CandiDates

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Before their shocking split, Demi Moore was 15 years older than her hunky beau Ashton Kutcher.  
Vintage Hollywood heartthrob Cary Grant was more than 19 years older than three of his five wives.  
Carrie Bradshaw had a few less laugh lines than her beloved Mr. Big, who was clearly several years her senior throughout their romantic escapades on the TV drama “Sex and the City.”  
Pop culture junkies are very much exposed to couples, fictional and real life, who have more than a few years age difference between them.
Lots of folks in the dating scene, especially the ladies, gravitate towards mates outside their own age bubble.  
Let’s face it, girls: We have ourselves on a pedestal over boys our own age, thinking we are far more mature than them.  
But ages of students on college campuses are vast, so the gal looking for a guy with a few years on her may not have to look far.  
Sometimes even the ultimate taboo relationship is the most intriguing: That cute graduate student teacher you want so badly but know you can’t have.  
Regardless of where you meet your prey, girls and guys alike who are fishing in older ponds must prepare themselves for the backlash that might ensue.
Now, because of my passive vulnerability through the medium of written words, I’ll be the first to admit that I am cut from the same cloth as these maturity-seeking women.
I see a void where passion and intelligence should be in young, spritely men near my age, and instead I am inclined to date a slightly older man.  
Not only do they often have more life experience, but their jaws are squarer, their 5 o’clock shadows sexier and their hearts stronger for a good relationship (generally speaking, of course).  
But just how relevant are suggestions that dating older (or younger) people is ill-advised?
Jay, 22, is a dating man who isn’t afraid to go out with younger or older women.  However he looks for common interests in potential dates before he chooses a lady.  
“They say girls mature faster than guys, so a girl should, in theory, be mature enough to handle dating an older man and be able to enjoying the same types of things, as well as each other’s company,” Jay said.
To some, age is as important as your credit score.  
To others, age is just a number that marks where one is in life, but not necessarily the experiences one has had.  
 “Age and maturity often go hand in hand, but you can certainly have one without the other,”  
Marie Claire web editor Diana Vilibert said. For those who act older than their years, why should dating someone who is a few years their senior, but on their same level of intellect, be a bad thing?
In braving the sometimes treacherous waters of dating, seeing someone considerably older or younger can rock the boat even more.  
My thoughts on a seasoned dater of the older breed?  
I say as long as the attraction is there, you enjoy each other’s company and nothing going on is illegal, take advantage of the fact that you have successfully weeded out the crazies and found someone worth your time.  
Unless, of course, your overbearing mother brings up the age conversation at Thanksgiving… until then, date and let date. 

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