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ThisAdamGuy
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27 Aug 2016, 8:27 am

Is there a rule for age differences in partners that people have somehow agreed on? I'm on a few dating sites, and admittedly I'd like to find someone who's close to me in age (I'm 24). But when I run out of those, I start looking at older women. When I say "older" I mean, four to six years older than me. I think the oldest person I've ever talked to was 30. And the results are always the same. "Don't you think I'm a little old for you?" That strikes me as weird. Is four or six years really that big of a difference? I have friends at church and work who are married even though one of them is, like, 55 and the other is 42. Or 63 and 54 (I'm just throwing out random numbers, I don't know exactly how old any of them are). So, is 24 and 28, or 24 and 30 really that big a deal? Or have I, as usual, missed something important here?


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27 Aug 2016, 9:31 am

Women tend to be attracted to men older than her.

The older the man, the more life experience.

28 year old women, while not much older, see you as an inexperienced child in their eyes regarding educational, financial and career success and independence.

18 year old guys probably have it the worst of all, as they can only really date same age or older - and it's a lot harder for them to date older.



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27 Aug 2016, 9:42 am

Personally I think I can deal with -10 to +20 when I'm ready to be in a relationship.


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27 Aug 2016, 10:29 am

There are no rules. You'll probably find common attitudes like that, but not everyone holds them. I did start seeing a woman in her 60s a few months ago (she approached me). I'm in my early 30s. It ended quickly, but she is an exception to what you're seeing.

That said, I have received similar responses as you, which I find weird because I don't think 5 years (or so) is much of a difference. Most people do, I think. I'd be patient and don't take it to heart. Awhile ago, I had a woman who was 5 years older respond to me through a dating site, asking if I was really as old as I am, and asking if I had "mommy issues" since I contacted her. However, a few days ago another woman who is 5 years older contacted me first through that site. We've had a lot to talk about, so she asked to meet today and we're going out for dinner. So I would just remember most people are not that open-minded, and the ones who give you an attitude are probably not people you'd get along with after all.

Someone who is 30 may also see an age like 24 and think you're just out of college and in a different place in life. They may worry that you will be less likely to commit and more likely looking for relationship experience than they are. That may not be the case, but 24 and 30 can be different than 30 and 36, if you get what I mean. At my age, I'd be willing to date some 10 years older, but much more hesitant to date someone 10 years younger. It may be unfair, but I say that to help you understand what their view may be. You're not doing anything wrong, though.


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BTDT
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27 Aug 2016, 10:41 am

They may just be turning you down in a polite manner. I'll turn down likely scammers half my age with something similar.
There is of course the age of consent, which varies according to state.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_consent



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27 Aug 2016, 10:48 am

Age gaps are contextual, depending in part on your actual ages and any expected maturity. A six year age gap from, say, 18 to 24 is not going to be the same as 38 to 44. The former can be quite a gap in life experience, and so maturity. The latter less so.

There is a greater taboo for women to date men younger than them by anything more than a few years. This doesn't mean it never happens, but it will have an influence on how they view certain possibilities. How big a deal it is obviously varies from individual to individual.


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27 Aug 2016, 11:14 am

It doesn't matter as much if you are both ready to start a family. The young lady who lived in the house I bought got married right out of high school instead of going to college--with the full blessing of her parents.

It gets more complicated if one party isn't--the younger one may change their mind several years into the relationship.



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27 Aug 2016, 12:11 pm

It depends of course on the individuals involved, but you will find certain aspects deemed acceptable or not in the social sense.

The generally accepted age gap changes with age. When young (18 to mid 20s) it is considered normal to date/have a relationship with people close in age, like 1-3 years with the high end of acceptance around 5-7 years.

It is also considered normal (in hetero situations) for the male to be the older one. This doesn't actually make the most sense these days, especially in a life long commitment as females in general live significantly longer. I think it is a leftover protocol from the days when the men where expected to be the sole provider/protector. Additionally, people often talked about there being a difference in the time frame that men and women mature, with woman maturing faster. So a couple with the guy a few years older was thought to be actually about the right match maturity wise.

When in middle age and beyond larger age gaps are considered more acceptable and differences in the 7-12 range are common.

People do get together with even greater differences. And these couples can do quite well together. But at that point its always going to be looked at askance by some. I don't really see a problem with it mentally and emotionally. The only factors to consider carefully is child raising and to accept one will likely be a widower for a longer period then usual (or remarry).



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27 Aug 2016, 1:04 pm

TomS wrote:
and to accept one will likely be a widower for a longer period then usual (or remarry).


Not much of an issue with all the people getting divorced and dating at a later age.



lidsmichelle
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27 Aug 2016, 7:02 pm

A lot of why they're asking you that may be based in misogyny and ageism.

It's not as acceptable for women to date younger men. We often even feel guilty for it, while it's considered perfectly acceptable for older men to pursue younger women even when it's clearly predatory (like a man in his late 20s to 40s pursing an 18 year old).

I'd just assume they're worried people will look down on them and see them as gross older women.

I won't date anyone younger than me by more than 2 years personally. My current bf is almost a year younger than me.


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27 Aug 2016, 7:38 pm

It could also have something to do with how men on dating sites are so often looking for women younger than themselves rather than older. I've heard a lot of older women who use online dating complain about how hard it is to find guys their age who are willing to date women their own age because they always seem to be looking for younger women. So maybe they are just surprised to find a guy willing to consider dating an older woman (even just a few years older) because of this pattern?


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lidsmichelle
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27 Aug 2016, 7:42 pm

wilburforce wrote:
It could also have something to do with how men on dating sites are so often looking for women younger than themselves rather than older. I've heard a lot of older women who use online dating complain about how hard it is to find guys their age who are willing to date women their own age because they always seem to be looking for younger women. So maybe they are just surprised to find a guy willing to consider dating an older woman (even just a few years older) because of this pattern?

Oh yeah that's exactly what older dudes are like on dating sites. I'm not quite sure what business 30-50 year old men think they have messaging a 23 year old, especially one who is specified they aren't interested in someone more than 5 years older, but they clearly don't realize how gross and creepy they are.


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27 Aug 2016, 8:20 pm

lidsmichelle wrote:
wilburforce wrote:
It could also have something to do with how men on dating sites are so often looking for women younger than themselves rather than older. I've heard a lot of older women who use online dating complain about how hard it is to find guys their age who are willing to date women their own age because they always seem to be looking for younger women. So maybe they are just surprised to find a guy willing to consider dating an older woman (even just a few years older) because of this pattern?

Oh yeah that's exactly what older dudes are like on dating sites. I'm not quite sure what business 30-50 year old men think they have messaging a 23 year old, especially one who is specified they aren't interested in someone more than 5 years older, but they clearly don't realize how gross and creepy they are.


I think perhaps many of them don't particularly care if they come off as creepy to most younger women--especially younger women who are relatively independent and psychologically healthy and well-adjusted--because they are looking for younger women who won't see it as creepy because they have "daddy issues" (I don't particularly like that phrase but it's a shortcut to describe women with abandonment issues or other unresolved conflict with their fathers) or are otherwise psychologically or experientially vulnerable (thinking degradingly but correctly that young women without a lot of life and dating experience will be less likely to call them on their predatory bullshit). I think they target that demographic of younger women because those are the easiest to convince that a man dating/targeting women years or even decades younger than them is perfectly fine and not creepy and predatory.


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27 Aug 2016, 10:48 pm

Drawyer wrote:
Personally I think I can deal with -10 to +20 when I'm ready to be in a relationship.
And I would be ready when I hit fifty. :roll:


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28 Aug 2016, 12:38 am

Personally, It's not so much about age as it is about maturity, in my opppinion, unless someone is under age. Then, you're in hot water, and will be in a whole lot of trouble. Also, we are all attracted to who we are attracted to. I personally wouldn't date someone who is much younger than me, because I prefer men who are older than me, but it's all a matter of preference. We have to figure out what that is as we mature. No one can tell you what is going to be right for you. Only you can do that.