Social Question

Just_Justine's avatar

(NSFW) Do you consider age important in a relationship?

Asked by Just_Justine (6448 points ) April 3rd, 2010

We all know in the “old days” which was last week! It was very OK for older men to date and marry younger women. The saying “You are as old as the woman you feel” became a catch phrase. Of course women became more independent and their choice of partner and their partner’s age also varied. Some of the issues they had to come to terms with were the societal stereotype of age appropriateness. If you were older women with a younger man you became a “Cougar” which by nature of the word suggested you are a predator. Older men were seen as supplying stability to younger women, now it seems older women could be supplying better sex to younger men? That is the general notion I have experienced. So although we have created a shift in perception would you agree the perception is still skewed?

Do you agree that age is important? If so why? Do you seek age appropriate partners and if so is it because you are expected to? Would love to hear your thoughts

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56 Answers

davidbetterman's avatar

I didn’t used to think so until I discovered this dang menopause stuff in women. Now I am sure to keep my women under 40 and over 65.

Just_Justine's avatar

@davidbetterman the younger guys don’t seem to mind loll.

netgrrl's avatar

I consider maturity important in a relationship. But I don’t seem to be able to date men more than 10 yrs younger than I am.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

As long as both partners are legal, competent adults, age differences are not in themselves significant to me. Women much younger than me lack the life experience and shared frame of reference to make them consistently interesting.

My wife is 5 years older and that suits me just fine.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

I think that cougars have become a facet in popular culture. Similar to sugar daddies, probably not exactly the right context, but you get my drift. It’s a good thing, I guess, giving a boost of “sexy sexy” confidence to older woman. I’m still at that age where I’d like someone my own age, because I haven’t lived most of my life yet. For people of advanced years, I can totally see where they’d like someone younger. To each his/her own.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I think age usually plays a somewhat important role, because if the gap is too big partners are going to be in completely different stages of life – and one will (generally) inevitably have more life experience. When this is the case with partners, whoever is more experienced tends to hold somewhat of an advantage over the other person, and this can cause an imbalance of power between a couple. It can lead to small and great misunderstandings, different expectations in the relationship (whether or not to have children, for instance), and it can effect long and short-term goals.

That said, as long as both people are of legal age, there’s always a chance that it can work out well. It’s just my opinion that it’s rare.

HTDC's avatar

@davidbetterman Yeah and you sure wouldn’t want a guy between the ages of 40 and 60. This stupid thing called “midlife crisis” hits. The sagging balls, the lack of performance in bed, the angry outbursts. It’s a wonder how any woman copes. ~

davidbetterman's avatar

@HTDC True Dat! That’s why Viagra is so popular
@Just_Justine The younger guys are young, dumb and full of…full of…now what is it again…I forget…

Just_Justine's avatar

@davidbetterman I see!! you’re all alone on this thread loll, call for some back up. If the guys are dumb and full of…. then the exact correlation would be that the females would be too? So then it’s equal footing isn’t it?

Just_Justine's avatar

@py_sue again there is an age assumption. Meaning all girls like older men for money and likewise with younger men. I wonder how accurate it is? If it is, then age is still very much a part of a bigger stereotype then at first glance.

davidbetterman's avatar

@Just_Justine That is the younger guys…Besides, I am pretty much all alone in many of my grand ideas. But that doesn’t stop me. The younger guys would just get in the way with their ignorance (most having never had the experience with the older ladies!)

No it isn’t equal footing at all.

Just_Justine's avatar

@davidbetterman no I meant as in, if youth equals dumb, then the girls must also be dumb as are the males based on your “grand ideas”. I like all feedback! As I need to understand the age expectation of humans too!

davidbetterman's avatar

@Just_Justine Aha, I see. Yes…the girls are equally as dumb as the boys.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

I don’t know if youth equals dumb. Age is just a number, technically. If someone feels drawn towards another’s maturity or immaturity, then that might be an indication that that’s what they want to feel like. ” I want to feel older/younger”. I think it’s the level of maturity that attracts people. I’ve always liked older guys, but personally I see myself with someone who’s my age. So, to me age is important, I guess.

This is a slight off topic, but it reminded me of a french film called Priceless with Audrey Tatou. It’s about the younger people “playing” the older people for gifts and such. Sugar daddies and mommas. The older woman knew she was getting played and still bought the dude stuff. She called him on it one time.

davidbetterman's avatar

@py_sue Youth doesn’t necessarily indicate dumb (that is just the word used to rhyme with…what was that other word…darn…)

But youth does generally indicate a lack of experience..and this often does correlate to dumb.

nope's avatar

Why would anyone assume that youth = dumb? I was a smart youth…very smart, just…inexperienced. And perhaps that’s part of the argument here…is it age, or experience, wisdom, whatever you want to call it? That said, I would challenge anyone here who is of more advanced age, myself included, who could possibly say that a young person who is atractive, isn’t attractive to them, at least physically. I saw a barista at a Starbucks today who….never mind. Anyway, I don’t think age needs to matter, if both parties are okay with it, and I’ve seen VERY good relationships in people I know, who are 15–20 years apart in age.

TheOnlyException's avatar

Do you agree that age is important? If so why? Do you seek age appropriate partners and if so is it because you are expected to?

I do not think age is important when it comes to a relationship, no matter if the woman or the man or whoever is older than the other (as I don’t think there should be a double standard set for one and not the other)

Personally I would go for older men. I prefer them in the way they look, their approach to life, their experience and most of all their maturity.
It isn’t that I don’t like guys my age, I have dated guys around my age, but I prefer older guys, the relationships are better and more meaningful in my opinion and they don’t play games, they don’t feel the need to, they are happy with their own self-esteem/masculinity, they are well past the age when they are still trying to see how many chicks they can land just for the sake of their own libido.

The oldest I have dated/would date is 15 years. Anymore than that, I personally wouldn’t go for it as I am looking to marry/have children with the guy. But my parents have 12 or so years between them and they work.
So I just don’t see the problem at all. As long as you care for each other age should make no difference.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

@davidbetterman Aha, I have been schooled. And yes, I know what that rhymes with.

DarkScribe's avatar

Who defines appropriate ? My wife is more than a decade younger than I am. Before I met her I was dating women a decade older than I am. If it works – it works. Age would be the least important criterion of all possible criteria.

ragingloli's avatar

Anything below 40 is fine!

Scooby's avatar

It’s not the age that’s important just the glint in her eye! ;-)
Personally I’d go for a woman between twenty five & say sixty, that’s just me but look at Joan Collins, She seems happy enough… :-/

cornbird's avatar

Yes i believe that age is important in a relationship because a girl develops faster than a man does and that is something to consider especiallly in a long term relationship.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@Thesexier – Well, it should! You’re 15! Anyone over 17 and under 14 is would be illegal for you in most of the U.S. (I don’t know Iceland’s age of consent laws).

Eh. Maturity shows up in how one lives one’s life, not in a number. I know plenty of immature 50-year-olds and mature 20-somethings.

Then again, a few times yesterday, I got the once-over from dudes and a “woof” by a kid who I’m sure was a few years away from 18. It was weird for me to think I’ve been getting this sort of stuff from males of all ages almost 30 years now. And I’ve probably got another 15 or so years of this to look forward to.

Facade's avatar

Like others have said, it’s more about maturity level than age.
I need a man who is older than me. I think this is so because I feel older than I am, and I need someone to match my “inner age,” if you will. I also just find older men more attractive– gray hair, fine lines, etc. =)
My boyfriend is 27, and I’ll be 21 next month. It’s worked well for almost three years now.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Chronological age is completely irrelevant in and of itself. How the partners feel about themselves (first) and their partner (second) is vital, however.

I’ve been with women up to 15 years older than myself, and as much as 19 years younger. It’s more about maturity, consideration for the other, and your feelings about yourself than it is about ‘when were you born?’.

(‘Legal age’ is a valid concern, however.)

whiteroseman's avatar

My friend swears by the half the age plus seven rule as a man looking for a female partner!

Coloma's avatar

Well….in my experience I prefer men that are close in age to myself, give or take 4–5 years tops.

Not into the young guy thing, not into the ancient ones.

Somewhere between wet behind the ears and can only eat soup between naps….yeah, well….lolol

wildflower's avatar

I agree with @CyanoticWasp, if two people click, feel they Are similar ‘mental age’ and not violating any laws, who cares what the birth certs say!

499335508crazygrape's avatar

I think someone who is close to your age might go better, some people might not agree with me because they might prefer older than younger or younger than older. I’m not saying they should be the exact same age but close to it.

doctiresquire's avatar

whats a relationship…2 people agreeing to fight with one another for the rest of their life?...the relationships are the answer to your problem ...of loneliness….if you can find anyone you can get along with ..your a lucky person ..why worry about anyone else and what they think…..tell whom ever it is that your trying to live within their standards… you like your own standards better..its no big deal…but the intelligence levels may differ with too much age difference ..someone may end up being like mom or dad in the relationship…always correcting or teaching the younger one… its kinda cool when you both don`t have a clue sometimes…and you learn things together ..it bonds your relationship

Allie's avatar

I think age is important, but I don’t think a little difference is a bad thing. I wouldn’t turn down a guy who is 10 years older just because he’s 10 years older. I’m 22, and although I’d date +10, dating a guy who is only a few years younger wouldn’t fly with me.

rahm_sahriv's avatar

I think it is individual. I think age is just a number (within the boundaries of the law of course- I think a 20 year old guy who would get with a 13 or 14 year old needs their head examined, as do the 13 or 14 year old). I prefer men who are either at my age or older. That being said, if I found a younger guy who was mature (and it isn’t common as people want to think, either male or female) then I would go for it.

cytonic_horus's avatar

no it doesn’t matter because you can have the same likes, dislikes, opinions etc no matter if you are the same age, 5 years difference, 20 years difference.

It would be a strange thing if you had stuff in common and got on like a house on fire to only turn around and decide it couldn’t work because of age

zebter's avatar

I believe it depends on the individuals involved. I am not in the dating arena but if I were I would like to keep between 8 to 10 years of my age. I would not want someone to much older becuase I do not want someone who treats me like I am a child. Nor do I want to be with someone who is so young who has not lived life enough to know who they really are. I am not saying a older man would treat me like I am child I was just using this becuase some times people may think that since they are older they are wiser which is not the case. It all just depends on the people involved in the relationships what they want out of it and their over all maturity.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I strongly believe that it is important to continue to age in a relationship. If one of the partners fails to age, then it’s wise to bury that person within a few days. (Consult your physician or coroner first.)

Trillian's avatar

I think that age is important when it comes to being able to relate to each other. I made the mistake of being with a younger man a couple of times and you can be assured that I won’t do it again. I need a contemporary. I need someone who knows the references that I make because he lived them too. I don’t want to have to explain the jokes on MST3K.

J0E's avatar

I think it’s all a bunch of bull. Date the person not their age. If I was turned down because I was two years, one year, or even less than a year younger than a girl…well that’s one of the most shallow things you can do.

I repeat, date the person not their age.

SamIAm's avatar

i think it’s not even just maturity, it’s about where you are in your life, regardless of age.

slick44's avatar

To a certain extent, I dont think there should be a 30 year difference, but a few year either way is not a big deal. for either sex.

Just_Justine's avatar

@Trillian I agree, I tend to value life experience I personally would not get involved with a guy very much younger than me, however, that is just my choice. One can never say what the future holds. I have met men I have clicked with many years younger than me, but in the end they just simply had not grown up enough.

Trillian's avatar

@Just_Justine Thank you. I guess the variety of answers here ensure that there is someone for everyone.

Just_Justine's avatar

@Samantha_Rae you are so right, if you want light hearted fun or something more committed your choices would differ at different times.

Hexr's avatar

I think age is very important, but less important as you get older. A 19 year old going out with a 9 year old is wrong, but a 49 year old going out with a 39 year old isn’t, but it’s still ten years.

People say “age is just a number” but it’s not. People of different ages are at different stages of their lives, and won’t be compatible (as much as they’d like to think they are). From personal experience, I tried a relationship with someone 5 years
younger and it didn’t work because they really didn’t understand the mindset of someone older, even if it’s just 5 years.

This is all aside from the fact that it’s not very natural for someone to have a child the same age as their boyfriend/girlfriend.

Just_Justine's avatar

@Hexr so true. My ex is dating someone the same age as his child, I don’t understand it at all. I can only say it must have to do with maturity level. However he says it keeps him young.

deni's avatar

I do. It has the potential to be awkward if there is a big gap. My boyfriend is 25 and im 20 and thats not a huge difference but since he and all his friends have graduated college and have real jobs and have been everywhere and are all exciting i find it hard to not feel inferior. Plus i cant go to bars and thats a drag. I will write more on this when im not on my phone

dutchbrossis's avatar

No age doesn’t matter one bit. It is just a #, my husband is 26 years older than myself and we get along just fine. Going on 2 years now :-)

doctiresquire's avatar

8 to 80 blind crippled or crazy…if they cant walk ill carry em…i love em all

Sophief's avatar

I prefer older men. Boys or men younger or the same age are just that, boys.

Zyx's avatar

Pedos and necrofeliacs are ok with me, people need to get the trees out of their rectal cavaties. What is however not ok is abuse, rape and all that other stuff. So I end up beating the crap out of all the pedos and necrofeliacs I meet anyway. Necrofeliacs can actually have consent you know, stuff happens, people are weird.

No I do not consider it important, I consider it mostly sexy.

gemmasgma's avatar

Older men are great, until they turn about 70 and don’t want to have sex…

Crossroadsgrl's avatar

It’s important in that every couple has their IDEA of what that MEANS

It’s not important to OTHERS though.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. It is not the age of the participants of the unison that is the most at issue it is how comfortable society is with the age difference of the union. As you said if it is a older woman going after or finding an attraction with a young man 8+ years her junior than she is seen as some desperate cougar or divorcee. If it was a man he has to be some cradle robbing pervert or a guy in a mid life crisis trying to have a trophy wife to give himself relevance. People don’t want to phantom the thought that there can be anything in common with the both of them because society don’t want it to be it creeps them out and makes them uncomfortable. To see an Anna Nicole Smith and J. Howard Marshall union makes more people uncomfortable than not because he is old enough to have been her father and maybe her grandfather. People get the tinge pedophilia from it. No matter if both are of age if it appears it could be father/daughter; son/mother; daughter mother, or son/father people get creeped. People refuse to see love as anything than what they want to make it out. The real truth behind Mary K. Letourneau-Fualaau and Vili Fualaau is that was a true love (they are married with children in case anyone forgot) she did not go chasing after every middle schooler like shark smelling blood. Her connection was with the boy she married and he married her. Do we shink him out because he saw a woman as a love interest instead of other zip zappers his age? Do we call her sick because the person she made a connection with in this society is seen as too stupid to know who or what he likes? Society is not comfortable, they had no problem. The age might become an issue because of experiences and such the younger will have no cultural reference to, but if both use those generational differences as colorful fabric to weave a live together from there would be no problem. If one tries to believe their generation was far better than the other need to see it that way it is their idea not their age that will be a sinker of the union.

chinchin31's avatar

I think if you think about the future yes it is important. If you are just out for fun until the relationship gets boring . No it isn’t. Unfortunately alot of people nowadays just life for the moment so anything goes.
People aren’t that critical of anything anymore.
Personally I don’t think it is good idea to get involved with anyone that is too old or too young. But then again you never know. E.g some people look very young for their age or very old for their age so they can often get away waith dating much older or younger.

I have been there , done that. I don’t recommend it.

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