What is an acceptable age gap for dating?

Some may say age is just a number when it comes to dating. Yet, that saying doesn’t always stand. The problem of age gaps in relationships is a complicated one. With some couples, a 20-year gap is no big deal, while a difference of only 4 or 5 years can be detrimental to other ones. Best Dating Sites Today is here to explain the acceptable age gap for dating.

Does age gap matter in relationships?

As it is true for many things in life, the answer to this question depends on the individual relationship.

Let’s take a 10-year gap as an example. This difference is absolutely acceptable between, let’s say a 26-year-old and a 36-year-old. Presumably, both people have finished their education and started working. More importantly, both of them had time to develop both physically and mentally, and understand what they want from a partner and a relationship. They can have a conversation as equals, and go on dates that both sides enjoy.

A man kissing a smiling woman on the forehead.
An age difference isn’t a big deal if both people are adults!


On the other hand, the same age gap looks a lot different when one person is 16 and the other is 26. As you see yourself, one of these people is mature, has a job, and is done with school. The other one is still in high school and doesn’t have a lot of experience in dating. This gives the older person an unfair advantage and the possibility to manipulate the younger one into things they don’t like or want.

Where to draw the line for the acceptable age gap for dating?

Unfortunately, many times it is up to the younger person to realize something is wrong. It is absolutely normal to be impressionable and flattered when someone you deem more mature expresses interest in you. In contrast, it is very difficult to figure out someone is only pretending to be interested in you and what you have to say. This is true because one person has experienced being younger, but the other has only their own experience to go off.

A man and a woman video chatting.
Adults and teenagers think differently.

To put it simply, it is almost impossible for a young person to see how different their mindset is from that of someone much older (and 10 years is a lot for a 16-year-old). People preying on young individuals know this and use that knowledge to gain their trust and seem like the perfect choice.

To conclude

An age gap isn’t only a number. It is the mindset and experience of both partners. If you are an adult, liking an older or younger adult is acceptable in the vast majority of cases as long as both sides are happy. If you are still underage, you should know you are most probably being targeted. Also, the person talking to you is well aware of their advantage. Since predators like using the internet to find their next victim, you should make sure to use reputable dating sites that verify user identity.