Age difference in relationships has been a topic of curiosity and debate. In present Gen Z era, where dating norms are continually changing, determining the right age for dating and finding the acceptable age difference between partners remains a hot topic of discussion among individuals.

Young adults often question themselves on the right time to date according to their societal norms and culture, but one of the most significant considerations when it comes to this aspect of dating in this generation is maturity. Some see 16 as the right age for dating but many Nigerians would agree on 18.

While there is no universally accepted age for dating, it is important to be prepared emotionally and mentally for the complexity of relationships. This readiness varies from person to person and may not necessarily fit with a specific age range. Having a good emotional intelligence, communication skills and understanding of boundaries determines if a person is ready for a committed relationship or not.

In this modern age, where social media and dating apps have become an important aspect of young people’s lives, the look on relationship has shifted. The exposure to all these various forms of apps and influencers on social media have changed the perspective of dating and age difference. Various people have come up with their opinions and these to a large extent have influenced the thinking of present-day youth. Unlike the olden days when people didn’t have much say on the affairs of their relationship, there has been a move towards seeking partners within similar age range.

This choice is often based on the individual’s preference, life experience and cultural background. Many girls often say that they can’t date a man who is five years older than they; others say five years difference is the maximum they can date. We have heard countless experiences from people about their preference in dating. Some men prefer dating women younger than they while some go for older ones. Some people prioritize compatibility and shared interest over age, others may feel comfortable with partners closer to their age bracket. Most youths in their 20’s choose people within their age range to be able to relate with each other better.

According to psychological research, age difference in relationships can bring about long-term compatibility issues. But it’s not always true as some couples with wide age difference seem to get along well. An example is the popular Nigerian actress, Regina Daniels, whose husband is older than she with more than 40 years. Some people prefer to have a partner with big age difference as it makes them feel safe.

We asked some young ladies about their preferences and here are the responses we got from some of our respondents:

Gift

“The highest age difference I can accommodate is five years. This is because we would still have a common age group and we can do certain things in the relationship that those older than I would frown at.”

Naomi

‘For me, I would say the lowest I can take is two years, while the maximum is five years. For the fact that I don’t need my age-mate in a relationship doesn’t mean I want someone older than I. I would want him to be able to flow with me in trendy things and he would also be experienced in life.”

Tola

“Three to four years. This is because I need someone that I can vibe with and share things with. Some African men tend to look down on younger women in relationships and would want to dominate and be possessive.”