When roles are reversed it seems okay.
My friend is 32 dating a younger guy, and when she told her Mom about the relationship she was quickly advised to find a guy her own age.
When I thought about this but flipped the sexes of the individuals (24 year old woman---32 year old man, no one would ever say that or question it).
Most Helpful Guy
IF a relationship is authentic and between mature adults then age is irrelevant. The first is a lifelong process. The second is only roughly definable.
He 18, She 26: probably he's too young for her
He 30, She 38: probably AOK.
He 24, She 32 possibly OK.
Another factor to consider is the power dynamic. At 18 I would have been happy to defer to a 26 year old wife. Were she a sexual/social submissive she would have been less likely than a s/s dominant to get into a relationship with a guy my age. I matured into a socially dominant/sexually submissive male, which would have been disastrous for the relationship. Of course there are 26 year old submissive women who can fall for 18 year old alpha males; it's complicated but it's still worth thinking about.
On the flip side, older man w/ younger woman I have to think the dominance/submissive thing is even more important, and that well over half of women have submissive tendencies and that well over half of men have dominance tendencies, thus explaining the more socially correct attitude.
Having said all that the Woody Allen thing turns my stomach.
In either case mother's are probably the worst source of advice. Not impartial.
Most Helpful Girl
I know hundreds and hundreds of married couples, mb even 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 to 12 years older than the wife.
Like, at least 97 percent of the best-functioning couples.
There's also more than just my anecdotal experience to back this up:
(If you see the more recent studies that purport to show that same-age marriages are most stable, a further look shows that those are BS... because they removed the variable of *which spouse is older*! So, in other words, those studies are lumping marriages in which the wife is 7 years YOUNGER in along with marriages in which the wife is 7 years OLDER. Lol... Nice experimental design, guys.)
In any case, there are 2 easy reasons to explain this.
Our fertility starts declining in our mid-20's, and, if we haven't given birth yet, starts to fall off a cliff around age 30. (Giving birth extends the fertility clock, so to speak.)
In an older woman / younger man relationship, if the woman wants biological children, that man is gna have to get started down that path REALLLLYYY early.
Like, in this couple you know -- if this 32-year-old woman wants to conceive children naturally, she needs to start trying NOW.
How many guys in their mid-20's are ready for a do-or-die position regarding children?
MALE LEADERSHIP / PROTECTIVE VIBE:
Let's face it, that ^^ is what JUST ABOUT EVERY woman wants in a husband. It takes different forms from woman to woman... but... yeah.
Can a man 8 years younger exert credible leadership? Can he be the legitimate head of the household, in the spiritual sense (not necessarily money, which is mostly not relevant here)?
There are a FEW guys who can step up to that, but, not many. And, on the other side, there are only a FEW women who are ready to accept the headship/leadership -- or even partnership -- of a guy who's much younger than them.
Those are the big 2 reasons.
For women who also think a man should be a financial provider... that's another nail in the coffin (how many 24-year-old guys can "provide" better than a 32-year-old wife can?)
So... yeah. Long odds.
If they love each other -- and don't much care whether they ultimately have biological children -- then they should go for it.
Otherwise... Long odds.1