I have a crush on a younger guy who is white and age 33. I am 51 years old, but people tell me I look around 37. Also, I am black. What are the chances?
Black Cougar(female, 51)
Dear Black Cougar,
For romantic relationships and dating, factors such as age and race can matter — but only as much as you allow them to.
The 18-year age gap between you is substantial, regardless of whether you look your age. You hail from different generations, and that can impact your respective outlooks, desires and maturity levels. Those differences might get in the way, but they might also turn out to be fun and stimulating — especially since men tend to reach their sexual primes much earlier than women do. It really depends on your chemistry and what both of you expect from the relationship.
Regarding race: Throughout our nation's history, interracial relationships have not only been considered taboo, they were actually against the law until 1967, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that marriage across racial lines was legal. Since then, they've become more and more common. A 2015 Pew Research Center study, for example, found that one in six of all U.S. newlyweds that year had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity, versus just 3 percent in the late '60s. Obviously, racism is still alive and well, but racial attitudes have changed and, as a result, interracial relationships are on the rise.
Bottom line: His young looks may draw you in, but you really can't judge a book by its cover. Your "chances" with him depend on what you're both looking for and how much you have in common — not on when or where you were born or the color of your skin.