perfect partner could be online right now...

What are you looking for?

I’ve been on the general dating sites and the interracial sites and I have a question I’d like to see as a topic so I can read the thoughts expressed during the discussion.  The topic is the “age range” that women choose in their online dating profiles.  Wow, would I like some insight as to what women are thinking there.  All I have to reference is my own thinking.  For example, in my profile, I sometimes left it as the “default” of 18-99.  Do I want an 18 year old?  No!  But I do want to cast a wide net.  More importantly, I ponder what that looks like to women.  I hope that seeing the default tells them that I am open, that age is just a number, that “age range” is not a consideration.  Now, sometimes I will try to set an age range but still cast a wide net such as 10 years before my age and 10 years after my age.  Or, 15 and 15.  I definitely want someone I can communicate with and relate to, so too young wouldn’t work for me.  But I find the whole age range thing off-putting for myself and confusing and wonder what women are thinking.

Topic:  As far as what woman use for an age range:

  • What do you put as an age range?
  • How did you decide what to put as an age range?
  • Are you inflexible?

    • For example, if an inquiry is outside your date range do you just delete the message?  Or, do you politely respond that they are outside the desired range?

  • How flexible are you?

    • For example, if you are 40 and you put 35-45 are you really going to turn down in inquiry because the man is 46?  Or 34?  If yes, why?  If no, what is your criteria for making exceptions?

  • Do you find inquiries outside your age range offensive?

    • I have had mixed results messaging women where I am outside their date range. Here are some responses:

      • No response
      • Polite reply that she is not interested because I am one year outside her range
      • Happy responses that like my profile and continue the discussion (at that point I don’t dare ask why she had made me an exception LOL)
      • Happy responses saying her age range was a few years old and is no longer valid
      • Angry rejections

I do not want to bother anyone if I don’t fit her critieria but the age range thing, while mathmatically measurable, seems to be as subjective as any other, non-measurable, critieria.

I realize I might be in “over thinking it” territory here but I sure would love to see a discussion on your site on this specific topic.

Thanks,

“D”

Christelyn Karazin is the co-author of Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate, Mixing Race, Culture and Creed. She also operates the popular blog, Beyond Black & White, and operate the first forum dedicated to black women interested and/or involved in interracial relationships.

4 responses to "QOTW: "When Does the Age Thing Get Ridiculous?""

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  1.   COFFEE222 says:
    Posted: 27 May

    This is tricky, my response below was intended for this section as a response to the author of this article. Interesting that there isn't an edit function.

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  2.   Paganinifan says:
    Posted: 25 May

    There's some typos in my first comment. In my comment about Jay-Z it should say "is HE wrinkled" Your site should add the option to edit before a comment is officially posted. Like Facebook does.

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  3.   Paganinifan says:
    Posted: 25 May

    "When Does the Age Thing Get Ridiculous?" I have to chime in on this subject matter. I'll tell you when the age thing gets ridiculous - when it's a site full of liberals who say flat out in their profiles "F*ck Trump!" and "If you voted for Trump, do NOT message me". These are the people who are hung up on how close their potential partner is to their own age. What happened to the liberal motto: "EQUALITY, ACCEPTANCE AND NO DISCRIMINATION"? Oh, yeah...that's only for race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and fat women. Everyone else can screw off as far as the left is concerned. I'm pissed that you chose to you a photo showing a SERIOUSLY elderly man. Is this everyone's idea of what an "older man" looks like? I'm in my 40's and I don't look like that. Most YOUNG women drool over certain celebrities (music artists and actors) who are in their 40's and hitting 50 who also don't look like the man in the photo you chose to post for this article. Jay-Z is 13 years OLDER than Beyonce. Jay-Z is 48 yrs old. Is her wrinkled and greying? No. But when you use photos like the one here, you literally BRAINWASH the massive amounts of IDIOTS we have in the country into thinking that anyone over 35 looks like the guy in the photo. Nice job! Keep up the discriminatory mindset. I was 36 yrs old when I met one of my exes. She was 19. We lasted 4 yrs together. Our age difference did not break us up. Her "friend" (I say in quotes because no friend would do this to someone they care about) got her into using very HEAVY ILLEGAL NARCOTICS. She became addicted and did whatever she needed to do to get the dope when she had no money. THAT is what broke us up. And she was DEVASTATED when I broke off with her. Blew up my phone for days. As for this lame excuse about not having common ground with an age difference, I need SPECIFICS about what type of 'common ground' you're all looking for. Otherwise, it makes no sense to use that lame excuse. My ex was very retro. Having grown up being exposed to film and music from her parents' era. She was not some dumb millenial who didn't know that music existed before the year she was born. What is this 'common ground' you speak of? We went to see music concerts of her favorite artists and my favorite artists. We'd gone to pop concerts and heavy metal concerts. What's the 'common ground' that's missing from an age gap, again? Please stop making an issue out of age. If anyone of us guys over 40 were celebrity millionaires, you bet every dollar in you bank account that 20 something's would suddenly forget how OLD we are and find us attractive. The age thing becomes ridiculous when people make a big issue about it and make assumptions about the older generation. CUT IT OUT!

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    • COFFEE222 says:
      Posted: 27 May

      You articulated your inquiry very well. I have wondered about this exact topic. I will share a personal experience - I personally prefer to date someone who is older than I am. However, I try not to let it be the rate limiting step should I meet someone who shows great potential. Given the simple fact that dating on a digital platform differs vastly from an in person encounters, I think what you have on your profile has to be intentional. Those who view your profile have seconds to do a high level overview to determine compatibility. When I see someone who has a non specific age range e.g. 18-99, I more inclined to overlook their profile because in my mind I think they probably prefer someone who is significantly younger than I am. The same applies for the question on the race preference - I am attracted to Caucasian gentleman, it is a preference and not an experiment. Therefore, if I see someone who has selected “Any race” , I would be more inclined to not correspond compared to someone who specifically indicates on their profile they are looking for the exact same thing as I. I see your viewpoint on casting a wider net and purposefully leaving a default answer to show that you are open. Thanks for sharing that perspective, I never thought of it that way. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and what each one of us is willing to compromise on. Eager to see what others think. Cheers!

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