When am I no longer "young"?

Did they take away all of your toys?
Did you mother send you Facebook links about your friends who’ve stopped being boys?
Do the children call you famous? What about the old men? Do they call you insane?
Do you have any idea which game to play? Which words to say?

ETA: Dammit! I should have told him “no, you’re not old,” and I should have let him go on smiling!

I’m 28 and have been thinking about this a bit. But it strikes me as odd that people think early-mid 30s counts as “middle aged”.

To me, it’s like:

20s - young/early adult
30s - solidly adult
40s - older side of adult, upper 40s starts to be middle aged
50s - definitely middle aged
60s - depending on person, middle aged to oldISH
70s - old
80s - OLD
90s - JFC, old!

Edited to clarify: and I’ve felt this way since at least high school, so it’s not just my attempt to not feel like I’m approaching middle age. :wink:

Here’s the way I like to look at it. If you died today, would people say, “Gee, he died young”? If so, then you’re young. :stuck_out_tongue:

Having turned 30 a month ago, I think I like **Oak’s **answer best. Eventually, though, I have a feeling **Colibri’s **answer will please me more. :wink:

Dude, these days that means you’re young at 65! (I used to not get why my parents would be so sad at the death of somebody in their 40’s…)

I’m 33. It’s really all about context. Drag me to a concert, I am going to feel old. At work, I’m in the middle slot–lots of people older than me, lots of people younger than me. I’ve been there almost a decade, which makes me an institution (high schools have short memories), so in that sense I am old. With my family, I am one of the younger kids (5 of 6), so I am young.

I do feel very adult, which is not the same as old, but I am surprised at how many people my age do not feel like adults at all. I find that to be strange. But then, I always wanted to grow up–I enjoy the ability to make actual decisions way more than I ever enjoyed the lack of responsibility of childhood.

I have lost a tremendous amount of weight this year and started working out a couple hours a day, and that has made me feel a lot younger.

I will be 65 in 76 days, and I didn’t start to feel middle-aged until 50. I have no idea when “elderly” kicks in, but I know I’m not there yet.

I suppose technically middle-aged would be the middle of the average human life - say 40-45. When are you no longer “young” is a more interesting question. There are landmarks for all the things of adulthood, but those landmarks happen at different times for different people (if at all). It could be when you stop feeling peppy and eager to take on the world, or it could be when you start feeling constant aches and pains and chronic health problems.

I’m 43, and looking back to pinpoint the exact time when I stopped being young is difficult. I’m going to say it isn’t one point, but a series of events - your first apartment, your first serious relationship, your first live-in lover, your first abusive relationship, your first serious purchase (car, house, furniture, etc.), your first dead grandparent, your last dead grandparent, your first baby, your subsequent babies, your first marriage, your first divorce, your first dead parent, your last dead parent, and on and on it goes.

When I was a kid, 70. Now, 80. Call me back in a few years and we’ll compare notes. (My dad is 80 next May and that scares the living crap out of me. I saw him when I was walking into a restaurant one day a few years ago and dismissed him as an old man until I realized that was my dad. Eek!)

At least you’re marching toward middle age-dom now, when that stage isn’t nearly as dreary as I gather it was a couple of generations ago, due to health advances, and things like that.

I remember talking to a friend about a lady when we were in our teens, and my friend was explaining to me that this woman was older, but “not ancient, like 40 or something,” and me knowing just what she meant. I’m still in my twenties, but can’t believe we felt that way.

Hang around people that are older than you, and you’ll always be eternally young. I’m 42, and in my golf league, the next guy closest to my age is 46, so they always refer to me as “the youngster.” It even works when you die at 78, and all of your friends are 80+, then the most common heard phrase at your funeral will be, “Man, I can’t believe he died so young!

Simple enough: you know that you’re over the hill when your mind makes a promise your body can’t fill.

When some dufe younger than you says that you are “X years young.”
Best wishes,

This has always been my conceptualization as well. I wouldn’t even dream of calling someone in their 30s middle-aged.

I’m 27 (and I almost said 28, and had to count. The significance of my exact age is certainly beginning to dwindle.) I’ve always considered that pretty young in the eyes of, well, older people, so I’ve kept my ‘‘feeling old’’ thoughts mostly to myself. The years are dragging, but the fact that I’m still in school might have something to do with it.

I do feel old a lot. People have been calling me ‘‘ma’am’’ for a couple of years now. My interest in the latest trends has diminished significantly over the years. When I was a teen, I envied college students, because I thought they dictated pop culture. When I got to college, I realized it was the teens who dictated pop culture. They still do. When I watch television I realize how much we worship at the cult of youth - and it’s at least significantly in part because youth has the most disposable income.

I think a major ‘‘WTF’’ moment came to me last night while watching So You Think You Can Dance. Kat Deely was standing in front of an audience full of little girls. 14, 15, 16 year old girls. The entire audience. It was freaky.

I relish getting older. I feel like I’ve felt 50 years old forever. The older I actually get, the closer I feel I’m getting to the age that fits.

For years now I’ve been saying that after age 25, you need to stop worrying about being old. Give it a rest for, say, a few decades. But that’s just me.

Probably when you start playing golf. Especially if you don’t like it and keep playing.

That’s not the typical definition of middle age, but it’s pretty accurate from a factual standpoint. I remember my freshman English teacher was very put off when he asked our class what middle age was, and I said “around your mid 30s,” which would have been his age at the time. He said he hoped that wasn’t true. I don’t think I pressed the point but since average life expectancy is late 70s or 80, I think I was right. Usually middle age means around 50, give or take a few years, but since few people live to 100 it’s a rather hopeful euphemism.

Usually? I don’t know, that’s never been my definition. Actuarial tables being what they are I can’t regard anyone past 40 as anything other than middle-aged :). I just checked the wiki on this topic for the first time and noticed the U.S. Census defines it ( fairly sensibly from an actuarial POV ) as starting at 35, while a couple of different dictionaries start at 40 and 45, respectively.

As to the OP, I’d say you can get away with calling yourself young at 30, but probably shouldn’t be by the time you hit 35. I suppose I kinda agree with the crowd that regards 30-40 as kind of the never-never land between “young” and “middle-aged” - solidly, but loosely defined adults.

You’re old if you can remember the Jefferson Airplane.

You will look a thing like Jesus.

You really are as old as you feel. At least in my experience.

The majority of my day is spent around young girls, playing with them, talking with them, and watching tv with them. When I’m around them, I don’t feel like into my teens yet, much less 29.

When I’m forced to be around a bunch of stuffed shirt boring adults, then I start to feel like I’m 29, or even older.

When I’m out clubbing with my friends in their late teens/early 20s, I feel like of a similar age with them. It’s pretty much in how you perceive life. (Except when age related health problems decide to kick you in the 'nads.)

Dude, I’m right there with you, including the left knee. It bothers me I can’t sit cross-legged anymore without a lot of discomfort when getting up. I have free weights, but haven’t touched them in a while. However, I can rip off 40 push ups in 3 minutes when I couldn’t do 10 in a row at age 25. I still think young, even tough I’m starting to get crows feet (CRAP! that’s one sure sign of advanced decrepitude). I’m not acting like my Dad at this age (47), but then I’m not my Dad and I’m living in a much different time. There’s a disconnect between my mental and chronological age that I struggle with.