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  #1  
Old 04-19-2004, 05:33 PM
Xavier Xavier is offline
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What do you think is an acceptable age gap between partners?

Okay. So one of my buddies is upset. He's 22 and his gf is 18. Now I think it's a major bummer when you're 22 and have to freak out about petty shit like this. But he's got a point. I mean I wouldn't like to go out with someone who was either:

a) more than 2 years older than me

b) more than 2.2 years younger than me

But then maybe I'm just an anal asshole (get it? huh? huh?). I mean some people (the guy in questions parents, for one), have considerably larger age gaps between them. Like 10 years. Or 17. Or 37 (no, I'm serious).

I don't know about you, but I'd hate to be 37 while my future SO is just sperm. But then that's me.

What do you think? I mean what do you consider to be a "healthy" age gap? What do you think is the best age difference between partners (my theory is exactly nil - you have to be born within the same minute to qualify on Xavier's "perfect age gap" list - so far there are no listees)?

How much older/younger are you than your partner/gf/SO/spouse?

I for example, am almost a year younger than my woman. I think that suits me just fine.

And are you happy with the age gap between you and your partner?
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  #2  
Old 04-19-2004, 05:42 PM
Furry Mongoose Furry Mongoose is offline
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I'm 18 and my bf is 22. I really don't think it's ever caused major problems as we're both relatively mature anyway.

13 years between my mum and dad and it didn't do them any harm.

I don't have an actual cut off point but I'd be kinda reluctant to go out with someone over 25. I find it pretty wrong when you see 20 year olds hanging around with 80 year olds though... you have to wonder what they're really after...
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  #3  
Old 04-19-2004, 05:49 PM
Abbie Carmichael Abbie Carmichael is offline
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Only 6 months between me and the Mr.

However, there's over 25 years between my mom and her boyfriend. (She's the older one.)

Friend o' mine has a husband who's 16 years older.

*shrug* Whatever floats your boat, as long as it's legal.
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Old 04-19-2004, 05:50 PM
monica monica is offline
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Out of curiousity, where did the number 2.2 come from? Why not 2.1 or 2.3?
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Old 04-19-2004, 05:51 PM
silenus silenus is online now
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Well, the older you get, the less it matters. I'm 19 years older than my wife, and we get along just great. Of course, had I known her when I was 35.....that would be different, not to mention illegal!
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Old 04-19-2004, 06:06 PM
Xavier Xavier is offline
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Quote:
Abbie Carmichael: Only 6 months between me and the Mr.
Wow. I'm really jealous of you now. May I ask at what age did you two meet?
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  #7  
Old 04-19-2004, 06:21 PM
Beltane Beltane is offline
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I've often heard the guideline that the younger partner should not be any younger than half the age of the older partner, plus seven years. I have no idea where this came from originally, but as far as completly arbitrarya and meanlingless guidelines go, it's not bad
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  #8  
Old 04-19-2004, 06:33 PM
Sublight Sublight is offline
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I'm seven months young than my wife, while my dad is eight years younger than my mom. So far, we all seem to be doing fine.

Age doesn't really make that big a difference to me. My past girlfriends ranged from 5 years younger (19 when I was 24) to 11 years older (35-24).
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Old 04-19-2004, 06:36 PM
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Like Beltane, I'm also a proponent of the Dirty Old Man Quotient, half the older partner's age, rounded down, plus seven. (it breaks if you go below 14, though.) So an 18-year-old can date someone 16 or older, a 22-year-old can date someone 18 or older, and a 70-year-old can date someone 42 or older without seeming like a dirty old person.

As for me, my partner's a bit under a year and a half older than I am. It's not something I particularly care about, though, as I don't think it really matters that much. It's probably best for partners to go through some life stages together and hit old age at around the same time, but once everybody's at the age of consent, what difference is there, really, between four seconds and four years? Why do you feel it's so important?

(My grandparents, by the way, were born one day apart. I think. Maybe two, but no more than that.)
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Old 04-19-2004, 06:58 PM
Rushgeekgirl Rushgeekgirl is offline
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I am ten years and one month older than my boyfriend/shackup honey/partner Miguel. He's 24 and I'm 34.
We've had no problems, but I think it's because he's more mature than most men I know. And...I'm a bit silly myself.

And my GOD he's hot. Not that has to do with anything, but after five months I'm still in shock.
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Old 04-19-2004, 07:04 PM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Hm, I am married to someone 2 years younger than I am. At various times I have lived with a man 12 years older than I and much more recently dated someone 12 years younger than myself...and had no problems with either of them in or out of bed.

I would say that there is a problem IF you dont like the same types of music, and otehr forms of entertainment [movies, tv programs, sports - whatever you do *out* of bed] as there just isn't enough to keep a good relationship going once the lust phase is finished.
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Old 04-19-2004, 07:05 PM
Mangetout Mangetout is online now
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I initially misread the thread title as "What do you think is an acceptable air gap between partners?" - I'll just delete my elaborate reply to that question then...


My wife is 7 years older than me, it isn't an issue (except for my kids, who took a long time to understand that older doesn't necessarily mean taller).
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Old 04-19-2004, 07:06 PM
whiterabbit whiterabbit is offline
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My ex was (well, is, I suppose) sixteen years older than me. It wasn't an issue, other things broke us up.

There's a couple of dating prospects on the horizon for me -- the oldest is ten years older than me (I'm 28). As far as I'm concerned that's fine. The other is 32.

I wouldn't want to date a guy who was more than a couple of years younger than me, unless he was unusually mature -- not that I am, but there's a world of difference between, say, 22 and 28.
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Old 04-19-2004, 07:16 PM
flamingbananas flamingbananas is offline
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My boyfriend is 3 years older then me, which doesn't bother me at all. He is short for his age, so we are the same height, and we look the same age. Anyway, all the guys my age are total jackasses, so I like older guys, who have grown up a bit. It also helps that he is super hot . As someone stated before, it doesn't matter but he is still really hot...
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Old 04-19-2004, 07:42 PM
Scarlett67 Scarlett67 is offline
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I met Mr. S when I was 20 and he was 32. But he's really immature! (ba-dum bum) We've been married almost 14 years, no worries.

I really think it depends on the personalities of the individuals.
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  #16  
Old 04-19-2004, 08:16 PM
START START is offline
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When I'm 50 I hope my girlfriend is somewhere between 18-25 years old.
BTW did anyone see that talk show where that 40 year old woman got married to a 14 year old and it was her sons best friend...hilarious.
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Old 04-19-2004, 08:33 PM
Archergal Archergal is offline
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I'm 16 years older than my fiance. We've already been together for 10 years without any serious problems.

I'm female. Before I hooked up with Mr. Right, I dated a good many guys who were 4 or 5 years younger than me, and a couple who were older.

It's ok if you don't want a big age gap in your relationships, but it's not a big deal to a lot of us.
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Old 04-19-2004, 08:35 PM
Miller Miller is online now
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My dad is about twelve years older than my mom, and has known her, literally, all her life. They're the third (IIRC) couple to marry from their two respective families in as many generations. Technically, they're cousins, but only through marriage: no actual inbreeding occured.

A couple years ago, a friend of mine attended a wedding with a similar age gap, and was majorly skeeved out by it. Great conversation:

Friend: He's, like, ten years older than her!
Me: My dad is twelve years older than my mom.
Friend: Oh. <Blushes a little> But, he knew her when she was a little kid! That's so wierd!
Me: My dad knew my mom when she was an infant.
Friend: Oh. <turning to Other Friend> Well, don't you think this is wierd?
Other Friend: Nope. <points to me> My dad dated his mom before she married his dad. And he was even older.
Friend: Oh. <Blushes a lot>
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  #19  
Old 04-19-2004, 08:51 PM
Master Wang-Ka Master Wang-Ka is offline
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Depends entirely on the individuals. The only hard and fast criteria I would establish is that both partners should be legal adults.

I have an aunt and uncle. Been married going on fifty years. She used to babysit him when they were kids; she's seven years older than he is.

Supposedly, by the time he was old enough to date, it was a common conclusion among both families that they'd wind up together. They got married when he got back from his hitch in the Army.

I have wondered to no END about that...
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  #20  
Old 04-19-2004, 09:15 PM
pepperlandgirl pepperlandgirl is offline
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I don't think an age gap is a big deal, as long as it's legal.

Having said that, I met my husband when I was 15 and he was 18....so at the time it wasn't quite legal...
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Old 04-19-2004, 09:50 PM
fishbicycle fishbicycle is offline
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My wife just turned 30. I'm 45. We met when she was 22 and married when she was 24. She was the most right person for the position, ever, and I could not go through life wishing I had said something and not having done so. Fortunately, she felt the same way. My wife was already independent and educated when we met, and if she had been a child or even like a child I wouldn't have been interested. She went with someone her own age and it was a mess. After knowing me, she told me that older men rock, because we've got more of our **** together. Apparently younger guys haven't matured emotionally or something, a premise with which I can agree. I would have been a lousy husband in my 20s. The age gap hasn't been an issue. I guess it just depends on the people.
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  #22  
Old 04-19-2004, 11:19 PM
Abbie Carmichael Abbie Carmichael is offline
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Wow. I'm really jealous of you now. May I ask at what age did you two meet?

We were 19 and met online.
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  #23  
Old 04-19-2004, 11:30 PM
picunurse picunurse is offline
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My Husband is 18 years younger. He turned 40 two weeks ago. We've been married 4 years, (today) lived together for 6 years and have been a couple for 8 years. We love each other very much, and are best friends. No one has ever guessed our age gap, because we share so much, we seem to be close in age.
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  #24  
Old 04-20-2004, 02:23 AM
CrazyCatLady CrazyCatLady is offline
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Happy anniversary, picunurse!

My husband's roughly 3 months older than I am. My dad is 5 years older than my mom. My father-in-law is 4 or 5 years older than my mother-in-law. One of my best friends is engaged to a guy who's twelve years older than her. I can't say that any one relationship seems to be any better or worse than the others.

Basically, the acceptable age gap is whatever works for the couple in question (assuming nobody's at risk for being charged with statutory rape.) Of course, what seems acceptable to most people tends to widen as you get older. There's often a huge difference between 18 and 22 in terms of life experience, but not so much between 26 and 30, and pretty much none between 40 and 44. So it may indeed seem strange to your friend to be dating an 18yo because she seems so young in comparison.

At my age (28), I wouldn't want to be involved with someone 10 years younger than me. Not because of the age difference itself, but because an 18yo is just getting started forming their adult identity. I'd want to be with someone who had a clearer idea of who they really are and what they really want. Ten years from now, a 10-year gap wouldn't be that big a deal.
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  #25  
Old 04-20-2004, 04:54 AM
PookahMacPhellimey PookahMacPhellimey is offline
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I agree that it depends on the persons involved.

I want to add that it also depends on what you actually want from the relationship.

I used to have a "thing" with a guy who was (is) 28 years older than me. I call it "thing" because you couldn't call it a fully fledged relationship. He had a girlfriend, I was the bit on the side. I knew I was never going to actually date him as such and would have strongly advised him against dumping his GF, which wouldn't have occurred to him anyway.

Had I actually been his proper girlfriend I think the age gap would have become a problem, because of where we were in life, what we still wanted to do etc., the usual stuff. For a fling it was fine, though.
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  #26  
Old 04-20-2004, 06:29 AM
irishgirl irishgirl is offline
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11 months between me and irishfella, 7 years between my parents, almost 20 years between my grandparents.

I'd say that there are no hard and fast rules, if you "click" with someone, and you find them attractive, age isn't really going to be an issue.

Other, peripheral stuff (one of you at school, the other working) might be important, but not the actual age difference itself, if everything else works in the relationship.
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Old 04-20-2004, 11:12 AM
Dolores Reborn Dolores Reborn is offline
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I think it matters inasmuch as I think that people need to have some commonalities in background. I was married to a man 13 years older than me. I was 30, and he was 43. In my experience, the age gap made differences in taste in music. He liked oldies, I liked more modern stuff. Him being more experienced in a lot of life things made him more "fatherly" - he wanted to teach me everything. It probably had to do with his personality, too, but I never wanted to have another older man.

My current husband is 5 years older than me, and we have SO much in common. For example, we both used to be dopers - in the pot sense! - and so have that whole "hippie" era in common, something I never had with my late husband. We like the same music, food, clothes...

Health problems are an issue, too. When you are 50 and they are 65 or 70 - it's hard is all.
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  #28  
Old 04-20-2004, 11:26 AM
Beltane Beltane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfbabe
Like Beltane, I'm also a proponent of the Dirty Old Man Quotient, half the older partner's age, rounded down, plus seven. (it breaks if you go below 14, though.) So an 18-year-old can date someone 16 or older, a 22-year-old can date someone 18 or older, and a 70-year-old can date someone 42 or older without seeming like a dirty old person.
Actually it works VERY well with someone under 14. Just remember to only use the older person's age. if John is 12 and kathy is 12 then [(johns age)/2]+7= 13. Kath is not old enough for him to date. The opposite also applies. This is because this formula assumes that anyone under 14 is simply to young to date for anyone, even someone their own age.
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  #29  
Old 04-20-2004, 11:59 AM
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Count me as another "as long as it's legal" proponent. Maybe it's safe to say that most people's lives follow some sort of quasi-linear progression from immaturity to maturity, but a lot of people just don't fit that pattern, and in my experience they tend to be the ones who get paired up with people significantly older or younger. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I never really went through the "stupid youth" phase of life - I've always been pretty level-headed, responsible and mature, even as a teenager. The vast majority of my girlfriends have been older than me, several in the range of 11-13 years, and not once has age been an issue. Only three times have I dated someone younger - my very first girlfriend, who was a year younger than me (and she doesn't really count, as we were something like 13 and 14 at the time), another girl who was 17 when I was 18, and my last girlfriend, who turns 27 this year, and I just turned 32. But I'd never completely rule someone out based on any remotely-likely age difference. I can see myself dating anyone from 18 to 50+. It all depends on the person.
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Old 04-20-2004, 12:04 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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In my last personal ad, I specified "For legal reasons, female person is to be over 18; for medical ones, best if she be under 75 or in remarkably good health and of great stamina. Iím 40."
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  #31  
Old 04-20-2004, 12:25 PM
Eliahna Eliahna is online now
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There's only 4 months between my husband and I (he's older).

I don't think you can say "This is the optimum age gap between partners". What works for some doesn't for others. It totally depends on the people involved. One thing I've noticed is that age gaps become less of a problem as you get older. My brother is 24, his fiancee is 21. People seem to think that's fine now, but when they started dating he was 19 and she was 16, and some of the same people thought that was a bit iffy.
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Old 04-20-2004, 12:27 PM
Eliahna Eliahna is online now
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Oops! Just wanted to add that my brother in law (aged 29) was seeing a 17 year old. We thought that was seriously pushing it. Luckily she was a very mature 17 year old and he was a very immature 29 year old. Eventually she outgrew him.
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Old 04-20-2004, 12:36 PM
Hal Briston Hal Briston is offline
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I first met my wife when I was 19 and she was 9.

Of course, back then she was just my buddy John's bratty little sister. I would see her perhaps once a year or so until she hit her teens, and then she be off with friends and such, so I didn't see her again until I was 28 and she was 18. I was living with John at the time, and our place was pretty much the hangout for all our friends. His sister started hanging out, and we just hit it off.

It was really tough for awhile. In my mind, I kept thinking "Are you nuts?? She's basically a kid! A year ago you didn't want to date a girl because she was only 20! And John is going to fricking kill you if he finds out!" Of course, the other side of my brain was saying "Holy crap, she's hot!"

After a few weeks of minor flirting, I came to realize that she was very mature. She wasn't a dopey teen who just wanted to "*tee hee!* go find some boys!". She was looking for something serious, as was I. Six months later, we were living together. Three months after that, we were engaged. Shortly after she turned 21, we were married (there was no way she was going to have a wedding reception at which she couldn't legally drink ).

It was tough going for a little while. John was pretty pissed, but he leared to deal (His wife got through to him with "of all your friends, which one would you want dating your sister?"). Her parents were more or less ok with it, but then, they started dating when he was 32 and she was 18, so there was little room for argument.

Ever since then, it's been pretty golden. We had a rough patch a few years ago where we split for a few months, but we patched it up and the relationship is now the best I've ever seen. I'm 36, she just turned 26, and our 5th anniversary is in July.

I suppose it comes down to matching up maturity-wise, not necessarly age-wise. She's about five years ahead of herself, I'm about five years behind, so we match up perfectly!
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  #34  
Old 04-20-2004, 12:43 PM
FilmGeek FilmGeek is offline
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Ardred and I are four years apart. He's 29, I'm 25.

I think it all depends on where you are in life... he and I are in the same phase of our lives... finishing or finished with college, taking our first steps into the 'real world' and separating from our parents.

Why such rules, Xavier? If you met a girl that was three years older than you are... you wouldn't consider dating her? That's kind of messed up, if you ask me.
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  #35  
Old 04-20-2004, 12:48 PM
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Count me in with the half your age plus seven folks.
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Old 04-20-2004, 01:22 PM
black rabbit black rabbit is offline
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My wife just turned 34. I'll be 26 on Bastille Day.

We met when I was 20 years old, piss drunk at a bar, natch.

If I could do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing. Though she was a little freaked out about it at the beginning of our relationship.
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  #37  
Old 04-20-2004, 01:57 PM
Krisfer the Cat Krisfer the Cat is offline
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As long as the two people involved are happy and of consenting age, anyone else's acceptance/approval is moot.

God Forbid we should get together with someone who is compatible, fun, loving, easy to talk to etc. irregardless of how much older or younger they are...*




*keeping the consenting age factor firmly in mind of course.. no children!
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  #38  
Old 04-20-2004, 02:09 PM
Silver Fire Silver Fire is offline
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My son's father is 10 years 6 months and 14 days older than I am. I'm one year too young for the "half plus seven" rule.

Oops.
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  #39  
Old 04-20-2004, 02:15 PM
jsgoddess jsgoddess is offline
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I am 10.5 years younger than my husband. When we married, I was 26 and he was 37. The gap in ages just means that he doesn't understand my amusement when a local radio station plays "Safety Dance."
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  #40  
Old 04-20-2004, 03:02 PM
MovieMogul MovieMogul is offline
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Well, my (biological) parents were 40 years apart, and I've never known two people more in love and devoted to each other as they. FWIW.
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  #41  
Old 04-20-2004, 07:06 PM
Mister Rik Mister Rik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal Briston
I first met my wife when I was 19 and she was 9.
The last woman with whom I was intimate was 11 years my junior. We met when I was 20 and she was 9. Way back then, she developed a huge crush on me. I ended up having to ask an adult female friend to explain to her that I was way too old for her, because she was starting to act out inappropiately (nothing sexual, just being far too obvious with her infatuation - I also made sure that I was never alone with her).

Fast forward a few years. I was 29, and I ran into her quite by accident when we both happened to be taking the same bus. I hadn't seen her since she was 10. And it just happened to be her 18th birthday. And she had turned into quite a stunner. She hadn't forgotten me. And one thing led to another...

Unfortunately, that relationship didn't work out. I suspect I didn't quite live up to whatever fantasy she had held onto in the years since I had last seen her.
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  #42  
Old 04-20-2004, 10:15 PM
NicePete NicePete is offline
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I'm 8 years younger than my wife. When we met, I was 20, she was 28.

We've been (mostly) happily married for 15.5 years now. Still best friends.

Personally, I don't give a shit what an acceptable age gap is for anybody else. I love my wife, it works for us, nothing else matters.
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Old 04-20-2004, 11:49 PM
Sinshine Sinshine is offline
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My brother is 5 years younger than me. I have dated men between myself and Bro in age, but just don't seem to see the potential in guys younger than him. So that would be my lower limit, for now. I accept the statement that as you get older, your definitions shift. That only makes sense.

Lately, I have been going through an "older-man phase." The guys I have been drawn to have turned out to be 7-15 years older than me, with the exception of one fellow who I strongly suspect to be flirting with 60, making him closer to 30 years older than me. Thankfully, the majority of these attractive older men are married, and I am not required to do more than look.

I am finding, however, that it is not age which is the deciding factor here, but a combination of experience and outlook. Tom, my attractive 60-ish boss, has been a lot of places, done a lot of things, and has a great and child-like enthusiasm for life and living. That is what I find attractive about him. Simon, a recent fling who is roughly 8 years older than me, had been through some really tough challenges, and had retained his humour and grace, where many people would have been bitter. Doug, another older, married colleague, is attractive partially because he looks a lot like Richard Gere, but mostly because he has a way with people that makes whomever he is speaking to, feel like they have his absolute and undivided attention.
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  #44  
Old 04-21-2004, 05:22 PM
the.hyacinth.girl the.hyacinth.girl is offline
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My current boyfriend is slightly more than 5.5 years older than I am (he's currently 28, I am 23). Before this, I usually dated people who were closer to my own age, but that was mostly by chance and had nothing to do with "age rules" of any kind. All I can say, is it's not so different from the relationships I've had with guys my own age, except he does seem more mature about some things. It's hard to say if that is just his particular personality, though.
He doesn't really seem any older than me. In fact, I hardly even think about it. I think that's because we have a lot of the same interests, etc., and are both at similar stages of life right now.
The only time that I even notice the age gap at all is when he's telling me stories about his childhood and says stuff like, "yeah, I remember in 1980 blah blah happening." Then I stop to think, and I'm like "wow...I wasn't even born then!"
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  #45  
Old 04-21-2004, 06:46 PM
jastu jastu is offline
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With my two long term relationships, one was 5 years my senior, the other 7 years my junior. I have also had relationships with guys up to 20 years my junior.

After these experiences I prefer someone around my own age. I've found there are too many differences in tastes, interests, humour even mixing with friends when there is a large age gap.
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  #46  
Old 04-21-2004, 06:58 PM
quilter quilter is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: PDX
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I'm twelve years older than my husband (we met on line); our tenth anniversary is next July. I can't imagine life without him

(He just came into the room and read over my shoulder... and said "An acceptable age gap is anything two people agree upon.")
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  #47  
Old 04-21-2004, 07:03 PM
Giraffe Giraffe is offline
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Location: ♂ San Jose, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xavier
I don't know about you, but I'd hate to be 37 while my future SO is just sperm. But then that's me.
Oh, I don't know. There are probably plus sides to dating sperm. For example, you always get to pick the movie.
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  #48  
Old 04-21-2004, 08:32 PM
TitoBenito TitoBenito is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2001
I've heard take you age divide it by 3 then subtract 4 to get the socially expectable age difference. So at the age of 18 two years is reasonable. At 30 six years is. And at 72 a whopping 20 years. I have stupid formulas for everything.
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  #49  
Old 04-21-2004, 08:37 PM
misstee misstee is offline
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stormchaser is 8 years older than I am.



We celebrated our 9th anniversary last month.
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  #50  
Old 04-21-2004, 08:51 PM
minor7flat5 minor7flat5 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Trenton, NJ
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Wow!

Rushgeekgirl
Mangetout
Archergal
picunurse
black455
AugestWest
jastu
quilter

My wife and I are in good company! How pleasing

She is almost 12 years older than me. We have been married for 13 years.
She is blessed with youthful skin and naturally trim physique, from her mother of course, so few people realize just how far apart we really are. When we tall them, they are always surprised (or at least they pretend to be).

I have been ribbing her a little more than normal recently since she is bare months away from fifty, and our ages will sound alarmingly far apart.
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