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First impressions are everything so make sure you nail your online dating message. Checkout Guardian Soulmates advice on writing your first message.

She advised we start the search as early into college as possible. Um, I thought, petting my two-years-younger boyfriend. I almost forgot about the Princeton Mom until last month, when international headlines went nuts over the new French president elect and his wife. Brigitte Trogneux met Emmanuel Macron when he was 15 and she was his year-old drama teacher, already married with three kids. It appears this age gap is largely driven by dudes.

The older men get, the younger the women they message relative to their own age.

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Women, on the other hand, message and respond most often to men about their own age. Once they reach 35, women actually respond more often to younger guys.


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But because men are usually the conversation starters, the older-man-younger-woman paradigm prevails. Alright, so maybe OkCupid en masse follows dating age conventions, but what about those women who want to flip the norm on its head? How difficult is it for them to date a younger man? What I found was kind of surprising. When men message women, women tend to respond most often to men around their own ages. A year-old woman will have better luck messaging a year-old man than a year-old one, according to the data.

And a year-old man is more likely to respond to a message from a year-old woman than a message from any other age group. When women make the first move, the age gap dating norm is reversed. I asked my friend Trevor, a year-old mathematician, what he made of it. They have more interesting jobs and hobbies, and their profiles are just better … no stupid selfie-only profiles.

It's really a case of two kindred spirits being separated by a lot of numerical years. If I follow what feels right, am I setting myself up for future failure?

Do you think this is a terrible idea? Just the fact that you are presenting this question makes me wonder if you already know the answer.


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Usually, we don't question the things we know in our gut to in our best interests. You are concerned that a 15 year age difference may be a "terrible idea" or "setting yourself up for future failure. In my opinion, there is a lot more than just 15 years that separates you from your year-old boyfriend. He's had a heck of a lot more life experience than you have. You are in your late twenties, a time in life when you are just beginning to become sure of who you are and what you want.

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You are creating your life while he is already in the prime of his. If you were 40 and he was 55, I would not be as concerned about the age difference as both of you would have had ample time to experience life and mold your identity. By dating someone so much older, you are missing out on being with someone who is in the same phase of life that you are; someone with whom you can share the joys and pitfalls of discovery.

Plus, this is a new relationship and you need to take into account that some of the sparks you feel come from the novelty of it.

What can I do next?

You mentioned that you are not trying to live out some father figure fantasy. Okay, but consider this: I speak from experience. In my twenties, I dated a man who was eleven years my senior and it was great until I realized I was living vicariously through him. I wanted to be where he was in his life - accomplished, more confident, and all the other things that come with additional years on the planet.


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What I realized is that I was trying to skip over my own twenty-something experience by coat-tailing his life. Sure, we had the same kind of connection you speak about and I really did feel like we were kindred sprits in a lot of ways; however, the unavoidable truth was that we were at very different points of our lives. Dating an older man can be an ego boost since being wanted by someone older makes you feel more mature.

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I share this with you because I encourage you to ask yourself if some of his appeal lies in the simple fact that he is older. Furthermore, other than the very obvious reasons, why is a year-old dating a year-old? Has he ever been married or in a serious committed relationship? Think about your needs and growth.