How big is too big of an age gap?

I'm a 22 yr old female. Recently met a lovely man we've enjoyed plenty of amazing dates. It's more than a sexual attraction our dates typically end up being all day dates with just us talking or hanging out. My only real concern about diving into a relationship is he is 34 so he's 12 years older. Do you think this age gap is too big? I forget about the age gap most of the time I spend with him but I know some of my friends find the age gap weird and it upsets me because he is slowly becoming important to me


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Most Helpful Guy

  • For males, the typically socially acceptable age range is half your age, + 7. So, for me, 26, it would be 20 years old. If I dated an 18 year old or 19 year old, people would start viewing it as a bit too large of an age gap. Not overly so. But it would receive a more negative feelings than dating a 20 year old.

    For him, he's 34, so his socially acceptable age range would be a 24 year old. 22 isn't too much farther from that. So, you'll probably get a marginal amount of negative feelings about your relationship; but not a lot.

    12 years is quite an age gap. My parents are 9 years apart, and I know a lot of peoples' parents who have been 5+ years apart. I don't know if I would call it "too big". It's doable. That's how I feel about it. That's a good explanation for it, I feel. It's doable.

    Just give your friends some time. They need to know that he is a good guy for you and isn't just taking advantage of you. Over time they will learn to accept him more. The age gap isn't *that* big, to where it's unacceptable. They're just looking out for you. Once they see it's all good, they'll come around.

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    • 1mo

      My best friend really loves him so I think people are starting to warm up to us. It's just confronting to hear the number but I mean intellectually and mentally we are equals. We enjoy our time together. We fight like any normal couple but it's always intense but worth it in the end. I'm just going to stick to what is happening and let it take its natural course so thank you I appreciate the answer :)

    • 1mo

      Cool. Yeah, they'll be fine. That is a good way to look at it. One day at a time. No problem. ^^;

What Guys Said 17

  • Depends. If things got serious and he wants a family, you may not be ready for that, but he is getting older and may not want to wait. Personally, my wife is almost 6 years younger and I would not dating anyone with even that much of an age gap next time. My problem was I was already established in a career and had some money while she was still in high school when we met. It took about 8 years before she was all done school and also became established in a career. This sorta put our lives on hold all this time in regards to buying a house or getting married.

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    • 1mo

      We've been honest about what we want in the future he knows I'm not ready for family and he himself doesn't want them just yet which eases the pressure. I wouldn't consider talking about marriage until after a couple of years of dating. I'm actually quite mature for my age so mentally we are the same but in reality there's 12 years between us if that makes sense

    • 1mo

      Totally understand. The other issue is, how old would be too old for him to start a family? Lets say you date for a few more years and get engaged and then married for a year or so. If you start a family then he would be pushing 40. A lot of people look to start retiring at around 60, not put kids through college and have to work until they are 70 to pay for it. Just saying. It's something to think about.

    • 1mo

      I mean I get what you are saying but biologically men stay fertile for longer periods of time. In any case I would earn more than him as I have a more "skilled" job. It's something I am thinking about very seriously though it's just hard to let go of something that has the potential to be beautiful.

  • Age only matters to those on the outside. If you are in the same place in your life and/or going in the same direction than its not a problem and will be even less as you both get older.

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  • Well if your friends think about it, you both are at a similar point in life and likely want the same things. I have this problem with my half-sisters every time I'm dating (or simply interested in) a girl their age (9 and 11 years between us). You go for what you want. So long as your boyfriend doesn't piss your friends off, they will hopefully mellow and get used to it.

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  • It's irrelevant unless it's not.

    Basically, if you guys are wanting similar things at this point in your lives and you click, then who cares?

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  • I think you're fine. From what I'm reading about your guy, if you forget his age, YOU're fine with it. Do you know how he feels about it? In actuality, only you two should be concerned about the age difference.

    The "math" that others have posted is just a general guide. It kinda sounds like he looks younger than his age (so do I, but I may or may not get into that later). I think as long as you two connect well and in the same "mindset phase" of life, that it shouldn't matter. Yes, I say SHOULDn't (those that know me know that I have reservations about this word). The fact that you're asking this at this stage of dating him is because you're considering of having a LTR with him. This is a good thing believe it or not (again, something I may or may not get into later).

    While you value your friend's opinions, it is you TWO that are going to be in the relationship. I forget from 10 hours ago when I first read this (and others' comments) if your friends / parents have met him yet or not. Might I suggest if they haven't, that you hold off on telling them his age until either they specifically ask or on outing 3 with them? Point is that if you're having reservations about telling them his age, that may color their opinion of him. A person is more than just an age, a label, etc.

    If your friends are really your friends, they'll voice their concerns in a reasonable manner when they find out his age. I've seen bigger shit than this be brought up and it's fine once it's discussed as adults in a calm and rational manner.

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    • 1mo

      Yeah TBH I didn't know his age when we met and vice versa for him we just spoke about stupid shit for hours and made out haha. I have method friends and family who live nearby but I have a rule about meeting family which is I would only introduce someone I was in a ltr with , he has met my friends and my brother and they like him

      Well yeah I do know what he feels about the whole age gap thing, one of his mates made a comment very much like many of the men here about me being some cheap little girl and I freaked out. He's been honest that he wouldn't be into me if it was only sex. Our dates are generally us talking , hanging out and exploring for hours. We have sex but not very often. His best friend told me he said he could picture his life with me so I think that's a good sign

      Yes I'll definitely keep that advice in mind. thank you so much for your advice and opinion

    • 1mo

      *met his not method haha

    • 1mo

      Sure thing. Apparently my brain autocorrected what you meant to say.

  • I dated a woman 12 years younger than me. The age gap was never a problem.

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  • Anything over 8 years.

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  • Honestly, if you are both happy does it really matter?

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    • 1mo

      No it doesn't i just confronted by people saying the gaps too big and as much as I try not to listen I start to doubt what we have because I feel bad for even being attracted to him. We met without even knowing our ages and when we did it was something we laughed about. But yeah I'm just gonna stick to it. :)

  • 1/2x+7
    2(x-7)

    x= your age

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  • in the uk...16 and dead. up untill that point it is for both consenting parties only to determine if it feels right

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  • Just maybe as far as 10, but that's still really pushing it a good bit...

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  • Anything over 10 years 5months 3 days and 12 hours is just to big of an age difference.

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  • There's a mathematical formula.

    You take his age, subtract 7 tenth of her age, and multiply the whole thing by 0.75.

    If she can't do that math, she's too young.

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  • It's whatever

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  • No, if I was 34 I would like to have a chick your age.

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    • 1mo

      That's exactly what his married guy friends with children will be thinking. "Ugh dude, you're so lucky. What I wouldn't give to be fucking a 22 year old again, and not be talking about decorating or designing the house, or the fucking baby, or who we're going to see over the weekend, or how we're going to fill up our schedule like we're campaigning until there's no time left for anyone to be in the mood to have sex anymore."

      It's a beautiful thing to be able to click the "pause" button as an adult once in a while and date down 12 years younger. You have the perfect excuse, you're in different places in life, it's just that you knew that going in (and she was too young to fully comprehend and believe that until it was too late). So, you have your cheap thrills, sexually vent, then smoothly break off diplomatic relations and continue with your own life as she's left broken and discovering her own for the first time without you.

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    • 1mo

      @pnl86 that's assuming I'm not at the same place as him, I just started my phd so while it may seem like he's dating some dumb 22 yr old he's not. I'm fully aware a lot of people will be thinking like you and I appreciate what your trying to say but a lot of people tell me I'm a 30 yr old woman trapped in a 22 year old body. Sure I could get hurt but we've had some intense hurdles already. The sex is a bonus sure but we hardly have it caus we're both busy so in all honesty he probably complains just as much about me as you would about your wife not giving it up enough.

    • 1mo

      It's not a matter of intelligence. It's a matter of character shaped through life experiences, and a matter of what stage you both are in life. There are plenty of intelligent people who lack maturity.

      For instance, I'm not the least bit flattered by the fact that anything I said got under your skin so much that you felt the irresistible urge to throw in an insult or mischaracterization directed at me. That only illustrates that you're a 22 year old in a 22 year old's body.

      My goal isn't to insult or challenge you, or troll you. I'm only trying to be real with you and help you avoid getting used and hurt (and wasting your time with the wrong man). I grew up around womanizers, both of my uncles and my father. If you don't want to listen, that's on you. I said what I had to say, that's all. You won't be the first or last girl to chase the feeling of feeling like a mature woman by negative association from other women her age by virtue of dating an older man.

  • No the gaps not to big. I married my girl at 16 and the age gap was fourteen years. Your over thinking it. It natural for you to prefer an older man.

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  • No I don't think so, my cousin is 32 and married to a 22 years old girl and they are a fantastic couple get along very well. Well maybe because the girl is mature enough too, she will finish her master degree both work and have an amazing relationship and life.

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    • 1mo

      Yeah I'm pretty much in the same boat I just started my phd and he's working full time in a field he loves so it just works. Thanks for the advice appreciate it :)

What Girls Said 9

  • Oh my gosh! I am in the same situation! He is also 34 and I am 26. Honestly was surprised to know he was 34 because he didn't look it and he certainly did not make me feel it when we were together. All dates have been incredible too so I would like to know what people have to say regarding this question.

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    • 1mo

      He's really sweet to me we have been seeing each other for a couple of months I've kept him to myself but only recently told my friends I know it's a big age gap but I've honestly never been happier

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    • 1mo

      You are welcome! We don't want to regret breaking up with someone we love just for the sake of "SOCIETYYYY" or what other people around us think. I told you this happened with me too, also my male friends used to tell me all the time she is too tall for you brooo and other bullshit, they were only jealous of us. I do what it feels right and good for me in my life, I don't care anymore what others think about me and my actions.

    • 1mo

      @mits777 yeah that's how I think I would feel if I broke it off just because of this. I'd regret it for a long time. There's a really strong connection , we laugh a lot and it's comfortable I can speak to him about anything and everything and I love that about him. It's early days and we are taking it slow and the sex is honestly a bonus it's the connection we both enjoy more. thank you again for the advice :)

  • If you feel comfortable around him and he's a great person your friends will eventually get over the age gap.

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  • Yes. I know a girl who's in a relationship with a 'man' 13 years older than her. Literally I could've told her she's going to be miserable 99.99% of the time. And she is.

    Logically - that can never work.

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    • 1mo

      It'll never get as serious as you'd want it to be...

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    • 1mo

      So you can read minds and you know every couple with an age gap? No I didn't think so. so you can't state your opinion and act as if it's a fact.

    • 1mo

      Then you say "the guy that may seem serious now might not be so serious now. About you especially" ummm that's literally a possibility with every relationship. No matter age gap, Normal relationship, gay relationship, etc so that comment was kind of ignorant and negative.

  • I guess at that age 12 years isn't so bad, he's probably just proud he got such a young girl and you might enjoy a mature guy. However, the younger you are the smaller the gap should be. Like you can't have a 12 year old and an 18 year old. But 18 and 24 seems ok to me.

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  • Too big would be like 16 and 40. So if he's 20 to 24 years older, that's too much.

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  • For me personally 7+ years.

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  • I think it's quite large but doable, you're both adults.

    I know a 16 yo girl and a 27 yo guy who are falling for each other now, that's too big of a gap I think. She feels like she's all grown up but she obviously lacks experience and he's known to break hearts, usually 3 at a time.

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  • I think thats ok, as long as he's not 47-50yrs old.

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  • Hun it's your relationship not theirs. They should be happy if your happy.

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    • 1mo

      I guess I just want their support instead of blanket disapproval. He is a genuine man and has been very supportive of me the past couple of months. Thank you for your advice you are right!

    • 1mo

      :) hun if they were real friends they'd support you. You should be happy

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