Are age differences in dating bad?

What do you think is an appropriate range in the age difference between two people that are dating or want to date? When I write dating I mean exclusively, boyfriend/girlfriend not just to go out on one date together. Choose any age and if you care to mention why or why not we should abide by the law or state why you feel the law should not decide for us, it would be greatly appreciated

Updates:
I think I need to add something here, because some of the responses are getting out of hand. I am NOT talking about underage children dating. I am asking about 18+ OR if for whatever reason it will be under 18, let's leave it that they are both underage, not a 14 year old dating a 30+ year old. Some of the people responding are twisting the question and commenting insults. There is no need for that. Maybe I should mention I am happily married to someone well over the legal age limit?

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Most Helpful Girl

  • I think once you're over 21, age is just a number and it shouldn't matter how big or small the age gap is. 18 or under, it's wrong, they're still kids and should date their own age.

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What Girls Said 47

  • Are you, a FORTY-FIVE year old man, asking about dating underage people?

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  • I don't know, but for me I won't go higher than 7 years older. Although I've been attracted to men in their thirties, I don't think I would like to be in a relationship with a man older than 27.
    2 years younger - 7 years older is my gap. I want a man around my age, I think it;s better we would be on the same page. If I'm 20 rn and my man is 37 we would definitely be in 2 different chapters, me still a student and him probably thinking of starting a new family and with a stable job.

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  • For me, ill go 8 years over, 2 younger. The perfect gap would be 1-4 years older. Anything else is too much.

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  • It depends on the difference, their ages and also their level of maturity.
    I think it's ok for a 28 year old to date 35 year old. The difference isn't big, and they're both adults and mature enough to maintain a relationship. They might at the same place in life.
    On the other hand, I think it's wrong for a 30 year old to date a 60 year old. It's a big difference, they probably don't have anything in common, they're in different places in life. Plus, they will have a lot of arguments.
    The law shouldn't decide if they're both adults and able to make decisions. But if one is underage, I think the law should decide (which doesn't happen all the time).

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  • The younger someone is the age gap should be closer together and the older you are the less age matters. For example a 16year old shouldn't really date anyone 2-3years older, and to me anyone say 21 and the age starts to matter less.
    In most places I know the age of consent is 16 and in my opinion that's too young to consent to sex.

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  • i honestly don't think that a 16 year old and a 21+ year old should date... yet there are people out there that are in those ages and are dating each other. i know a 24 year old guy friend who is dating (like what you are meaning... exclusive boyfriend/girlfriend) a 16 year old girl.

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  • All I have to say is: if she is underage, back the fuck up or you'll find protective family members (like moi) coming at you with a shovel. Then of course the police will follow.

    In my opinion, if you are legal it is up to you to decide what you are comfortable dating. But, in my personal opinion, once you begin going beyond 10+ senior compared to your partner, the relationship becomes more of a fetish or more of an arrangement type deal. At that point, what could you have in common really? What future do you really have together , if you even intend to?

    by the way if you're legit asking about dating underage girls you're creepy as fuck.

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    • Agreed on everything, but, a 10-year difference isn't "fetish" / "arrangement" territory. In fact, a 10-year difference is still solidly within the ideal range.

      I know hundreds and hundreds of married couples. Probably over a thousand. In the VAST majority of the best-functioning couples -- where "best-functioning" includes sexuality, logistics, emotional compatibility, finances, and just big life decisions in general -- the husband is 5-13 years older than the wife. Like, at least 97 percent of the best-functioning couples.

      This is backed up by studies, too, like this one
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/7873718/
      (lowest divorce rates when husband is 2-10 years older -- that's not quite as much of a difference, but, same type of thing)

      I'd say you'd have to get to 20+ before you could REALLY make that kind of conclusion with any degree of confidence. But otherwise yr points are valid.

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    • The way you left the end of your question suggested it: why we should or should not abide by the law. First and foremost, why would you want to even SUGGEST to people that they should/could argue not abiding by the law in regards to age and dating?

      That's where people are getting it twisted, I wouldn't have even brought that to anyone's mind.

    • I appreciate your response and that is a good catch. I should not have included that in my question and should have been more specific. I do agree that dating anyone under 18 is sick and twisted, that people over 18 should only date someone the same age or older. I should have instead included, why do people think 18 should be the legal age of consent, for sex, where some states are only 14, 16, 17 etc. Who decides this? Then there are Romeo & Juliet laws... so if I was 15 and the girl was 14, then years later I am 18 and she is only 17 it is NOT illegal if we have sex, because this law negates the "consensual" clause in other situations. Besides, the real question here is, dating, not having sex with someone. If that is what I was asking I would have been more specific and explained that. If an 18 year old goes to a prom with a 16 or 17 year old, "on a date," the 18 year old "man" is NOT breaking any laws. That was my point.

  • Absolutely follow the laws (a child cannot fully make an informed decision about their body) beyond that, I think it's more of a sliding scale as to age difference. The older one gets, the greater that gap can be. Beginning at the age of consent, I'd say the starting spread could be 3 years and widen from there.

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    • This is the type of answer or response I was looking to read.

    • You are very welcome. Many answers were good, some not so nice, but yours just stated facts and an honest opinion without attacking anyone inappropriately like some of the other commenters.

  • Depends. I think its okay to a certain degree. Obviously no minors because they're still developing and therefore, they are malleable to manipulation/coercion. A 16 year old is at a different stage of life in comparison to a 22 year old. Level of disparity in maturity can break or make the relationship.

    I know a 24 year old guy who is dating a women twice his age. They've been together for more than a year. They're polyamorous too but he's not dating anyone else.

    I also know a 24 year old girl who is on and off with a 34 year old guy. He's committed and wants to settle down but she's not done with the dating scene and cheats a lot BUT he still takes her back everytime.

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  • My main concern would be that both are of legal age. After that, I don't think age really matters until it affects what life stage you may be in and what your goals are, since those are some big things that can affect whether or not the relationship will work out. That being said, so far I've dated guys up to 8 years older than me and maybe 1-2 years younger.

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  • yes and no.

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  • I feel like they should be legal and thats about it. 18 and above if dating someone above that age.

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  • Depends on the age of the individuals involved. As people get older, the appropriate age range gets wider. In the teen years, 1 or 2 years is appropriate.

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  • they aren't bad at all, i date guys my age usually but i would date a guy who's 10 years older no problem. if the two people aren't underage then it's okay if you fall in love with someone that's older or younger.

    i've always disliked dating guys who are younger than me, i enjoy the dominance of an older guy since they're more experienced.

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  • well i dont think age is that big of a deal, just depends on personality. im 18 and i used to talk to a 45 year old man (didnt date though, long story) and the idea of it seemed crazy to me at first but we got along really well because we were into the same things. he was more into the newer generations, i was more into the older ones. we kind of just met halfway i guess you can say.

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    • We (men) have a joke/question we used to ask each other, when we were only 23-25, "Would you date a girl that is 18, if you found her attractive enough?" If the response was yes, we would agree, if the response was no way, she is too young, we would joke that they must be gay or lying. My question after that, thinking outside the box, was, "What if you didn't know her age, as if supposedly she looks 25, but you have no way of knowing (let's assume she is at least 18 though)?" Some still hesitated and said they would probably not, since they don't know her real age.

  • 10 to 20 year difference. Its just enticing. there's something about the age range that brings young or mature sides that usually wouldn't otherwise surface with other people.

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  • as long as no one is being forced, I don't give a damn

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  • It really just depends on what you are comfortable with. I always kept my age range up until about 5 years and more so ld be too much because I 'm in my early 20s. I changed it to about 10 years because I've actually been interested in someone who is 30. It may seem little to you but it's a lot to me because I'm not really experienced and he is probably is. Either he is the only older guy I would ever give a chance. I'm extremely picky.

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    • I can definitely see how you would want to stay close to your age, by say a few years only, but it is comforting to know you would still find a man 10 years older interesting enough to give him a chance... imagine if age was not a factor, like you just didn't know, but still found the man attractive and interesting enough that you'd want to date.

  • I think it depends on your age. But there's defo an upper limit, like anything more than like 12 years either way is just too much.

    Also like 18 year old guys dating 14 year old girls is messed up, there's right to be a law about that because if the guy is doing that then he clearly can't police his own morals.

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  • I have dated men 10-15 years younger and a man 10 years older. Now my boyfriend is 2 years older than me. I have found I like men close to my age.

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    • I can totally understand that. There may just be the one thing missing when ages are too separated.

  • Usually i like younger men. I would date someone from 17 till 25. But i also love flirting with older men.

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  • not so huge that all you guys can talk about are food stamps!

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  • As long as we are the same generation. I mean I wouldn't date a 40 year old because we grew up in different times and nothing that we have in common with. Also he would be way more experienced in life and mature I wouldn't feel like an equal in the relationship.
    Being equal in a relationship is a requirement for me.

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    • What if you didn't know the age difference, looks were not helping you know, but found you DID have a lot in common/the same interests? And, another question would be, "Do opposites attract or is that not the same as 'we have nothing in common"?

    • I still wouldn't. He would be way too mature for me.

    • I like your response. Good point.

  • It depends. I'd go 1 year younger (anything else is freaky) or up to 6 years older, as long as we're on the same wavelength mentally and all.

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  • I like dating guys that are a couple years older than me (max is like 6 years) anything more is too much I think

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  • My mother and father have a 8 year difference, and my gran and grandpa on my mother's side had a 10 year difference. I would be a hypocrite to even state that lol.

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    • Granted that we are talking about consenting adults... not 12 year olds with 22 year olds...

    • are they happy?

    • @abbabby @abbabby Very. Just like every other couple they have their moments but ultimately they are happily married.

  • I think it depends on the vibe the couple have together. Some couples have a 5 year gap but the vibe is wrong so the age gap seems huge, whereas other couples might have a 20 year gap and the gap is fine because of the good vibes between them.

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  • Ideally the age gap is within 5 years. I also think that between the ages of 21-45 that any two ages within that range is okay. But if you are 48 and want to date a 19 year old, that is creepy!

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  • Hey, you could go to Pakistan and be married to a 60 year old man at the age of 9 if you like. Apparently half the fucking world seems to think that's ok so do what you want. That's the world we live in, just be tolerant and let whoever do whatever even if it hurts others.

    I'm angry if you can't tell

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    • I have never ever seen or heard of a 60 year old getting married to a 9 year old in Pakistan

  • If it's more than a decade then ya. You'll just be too different and different stages in your life.

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    • That is possibly true, but like history shows women are more mature or mature faster than men (of the same age) so if a man in older by 1-10 years they may be more compatible. Besides, I find it rare that a woman is older than the man, but it does happen.

    • I think a lot of older men use dating a w younger woman as excuse to act immature, avoid commitment and take no responsibility.
      If I had a penny every-time I heard a guy younger women won't pressure you for commitment. Well the thing is, younger women are dating you because they're hoping you will want that on your own. They're not dating you because they want you to act like all the other idiots her age

    • I totally agree. If a man is older and dates a girl so he can act immature, then he is not yet a man, in the first place and most likely should not be dating at all.

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What Guys Said 37

  • When you are 16, a 2 year age difference is potentially a big deal. When you are in your 61, a 2 year age difference is nothing. How about: try to stay within a 10% difference of your age but never exceed a 15% difference. So, if you are 20, 18-22 is preferred but 17-23 is the maximum range. When you are 30, 27-33 is recommended but 25.5-34.5 is the maximum range. When you are 40, 36-44 is recommended and 34-46 is the maximum range.

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    • I like that...10% difference. Thank you for your answer

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    • I understand that at the age, it would be just a suggestion. I am curious, this may be going off-topic a bit, so you think sharing common interests is important, and that, roughly, an age range allows them to share common interests? I didn't always feel that way around people my age, but recall some instances where it seemed more true. The professor I never had once said youth is wasted on the young. I sometimes feel like I missed out being with people my age, though again, did not feel common interests were shared. Some did have different values, the fancy clothes, car, and clubs is one example you give. Who knows though?

    • @Psi_Unknown You are absolutely right. The bottom line is finding someone with common interests. The age range is just a guide that is helpful only as long as your interests are consistent with the interests of others of the same age.

  • I used to hope people my age of close saw things at least somewhat like I did, but I think they do not. The "safe" legal age is usually 18, but sometimes I feel like people that age don't have a mature enough mindset or experience. Which is also somewhat funny because if the pedophile haters argue that people shouldn't be with an immature mind because of age, what makes it acceptable then to take advantage of someone of legal age? What about someone who has a mature mind at a young age? Also, in the eyes of the greatest mind, all other minds are likely less mature. There is also the body argument, but again, different bodies have different rates of growth and can look older or younger. I think the problem with laws is that political systems can lag behind with what makes sense or is logically consistent. Politicians may have some training in logic and what not, but there job is not cognitively deep. Politicians cannot even decide on reasons for making laws: security, control, freedom, well-being, justice, or it just works. Without purpose or logical consistency, there can be no permanently good application and logical extension. Personally when I consider being with someone, I usually look age the ratio of our ages, and though numbers have meaning, they cannot tell you everything.

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    • This is by far the best answer so far. Thank you!!!

    • Thank you for calling my answer best! I just typed what I thought or felt, for whatever my opinion is worth.

  • My parents are 10 years apart. They have a good relationship and me and my siblings turned out alright. I think that's a little much and 5 years is probably a bit better but I definitely wouldn't go over 10 years. I am not aware of any laws in the United States where I live but I would say forget it because it's a personal choice. The main thing I would be concerned about is being the younger one and seeing my significant other die way earlier than me.

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  • I think in the 18-25 range it works well if the guy is a bit older. Girls are more mature for their age so a 19 year old girl is a good match with a 22yr old guy.

    Once your a bit older i think its just whatever makes you happy

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  • Kind of, mainly due to external input... depends how influenced you or the other person would be. I dated someone younger (only 4 years) and a lot of people felt like they had an opinion on it, it didn't bother me personally but the girls friends put her under pressure and she cracked over it. I got it, at the same time it's pathetic people feel entitled to have a say in others relationships.

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  • Not necessarily... in a way its just a number.
    Two individuals maturity levels and the stage in their life is much more important.

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  • Well, it depends on the age difference between the two people who are dating. If the age difference is less than 6 years, it's fine. Anything beyond 8 is a little too much.

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    • even if it's an underage person (16, 17) and a man/woman (22, 23)? i did the 6 years difference between the ages just so you'll know...

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    • @Psi_Unknown It is interesting to think 1 day before one's 18th birthday they have no clue about sex and are too young in the eyes of the law to know anything, but in an instant when the bell rings, you are 18 now, the person gains all this special knowledge that's been kept from them for almost 18 years. So silly, these laws.

    • I agree these laws can sound silly, but since people write the laws, the silliness originates from people, right?

  • There was a really interesting chapter about age in the book
    "Dataclysm: Love, Sex, Race, and Identity--What Our Online Lives Tell Us about Our Offline Selves" (http://www. amazon. com/gp/product/B00J1IQUX8/ref=dp-kindle-redirect? ie=UTF8&btkr=1).

    A woman will always prefer a man who is slightly older than she is. A man will always prefer a 20 year-old. At least physically. A lot of who men show actual dating interest in is dictated by their conjecture of society's view of their relationships, not by physical interest.

    Here are two articles with excerpts from the book:
    blog.okcupid.com/.../
    www.businessinsider.com/dataclysm-shows-men-are-attracted-to-women-in-their-20s-2014-10

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  • Age is just a number once your an adult it does not really matter. It depends how you get along and what you have in common

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  • I am personally not a fan myself but that said I am sure there are age gap relationships that work. My personal dating range is 7 years either side of my actual age that gives me a personal dating range of 40 to 54.

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  • Age attraction decreases exponentially as one ages. A 20 year old being attracted to a 15 year old would be deemed weird, however a 40 year old being attracted to a 35 year old would be socially acceptable.
    Rule of thumb is just not to go after a minor.

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  • Im 20 and my rule is no younger than 18 and no older than 26 though the 18 year olds tend to be too emotionally unbalanced and people tend to chanfe too much from 18-20 in my opinion because of the sudden freedom and responsibilities of being an adult

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  • It's mpre about maturity. But i would say no more than 5 years difference

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  • They aren't bad, they aren't good.. just happens. Fortunately, not too often. There's no limit to me, but common sense exists, regardless.
    Relevant laws exist for underage people and with good reasons. Other than that, it doesn't really matter, though, it makes me cringe seeing a couple where she is old enough to be his mom.

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  • Over 10% difference is a hazard, over 25% a problem, over 30% guaranteed problems

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  • A couple or so years, no. 5+ is beginning to sound fishy.

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  • I've always dated girls younger than me

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  • That depends on which age they are.
    22 and 27 is good.
    16 and 21 is bad. And I'm not talking about legality.
    In the last case, they are basically in two completely different physical and mental states. One is just surpassed the "partying" phase, the other one has just entered it.
    Same works for others. 30 and 40 is okay, 20 and 30 is not okay (in most cases).

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  • No, I prefer dating girls younger than I am. It allows me to be more protective and I feel more caring.

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  • There is none. Women usually want an older man and it doesn't matter the age difference. Intellectual boundary are ageless and women crave that bond with anybody. A woman is attracted to anybody smart enough to share a conversation.

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  • If one party is underage, then no it's not right. If both parties of legal age, the whatever age gap is acceptable to them is fine.

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  • Let's take your age as an example... If a 45 year old man came home with my 21 year old daughter... He might walk into my house but I can assure you, he wouldn't be walking out.

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  • go by the golden rule: half the guys age +7 is appropriate ( as long as it adds up to a legal age)

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  • Can't give shit lol I don't wanna have girlfriend till I am out of college lol

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  • No, 60 year olds with 25 year old models is pretty much fine.

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  • I only date older women so in my world the age range is between (10 - 25yrs older than me.)

    My girlfriend is 11yrs older than me.

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  • For me yes

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  • Take your age, divide it by two. Add seven, and that is the youngest age you're allowed to date. Obviously, if you're under the age of ten, then this probably isn't something you should be worrying about :/

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  • Whatever's legal. I don't care.

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  • She is nine months elder than me not a big deal.

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