We all have heard the saying ‘age is just a number.’ Now, I’m sure the majority have grappled with interpreting this. But to say that your ‘age’ is just a number follows the meaning, and the general notion, that the years of your life do not genuinely entail anything about you.

The amount of experiences you have had, on the other hand, do. Some people experience divorce, death, love, and loss, all by the time they are ten years old, putting them on a completely different playing field than their peers who have experienced nothing of the sort. As a result, they generally have a different perspective.

When I open my eyes to the world around me and the way I contrast and have always contrasted with my peers, I feel confident that the saying is true. Age really is just a number.

However, I think there is something seriously wrong with jumping from this hypothesis to the conclusion that you should be mingling with people much older than you. I mean, the proof is in the pudding. If age is just a number, why then should being more mature mean you should surround yourself with people who are older? Considering, their age is no indication of their experience, it does not really seem to make sense why you would shoot for someone older.

I can’t tell if I am making things as obvious as I’d like to. But, in reference to ‘age being just a number’, the dilemma I want to talk about is high school girls dating guys who are well out of high school, guys who are either in college or beginning to take steps towards establishing their careers and lives. I think this is a huge problem.

We have heard the narrative. Sometimes girls reach a heightened maturity faster than their male contemporaries which makes them think all the guys their age are ‘lame’. And I mean seriously, it could very well be the case that the guys their age do not understand them, making them more interested in guys who either are, or seem, older.

But there is a big difference between a guy who is one or two years older, versus a guy who is too old.

Let’s chat.

The first point I want to get on the table is that I know girls mature faster. Hi, hello, what’s up; I was one of them! And for that very reason, I am not here to tell anyone’s wrong. Considering, I too think age is just a number that would be dumb. Rather, I am here to tell her to just be single. Especially if she’s still in high school!

A girl in high school may have had a handful of experiences that make her a little bit more mature than her peers. Yet, that does not mean that 1. the older guy she pursues will be able to handle her maturity, or 2. the older guy will be mature, as she is.

Life is about development. So even though an older more mature guy may seem to be perfect. He may, very well, be mature in different ways. He may have learned a lesson from graduating high school. Or be more serious, given his condition, about his future. But this will always be different than what a high schooler is undergoing. Always.

The maturity a young lady gets from her robust experiences is still not comparable to the experiences of this man, so much older than her. They are both mature, but for different reasons, and thereby, in different ways.

There is a reason why we have laws in place to protect sixteen-year-old girls from twenty-two-year-old men. There are even more reasons why these laws do not apply to a thirty-year-old woman and a fifty-year-old man. All these reasons involve development.

A 16-year-old girl, no matter how wise beyond her years, still has a life to live before she can confidently know herself. She will make mistakes. Many of those mistakes will involve relationships and love. However, there is a difference between the heartbreak a girl may receive from a mistaken love versus the heartbreak that follows a stunt in her development. The former will be pain that she will resolve within time; the latter, on the other hand, will leave lasting impressions.

Second of all, although I am not an advocate of the whole freshman and senior thing. There is still a huge difference between two kids in high school dating versus a high schooler dating a graduate.

So it is the case, on one hand, that I think girls ought to realize they should refrain from mingling with older dudes. But it is also, and more so the case, that I think older guys need to stay AWAY from young ladies. And I am blown away that this is not common sense.

Hence, the title of this article.

If you are over the age of 20, stay the hell away from little girls! It does not matter if they look mature. And it especially does not matter if they seem mature. They probably are, in both senses. But that does not mean they need you to come in and mess with their development. They need to experience life, at their young age, given their mature state and figure out who they are. Regardless of their mature perspective, their prefrontal cortex has got some developing to do.

Which is not to say that a man who is interested in a girl so much younger than himself does not himself have some developing to do. He does.

If as a grown man, you find it stimulating to partake in conversations with girls ditching sixth period to hang out with you, please, get a life.

Young ladies, you will develop and grow into the women you want to be. But do not allow temptations to disallow you from getting there.