Dr. Date: XOB; Nosy but Good-Intentioned Friend; A concerned girlfriend

>Dear Dr. Date,

I was wondering whether or not age should matter when dating someone else. Should it influence who you are with? Or does age not matter?

XOB

Dear XOB,

First of all, I want to know why you are asking. Are you interested in someone of another age? Is one of your mom’s friends coming onto you? Does your sister have a cute friend? Are you digging a professor?

My first instinct is to say “no.” Age doesn’t matter.

My second instinct is to say “yes,” age matters. It has to be within reason. If you’re thinking of an Ashton / Demi-type situation, you better hope your professor looks like Demi Moore.

Age only matters when it matters to you. Obviously, you’re concerned about the situation because you want to date somebody whom you think is out of your age range.

The most common problems with dating across generations is that you lack a shared life experience. Maybe the person you’re interested in has children and you don’t. Maybe this person is a child.

If you lack the shared culture and a shared vision of life, chances are your relationship won’t last.

But if you can deal with listening to Linda Ronstadt and she can deal with listening to Eminem, more power to both of you. Our society needs more people to reach across the bounds of when it is acceptable to date somebody and when it is just plain disgusting.

So, no, age doesn’t matter. But it does sometimes. Does that help? Age is what you perceive it to be. If you don’t care what people around you think, and you don’t question your own motivations for dating someone of a drastically different age, you will be happy with this person. But make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.

Dr. Date

Dear Dr. Date,

My friend J likes this girl K and she knows it. This past summer he stopped dating a girl because K said she thought there was a “thing” between them. However, K said she wasn’t ready to pursue the “thing” and always turned down J when he asked her out. I want my friend J to be happy so should he continue to wait for her or just give up?

Nosy but good-intentioned friend

Dear Nosy but Good-Intentioned Friend,

I think your friend, “J” has been misled. When K said that she thought there was a “thing” between J and K (j/k!), she should have known that he would make a move.

But J needs to move on. Unless K has promised J that she will come around if he waits for her, all his waiting will be in vain.

J needs to ask K if there is still a “thing,” and if she says “no,” he needs to find a new “thing.”

She’s messing with his head. If it’s not working now, it’s not going to work a week from now, a year from now or five years from now. There’s obviously something holding her back. Even if J and K were to get together, it wouldn’t last.

Luckily, J broke up with the girl he was dating because if he was willing to toss her aside he probably didn’t care much about her in the first place. Maybe he just went after K as an excuse to himself to break up with his no-good girlfriend.

But it sounds to me as if all of J’s waiting will be futile. He needs to decide when he will pursue a relationship that he knows will work out.

Dr. Date

Dear Dr. Date,

Recently my boyfriend was trying to pressure me into having sex with him, and I wasn’t ready to have sex with him. He said that he was going to dump me unless I had sex with him. I love him a lot and I don’t want to break up with him. What should I do?

A concerned girlfriend

Dear concerned girlfriend,

This is the most cliche advice you will ever receive.

If he loves you, he’ll wait.

I think you need to have a chat with your boyfriend about why he wants to have sex with you so badly. Does he really love you, or is he just looking for a piece?

It’s easy for me to say that you should get rid of him for being a jerk, but you obviously love him a lot and are torn up about what to do. You need to really analyze his reasons for requiring you to sleep with him. Also analyze your reasons for feeling as if you need to stay in the relationship.

But I have to admit. In a modern-day college relationship, it’s a little bizarre that you won’t even consider sleeping with him. How long have you been together? You obviously love him. Do you trust him?

If it is a moral or religious objection to sex, make sure your boyfriend understands where you’re coming from.

But if you love him and trust him, and there’s no religious objection, maybe you should rethink your stance.

Otherwise, dump him on his ass if he doesn’t understand.

Dr. Date