Debate and Discussion

Age disparity in couples...
Lonnehart at 2:28AM, May 20, 2008
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I've always wondered about this. When I'm asked how young a woman I would date I would always answer “around 10 years younger than me”. Now there are couples who are more than a decade apart in age. Y'know, like a certain Titanic canadian songstress and her manager/husband (haven't kept up with them for a while, so I don't know if they're still together).

Now I hear of a forumla that determines how young/old your dating prospect can be without looking like a cradlerobber… Your age divided in half, then adding 9 to the result. I have no idea where that formula came from, but according to it I can date a 27 year old woman without drawing looks from the crowd. And of course the law does apply; no one over the “age of consent” should be fooling around with someone who's younger than that, no matter what the formula says…

What are your opinions on all this?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:38PM
ozoneocean at 2:44AM, May 20, 2008
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Naw, it's silly. Age gap couples were a lot more common in the old days. It was probably ONLY with the baby boomer generation that you started to get most people being the same or similar ages in couples. Probably one of the few times that's happened in history. The fact that it's changing again now to be more of a mixture is probably just things getting back to normal. :)

I know that's a different way of looking at it, but current attitudes don't jibe at all with anything about the ways of life I've read about in the early 20thC and all time before that.

…Not that I'd ever want to get all Harold and Maude… >.<
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:31PM
D0m at 6:20AM, May 20, 2008
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Nice explaining, Ozone. My girlfriend's 17 and I'm 20. I met her when she was 15- I was 18, so that was a bit wild. I don't know, I think the age thing is a big social construct, though. I think it's weird when 70 year olds go out with 20 year olds, though.

To each his own, and I'm not here to judge. I think I wouldn't date 10-15 years over my age, or younger. :)

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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
magickmaker at 9:01AM, May 20, 2008
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Let's see. I'm eighteen, half of which is nine, add nine years and I can safely date an eighteen year old.

I think at this point in my life, I can't safely date anyone three years younger than me or twelve years older.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:50PM
kyupol at 9:04AM, May 20, 2008
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I prefer anyone within a 5 year age gap. Older or younger.

But there's always the occasion when I had fantasies with women in their 30s (I'm 24)
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:26PM
Pixie at 9:18AM, May 20, 2008
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Lonnehart
Now I hear of a forumla that determines how young/old your dating prospect can be without looking like a cradlerobber… Your age divided in half, then adding 9 to the result. I have no idea where that formula came from, but according to it I can date a 27 year old woman without drawing looks from the crowd. And of course the law does apply; no one over the “age of consent” should be fooling around with someone who's younger than that, no matter what the formula says…

I've heard it's half your age plus seven! Though I tend to think that's a rather silly way of judging things, it does work out well for young people since the bracket gets progressively bigger as you age. For teens, it's quite a small bracket, which I consider appropriate as kids do so much growing and changing at that age, mentally, physically and socially.

My husband's eight years older than me, and sometimes, when we think about it, it's a bit weird! (I remind him that I'm the same age as his baby sister! Haha!) Most of the time, though, we don't think about it at all. I'm 25, so an eight year gap at my age means very little, and honestly… we just clicked so well that it hardly seems to matter. I don't look at him and think “OMG YOU'RE EIGHT YEARS OLDER!!!”. We're both at similar stages in our lives, and want similar things…

Which, actually, I think is the only problem with big age gaps. Sometimes one half of the couple wants one thing (perhaps marriage, kids, mortgages) and the other half wants quite another (clubbing, drinking, parties!)… and this can cause problems. However, that's more to do with the attitude and maturity of the two members of the couple, and less to do with age. Of course, a nineteen year old dating a thirty year old is more likely to have these life goal clashes than a thirty year old dating a thirty year old, but we're all different, and what matters most is that you're compatible!

Incidentally, my grandparents had an eight year age gap, too. They were married for over sixty years, had four kids, and were very happy together for all of that time. Early last year, they both passed away… within a week of each other, my grandma aged 82, and my grandad aged 90. I remember visiting my grandma in the hospital, and when my father told her that her husband had died in the night (he had a stroke)… and honestly, she mainly seemed relieved. Now she could die without worrying she was leaving him behind.

…sorry, rather soppy story. But I think it illustrates that age gaps really can work. :)
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:45PM
usedbooks at 9:25AM, May 20, 2008
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As long as a couple have get along and have something in common, it really doesn't matter, imo. People closer in age tend to be more compatible because they usually have more things in common. The older you get, the less difference a gap makes. I had an aunt (a widow at the time) who, at age 80, married a 50 year old man, and they were quite happy together for over 20 years. (The same age gap would be just plain creepy if it was a 40-something with a teenager.)

It's silly to make up any number tricks or rules when it comes to love and dating. There are always too many exceptions to make up rules, on both sides of the argument. Being close in age won't guarantee a better relationship. I have had many friends with turbulent relationships with men their own age because there was an ENORMOUS “maturity gap.”

For me personally, I'm 25. Boys in their late teens and really early twenties just seem juvenile to me. I can't fathom being attracted to them – unless I ever encounter one that is particularly mature. As for older, I never thought much about it. As long as he seems like a peer to me (similar life experience and maturity level – doesn't remind me of my parent's generation…), I don't see any problem.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:37PM
carly_mizzou at 9:53AM, May 20, 2008
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Ha ha ha this is funny. There is a major gap between myself and my boyfriend. He's 41 and I'm 28 so it's about 13 years difference. The only major thing I encounter is I get to make tons of old man jokes, like when he graduated college I was graduating from the 6th grade ! :P
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
AQua_ng at 10:08AM, May 20, 2008
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If I did it the way that Lonnehart mentioned, I'd be either going out with a first grader or someone older than me :/

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last edited on July 14, 2011 10:59AM
crazyninny at 1:35PM, May 20, 2008
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I think its just fine, AS LONG AS ITS LEGAL. If its illegal, then, happy trials in jail you sicko.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:49AM
bravo1102 at 2:29PM, May 20, 2008
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Under the modern sociological microscope most people (with noted exceptions) have followed the half age + seven to nine throughout human history. Until the 20th Century women had to marry early to get the maximum amount of kids, yet statistics show that people often didn't marry until their mid-20s with the man often being 7-10 years older, but not always. Women and men would remarry after the death of their spouse often into their 40s. Usually the remarriages would be disparate in ages but still within the half-age + nine to seven years. The infamous 40ish guy with the 15 year old was a notable event and was extremely uncommon. In fact it was most common for the 15 year old to married to a 13-20 year old.

I'm 43 and usually pass for about 35, so is the half age + seven apparent age or chronological age? :)

Then there's your social circle. My beautiful wife is four years older. We mostly hang out with people in their 40s, in ten years hypothetically I'd be dating someone the age of my friends' kids?

I'll go teach college, divorce my wife and date my students. lol!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
ozoneocean at 5:57PM, May 20, 2008
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I know a lot about History, especially British history (but also in places like India etc), There were a hell of a lot of marriages with a larger gap than the one you're talking about and no significant note about it. Where it's noted is when it's at the extremes. ;)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:31PM
Aussie_kid at 7:53PM, May 21, 2008
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I feel weird when talking to a girl outside a two year ratio starts talkin to me and I think about maybe dating her. I might grow out of it, but at least I'll know I won't be robbing any cradles any time soon
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:11AM
DAJB at 11:52PM, May 21, 2008
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Two words: Heather McCartney.
Be warned you older guys - younger women are only after your money!

More seriously, yeah - usedbooks got it about right. To Hell with what others think. If the age gap between you and your partner isn't a problem for you and him/her, that's all that matters. Go for it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
fazz33 at 8:41AM, May 22, 2008
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heh this is one of those things where its how you feel vs the society in some cases. Where I grew up the community around me usually frowned upon age differences of plus minus 3 give or take (given the senerio) lol. Thats a tiny gap. I remember in highschool if a grade 12 dated a grade 9, that was instantly considered wrong (but grade 12 with 10, OK!) but that was generally because its assumed that all boys that age are only after 1 thing. But even now I'm going to be 20 this year and if I asked one of my friends if dating a 17 year old is wrong they'd say yes… But anyways I think the gap will increase as I age because for now it seems that if you associate age gaps in highschool or early university than it gets instantly associated with the guy (usually) looking for sex and thats why the gap is small.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
mattchee at 9:16AM, May 22, 2008
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I think as you get older the age relevance becomes less important. My fiance is 6 years older than me, but at 29 and 35, its no biggie…. but now if she was 20 and I was 14… thats a whole other matter! So there's that.

I also think a lot of it has to do with where you are in life, and your current goals. An older person interested in settling down, might find that suddenly one day his like minded younger girlfriend suddenly wants to party all the time… stuff like that… But this is true for similarly aged couples as well. What you want to be doing at 18 vs 23 vs 30 can be three different things and it can go many different ways, and its easy for couples to grow apart because of that.

I've even seen this with just my friends. When I hit about 25-26 I had gotten serious with my fiance, raising her children with her, and noticed that the lifestyle I'd been living up to that point (which included drinking… a lot) was getting phased out as it was effecting my day to day life which was becoming more important. My friends on the other hand (most a good 2 or 3 years younger), were like “Dude! What's wrong with you? Party!” Interestingly enough… 2 or 3 years later, a lot of them are in the same place as me… while others are very upset at losing party mates to domestication… People change, and I think that's a big factor in the outcome of interpersonal relationships, romantic, platonic, or otherwise…
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:55PM
Katch at 2:42PM, May 22, 2008
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My first crush was on my karate instructor, i was fifteen, he was twelve years older than me~ of course back then i thought it was hopeless so i kind of just let it go~
I prolly shoulda told him right? XD Bah, but when you're a kid like that it's really hard to bridge that age gap. I agree totally with age getting less and less significant as you get older~ my age difference now only goes up to like five years, tops. I wouldn't usually care but my parents sure do O.o yikes…
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:14PM
worstcase at 3:51PM, May 22, 2008
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I really don't have a problem with it unless the Guy/girl is 50 years older than their partner.

That really freaks me out, It just feels odd to me. Whatever, People can do what they want.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:51PM
amanda at 3:54PM, May 22, 2008
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My family seems to have larger age gaps…11 years, 13 years. My sister just turned 50 this year, and her husband turned 31! I guess it doesn't seem odd to me to date/marry someone much older or younger as long as you aren't tampering with children ^.^ But I wholeheartedly agree with UsedBooks (we're the same age, yay) - younger men just seem so…irritatingly immature. Of course, there will always be exceptions to every rule, so don't take it personally, lads.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:51AM
dueeast at 10:24AM, May 23, 2008
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I'm 5 years older than my wife. We have the same birthday, which has always been cool (and our kids, who are 3 years apart, have birthdays within 2 days of each other, which is pretty wild!). There's never been a big deal about it. There was actually much more of a fuss at us being interracial.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:18PM
Croi Dhubh at 11:29AM, May 23, 2008
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My last girlfriend was 22, I'm 27. Even at this stage in life, it's a bit of a big difference. I've known her forever, as she's my best friend's sister, but more often than I'd like, I wold be reminded how young she was.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:54AM
bravo1102 at 10:05AM, May 25, 2008
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ozoneocean
I know a lot about History, especially British history (but also in places like India etc), There were a hell of a lot of marriages with a larger gap than the one you're talking about and no significant note about it. Where it's noted is when it's at the extremes. ;)

I' also familar with French, Russian, Italian, and Slavic history. I also teach it. Recent research has overturned the common conceptions with detailed studies of marriage records especially in Pre-modern Britain and France. Unless you've been reading specialized journals it might have passed you by. This is also for the typical person across most of the world not nobility or royalty.

Asian upper classes are exceptional. The average Asian usually followed the half age +5-10. So the average guy in his 40s would marry someone 20-35, not a 12-15 year old. He'd even try to marry a widow who was proven to be fecund.

I just finished a survey of noble and royal marriages in Europe's 17th Century and unless it was a marriage between a someone who lost their spouse to ensure a heir it was uncommon. Even remarriages when a person was in their 20s-30s followed the half age +5-10. Surprisingly remarriages when both were in their 40s was not uncommon among people who survived to that age. This is for Europe.

For common folk it's another myth. Just like knights in full plate not being able to get up after being unhorsed. :)

My favorite is the poor prince who was forced to consumate his marriage at 13. (married a 15 year old, what marrying an older woman?) :)


last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
HippieVan at 8:01PM, May 25, 2008
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It depends who you are.

For instance, I would not normally think a 65 year old man is attractive. But I would marry Paul McCartney if he asked me, and NOT just for his money.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:48PM
DAJB at 12:13AM, May 26, 2008
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I would not normally think a 65 year old man is attractive. But I would marry Paul McCartney if he asked me, and NOT just for his money.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
Katch at 5:45PM, May 26, 2008
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Lol, we're not getting into the fangirl/boying are we? haha~ that is a WHOLE other ball game, no joke. Scary territory XD

So i was talking to random anonymous friend number one the other day, and she was telling me that she slept with random anonymous awesome dude number two…
and i was like O_o…but you're 23 and he's 37…with a KID~!!

do not want…well…ok NO, do not want XD
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:14PM
Lonnehart at 6:15PM, May 26, 2008
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How many 37 (or older guys for that matter) does anyone know of who DOESN'T have extra kids running around?
….



Well, besides myself?



I remember reading about how older men marry very young women so they'll have a legacy leave behind. Back then life was short… the average guy would expect to last ‘til 40 or so at the latest (disease, wars, etc…). And from Biology class I remember that men usually sacrifice themselves if they have to while their pregnant mate gets away, thus ensuring their bloodline’s survival.

I better lay off the black coffee for today. %)
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:38PM
Katch at 9:50PM, May 26, 2008
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lol…EXTRA KIDS…XDD BAHAHAHA~
that makes them sound like baggage, hehe~

well yes, in older times that WAS a common thing, old men, young women, we get it~
but now? ehhhh…lol
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:14PM
Lonnehart at 10:10PM, May 26, 2008
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Katch
lol…EXTRA KIDS…XDD BAHAHAHA~
that makes them sound like baggage, hehe~

I find it funny as well. Then again I didn't do what my fellow male students did; they had this game to see how many girls they could “score” with before graduating. Most of them are now paying child support if they didn't marry to take responsibility. And I know of a few who are “deadbeats”; they fled to the mainland U.S.

If Ozone is right about what he says (the way I interpret it anyway) the trend seems to be going back the old guy/young lady relationship. I guess it is true that some guy's maturity levels are equal to the maturity level of a girl several years younger than him…

Now to go pour some dry ice over my overheated braenz….
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:38PM
Ailorn at 8:26PM, Oct. 25, 2008
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My husband is 22 and im 25. The age difference never really comes up. People often think im younger than him, so it works out. Personally i dont find 36 year old guys attractive. And lets be honest, there are some people who are too immature for a healthy relationship no matter how old they are.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:47AM
PIT_FACE at 8:36PM, Oct. 25, 2008
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i know that figure is totally bunk, but it was right for me! i'm 23 and my boyfriend is 20.eh. not bad…
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:44PM

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