Interested in dating someone older or younger than you by 5 years (maybe 23 and 18 dating)? Like any romance, this will come with positives and negatives to consider when starting a relationship. Here are 10 of the biggest things that make dating with a 5-year age gap unique.
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Age Gap Dating
Any new couple will find challenges in their relationship that will have to be overcome in order for the relationship to succeed. You’ll hear a lot of controversy about age-gap dating, especially the younger you are. Is it a good idea to try?
Though only 5 years in between the two ages, dating when you’re 23 with a 18 year old will have very significant differences. It’s important to remember that not all 10 of these pros and cons will relate to all relationships. Each partnership is unique and one of a kind, and gender and upbringing can alter personalities. As a rule, women tend to mature a little faster than men.
Top 10 Pros & Cons in Age Gap Dating
As you go into a new relationship with someone 5 years younger or older than you, keep in mind the other parts of your relationship that matter, too. These pros and cons can help you identify problems early-on and also remind you of all the great things you can experience with an age gap partner!
Care and chemistry are two important roles to play. If you have both of these, a lot of the differences can be figured out. Use this article as a guide and a way to open conversation into areas you think may be relevant to your partnership. Dating is always a learning experience, so just be mindful of what lessons you could learn here.
The Pros of 23 and 18 Dating:
#1 Pro: Experience
If you’re the 23-year-old in this union, you probably have a bit more life and relationship experience on your back as opposed to your 18-year-old partner. You’ve got a great grasp on what to expect when it comes to dating, and they’re still breaking into the scene and learning. The guidance and experience you can offer will make you feel valuable and trusted.
As an 18-year-old, it’s always a little rough trying to discover what you want, what a relationship requires, and how to figure out the world. Dating someone a little older, like a 23-year-old, can be a huge benefit since they have the experience both in living and in dating. They’ve probably got at least a couple of things figured out, and have a better hand when it comes to participating in the relationship.
#2 Pro: Positivity
The younger you are, the less tainted views on love you have. Getting scammed in a relationship is possible at any age, but it tends to happen the longer you’ve been dating. An 18-year-old has probably seen less heartbreak and lies than someone in their early to mid 20s and often has a much more cheerful vision of what they consider love and romance to be.
This positive attitude toward dating is really refreshing. As we mature and get hurt, or scammed, we start to get a bit of doubt that grows. Dating someone younger can revive your positive outlook on relationships and help you connect to your hopeful nature. On the flip side, dating someone older can give you a genuine feeling of being appreciated and adored in a relationship.
#3 Pro: Amazing sex
There are several bedroom kinks and fetishes that include age-gap topics. Dating someone older means they have some experience and picked up a few very satisfying tricks along the way. On the other hand, being older with a younger partner is pretty hot and can boost your ego a little bit.
Sexual connection is a vital part of any relationship, and a lot of age-gap stereotypes lend to the bedroom area of dating. A lot of people consider this to be the “key benefit”, but it also leads to a stereotype that an age-gap relationship is all sex-based with no deeper romance. It doesn’t matter if you’re in it for physical gain or emotional companionship, if you find something that fits, work it!
#4 Pro: Commitment
It might seem like this section rivals the one directly above. A lot of people start to favor long-term dating and the potential of marriage in the future as they get older. Around 23-25, serious relationships start to take precedence in your hopes. For men, it might not be until they’re 23 that they’re ready for something real.
Dating with a 5 year age gap as an 18-year-old who doesn’t want to just play games and date around is a great way to bypass the age group’s view on relationships. It’s all fun and games in your teens, but someone who is 23+ is probably ready to think more seriously. A relationship between two commitment oriented people works great with this kind of age gap.
#5 Pro: Passion
Any relationship that can overcome the judgment, differences, and obstacles thrown at them is a successful relationship! The passion between young people (25 and below) is unrivaled. You’re at the peak of your sex drive, you’ve got a few years of experience, and you’re finding out who you are.
These relationships with age-gaps tend to burn very brightly and don’t easily flicker out. Going into something new that could be considered “different” or “strange” lends a great sense of confidence to those in the relationship. They are eager to make things work and their differences complement each other. 18 and 23-year-old partners have much to learn from each other!
The Cons of 23 and 18 Dating:
#1 Con: Maturity
As probably the biggest issue in age-gap dating, maturity stands to give your relationship the biggest test of time. Though only 5 years between the two, a lot of personalities and mental changes are made in that period. The mental capacity of a 23-year-old is far different from that of a teenager, and it’s the leading cause of breakups for age-gap relationships.
The two of you will differ on many subjects, handle conflict in different ways, and approach problems and needs unique to your age. Someone who is 18 may be quicker to anger, and less understanding, whereas a 23-year-old knows how to pick their battles. On the other hand, being older can cause you to be a bit condescending.
Both partners can be at fault for a failure to connect maturely, despite age. Sometimes an age-gap can benefit a couple since women tend to mature quicker on average. At 18 and 23 though, things are still pretty murky, so it will take some tender loving care to move past this obstacle together.
#2 Con: Education
Many 18-year-olds are in the midst of their education. Some may have years yet ahead of them when it comes to college, but someone who is 23 is either done or nearly there. Dating in Med School or sometimes Law School can affect these timeframes, but typically, you’ll be looking at ½ of the relationship being a student.
This isn’t always a bad thing, but it will definitely be an important part of your relationship. Conflicting schedules due to work and class differences as well as the stress and pressure of finals, studying, and peers will be aspects to think about. Being a student is much different than functioning in the working world, and many students work part-time, as well. Busy, stressful lifestyles and the classic sleepless schedule of a college student could put additional strain to your relationship.
#3 Con: Financial Differences
Let’s face it. Most 18-year-olds just don’t have a thriving bank account. To be fair, when you’re 23, it might not be too much better either, but you have more experience and education behind you to land a better paying job. Someone older also probably has better spending habits.
Unfortunately, these major financial differences are a source of conflict for several age-gap couples. Teenagers are less strict with their money, and often have fewer bills and less income. Being 23 brings in a whole opposite end of the economy. Rent, utilities, loans… there is a lot to pay for, and hard work to fund that life. Someone younger might not understand, and someone older may feel irritated being saddled with a lot of financial responsibility.
This is not a problem that easily goes away with age, either. Money problems are a leading source of conflict for several couples, regardless of age. It’s just a bit amplified when you’ve got an age gap between you like in this situation.
#4 Con: Drama
When you’re a teenager, the drama is a big part of your life. 18 is sort of on the tail-end of that. A lot of care is put into the following and understanding drama, and this age group often tends to be more involved in social media.
As you age, the drama does, too. It becomes less important and not as distracting in your 20s, and continues to get better. An older partner may be less interested in the petty drama that is considered monumental by a younger half.
There is also different kinds of drama to worry about in these two age groups. What was once considered important in your late teens is probably not in the same priority zone in your mid-20s. Instead, you’re concerned with other kinds of drama, and there is potential for a disconnect here.
#5 Con: Judgement
Everywhere you go, someone is going to look down their nose at your relationship. It’s just a fact of life, and it’s rough and unfair, but something to get used to. Age-gap relationships can see an increase in judgment, especially in peers. As you both get older and reach your 30s, people will stop caring. In the beginning, though? Be prepared for some cruel words, and just smile against the judgment and carry on!
Making It Work
You’re probably starting to have a better idea of what dating differences to expect between an 18-year-old and a 23-year-old. These 10 basic pros and cons are insightful, and they’ll help you address potential concerns now instead of when it’s too late.
Don’t give up hope! All relationships can overcome the downsides with some work. A little bit of advice from someone who has been there can go a long way.
Advice for the 23-year-old
Patience is key! Your partner is still figuring out who they are, and 18 is a very tricky age to conquer. They are getting their first taste of independence and they have big concerns in their life about social status, education, and personality changes. Your role in their life can sometimes feel “back-burner”, but don’t let it discourage you. It’s also very important that you do not lecture your younger partner, or you’ll create feelings of resentment.
Advice for the 18-year-old
Follow their lead! Things are crazy in the life of an 18-year-old, and you probably feel lost half of the time as it is. Trusting your partner to be there for you is hard, especially when it feels like your whole life is changing. It’s also hard to try and listen to advice a lot of the time, but you have to learn to be flexible sometimes. Don’t be quick to anger, and make sure you’re thinking of their needs just as much as yours.
Don’t let yourself be discouraged or grow too confident. All relationships have their issues, and age-gap dating is no different. The years between 18 and 23 are vital, formative periods where your personality blossoms and your voice is found in the world. Dating in this time is tough, but you have a lot to gain from giving it a real shot. Just work together and accept that the differences are able to be overcome.