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Age differences in relationships.

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Jaguar, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Spellboiund brings up a very good point. Not only is the difference between 18 and 25 a very big differences, but even 21 and 25. Say the 21 year-old is in college, and the 25 year-old has been out in the "real world" for a while. They have totally different perspectives and maturity levels regardless of whether it's the man or woman who is older in this case.

    I always considered dating a younger woman more than an older woman (I mean before I got married of course). For example, I really couldn't see myself getting involved with someone who was more than 5 years older than me. But even then, I'd much prefer to date someone who was my age or younger rather than someone who was even a couple of years older than me.

    I had a rule by my mid-20s similar to Big B. With me, the cutoff age was 25. People change so much during college, and again once they get out in the real world, that by the time I was 27 or so, I decided it wasn't worth my time to date anyone who didn't have "real world" experience. Of course, this contradicts my earlier point of not being with someone older than me. I mean, if someone with 2 year of "real world" experience was good, wouldn't someone with 10 years of "real world" experience be better? Ah, matters of the heart are rarely so simple.

    All I can say is from personal experience, I have always had the most success in relationships where there was very little age difference. And that stayed true even with my wife, who is just one year younger than I am.
     
  2. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    A dimentional door opens right in front of you and you see an unshaved paladin in khaki shorts massaging his eyes and rubbing his neck, while groaning and yawning aloud and making sure there's no drop left in his last coffee cup.

    @Wiegraf Folles:

    Yeah, we will all be babbling in high tones about true love transcending all barriers and the loving human heart knowing no divisions blah blah, but in truth do I say unto you, you're right on this one. Maturity is key here, however, and romantic talking doesn't make it work.

    However again, maturity shouldn't be confused with simple preference for older or younger (or same age) people. Again, there's also a difference between not caring about the partner's age (despite possibly having a preference one way or another) and making it a decisive factor.

    When we look deeper into it, the chronological age doesn't really make anything. Both the physiological and the mental age may be different - and they don't have to be at the same level, either. This way, we can have a chronologically older person who is physiologically younger. With mental age this is even more common.

    In my very own case, I long ago decided I didn't need to "have a girlfriend" just for the sake of having one. Therefore, I look for specific qualities to only a small extent. I have some preferences, sure, but they're all conditional except maybe some serious no-go's (e.g. I firmly believe one boyfriend is enough for a girl). Plus, I know better than to go for a detail and neglect the whole. What matters is an individual person. It's about persons, not about dimensions, sizes, IQ, years of age etc.

    Therefore, even if I have some age preference, it's largely irrelevant in the process ;)

    I've been flirting with and hitting on girls of various age - below or above my own, whether indiscriminately or as a matter of fixed preference (I used to prefer younger girls strongly, and I used to prefer older girls strongly as well...) and I've grown to appreciate the plus sides of both. And to know the minus sides as well. From the perspective of time, the reasons I had for sticking to younger and same age girls before, and older girls later were both misconceptions.

    Statistically, there would be more older girls... though so far I've regarded each such situation as exception from the general rule that the man had better be older than the woman. That I have made an exception more times than I have followed the rule? Such is life... I still have some bias towards older girls rather than younger ones when it comes to social interaction with relative strangers. It becomes irrelevant when it comes to people I know better.

    It takes some life for a guy to learn that a younger girl will not always be more... I don't know... full of life? Of spirit? Of joy? And the a younger one isn't really all so much less likely to expose herself as daemonspawn later. Isn't necessarily prettier or physically fitter, or whatever such.

    It also takes some life for a guy to learn that an older girl will not necessarily be more stable and reliable and not necessarily more mature than a younger one. Not necessarily more experienced and even if so, not everyone learns from experience at the same rate.

    For a girl, it takes some life to realise older guys aren't necessarily all responsible, safe choices and the like. Neither are younger ones necessarily less likely to settle down with just one woman...

    Misconception of misconception and all misconception :lol:

    It's responsibility that counts. Myself, I'm very serious about reliability and credibility. Those require some strength and that strength is also needed to take and occupy a position other than a passive one. A girl that thinks she's found the perfect guy that will relieve her of all mundane thinking, deciding and actually doing anything out of own initiative, such a girl is typically sorely disappointed with me in the end. I am not here for your amusement.

    Still, it isn't wrong to prefer younger or older partners for whatever reason so long as you don't blame anyone else for your own choices. Even a very big age difference isn't morally reprehensible per se. It's morally reprehensible when it comes down to morally reprehensible motivations. It doesn't change much in comparison to a more standard situation. An old millionaire using cash to get young flesh... young girls using young flesh to get the millions... It's not really age that decides here and it doesn't become right without age difference. Seduction of minors? After reaching the age of consent, they're hardly minors. Maybe immature still and more vulnerable to deception - but that's just what it is - seduction combined with deception, which is wrong regardlessly of age of the people involved.

    However, it feels somewhat unnatural to see couples in which one partner could be a parent of the other. And a younger male partner seems much less natural than a younger female partner, no matter how you put it and what you say that Political Correctness dictates you :)
     
  3. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    I went out with a 15/16 year old girl when I was 18/19.
     
  4. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    When I was 18, there was one aged 14 in the summer and one aged 22 in the autumn. Tried hitting on one aged 15 in the winter, but it didn't work.
     
  5. Abomination Gems: 26/31
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    I'm certain most of your have heard the formula that has been thought up by... I don't know... someone. But it seems to be quite a hit in New Zealand.

    The minimum age someone can be that you can have a relationship with without it being 'freaky' based on your age is...

    (Your age / 2) + 7

    "WHAT?" You say? It seems to work pretty well. However it assumes you won't be under 14 (and who under 14 could really have a serious relationship? Let's be honest here).

    Let's try the traditional 16 year old. (16 / 2) + 7 = 15. At this time in your life you don't want to be with someone too different from you and you certainly don't want to go out with someone who isn't exactly capable of making big decisions such as whether sexual intercourse is what they 'really' want to do.

    18 years? 16. Seems pretty decent.

    Even works at the 'higher' ages. 30? 23.

    40? 27.

    50? 33.

    60? 37.

    and so forth. It's not really a 'rule', it's more of a guideline. However for people 14 to 24 it should probably be considered a rule.
     
  6. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    Well, being a teacher of high school students, I would feel pretty weird dating anyone who I could have instructed, so for me the cutoff is around 24 years old (I'm 30 years old). Maturity and such might change that, not to mention the fact that I DO believe in true love despite having been screwed over. My upper limit would be around 38 years old. I'm presently dating a woman who is 11 months older than me, and I've rarely been happier.
     
  7. Sydax Gems: 19/31
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    I'm 33-almost 34, she's 39-almost 40; long time ago, when I was 22 I had this girlfriend, she told me she was 16 but she really was 14, when I found out the truth I was surprised/crazy, not because her age but because she lied to me, she was a really nice girl and she was more mature than any girl at that age; now, we talk about this "age thing" with my girlfriend and sometimes she's worried because what she'll become in 5 or 19 years and I always say: true love see beyond a body and/or age; what we are and how ... (twin souls?, complement?... sorry, don't know the english word) nos complementamos is most important.
     
  8. Elios Gems: 17/31
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    I'm 29, my wife is 44. Age was never really an issue for us except for a little bit of wierdness at the begining since it was a new experience for both of us. What mattered was that we both liked the same things. More so, we could communicate with eachother, something I never really experienced with past girlfriends. I don't know if this really had anything to do with the age of past girlfriends. THere was just something about her that made it really easy to talk.
    We had met at work. Everyone in our circle of friends was of varrying ages from 19-60 so we were both use to people of differing ages as well.
    It was wierd for my parents and grandparents, they were from a more traditional upbringing. For the longest time when we first started dating, my mom referred to my wif as "that 39 year old." When we announced plans to get married, my mom finally referred to my wife by her name.
    Its the best relationship I've ever been in, that's why I married her.
     
  9. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    The X/2 +7 formula won't work in all cases to a reasonable effect.

    Let's take my age as X.

    Next, let's suppose I have fallen madly in love with some sixteen year old.

    21.25/2 +7 = 17.625

    Busted. Now let's wait two years.

    23.25/2 +7 = 18.625

    Everything seems all right. However, the difference in age is still about five years. What about age ratio?

    Edit: corrected (I wrote some rubbish here by accident)

    21/17 = (approx.) 1.23
    23/19 = (approx.) 1.21

    Wow, a whole 0.02 of improvement, validating me as a nice guy. Oh please...

    /Edit

    And now let's invert the formula:

    (21 - 7) * 2 = 28

    Now, while I'm pretty sure I have flirted with ladies older than that, I wouldn't see it as a normal situation if I suddenly discovered in myself willingness to engage with a lady of that age. In fact, I could do that, but that's because I'm weird. Still, I wouldn't see it as normal.

    However, 21.25/7 + 2 producing 17.625, I wouldn't really see it as abnormal if the lady in question were 17. Well, 16 would feel a bit weird, but not so much as, let's say, 24, let alone 26 (the same difference but with me being the younger one) or 28 (the max under this formula).

    [ July 25, 2004, 17:06: Message edited by: chevalier ]
     
  10. Sir Ai Rayzor Gems: 7/31
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    Well.. my girlfriend is older too, but only by 1½ year. does it matter at my age ? im 19
     
  11. Jaguar Gems: 27/31
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    When I was 17 starting grade 12 I was dating an 19 year old college girl which I thought was just the coolest thing. College chicks for a high school guy was a major conquest.

    But I think we were close enough in age.
     
  12. Abomination Gems: 26/31
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    Now now Chev. It isn't a rule. It's a guideline. Generally the younger you are the less age difference there should be between yourself and your partner.

    Waiting two years is a good idea. Picture a 16 year old who likes a 14 year old. Two years later it's an 18 year old with a 16 year old. Much more socially (and probably morally) acceptable.

    The acceptable age difference is simply a type of ratio.
     
  13. Earl Grey

    Earl Grey Mmm... hot tea! Veteran

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    "Morally reprehensible"? I object to such a phrase.

    My answer would be: Only when the persons involved do not love each other can it be wrong.

    Telling two people that it's morally wrong for them to be together just because they are of different age is IMO an obvious case of discrimination.
     
  14. Aldazar Gems: 24/31
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    :confused: Something I said in Whatnots sparked this? I'm flattered, now I really do feel accepted/welcomed/part of the gang.

    But to get back on topic, to me, the only reason I find it hard to digest (I'd never use the phrase "morally reprehensible") is that having been with my ex for over four years, I know her maturity level, and lets just say she's not even reached emotional puberty, as it were, just yet.
    As for age differences in general, as long as certain lines aren't being crossed - particularly those involving age of consent, personal freedom etc - and (as has been said numerous times) the maturity is there in each party, then there really is nothing wrong with any age gap as such. For example, my step-father was 12 years older than my mother, and a school-friend's parents were 19 years apart in age! Certainly 19 years would be hard to digest when her father was, say, 30, but I guess at about 60, it was nothing really. And as for myself, I have dated girls 7 or 8 years my junior and one I still care very deeply about is yet to turn 21 and here I am at almost 28. Yet, it was because we had taken the time to get to know each other and found out where each others maturity levels were at. We still talk for anything up to 3 hours every couple of nights by mobile phone (love those freecall offers).
    Anyway, TBH, my maturity level is probably just past teenager getting to twenties most of the time really.
     
  15. Earl Grey

    Earl Grey Mmm... hot tea! Veteran

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    But Age of Consent laws are not something that you should think of as set in stone. They are after all arbitrarily set. Think outside the box! :)

    A good question is:
    When do we have the right to separate (by law or by moral condemnation) two persons who are in love and want to be together?

    [ July 27, 2004, 10:21: Message edited by: Earl Grey ]
     
  16. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Hard question. My answer would be something of th lines of: When one or both of the persons involved are not able to understand the implications of said relationship and might get hurt in some way through the relationship. For example, I highly doubt that most thirteen year old boys could have a healthy sexual and loving relationship with a fourty year old woman without them having issues with it later in their lives. I could of course use more extreme examples but I think that will due.

    The lines however are blurry. I know there are plenty of "adult" persons who are unable to realize the implications of their relationship and are getting hurt by it, just look at the number of women suffering from domestic abuse. Contrary I am confident that there exist fifteen year old boys and girls are who both mentally and hormonally mature enough to live on an equal footing with a 30 year old mate. Seeing as atleast the last example is rather rare and to protect the vast majority who have not the maturity to not get taken advantage of and suffering ill effects there are laws of consent the like.
     
  17. Abomination Gems: 26/31
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    There is no law separating them Earl Grey. They just can't have sex, at least untill the youngest is 16 or if they are both under 16 it's fine because they cancel each other out.
     
  18. Hugo Gems: 15/31
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    I think that age is not much of an issue, as long as, indeed, both people are mentally on more or less the same level.
    My cousin is 21, dating a 19 year old, has been with her for several years now, they live together for some time now, all seems to be quite well.
    My parents are only 2 days apart, but they bicker constantly when they're both around, both aged 44
    I've been single all my life so I can't apply myself on the situation, but I tend to 'fall' for somewhat older girls, I've had a crush on a girl now 18 for quite a while, it still isn't flared out quite (although I never really acted on it). She was one year ahead of me in highschool and has graduated this year, but we used to get along nicely (now, we don't really see each other anymore...) and if I hadn't been so shy that could have worked out nicely too, perhaps...
    The point being, age really isn't much of an issue IMO, as long as you don't date someone who could have been your parent, it's okay for me.
    :borg:
     
  19. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    If truly in love and with no generic perversion of sexual drive involved? Heck, in that case I couldn't force myself to forbid people even from incest except between (grand-)parents and children. But that's rarely the case.

    It's a condemnable waste of the gift of life and love to wait solely because of social acceptability, so far as it's really about love. I wouldn't exchange two years of a loving relationship for social acceptance.

    Tradition is a good thing and society continues to follow certain paths for a reason. However, morals aren't really a democratic institution.

    Also, I suppose that 16 & 14 is perfectly acceptable in any society provided the 16 one is male and the 14 one female. The difference would have to be much bigger or the older one to be female. Still, when I was 18, I had something going, though very briefly, with a girl who hadn't finished her 15th year. Believe me, I didn't care. And I'm one of the most conservative guys around. Or maybe that's it? After all, the guy being a couple of years older has been a time-honoured custom for ages. ...And exceptions have been happening for ages as well. Guess there's a pretty sane balance between reasonable adherence to the rule and reasonable exceptions.
     
  20. Earl Grey

    Earl Grey Mmm... hot tea! Veteran

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    Why can't they have sex? Is it just because the law says so?
    Is it not possible that you create a victimless crime?

    So sex is not dangerous if those involved are of similar age, but otherwise it is.

    Sex laws were invented for one reason: to appease those groups that are afraid of and think that sex is "dirty", those who would rather limit sex to an act between husband and wife, preferably in a dark room and with the sole purpose of procreation, not pleasure. :p

    What do we need sex laws for? If you force someone or hurt someone we have other laws to take care of that.

    Why is it that you feel that way do you think? Could it be that you think it's "yucky" or is it that you really think an age gap of 20 years means two people can't love each other?

    Why the limitation? If both enjoy that "generic perversion" as you put it, who are we to keep them from their private enjoyment?
     
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