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Girls dating older men

nba7girlnba7girl Registered User Posts: 35 New Member
edited May 2007 in Parent Cafe
I also posted this in College Life but I wanted advice from parents:

How big can the age difference be for a relationship to work? Why?
Post edited by nba7girl on

Replies to: Girls dating older men

  • WashDadWashDad Registered User Posts: 2,695 Senior Member
    If both parties can legally vote and neither (or both) is on Medicare, they should be fine.
  • corrangedcorranged Registered User Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    Oh boy.

    1. It's not just about the age difference, but also about the respective ages and stages in life. Two people 15 years apart can have a very healthy relationship once they are both stable, presumably working adults. Two people who are 15 years apart but one is a junior in high school, say 17, and one is a practicing doctor who has completed medical school and residency, say 32, cannot have a healthy relationship.

    2. There is sometimes a difference between a relationship "working" and a relationship being healthy, happy, and respectful. It would be easy for the younger partner to grow attached to and feel inferior to the older one, depending on personality, of course.

    3. It is always difficult for a relationship to be successful when two people are in different places in their lives. It can work, but it is harder.

    4. A relationship with a large age gap is more likely, I would think, to have a degree of unhealthy emotional attitudes toward the other partner, on both ends. People naturally think of people much younger or older than themselves in different ways, and these feelings don't translate well or easily into a balanced relationship. You must look at each person's motives for wanting to be in a relationship with a large age gap versus a relationship with anyone in the same age group.

    5. The rule of thumb thrown around is to divide the older person's age by two and then add seven. So, if the older person is 16, the younger person should be at least 15. If the older person is 20, the younger should be 17. If the older is 30, the younger should be 22. If the older is 60, the younger can be 37. It's not a bad guide, really.
  • BedHeadBedHead Registered User Posts: 2,730 Senior Member
    I think Corranged pretty much nailed it.

    I think for the younger women, it is really important to understand where you are and what you want. I had a couple of really fun, short relationships with women significantly younger (but always independent and not exploitable or exploited, I like to think) than me who knew we were a short-term thing. One, a woman I worked with, summed us up pretty well when she said, "I have a really fun time, but I think neither one of us would take the other one seriously in a relationship." And that was true; she was someone I would begin to think needed my tutoring (about life) and I wouldn't have been hip enough for her. But she knew this from the beginning -- and so did I. Actually what we had was more physical.

    I exceeded the bounds of the numeric guidelines she said, but never with a woman who wasn't mature (and for that matter of legal adult age) and I don't think they are hard and fast though they are quite effective as a basic rule.

    Older guys are often more sure of themselves and more matched in some ways with younger women than younger guys. Older guys who are more established have more means and sophistication to show women a good time in a variety of ways -- a wide variety of ways -- and that can work well.

    For someone seriously older, I think it's better if it's not that serious. Or on the other hand, if it's so completely the love of one's life that it could withstand when he's nearing 60 and she's closer to her prime or even in it. But anything short of the serious love is ultimately tough when the age difference is great.

    There are other cultures where the big age difference works better, but US culture is not one of them.
  • corrangedcorranged Registered User Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    There are other cultures where the big age difference works better, but US culture is not one of them.
    Good point. I completely neglected this. I don't think that all of this is necessary inherent but also socially constructed and based (note that it doesn't mean it's any less valid). In different cultures including historical societies, the issue would be much different.
  • 'tisthetruth'tisthetruth . Posts: 865 Member
    Oops wait, I forgot to state how the above statement is relevant. Irrespective of age, if your relationship with your partner survives past the attachment phase, it is working.
  • 'tisthetruth'tisthetruth . Posts: 865 Member
    The original poster should clarify what she means by a relationship that works. What criteria should it pass?
  • atomomatomom Registered User Posts: 4,374 Senior Member
    Female fertility works until age 45-50. Male fertility can work 40-50 years longer than that. ;)
  • doubleplaydoubleplay Registered User Posts: 3,550 Senior Member
    ^^^I guess the operative word is fertility. Just because the well is full doesn't mean the tap still works.
  • StickerShockStickerShock Registered User Posts: 3,781 Senior Member
    So I guess the old dating rule of "18 to 80, blind, crippled, or crazy" is too broad?
  • BedHeadBedHead Registered User Posts: 2,730 Senior Member
    So I guess the old dating rule of "18 to 80, blind, crippled, or crazy" is too broad?

    It seems a little too restrictive to me.
  • zoosermomzoosermom Registered User Posts: 25,987 Senior Member
    I was thinking about this very issue last night at ZG's graduation mass. There's a high school freshman (sister of one of ZG's best friends) who started high school last September at 13 3/4 and immediately started dating a boy who was almost as chose to 18 as she was to 14. Personally, I found that an uncomfortable difference. The girl was very young for her age, the boy was driving, had a job, the whole thing. Obviously, it wasn't my kid so who am I to comment (but I will anyway!), but I wouldn't have let Zoosersister date a senior at that point.
  • Opie ofMaybery2Opie ofMaybery2 - Posts: 1,815 Member
    How much money does the older one have?

    That usually determines if the relationship is "appropriate or not". Ask Micheal Douglas..;) Or Anna Nicole (wait you can't anymore)
  • sjmom2329sjmom2329 Registered User Posts: 2,930 Member
    I think the age difference should still allow you to be of the same basic generation. It's nice to be able to share memories about music you both like, popular movies, political events etc. If one party wasn't yet born during the other's teenage years, that's a hard difference to overcome. So, I'd vote for something within 10 years or so. My husband is three years older than me, which has really been insignificant over the years.
  • nba7girlnba7girl Registered User Posts: 35 New Member
    Washdad- too funny, too true!
    Corranged- very insightful points. all of which make sense
    Bedhead- I think you're right about the short-term aspect
    zoosermom- I agree, that's too weird because the girl is so young
    Opie ofMeybery2- money does affect many relationships(Anna Nicole) but in this case I wasn't taking that into consideration

    'tisthetruth- I should have phrased my question better. By working I mean that the relationship is healthy for both parties and that it has a chance of lasting for a decent amount of time(chance being the operative word)--which, as Bedhead pointed out, I don't think it does.
  • BedHeadBedHead Registered User Posts: 2,730 Senior Member
    )--which, as Bedhead pointed out, I don't think it does.

    nba7girl: some details like how old is the woman in question and what is the age difference in this case could help. One big problem I see in the age difference is that if a woman is in college or early in her career and the guy's more established, there's a risk she'll give up too much to be with him when, for instance, she might have prioritized grad school. And if she doesn't give these things up, she'll probably be pretty busy and even potentially moving around the country, and she might want this flexibility. And I am not even talking about how personal growth could alter the bond, a tendency which is tough in any case.

    This is all pretty abstract, though.
This discussion has been closed.