Does Age Matter?

When it comes to romantic relationships, many aspects come to play: attraction, chemistry, personality, family. Does age really matter?

15. 27. 42. Some say age is just a number. There are plenty of couples with a 10-year age gap who are very happy and satisfied. There are others who go their separate ways after testing the waters. In my opinion, age plays a huge role in who you are, the things you say, the way you think and the actions you make. Age is more than just a number.

Michelle Oresta* is a 27-year-old Cal State Long Beach graduate student who was dating Michael Wine*, a 22-year-old, third-year undergraduate student at Cal State Long Beach. They had dated for about two years before things started to fall apart. Or perhaps, they were already falling apart from date one but could not see it coming.

“I felt like Michael and I worked well together as a team but we were not on the same page. As a couple, the only way things will work out between the two of you is if you are both fully committed to one another,” Oresta said.

As I sat down to interview Oresta at a Starbucks in Long Beach, she explained to me the three reasons why the romantic relationship between Michael and her did not work out.

They were never on the same page. “I am currently in grad school and it is a whole different ball game compared to getting your undergraduate. I had so much schoolwork on top of my full-time job. While I was working my butt off, Michael was going out to frat parties and not giving me the attention that I needed after a very packed and stressful day. I felt like I was always going the extra mile for him but the love was never returned.”

They were holding each other back. “I felt like since we were not on the same page, we were holding each other back. Michael is so young. I felt like he wasn’t able to live his college life to the fullest while he was dating me and I wasn’t able to give my 100 percent to my work because I was so worried about him not calling me back or answering my text messages. It was a frustrating process.”

Mentally, they were not the same age. “I am more of a romantic lover. Michael is such a kid. I needed a leader but honestly, I felt like I was wearing the pants all throughout our relationship. I needed someone who would guide me and tell me everything would be okay when things were not or give me the confidence in things that I was struggling with in the moment. Michael never gave me that sense of security and love. He was not mature enough and I was waiting around for him to change. I thought I could change him. I guess it is every woman’s dream to change their current man to become their ideal man.”

Michelle Oresta and Michael Wine may not have worked out, but I know couples who have successfully conquered the age gap between them. Jacob Ji*, a biology major at Cal State Fullerton has always struggled to connect with girls his age. “I always thought the girls that I met in college were all airheads. I couldn’t connect with them on an emotional level, but then I met Leanne and everything changed for me.” 21-year-old Ji has been dating Leanne*, who is 25 years old. They have been dating a little over a year now.

“I don’t think age matters as long as we are both mentally on the same level and committed,”  Ji said.

*The names in this article have been altered because the participants would like to remain anonymous.