As open minded as I think I am, and try to be, I do have limits. Part of what builds those limits is personal preference. But part of those limits is in understanding my own.
Several years back after a few failed attempts at having relationships I realized the failure was actually mine. I had been engaging in relationships with women at least 10 years younger than I was. After a short time the relationships failed due to differences in goals, desires, general outlook on life, physical differences, and more. It took me a while to figure out that age was a problem. Not that my younger partners were defective in the least. They were just at a different point in their lives than I was.
What came next was a bit of soul searching. I'll admit the male inside of me was reluctant to give up the idea of a nubile young 20-something-year-old who hadn't yet suffered the effects of gravity as I have. Once I got past that I realized that as delicious as a younger woman may be, not all of my time is spent enjoying her physically. A lot more of my time is spent doing things like shopping, cooking, entertaining, watching movies, or many other things. And not having stress during those times is quite important to me. I realized the trade-off between youth and maturity had benefits in many areas. I thought maybe it was time that I started to focus on women with maturity. Now I'm not saying that younger women aren't mature, some are, but in general younger people simply want different things out of life than older people.
The inevitable next question was the one posed at the beginning of this article; How young is too young?
Well, I can't answer that question for you. Obviously your age and tastes will dictate your needs which are likely different than mine. What I will do though is encourage you to examine your tastes. Particularly if you find yourself in a position similar to mine with relationships that seem to be failing for the same reasons over and over. Maybe age isn't even the factor that seems to be affecting your relationships. Maybe it is religious background, how they were raised, geographical differences, financial differences. The point is to know yourself well enough, and to evaluate your relationships deeply enough, that you can recognize what may be a relationship red flag for you. Figure out what the common factor is between any failed relationships you may have had, how to recognize that factor in future relationships you may contemplate, and devise an effective way of handling the situation. Maybe it becomes an automatic "deal breaker" for you, or maybe it is something you can negotiate away. Either way, at least you are aware of things up front.
The real challenge comes when actually executing your new master plan. Sometimes the heart gets in the way of the head and the best laid plans fall apart with a kiss. Seeing the bumps in the road is one thing, while actually avoiding them is something quite different. When I figure that one out I'll be sure to let you know!
Until then, love well.