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Author Topic: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships  (Read 3182 times)

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Offline TolvoTopic starter

Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« on: December 22, 2018, 10:07:38 PM »
So I want to stress first this is a question relating to relationships where everyone involved is an adult. People who are 18 years old or older, and no one below that age.

I hear a lot of mixed answers when I ask about this subject, and have a mixture of feelings myself. What do you think is too much of an age gap in a relationship, is there such a thing to you between two adults? Someone 80 dating someone 20 is fine with no issues for an extreme example. I always wonder, because I know a lot of people tend to stay attracted to people in the 18-20's range even when they're older. But myself, as I get older I just find people younger than me in the 18+ range less and less attractive. When I was 20 dating someone 18 seemed fine and no issue. Now that I'm 26, it seems weird and like I can't relate to them and they seem just too young to me. I've always been a bit off put by people much older than me hitting on me in a lot of scenarios. At the same time this year I fell in love with a woman in her 50's, which has never happened to me before and it was very confusing. When I'm 50 myself, am I only going to find people around my age attractive? Will dating a 35 year old seem gross to me and I'll not find them attractive? What are your thoughts on this subject?

Offline Nico

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Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2018, 04:20:32 AM »
My thoughts?

Very simple. My husband is almost two decades older than I am. I believe this says it all. :-)

For me, there is no 'too old'. Only a 'not old enough'. It is not about age for me, but all about people.

As for mixed thoughts. There will probably be as many opinions as there are people. It is, if anything, a very personal thing, that. :-)
« Last Edit: December 23, 2018, 04:47:29 AM by Nico »

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Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2018, 08:54:23 AM »
I think you will find that we are not attracted to abstract ages, but to specific people. Attraction is not a matter of just looks, but more about character compatibility. It all depends on what you're looking to get out of a potential relationship.

Some interesting (and depressing) stats about age in dating.

Offline RedRose

Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2018, 11:44:58 AM »
Well. Macron's wife is 20/25 years older lol. People are attracted to all sorts, or may just not care.

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Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2018, 03:31:14 PM »
I think an age range of under five years is a healthy target for an adult relationship. Deviation is permissible. However, I'd be worried about the implications for societal and social stability if an age range of over ten years became a norm, especially among the lower ages who are more likely to have a hand in child raising. A low age difference usually implies similarity of maturity. There's exceptions, but on average, one twenty year old will have a predictable level of maturity compared to a twenty two year old. There's also considerations for health. Age does introduce a change in likelihood for health problems, and that does produce romantic complications. So, with averages in mind, I'd probably discourage broad consideration of a wide age gap.

It's possible that a sixty year old and a forty year old would be compatible and successful, but it's not particularly probable. For that reason, I wouldn't entertain the notion myself.

Offline Strident

Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2018, 05:03:54 PM »
Hmm.

Go back before the 20th century. Look at grave stones in an English church yard and this is the story you will see:

Women died much much younger than men. Why? Because childbirth in an age before antibiotics and sterile surgery was enormously risky.

And no contraception to speak of meant large families were common.

The typical biography of a girl In England in the 18th to 19th century went like this:

Marry in mid teens.
Have 6 kids in 12 years.
Die in child birth to child number 6 in her late 20s.

The result was an awful lot of widowed men in their 30s and 40s with lots of kids without a mother.

So they remarried - usually wife number 2 would be another girl maybe in her late teens, not that much older than their oldest child.

Of course, this wasn't EVERYONE but it was a common enough biography.

The point being that large age gaps, particularly of younger women to older men just were not uncommon.

Now, we live in a very different age, but I'm simply making the point that views on age gaps are highly culturally relevant.

Another aspect is that culture changes more rapidly. A "child of the 60s" is generally a very different person to a "child of the 80s". Their cultural reference points are radically different - they will have read different books, seen different films, talk differently, have different fashions....

That also just wasn't the case pre 20th century

My only point here is that a lot of this stuff is very context sensitive.

Offline violetvvitch

Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2018, 05:36:40 PM »
My thoughts?

Very simple. My husband is almost two decades older than I am. I believe this says it all. :-)

For me, there is no 'too old'. Only a 'not old enough'. It is not about age for me, but all about people.

As for mixed thoughts. There will probably be as many opinions as there are people. It is, if anything, a very personal thing, that. :-)

That is beautifully said.

We're all people seeking people.  Neither metrics, nor societal norms, or disparities matter much--nor should they--when you're sitting across the table holding each other's gaze.

I'm enough of a pessimist to know there isn't any "magic" involved in our pairings, but it sure as heck feels like it, don't it?  ;)

I however personally distrust those who should know better, who seek out the emotionally immature.

Offline TolvoTopic starter

Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2018, 06:36:43 PM »
I thought I'd mention I'm not trying to judge others. I worry I have come off like I was saying anyone was gross. That was not my intent but it seems like maybe that's how I came off. I was saying it was gross to me to have such a relationship myself. That it's how I feel in regards to myself and my relationships if I was dating someone 8 years younger than me.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2018, 09:28:06 PM »
I have dated 30 years older than me. I was in my late 20's and he was in his 50's. It was a wonderful relationship that was stable and secure.  Only reason it ended was because he moved to Scotland and I would not move with him because my ex husband would never have agreed to the kids going to Scotland.

I have only went 7 years younger than me.

I generally do not look at age so long as the person meets what I am looking for.

Offline LostInTheMist

Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2018, 01:26:07 AM »
There's the "half age plus seven" rule. That the age of the younger person should not be less than half the age of the older person plus seven years. So for a thirty year old, the younger person should be less than 22. For a sixty year old, no less than 37.

Of course, I think that so long as two people are compatible, no age limit should really be set. I mean, people might look a little funny at a pairing of a 25 year-old and 60 year old, but there's nothing intrinsically wrong with it if you love each other.

Offline meikle

Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2018, 05:10:14 PM »
i think large age ranges reflect pretty badly on the more elderly part of any couple.

Offline Locust

Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2018, 09:29:44 PM »
I appreciate this topic being brought up and more-so, the dialogue has been great so far. I have never been attracted to guys my own age and have been drawn more towards those older than me.  My main experience with guys my own age, going through my 20's for instance, is that priorities were not the same and I just meshed well with those older than me.  I just lead with the notion that I have an old soul, have different priorities, and am okay with settling down.

Offline Nico

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Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2018, 03:36:29 AM »
My main experience with guys my own age, going through my 20's for instance, is that priorities were not the same and I just meshed well with those older than me.  I just lead with the notion that I have an old soul, have different priorities, and am okay with settling down.

This is pretty much my own experience. Before I met my husband, I have generally dated people in my age bracket. And more often than not, it failed because of different priorities and expectations. That's not to say that older partners are necessarily more mature, but I guess the possibility is significantly higher. I have met people my age with comfortable maturity, and then there are older people with the mindset of a teenager.

Offline Locust

Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2018, 08:50:18 AM »
Quote
This is pretty much my own experience. Before I met my husband, I have generally dated people in my age bracket. And more often than not, it failed because of different priorities and expectations. That's not to say that older partners are necessarily more mature, but I guess the possibility is significantly higher. I have met people my age with comfortable maturity, and then there are older people with the mindset of a teenager.

Oh completely the same!  I definitely met older partners that certainly have the mindset of a teenager, to which my closing thought was "good luck with that."  But yeah I'm surrounded in my community here with relationships that have an age gap 7+ years, and they are all lovely couples with bright futures.  I loved the callouts mentioned at the start of this thread about it being about the person, not the number.  At the end of the day, in these scenarios not involving minors, as long as you find your slice of happiness in life all is well :).

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Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2018, 03:34:05 PM »
For me, I think it depends entirely on the individual. Some people prefer older, others have no preference at all.

I think that age is often associated with maturity, so it could be that people preferring older people equates to looking for maturity they don't find in their own age group? That's what it is for me anyway - I struggle to get along with people my own age so I look to older people. I don't imagine having a limit, so long as we have chemistry and enjoy each other's company.

There would definitely be the outside perception to consider though - if you were dating someone your parent's age I could imagine them taking issue with it, for example.

Another thought: it seems to me that older woman/younger man have a much more relaxed view than older man/younger woman. So that could have something to do with people's perceptions.

Tldr: live and let live, so long as the relationship is happy.

Offline TheLionKing

Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2018, 04:25:36 PM »
Age generally isn't a huge factor to me as so much as maturity. However, with that being said, I tend to like the older ladies. I am younger than my current girlfriend. She is 31. I'm going to be 27 Feb. I don't find our age gap that significant because it is very little. I have been in relationships where the lady was 12 years older than me. I think it honestly depends on chemistry more than anything. Oddly enough, what brought the end of that relationship was that even though she was 38 she was not mature at all. Hate to say that the old saying that " Age is just a number" has some weighted truth to it.

Offline TolvoTopic starter

Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2018, 04:30:18 PM »
Well, for me maturity is more why I don't date people much younger than me. I don't often find older people on average much more mature than people my age. Not really less mature either. It's more so I can't relate to them often and I get paranoid about if I'll not find them physically attractive enough as they age and how that could ruin the relationship. Like there are older people with similar interests to me but often people much older than me don't have experiences I can relate to or vice versa. That can happen with younger people as well where I just can't relate to them. It comes up a lot with media interest and series to share and enjoy. Or attitudes towards concepts and ideas that are really important but vary a lot between generations.

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Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2018, 01:59:54 AM »
My parents have a ten year age gap but that's not even close or even probably a reason on why their marriage is falling apart.

I find older men attractive which might be why I play a lot of older male characters. I tend to find older men a bit more mature but obviously that's not always the case. As long as you click well and have similar interests as well as solo interests you yourself can do without them I think you'd be fine. I probably wouldn't want a relationship where the guy was younger than me just because I don't really like a lot of the men I see that are a couple years younger, not to mention they just remind me a bit of myself and just...

Bleh...

But I wouldn't mind maybe max ten years just so I don't feel like we can't seem to connect.

Offline Evilcupcakecat

Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2019, 12:47:41 PM »
I mean, personally, I'm 18, and I won't date anybody above 23 or below 18 obviously. But I dunno how that's gonna change when I get older.

Offline RedRose

Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2019, 12:54:54 PM »
You just reminded me that when I was 20, there was this guy courting me or something. He was 17 and it deeply bothered me though it was very chaste. He wanted to get engaged, I ran. I can't remember if the main problem was age or distance (Germany).

Offline Shale

Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2019, 01:18:52 PM »
I think a girl at work had a crush on me, she was young and cute. I'm 32, she's in her early 20s. I never did anything because I'm in a relationship, but even if I wasn't, she was very immature. It just didn't seem like a good match.

I think I'm mostly attracted to same age or older. My significant other is 2 years younger, not sure I could go any younger. For some reason, in real life and in RP I'm attracted to the older woman usually.

But in the end, yes it's about maturity. Sure I'll always be attracted to girls in their 20s... Maybe, but as I'm getting older I get an immature vibe and find them less attractive as a result.

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Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2020, 08:19:55 PM »
Although it's true that what matters more is personality, than age, and some can be more mature than others "for their age" and so on, there is still a fact that experiences, which can come only with time, not what you do, is changing person also a lot.

So therefor, if we take age gap '10 years', then it might seem a lot for a 20 year old and a 30 year old, but it does not matter at all for a couple who are 50 and 60 year old.

Second thought: When did they meet? If there is couple, who are 50 and 30, and they met when the younger one was also already grown up, then I find it okay.
Now, if the same couple met, when one was 10, and other was 30, and they get along, for example were neighbors, were friendly towards eachother... and then younger one turns 20, and the one who is 40 will make their move?
I find it problematic. Seriously problematic. I know it might just be me, but this raise a lot of questions...

Otherwise I don't judge any age gaps. As long as everyone are grown ups, and everything is consensual, they don't harm each other, and no-one else as well (for example cheating), it's not my damn business what other people do with their life.

As personally, I have this weird "could this person be my parent?" question in my mind.  My parents are both 31 years older than I am.  And it's such a huge turn off for me, if someone is getting close to this age gap.
Biologically, most of the people reach to 'able to reproduce' level around 14-15 year, and so I try to keep the age gap also not higher than 15 year (older than me), although I have met some person who have been older and I have had some kind of strange attraction towards them (about which I did nothing, it just made me question my "rule").

About the younger ones, I don't really wanna date anyone who is more than 5 years younger than me. But like i said with my first thought, it can chance with time- probably if would be 50, I would not even notice than someone is 45.

Offline SirWiseIdiot

Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2020, 08:02:51 AM »
The people involved in a relationship should simply want the same things. I used to date a great woman who was 39 years old when I was 28. I was worried about finishing my masters, getting started in a stable career etc., whereas she was ready to be a mother at that point. It was clear to me that I was not ready to add stress to myself by bringing a kid into the mix so it ended after about a year.

Age is only a number but people should get what they want out of relationships too at the same time.

Offline RedRose

Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2020, 01:31:37 PM »
I am generally not attracted to really younger or really older. I don't think I would physically be into someone more than 15 years -ish older.

As for what others do. Should be legal (and not like, one day over 18), consensual, and "normal" (no mistreating) like any relationship. My parents had a 25 year old gap. They were together until my dad passed. My mom was heroically present (comments by professionals) and not in any way 'relieved' (as some assume when one is older) when my dad passed, on contrary we really worried. I had an aunt married to a man 30 years older, similar story. Of course the bigger the gap the more unusual.

One last thing, it's not always the "oldie" pursuing the young one or being an absolute perv. I had this teen who literally followed me around some years ago. He knew very well nothing was going to happen but he was all out until someone had to talk to him. It was also cleverly hidden under 'good deeds' for the parish so it was hard at times for me to figure out what was really inappropriate for him to do and what was just misguided wanting to help around...

Offline CriminalMindsFan

Re: Age Gaps In Adult Relationships
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2020, 05:18:01 PM »
I can only speak about attraction to different ages of females as I've never been in a relationship. I state my attraction like this when I was 18, I found 18 year olds attractive, 25 year olds attractive, 35 year old attractive, ect. When I turned 40, I still found females at those ages attractive so it's like my age maybe different but I still have attraction to a variety of females. Then sometimes it was the same female that I found attractive at 18, 25 and 35.