Maturity levels bridge dating age gap

Fans of R&B singers Usher Raymond and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, of TLC, were shocked when the two started appearing in the media as a couple.

Thomas, like many other women, received a lot of flack because she is eight years Raymond’s senior. However, almost no one criticized Raymond for dating the 33-year-old.

May-December romances – an older person dating a younger person – have become a common occurrence among celebrities, and traditionally it is acceptable for a man to date a younger women. But how are these types of relationships viewed by students on the Hill?

Brandon Ellis, a 19-year-old from Washington, said most men would date an older woman, because it would give them a self-esteem boost.

“It’s an achievement when your game is on a level where you can date an older woman,” said the sophomore business administration student.

Ellis said it takes a mature woman to date a younger man, because of the disapproval she might receive.

James Simmons, a counselor at Sunshine Manor and an associate professor of education, said women receive such criticism because society has trained people to believe a man should be older than his counterpart.

Still, some women don’t mind dating younger men

Senior business economics student, Patricia Robinson, said she dated someone younger than her and she didn’t receive any criticism from her peers.

“I don’t think people make a big deal out of it anymore,” said the 22-year-old from Miami.

William Lyons, a visiting professor of religion, said it’s fine for a woman to date a man who is younger than she is.

Ellis said, “Age doesn’t matter, but the level of maturity of the two people in the relationship does.”

“Immaturity will cause some problems because a male who is younger than his mate will have different objectives and goals,” Simmons said.

Some students say age can play a factor in personal interests.

“Most freshmen tend to be focused on partying, showing off their cars and chasing women,” Robinson said.

However, Ellis said there are some mature freshmen who enter college with their “heads on straight.”

Lyons agreed.

“Maturity is individually driven because there are some freshmen who are more mature than some seniors.”

Alicia Savoy, said other things are more important than age.

The sophomore psychology and political science student said, “As long as you care about somebody, age doesn’t matter.”

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