Friday, September 28, 2012

Your Turn

How big of an age gap in a couple is appropriate? And maybe not even appropriate, but is 20 years the limit? Should it be less? What is just way too much? How big is the age difference between your partner?

66 comments:

MISCH said...

it depends on the couple and at what stage of life they're at....

Mhdz said...

I agree with Misch.

FSP said...

I don't think I would ever date someone more than a couple years older than myself. Nor do I think I could date someone more than 10 years younger.

Robert said...

I think that's a question everyone needs to answer for himself/herself.

alliwholovessomuch said...

I say as long as its legal its got nothing to do with anyone else. mine is 3 years younger :)

shelly said...

I'm 4 years older than my fiancé. While ok, there is a generation gap when I talk about NIN or Jem and the Holograms. Plus when he says stuff like - if we had met in high school... Um no, then it would be statutory rape. I think 10-15 year age difference tops. I also think that when the parties are older (30+) it matters less.

*karen* said...

I'm seven months older than my fiance, so cradle-robber here, obviously.

Depends on the couple. An 18-year old with a 38-year old makes no sense, but a 38-year old with a 58-year old might.

smashbash said...

Agreed. I have no qualms over age, we are 5 years apart and I feel like that is perfect. That's just me. My mom likes guys 15 years younger.

figgy said...

I know happy couples with huge age differences, but for me, the closer in age the better. For my husband and me, being 8 months apart is great as we have the same childhood references and are going thru the same stages together...like needing reading glasses, hehe.

In college I dated a 22 years older professor. No problem when he was in his 40s. But I saw him a couple of years ago, he was 70, and just seemed reeeeaaaally old. That would've been hard if I'd married him.

southernbelle said...

I agree it all has to do with the person, and the stage they are at in their life. My husband is just a few days over a year older than I am. We get along great. My parents have a 12 year age gap and it seems too work for them. My husbands mom remarried and her new husband is 16 years older. At this stage though it is causing problems. She wants to go out and have fun since all the children have moved out, he just wants to sit at home and sleep all day. He also has a lot of medical problems (nothing super serious) but makes him very lethargic.

I think it mostly just boils down to where people are in life and what they want. Kids, house, career, travel etc.

Christina said...

I think it matters on the people. I have dated tons of guys my own age and it never felt right. My husband is 13 years older than me. We have more in common than any other couple I know and we just use the age gap as a joke.

anita_mark said...

My parents have a 14 year gap and my aunt and uncle have an 18 year gap that never bothered me until they got older. The men are now in homes and the women are physically and mentally fine. The fact that you'll likely age differently never dawned on me or them. Not the case for everyone, of course, since genetics plays a factor but still, it now makes a difference to me.

Turkish Taffy said...

I am 3 years older than my husband, which terrified some of my friends while we were dating. We have been married 20 years.

I think for a marriage to work, you should have some important factors, not necessarily all, in synch. We were different races, religions, and nationalities, but same economic and social status, education level, and family values.

It depends what you want out of the marriage. My husband was not looking for a trophy wife, but for a life partner that he could trust to raise and protect his children.

mikey said...

I was married to a man 15 years older and it certainly mattered more when I was 50 and he was 65. Ultimately a big age gap becomes very noticeable.

tara17 said...

There's a formula for that: Divide the older person's age in half, add 7. If the younger person's is lower than that number, he/she is too young, so creepy. (Ex. 40 yrs old can date 27 yrs old, but younger is creepy).

Turkish Taffy said...

@ Anita Mark:

That was a factor for me. My mom spent 30 years of her life alone after my dad died. I considered the fact that my husband was younger, so that hopefully I would not grow old alone.

Evil Kumquat said...

If it is legal in the state or principality in which you live, ANY age difference is fine.

Personally, I always dated younger because that's what attracts me. My wife of eleven years is four years younger than me, but I've dated as much as ten years younger before her.

Of course, I had nothing in common with the younger ones, but if I'm just interested in sex, the younger the better (obviously above age of consent).

If I wanted an actual relationship, closer to my age is better.

auntliddy said...

Shelly!! Where has has cos been keeping u?? Lol

auntliddy said...

I dont like anything that smacks of mother/son or father daughter. Just creeps me out.

Barton Fink said...

It also depends on how much money the older person has.

JustJen said...

While I do think it's dependent on each couple, I think there does come a point at which it's just not logical. My ex is 7 years younger than me. I never considered it a problem and because we were both in our 30s, I thought we were past a lot of the issues.

Wrong wrong wrong.

When things started to go bad, he told me that his friends didn't know what to say to me because I was older. He told me that he didn't know if he wanted to be with me because I was getting too old to bear children. Blah blah blah. I was not sensitive about my age, until he finished with me. I never thought anyone else considered it an issue, until he pointed out that people were just being nice.

Yeah...he's an ass.

But no, problems with the age gap don't disappear when you get older. The issues you face individually become issues you have to deal with together and, if your partner isn't ready to deal with issues of aging, well, they can resent having to deal with them prematurely because of their partner.

Then again, I still believe the right person is the right person, no matter what age they are.

Miz said...

Me and my honey are just under 10 years apart, which so far, everyone we know has been surprised at. With similar hobbies and just enough difference in some interests, we fit pretty well. I do enjoy reminding him I was only in primary 3 (8 yrs old) when he was going out for his first legal drink with his college mates (18, obv - we're Scottish!) occasionally ;)

Miz said...

Also, since I can't have kids and he doesn't want them anyway, we focus on being awesome aunt/uncle to our loved ones kids :)

NernersHuman said...

I'm 11 years older than my fella, we started dating when he was 22 and I was 33. We've been together 8 years and have one son together. They are both the bomb.

cinephreak said...

age is nothing but a number, if youre comfortable and everything gels, who TF cares?

Maja. With a J. said...

I'm 37 and my husband is 32. Not really a big deal. But when we got married, I was 27 and he was 22 - that felt like a HUGE age gap.

My internet handle was "Robyn Cradles" at the time! *L*

Maja. With a J. said...
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Maja. With a J. said...

But I totally agree with MISCH.

LetLoveRule said...

Dan Savage has a rule that I agree with; he calls it the "campsite" rule. Essentially, if a much older person dates a significantly younger person, due to the maturity, economic (usually)and life experience discrepancy, the older person is ethically bound to leave the younger "in better shape than you found them." Otherwise, you're taking advantage of someone less savvy, and being a jerk.

I have no problem with people of different age groups dating, but I'd like to see this concept applied more.

My friends who have dated older have either a recollection of a exciting, almost mentorship-type of affair that ultimately left them wiser and happier, or a memory of someone who took advantage of their naivete and caused them no small amount of pain and shame.

rhinovodka said...

I always said ten years either way, until I met my current boyfriend, he is 14 years younger. It's a challenge at times.

shelly said...

In a bunker in Roswell, NM. I had Katie send me some burner phones so I could check CDaN! Lol!

Leviathan's Phone said...

It's not the size of the gap, it's the age/maturity of the younger party.

When you're young and learning to swim, you're afraid of water that's "over your head" -- too deep to stand on the bottom with your head out in the air where you can breathe. Later, when you're able to swim, you don't care how far down the bottom is, how deep the water is, because you're only using the top couple of feet. Anything below that is irrelevant.

If both parties are old and mature enough to handle the relationship, it doesn't matter what age either is, nor how close.

A gorgeous 22-year-old English movie star can have a passionate affair with. 51-year-old unemployed, obese, American geekboy, and it's perfectly fine.

What?

SusanB said...

I think if you're old enough to have given birth to (or fathered) the other person, it's too big a gap. My 1st husband was 11 years older than me and even though we were in our 30's - 40's it was a big difference. Mr. B is 7 years older than me which is pretty good.

bobbi_1025 said...

I have always dated older. When I was 17 I dated a 34 year old stripper/bodybuilder. At 19 I dated a 35 year old guy who tried a little to hard to act my age. There was another guy who was the same age as my mom I think. I dumped every single one of them and a few more that we're older. The longest relationship I had though was with a guy 4 years older than me until my now husband got serious. When we first began dating I was 16 and he was 21 so 5 years. But he was an absolute DOG until he hit about 25 and decided he wanted to grow up and get married. Just celebrated out 10 year wedding anniversary less than a month ago.

g.strathmore said...

I definitely wouldn't want to be in the situation where I'm married to a guy half way to senility when I'm just retiring and looking to enjoy some active golden years. I think it would suck to spend my 60s and 70s as a live-in nurse only to turn around and spend my last years alone.

pilly said...

Who's to say what's "appropriate"
Or
"normal"

What IS normal?

wwax said...

My husband is 16 years younger than me, and even more annoyingly even in his 30's gets carded in bars.

I've always told him I'm going to divorce him when I get to the living in a home stage so I don't feel guilty, but other than that the age thing rarely comes up. Aided by the fact I am very very immature.

Del Riser said...

I'm six and half years older than my husband, been married almost twenty five years, it's worked fine for us.

My father-in-law was widowed and married a lady thirty years his junior, they have now been married twenty five years. She's in her fifties and he's in his eighties, still a great looking couple.

It just depends on the people.

joymama said...

I've been married 21 years and my husband is 17 years older than me.

I met him after college, after living with someone and being on my own.

He did not want to date me but I put the moves on him ;-)

__-__=__ said...

Loved the DM story about the lady who talked about no kids, no sex, cutting his toe nails, finally being the bread winner and worse. Poor thing. It was a horrible tale. And based on that I find it difficult over 10 years either way. And awkward. Beyond it just gets skeevy.

old ;ady said...

I was 23 when I met my husband 43. We were married for 30 years. Different races, religions and likes. I am college educated he was not. I grew up in a family. He had no family. We both learned to like the others hobbies. We laughed a lot. If, I could do it over again I would in a heartbeat. He helped take care of my Mother when she was sick. His Bone Cancer was found while our Daughter was in College. He died at 70, at home and he was loved. I miss him everyday.

We were born in different times, but he was very supportive. He enjoyed the fact that I held a nontraditional job for a woman. He did not work in the winter so he took care of our Daughter long before there were "Househusbands". He taught her how to run all his heavy equipment (front end loaders, dump trucks, cranes, bull doziers, tractors) and to rescue Dogs and Cats.

We both knew when we first met. I think it has a lot to do with both being mature enough to accept each others differences and emotionally support the other.

B said...

I'm about 6 years older than my husband. Met him on his 18th birthday. Some people might think that's weird but we've been together 18 years and married for 15 of that, with 2 kids. I don't necessarily think we were at the right life stages when we met (I do believe that makes a difference) but it has worked for us.

feraltart said...

My husband is 4 years older than me. I don't think age is a factor as much as compatability and fitness levels.

Megerz said...

I would never be able to plan on falling in love with someone near my own age just because I don't want to be an early widow. Life is unpredictable and doesn't work like that. You could marry someone younger than you and they could die first. Shit happens. That being said, I am married to someone 9 years older than me and we are very happy. I was married previously to someone and we shared the same birth year and that turned out awful. Its about compatibility, not age.

Flo said...

It depends on age and maturity levels. A 30 year old with a 50 year old is fine. an 18 year old with a 38 year old is kind of MESSED UP.

Ms Cool said...

What Robert said. My husband is 6 1/2 years older than me and we really don't notice a difference. When I was 22, I was with a guy 10 years older than me and it was a huge difference. In hindsight, I wonder what he saw in me.

Reese said...

There is a 7 year age gap between my SO and me. We are both adults; don't feel that there is any sort of noticeable age gap.

Amartel said...

No rules. Love anarchy.

DewieTheBear said...

I don't think I could ever have sex with a senior, even when I inevitably am one. But, to each their own.

zeldafitzgerald said...

Five years. he was 30, i was 35 when we met.

It's funny because i said to this other guy who had chased me for years, i'm sorry, you're too young for me (that was 7 years) but when i met my husband, none of that mattered.

when it's right, it's right.

my cousin was 30 when he started seeing someone who was 17. we all thought that was truly revolting but they are still together 13 years later and have just had a baby. so you know.

goes in circles said...

My SO is 8 years younger. I think that's fine, except for us I am really really see the difference in maturity after 5 years together. He's still in his 20's. And he never gets my references; some of my favorite movies came out the year he was born and he's never seen ET or the expression, "Where's the beef?"

I once dated a college professor 29 years my senior when I was 19. Too much. Then it didn't seem like it, then he was dreeeaaaammmy but now when I see him...yikes! He's older than my dad!

fancyscreenname said...

Preferably, a couple should b able to discuss things that happen from their generation. 10 years difference is the max, IMO. I would. Go no younger than 5 years and no older than 10.

babo said...
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goes in circles said...

*Except for I am really starting to see

emily_h said...

For me it seems icky when one person is old enough to be the parent of the other. Or in the case of Modern Family, where the new wife is younger than their own child *shudders*

babo said...

Mr babo is almost 25 years older than me. He is in top shape and will stay this way (sports addict). His job keeps him in touch with what s going on. He travels all over the world. He cooks like a pro, makes me laugh, knows how to talk to women and what matters in life. He even liked my dog.

I could not give up on this charming prince of a man to go get divorced with a guy in my age bracket in 5/10 years. No way.

Marie said...

I don't do younger and I won't go more than 1/2 my age older, ie. at 30 the upper limit would be 45.

Having said that, the guy I married is only 2 years older than me :)

Michelle said...

The only people who need to concern themselves whether or not their age difference is okay are the people who are in the relationship. Any outsiders who are concerning themselves with it need to find a hobby.

Jewels said...

My personal preference is that if one or the other could drive before the other was born, nu-uh!
My mom's current husband is four years my junior, and though I want to be happy for her, I just don't see it... Especially now that she's 60 and he's 36... I can see a huge difference in their lifestyles, she can't keep up, especially physically.

Michelle said...
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Tru Leigh said...

My parents were 5 years apart and they were miserable.

I think more than 7 years and you are asking for trouble.

Jennmcn said...

My mother was 20 years younger than my step-father. He died last year at 86. The last years of their marriage were not happy. He was ill with diabetes and had a triple bypass at 72. My mother moved him from Northern Cali to Arizona because that's where she wanted to retire to and golfed 4 times a week at least. They slept in separate bedrooms for years and I think he was very lonely. They had been together since I was 4 and married when I was 21. When he was younger, they traveled and did all sorts of things. When he could no longer keep up, my mother went with her friends without him. She also worked for 20 years after he retired and had more money.

My husband is only a year older than I am, which surprises a lot of people because they thought I would follow in my mother's footsteps. No freaking way. Sure I dated older men but marrying one is not for me. I love that my husband and I have the same frame of reference and get each other's jokes.

It's a personal choice.

Kerrimoo said...

Hello. I’ve lurked for ages (CDAN is part of my early morning ritual), this is my first post – I live in Johannesburg, SA. Anyway, I am 19 years older than my husband – sounds extreme, right? Maybe a bit creepy? I’d certainly think so if it were anyone else. We’ve been together for almost 10 years, married for 2.5, and when we met I had an 8 year old cerebral palsy quadriplegic daughter and a very awkward, autistic son of 12. My husband is absolutely amazing, he has been a great dad to my kids (my little girl passed away 4 years ago, my son lives with us, he’s 21 now), and we have the best marriage I know – loving, trusting, we’re a team. If people wonder what we talk about – we talk non-stop, we’re both reasonably well-informed, there’s plenty to talk about! Most of my friends are in their 30’s, so it’s not like I’m an old fogey – hell, I was still hitting raves a few years back - and he’s more mature than me in many respects.

I do worry that in time he’ll find me less attractive, but after 10 years he still tells me I’m beautiful every single day (and I know I’m not!). Oh, and he has a great job and supports me and my son financially, so no sugar-mummy syndrome here. So there’s my five cents’ worth ... it can work.

Henriette said...

All my men were a lot older than me, but my hubs is six years older. I think 25 maybe the max, but it really depends on the couple.

cmfactormom said...

I'm 27 years younger than my husband and we've been happily married for 15 years with a wonderful 14 year old son. That said - I don't think such age gaps are for everyone. Its not always looks that draw you to a person - it's their personality and how they treat you. Luckily, my husband is amazingly smart and funny & kind and still has the body and face of someone in his early 50's (he's 68) and since I'm now 41, no-one even looks twice. So it works for us.

LeGrange said...

My 83 yrs old grandpa is datting a 71 yrs old lady. Its more than ok