According to this rule, society should accept a 50 year old man dating a 32 year old woman. A quick poll of my friends says otherwise. This made me wonder, does the creepiness rule actually reflect what is socially acceptable when it comes to age differences in dating? In other words, does the creepiness rule actually reflect what society finds…creepy? The internet is divided on the topic. The researchers approached random people in public and asked them to imagine themselves in a romantic relationship with an attractive person of the opposite sex.
So I decided to find the answers myself. I tackled this paradigm-shifting research the only way I knew how: I created a survey. Although I could have hit the streets of New York and surveyed people in-person Buunk style, I decided to mTurk my survey. I try to avoid as much social interaction in my daily life as possible. This can vary from transcribing a movie, to identifying an item on a receipt, to taking a survey about hypothetical romantic relationships. Within a few days I got responses: As John and Lauren got older, however, the creepiness rule differed from how people actually responded.
Yet according to the survey, 37 was well outside the age range of what is socially acceptable. The results also showed that the creepiness rule is too restrictive about how old you can date when you are young, but becomes too lenient as you get older. Yet, people surveyed were fine with John and Lauren seeing someone in their early 30's.
When John and Lauren are 60, the creepiness rule allows them to date anyone older than themselves the official cap is However, society places more restrictive age limits of 71 and 75 respectively. Overall, the creepiness rule does not accurately represent what people find socially acceptable; people are more judgmental than what the creepiness rule implies.
If the creepiness rule is wrong, then I needed a new rule to guide my non-existent love life. I was 18 when I started dating my now-husband, who was It's now 13 years later and we are still perfectly happy together. I'd be more worried in her case about the potential getting-kicked-out-of-home thing.
But since she's working, she could presumably afford to rent a place, yes? Maybe she'd have to share with people, but that's kind of normal for someone her age. I haven't read the other answers, but I have thought about age differences in dating a lot. Mostly because I am 21 and have dated people much older than me before - pretty much the same spread as between your sister and her guy. The issues that I stumbled into were: Be prepared to have that conversation earlier.
Things that your older boyfriend remembers from childhood are different than yours. This can be a big deal or not. Either make a joke of it or don't acknowledge it, but it is still going to come up a bunch and both parties have to be okay with it to deal with that. Who's career will take precedence in regards to things like moving - it might end up being th person more established in their which would tend to be the older partner. This is particularly relevant if they work in the same place!
It is important to integrate, at least to some degree, your friends and your partner. Do they get along despite an age difference? This is a good indicator as to whether they are the kind of person your sister might otherwise date, just older. Basically, get ready to have a lot of conversations sooner than you might have had you not dated up a decade. It can go great, and in twenty years be of no notice to them anymore as their kid graduates high school. Or she might get burned, like any other relationship. There are just different questions to ask and risks to be taken.
I know a couple of Mormon marriages with this age spread. After all, the Young Single Adult program is for ages 18 to 30, and late-blooming RMs dating freshmen at BYU can easily have a five or six year age gap for that matter, some grad students date freshmen and sophomores at BYU, simply because so many girls get married young there, and the pool of year-old single women is quite small. Your parents will be more mad about the sex and the lying than the age thing, I bet. Incidentally, it's probably a lot healthier for her to not be living with your parents if she's choosing to live her life this way.
As for the bottom-line question: I'd be concerned if this was her first at-all relationship; that it's her first serious relationship and he's so much older is a bit of a warning sign. It might be a little too much rebellion and danger and not enough "this is really right for who I am," but that's the sort of thing that people have to sort out for themselves. It doesn't sound like you're worried about her safety, so.
Long before I ever met my wife, she was involved in a similar relationship, age-wise. She was about 20 and living with her boyfriend who was about Eventually they broke up, obviously, but she turned out ok. She's now happily married to me, we have a nice house, she's pregnant with our first child.
We went sailing in Greece last year. Are any of these things relevant? I don't know, how are you going to judge damage done by this age difference? What's my opinion of the guy? I don't know, I never met him. I'd have to guess he's not the most mature person for his age or wasn't 10 years ago, anyway.
What did her family think? I don't know, does it matter now? Would that have changed anything? I also lived with a girlfriend when I was about the same age as she was. My girlfriend at the time was 6 months younger than me, which would apparently be a lot less alarming. Like you, I had a lot of growing up left to do so did my girlfriend. My own inexperience in life had very little relationship to my girlfriends age.
If she was older, I would have had the same amount of growing up to do. If she was younger, same thing. If I need to grow up, it's a personal thing that affects me, not my sexual partners. Yeah, it's less than 10, but I can't really come up with a way it's significant. What are the bad things you think are going to happen here? I'd like to state that I am NOT trying to control her in any way. I was just worried about the age difference.
I am pretty sure if this guy were 40 a lot more people would have felt the same apprehension. The trouble is I didn't really know what was reasonable here, hence the question. I was honest about this with her and she was not offended by this concern. Because we were raised in a posoinous culture, I was trying to figure out what the common wisdom is about such age disparities. In our church culture, I often saw much older men marry much younger women in a way that seemed creepy and exploitative, in fact the prophet joseph himself was quite fond of younger women.
We don't want to emulate that. Thank you all for your responses, which have helped me learn more about what is considered healthy and normal by average folks. My little sister herself gave me her full blessing to post this because she too was curious how concerned she should herself should be. Thanks for the input, and I can say that my mind is much more at ease now!
Well, I dated a 29 year old when I was twenty and the relationship lasted a couple of years. It didn't work out well, but I'm not sure the age difference was really our biggest problem. I do think at 20 I didn't really have the maturity and independence to handle an "adult" relationship.
I let the relationship go on far longer than it should have because I was afraid of being alone. It's not necessarily a bad idea, but here are some things to think about 1. You may be in love, etc. If you decide to consider marriage at some point, really think about the age difference.
My friend's parents were married when her mother was 22 and her father was They are now 64 and It's likely that he will die a decade or more before she does. Maybe that period of being alone and elderly is worth it, maybe it's not, but it's definitely something to think about before you get married. Also, her mom retired early in part to accommodate her Dad and she's spent the last decade or so being pretty bored.
Therein lies your answer. My first instinct was to think "The age difference, not such a problem. The fact that they're working together is a red flag though. This -- 20 dating 30 -- is healthy and normal. I am not totally sure that "I'm in my late late 20's and I simply cannot imagine dating a 20 year old under ANY circumstances" is Late 20s and 20 may feel far apart but that will seem silly when at 30 and late 30s.
But that's not the question. So, yeah, your sister's fine. I don't think "I am pretty sure if this guy were 40 a lot more people would have felt the same apprehension" is true. I don't think the average grown-up takes a lot of interest in the age of another grown-up's partner, and these things are just not outrageous, wrong, or otherwise bothersome or unsettling for most people. Depends on the guy. I dated a guy 8 years older than me at that age, and he was great.
On the other hand, after dating me he swore he'd never date younger again. Once I hit his age, I was all, "Why the fuck did he date a year-old? As long as he follows Dan Savage's campsite rule and all that. I don't think this has to be a big deal, assuming the following: Every couple is different though, and it depends more on the individuals' maturity levels than anything else.
I was 28 when I started dating my then 58 year old boyfriend three years ago. We've been married since last November. It's amazing, and none of anyone's business. For what it's worth, when I started dating Mr. Ipsum I was 23 and he was My parents were concerned about the age difference, but they didn't really have a say in the matter, and he eventually won them over anyway.
He admits now that he himself was a bit concerned about the age difference. But he soon found out that I was, in his words "not some silly little girl" as in, I didn't act immature and that we had a lot in common. In fact, during our first year together, he once made the comment that I was "23 going on 40" so I think these things are more of an issue of compatibility than chronological age. To expand jenfullmon's appeal to Savage's campsite rule about age-gap relationships: There's nothing abnormal about wanting to date someone who in your exact age cohort.
My sister-in-law is 9 years older than The Brother, and his ex-wife and ex-long-time-girlfriend were similarly older. Dating with an age gap works great for some people, not so great for other people. I think there can be issues when people are dating people because of a big age gap. Especially when the younger party is looking to work out issues with a parent, or when the older party wants to use their age and experience to bully or control younger partners.
But those red flags turn up in the relationship dynamics, not in the simple difference in age. Speaking from personal experience - just don't go there. They will always be in two different places in their lives, no matter how mature one or the other might be. I also do not think the age thing is a big deal in and of itself. However it sounds from your post like you haven't actually met this fellow.
The best way to ease your mind would be to spend time with them both and see how they interact. There can be subtle signs that a less experienced person may not pick up on when assessing someone-- or a person that's all hopped up on lovey feelings wouldn't notice. I mean you don't have to be formal about it, just a getting to know the new guy get together. I think this is totally sibling territory, I mean it may not be your business, but you can still butt in a little, with a lot of care. I don't think the age difference itself is a problem. However, a year-old who was a virgin living with her parents and going to school is in a hugely different place than most year-olds.
Keeping it secret from parents and employers may make it seem more mysterious and appealing than it would be if they were able to have a "normal" relationship. This is said with some experience - I was 18 and living on my own; he was 31, divorced with two kids.
I think at the time we may have been equals in maturity but then I grew up. However, everyone is different. I don't see any huge red flags but think there's maybe an orange one for caution.
A thought for your sister. I tend to date older people, so far up to the 10 year age gap your sister is experiencing when I was 18, he was 24; now I am 24 and she is When it doesn't matter is when you and your partner don't talk or worry about it. If it comes up between the two of you, it's going to be a problem--if it's coming up, one party is having a problem respecting another because of age, or is uncomfortable because of it, or whatever.
Age was a much bigger issue in my 6-year-gap relationship than it is in my current year-gap relationship. Who knows whether these things will work out years is a lot in terms of life stage, when to settle down, etc. But your sister sounds prepared for that. I'd just add that if he thinks it's a big deal, or she thinks it's a big deal, thats probably an orange flag.
Not a red flag Being a big sister, I'm concerned with all of my little sister's relationships so I'd say there's cause for a little concern, but in the end it's her choice. I dated a guy fourteen years older than myself, and when anyone - sister, friend, parent - told me he was too old for me I'd just push back against it and their ultimately well-founded concerns went in one ear and out the other.
Undressed: What’s the Deal With the Age Gap in Relationships?
If she's handling it well, great! If she isn't or if he turns out to do something really wrong then just listen to her and keep doing what you're doing - listen to her and give the best advice you can.
I'll second what equivocator said - if one or both of them are already concerned about the age gap, they should both probably try to slow down a bit and deal with it before going any further. Twenty is a little young to be taking on a serious relationship with someone that has, in all likelihood, already gone through the highs and lows of sexual relationships, but age itself isn't a big concern at all when compared to other issues that you'll get by having a serious relationship with someone else regardless of any age difference; personality clashes, irreconcilable differences of opinion and so on.
Almost all my relationships have had this kind of age gap or bigger and I'm fine. There is one downside I can think of that's worth being aware of: If you're a woman dating a much older guy, you can easily end up in a very slightly parent-child-like dynamic, where he makes more decisions after all, he has much more life experience! If you were a young person dating someone of the same age, it would be much easier to just both go out discovering the world together and working out how to get along.
I think anyone young in a relationship with an age difference like this needs to be particularly careful to stand up for themselves, to be an equal partner in decision-making, and to make sure to spend plenty of time around other adults so that they get a balanced view of how different people handle life. Opinions from a content single: I used to be quite concerned over the age difference, however my views have changed. I'd think more about compatibility, life goals, ability to communicate as more important aspects of any relationship. The thing with 20 - 30 is not so much the age gap as the experience gap.
It's much, much bigger than later twenty-year gaps. For example, a year old with a year old is not going to seem such a big deal. It can work, though. My mother married when she was 19 and my dad was That one lasted 55 years, until his death in Not saying they were a super match they weren't , but they made it. Unless the guy is a choad, it'll probably be fine. Something to think about: Nietzsche commented that both men and women would benefit from having romantic relationships with much older members of the opposite sex, at least once in their youth.
A lot happens in 10 years. She hasn't seen the world, he probably has. My biggest concern would be that he won't want to do what she wants to do since he has done it already. I personally don't know how a 30 year old would want to date a 20 year old. My youngest sister was married in August Her husband is 14 years older than she is. My younger sister was married in August Her husband is 7 years older than she is. The relationships are healthy. And there is no strange life experience power-balance of any kind.
The mark of a good relationship is how well does he treat her? How well does she treat him? And are they both happy? I won't say age is irrelevant, but as I told my mom when she first had doubts about my younger sister dating a man 7 years older than she and then my youngest sister dating a man 14 years older than she, if age is the only concern or issue, then it's not much of an issue. Eep, Mefi hates brackets. Creepy math works like this, where X is the older individual and Y is the younger. An 18 year old may date as low as a 16 year old. They may not date a 15 year old.
A 50 year old may date as young as a 32 year old, anything less is creepy. Some circles debate that the 7 should be a 5. However, This means that a 16 year old may date a 13 year old, and I'm just not OK with that. The age issue doesn't make me blink. The fact that they work together has the potential for disaster.
There are really three possibilities. They stay together happily forever. They break up completely amicably and with no difficult feelings. They break up in a difficult way and it becomes a wound that takes forever to heal because they can't get space from each other. I speak from experience. I think the age difference is fine.
30 year old man dating 20 year old woman? - age difference relationship | Ask MetaFilter
If I were your sister, the main thing I'd be concerned about is not letting the relationship stand in for my own process of growing up and being more independent. I definitely understand not being able to afford a place on her own, which is why I, and most people I know, had roommates until we were around 25 or so. So if she considers living with your parents restrictive and harmful, or even if she'd just like some experience at managing her own bills, groceries, etc.
Because if it's a relationship that works out in the long term, she might learn some valuable things from not going right from living with your parents to living with a boyfriend. She'd have a lot of support from friends and roommates who are learning all this stuff at the same time.