Hey woody!

I’m 24, he’s 18.  The only thing that’s stopping me from falling in love is his age. I find myself constantly lying about it to my friends. Am I crazy for thinking that dating somebody that young could actually work out? He’s everything I want in a guy– he’s almost more mature than I am and has more goals and is more on his way to achieving them than I am. Yet, the age thing is always in the back of my head. Also, I’m worried that he’s only holding on because I’m his ‘first’ and to top it off, I’ve decided to move to another city and he wants to come with me. Help! What should I do?

— Dazed and Confused

Dear Dazed:

Look, if God had said, “LET THERE BE LIGHT!” and you were the one who hit the switch; you might have a point about the age spread, but come on!  I’ve seen bowling pins stand further than your birthdates.  Why are you so hung up on his age? It’s character, not years, that defines a man.

Speaking of character, I see a giant flaw in yours. By constantly lying about his age, you’re basically telling him and the world that you’re ashamed of him, that there’s something wrong with him. How’d you like it if he lied to his friends about your age? Would you feel accepted? Loved? Trusted?  Supported? Stop lying and start bragging.

As for him holding on to you because you’re his ‘first,’ so what? The world is filled with high school sweethearts who lasted a lifetime with their ‘firsts.’ I say make him a part of your relocation package. Leaving him because you’re afraid the relationship won’t work out is like leaving a job because you’re afraid you might get laid off.

Hey Woody!

I’m a frustrated 19 year-old. I’m not into dudes my age at all—we just don’t click. I’m always told I look and act like I’m in my mid-twenties, but once guys in their late 20’s figure out how old I am they ditch me and tell me to go after somebody my own age. How can I convince these guys that I’m capable of having a relationship with them?

—Hey, 19

Dear Hey, 19:

The fact that these guys are passing you around like reefer tells me they aren’t dumping you because you’re too young; they’re dumping you because you’re too immature. Or because there’s no chemistry, or they don’t see you as marriage material. Or because, in pizza terms, they’ve pounded you into dough, tossed you up high and shoved you into their trick oven. The one marked, “DONE.”

Now, assuming that you’re getting kicked to the curb because of your age and nothing else, it means that you’re a whole lot more immature than you think. Here are a couple of things you can do to turn it around:

  1. Invoke The “Three-Dates-Before-Sex” Rule.God, I hate this kind of chick-sh!t, but desperate times require desperate measures. By delaying sex, you’ll weed out or at least minimize the players who just want to get into your pants. But more importantly, it shows self-control—something 19 year olds are not famous for.
  2. Share The Costs Of Dating.Don’t let older guys pay for dinner. Go Dutch. It’ll win you many points. Nobody wants to be their boyfriend’s walking wallet. Spring for the occasional coffee or movie, too.  Independence is another word for maturity. So is generosity. But then, so is sucking a softball through thirty feet of garden hose. Don’t forget to spring for that, too.