Social Question

bookish1's avatar

How much does age difference matter to you for romantic relationships?

Asked by bookish1 (13149points) July 11th, 2012

Do you have a limit of a certain number of years in either direction that you set yourself? Does it depend on the maturity level of the person, or the connection you feel with them?

I remember just a few years ago, realizing that all of a sudden, for me, age didn’t matter so much. I’d always been with people older than me, but since that realization, well, I’ve been with people more than a little bit older than me haha. Makes sense to me; I had to grow up fast and I often have trouble relating to people closer to my own age (in a platonic or romantic way).

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53 Answers

OpryLeigh's avatar

I’m in a relationship where there is a large age difference and it doesn’t matter to me at all. We have been together for a long time now and it has never been an issue.

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
laineybug's avatar

I think it matters more when you’re younger. I don’t think I would be comfortable dating someone more than a year younger than me, and maybe two years older than me. But my mom is married to someone nine years older than her, which isn’t weird at all.

marinelife's avatar

It makes a lot less difference the older both parties are.

If one of the parties is 18 then even five years is a huge difference in experience and where they are in life.

If the youngest party is 30 then even 15 years makes little difference.

tedd's avatar

I’ve dated several girls who were somewhat significantly younger…and a few who were older… and in my experience the actual age has very little to do with it. The maturity/stage of life has far more play.

I dated a girl who had just graduated high school and was going to her first year in college right as I was graduating college and going out for my first real job (A friends younger sister). The relationship was very rocky. While I would hesitate to say it was the only cause of our eventual break-up (or even the most damaging cause), her lack of relationship maturity (high for her age, but not high enough) and the difference in life stages played a significant part.

In another situation… I had dated a girl briefly in my second year of college, as she was graduating and moving away. Her moving away marked the end of our relationship. A few years later I went and visited her, both of us knowing we were kind of hoping to spark a relationship. The problem was I was still in college (though nearing completion), and she was firmly in the professional world and looking to start a family (conversation with her made it very apparent she was “vetting” me to be her husband and father of her children). I was in no way ready for that life stage, and hence a rekindling of our relationship failed. In this case our age difference was barely over a year, with her being the elder.

Trillian's avatar

I’ve found that the younger a man is, the fewer things we have in common to discuss. Without good conversation, for me anyway, there’s really no point to trying further. You have to get out of bed sometime, and I find as I get older that I prefer that time to be spent enjoying each other’s company. That just doesn’t happen when there are so many glaringly obvious differences. I can’t relate to a man who came late to Led Zeppelin. Or never got into it at all because he thought they were long haired freake when they came out. Or was a baby/child when I was listening to Spandau Ballet or Alan Parson’s Project.
At the end of the day, I prefer a contemporary to whom I don’t have to explain things that I take for granted.

ucme's avatar

I’m two & a half yrs younger than the wife, that half makes such a difference.
Not so much a toy-boy, more like a…....i’m not much younger than you-man.

bookish1's avatar

@Trillian: I feel ya, and that is why I prefer being with people 10+ years older than me, because I am an anachronism, haha.

zenvelo's avatar

Being in my late fifties, I’m open to women that are from ten years younger to a year or two older. I’d go beyond that if the woman was an otherwise exceptional match with me. But too much younger, even in their forties, leads to a disparity in life experiences. And women older than me are generally in a different place in their lives than I am; I’m a long way from retirement, with kids in their teens.

thebluewaffle's avatar

@Trillian What about a young lad with bags of life experience? And a charming smile?

Coloma's avatar

Friendships of all ages from 4 to 104, romantic interests I prefer to keep within a 3–5 year span either side. I too am in my early 50’s ( 52) and am not into the “cougar” scene althoguh I have been solicited by many a fine younger man. Not into ancient men either, I want more in common than enjoying soup. No wet behind the ears and no dentures on the nightstand, the rest is negotiable within reason.

flutherother's avatar

I don’t have any rules but 7 to 10 years younger works for me.

choreplay's avatar

I’m 46 and prefer a ten year range in either direction. You’ve heard the old rule though for younger partners that goes half your age plus 7. That would mean I’m not supposed to date anyone under 30. Sounds reasonable.

bookish1's avatar

@choreplay: Aw hell no am I ever dating any 19 year olds, haha…

Coloma's avatar

@bookish1 I dunno….that handsome young buck in your avatar might change my mind when it comes to cougardom. lolol

choreplay's avatar

cougardom? Did I mention I do kitchen foors?

Coloma's avatar

@choreplay I do need a sexy stable boy to clean my barn. Do you wear chaps and cowboy boots without a shirt? How do you handle horses and pitchforks? lolol ;-)

bookish1's avatar

@Coloma: Aww… I agree with you that he’s a handsome one, but he’s been dead for 18 years and he would be 45 today… RIP my man

choreplay's avatar

Barns, chaps, boots, no shirt, sure. I’m not into horses but the pitchfork sounds kind of exciting! lol

Coloma's avatar

@choreplay do you prefer 3 or 4 tines for the best pitchfork action? lol
@bookish1 Oooh. is that Kurt Cobain ( sp?)

choreplay's avatar

I don’t know, can we try both?

tedd's avatar

@Coloma That’s definitely Cobain.

And what’s all this about yardwork?

Coloma's avatar

@tedd The never ending chores on the micro-farm over here. Gotta get out there now in this heat wave and water everything and everyone. lol

bookish1's avatar

@Coloma: tiiiiiinnnnnnnes…..
And yes, that is mr. k. d. cobain.

tedd's avatar

@Coloma And watching a younger guy do these chores gets you revved up?

I’d volunteer if I weren’t so damned pale… lol

Coloma's avatar

LOL….you guys have such a great sense of humor and play. @tedd
” Comes a pale rider.” haha
I can swab you down with a nice fly wipe so the horse flies don’t irritate your tender flesh. lololol

tedd's avatar

@Coloma hhahahaha… now I have no idea how to take that.

Coloma's avatar

@tedd Take it like a man with a pitchfork would. haha

tedd's avatar

@Coloma Are you coming onto me? Because I like it…. lol

Coloma's avatar

@tedd All in good humor my dear chap. pun intended ;-p

bookish1's avatar

gets out some popcorn

Coloma's avatar

@bookish1 haha…I thought that title on the video said ” Valium-times”
Oh shit, I bet we’re all about one stones throw away from being moderated for going wildly off topic. lol

bookish1's avatar

@Coloma: But… it’s SOCIAL! Also, it’s my party and you guys are free to ramble… Or hit the hay !

tedd's avatar

@Coloma That’s ok… this is the closest I’ve come to being involved in the planning of an orgy on fluther. I’ll remember it even if it’s moderated out… lol

Coloma's avatar

@bookish1 Oh good, I am notorious for running amok at times.
@tedd Well, my orgies include frisky ganders in the hot tub, I dig orange flappy feet. lol—

Turn ons: Happy brownies and swimming with waterfowl. haha

tedd's avatar

@Coloma That’s ironic, i love ducks. This could be a match made in heaven! lol

Coloma's avatar

@tedd My heart be still…can you quack with passion? lol

Trillian's avatar

@thebluewaffle Awwww, how sweet. How ‘bout I give you my daughter’s number? She’s 29, blonde, pretty, very intelligent.
A way better catch than her cynical, rickety old mother!

thebluewaffle's avatar

@Trillian You’re really advertising your daughter out on Fluther? Hope she approves of this!

You don’t seem too cynical on here! I’m a little younger than that, 23…But I’m a lot more seasoned compared to the majority of those of the same age. (Thanks to my personal and work experiences) Then again, 29 and 23 isn’t that far apart, been with a woman a little older anyway…Scary stuff!

Do her traits not run in the family? Where the hell did your daughter get her looks and intelligence from then?

Paradox25's avatar

It is more about the likelyhood of sharing a similar mindset, rather than the age of that person. Not all older women share the mindset which I require, and sometimes I can relate to a younger woman easier than an older one. How a woman grew up is more likely to be a determining factor for me over their age. Not all women around my age (upper 30’s) share my goals, passions and needs.

thebluewaffle's avatar

What it boils down to, is what scenarios and challenges the person has dealt and faced with in life.

Ultimately, age is nothing but a number….

Coloma's avatar

Hey….if us moms are going to go for the hard sale with our daughters, well @Trillian move your girl over and make room for my 24 yr. old beautiful brunette baby on the auction block as well. lol

Okay…you young guys, you get to ogle my raven haired darling for 5 minutes before mother goose returns to the avatar. haha

mambo's avatar

At my age, I would never date anyone younger than myself. However, I’ll date someone 20 years my senior with no problem.

Linda_Owl's avatar

In my opinion, if the age difference does not matter to the people involved in the relationship, it should not matter to anyone else. When I was in my early 40’s I was dating a guy who was in his mid 20’s & we had one hell of a good time!

Facade's avatar

I prefer to be with someone older than me. My so is 29, and I’m 23; it’s a pretty good age gap.

Brian1946's avatar


My so is 29, and I’m 23; it’s a pretty good age gap.

I guess partly because you typed so in lower case, I subconsciously suffixed an n to it and I thought you were saying that your son is 6 years older than you. ;-o

bewailknot's avatar

Age in either direction does not matter to me. Of course at my age there won’t be too many older than me.

linguaphile's avatar

I usually am more attracted to guys younger than me because of my energy and activity level, but right now I’m starting to like someone 13 years older. That’s new territory and so far I’m okay with it :)

tedd's avatar

@Trillian @Coloma Would it be too much to ask for pictures of these beautiful daughters? :D lol

bookish1's avatar

@tedd: You missed the boat on that one. I got to see them last night ;)

Facade's avatar

@Brian1946 Oops! Sorry for the typo

this_velvet_glove's avatar

I tend to like guys who are older than me (I actually met someone ten years older than me, but he just likes me in a friendly way, of course).

snapdragon24's avatar

Age doesn’t matter, the older you get you just start seeing it as a number… Every person has a level of maturity that you are either compatible with or not :)

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