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The W - Random - Dating Age Gap
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

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#1 Posted on
I was out with some friends last night, and we got into quite a spirited debate about what is too big a gap age-wise for dating someone. It all started when one of us mentioned he was casually dating someone. We asked about her, and he let slip she is 18, while he is 25. Suffice to say half the group began to make R. Kelly jokes. So since my fellow Wieners are the closest thing to a Delphic Oracle left in this world, I pose the following 3 questions to you:

1. How big is the largest gap you've ever had in a relationship?

2. What do you think is too much. Does it depend on how old the people involved are (10 years is okay at 60, but not 30?)?

3. Can a 25 year old and an 18 year old not be a bad thing?





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Since: 11.1.02
From: Houston

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#2 Posted on
25-18 isn't THAT bad...as long as she's not still in high school.

My ex of seven years and I had a 5-year age difference, and my roommate and his current girlfriend have an 8-year difference (31, she's 23.) Too many factors out there to say what the "right" answer is...



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Since: 8.5.02
From: San Diego, CA

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#3 Posted on
I used to be on the other end. I picked up a lady at a bar when I was 21 who was 38. When I first moved back home to San Diego, I dated a woman who was 5 years older than me. My current girlfriend is 3 years younger than me (34 to 31).



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Since: 2.1.02
From: Darkenwood

Since last post: 26 days
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#4 Posted on
    Originally posted by spf2119
    ...since my fellow Wieners are the closest thing to a Delphic Oracle left in this world...


That is sad!

Okay, I'll be the first to weigh-in with my cradle-robbin' story...

When I was a senior in high school, I dated a 15-year-old freshman. She was the most immature, bratty, spoiled, insensitive girl on earth, so of course, I fell head over heels in love with her.

Looking back, it was all about the young body. Hey - she was mature for her age (body-wise). Still, I am ashamed enough to not go around talking about it to strangers on the street.

It was loads of fun (in some respects~!) but definitely not worth the agony of trying to hold a conversation with such a young dorky person.

EDIT: My wife (not the same girl) is three years older than me. I guess I went for maturity after my experience with the Barbie set.

(edited by Parts Unknown on 4.2.03 1536)

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Since: 2.1.02
From: Kentucky - Home of the 8 time NCAA Champ Wildcats

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#5 Posted on
I'm 32, my wife is 26, so my best ever relationship has a 6-year gap.

I'm a firm believer that the allowable gap widens as you grow older. The 25-year old friend dating the 18-year old isn't that bad (but it wouldn't bet the farm on the relationship lasting either), but I agree she must be out of high school. When I was 27 to 29 I dated a few 20-year olds and others that were around 23 to 24.

Of course my friends at work often chided me about having to take my dates to Chuck E. Cheese because they weren't old enough to go to bars/clubs.
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Since: 13.7.02
From: Austin

Since last post: 12 days
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#6 Posted on
The oldest here has been when she was 11 years older. The youngest age difference is 3 years. I echo that it all depends.
MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.73
There's a big difference between "dating" someone and having a fling with someone.

In my experience, the age gap gets weird (especially with younger people) when there is emotional stuff involved. But a one-nighter, or even a summer-fling type thing is way different.

One-nighters are really fine as long as everyone's legal. Short flings are OK as long as you're the same generation (i.e, as long as the person you're having the fling wish wouldn't be mistakln for your daughter/son/mother/father).

For any kind of emotional relationship, I follow the "one year or one degree" rule. If you're in High School (or are at the age when you should be) date other people in High School, or someone no more than one year removed from your age (either/or). Same with college.

Once you graduate college (or are at the age you should have), I'd give yourself a spread of 20% of your age either way (for instance, if you're 30, ages 24-36) OR at roughly the same point in life, before it gets weird. For instance - 42 year old never-been-married guy with a steady, professional job dates 30 year old never been married woman with a steady professional job - fine. 42 year ad exec divorced mother of 2 dates 30 year old waiter/aspiring comic - weird. Fine for a fling though.

Now, a "friend with benefits" relationship, on the other hand, for some reason only really only works when both people are really close in age, and tends to get really weird otherwise. I don't know why.



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Since: 22.4.02
From: Toronto

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#8 Posted on
What's that rule?

(half your age) + seven?



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Since: 1.8.02
From: Huntington Beach, CA

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#9 Posted on
I think the age gap grows as you get older, only MUCH more slowly.
Personally, my biggest age-gaps were me as an 18 year old with a 32 year old on one side, and me 24 with an 18 year old girl.
Neither were really right.
I think a good, basic, guide is for High School and college, it is really best to date someone within your "four year bracket." Of course, if you doid NOT go to college, things are a little different- but there is no way you can make me buy a "mature 18." I knew so much more about life at 25 than I did at 18, and that 7 year difference means a lot in a relationship in terms of life experiences. That 18 year old girl is just not near the level of the 25 year old, and it will always end up creating conflict.
I don't buy that mathematical figure either. By that logic, It is ok for me, as a 27 year old, to date a 40 year old woman. While that idea might be appealing from a "sexual" standpoint (in some cases), frankly, I am no where near as in-tune with life as a 40 year old woman might be, and I would have no idea what sorts of things she needs out of relationship, as I have ZERO experience. Just as an 18 year old would have no idea what kinds of things I need from a relationship.
My honest opinion, spf, is that your friend is in it for the sex alone. Maybe that sounds mean, but the way these things usually happen (I can attest two it for My two extreme relationships), you get into a relationship for the sex, the age is LEGAL but iffy morally, and you try to explain it away by claiming the imagined "maturity beyond age" of your too young partner. It is a cop out.
Good bet he is in it for sex, she is in it for beer and the prestige of dating an "older man!" Not a good match either way you look at it. The odds are against them if they are looking for a real relationship.
If it is just sex, and they both are honest about that- then it is different. They are both legal- go at it, then go home.



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Since: 3.1.02
From: Philly

Since last post: 3092 days
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00

    Originally posted by Parts Unknown
    Still, I am ashamed enough to not go around talking about it to strangers on the street.


Strangers on the Internet, on the other hand...




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Since: 3.1.02
From: Knoxville, TN

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#11 Posted on
I've always felt the best determinant on entering into a relationship wasn't age, it was level of maturity (especially when young, as I am). So long as the people of are a considerable level of mental and emotional development, that's fine; if they're not, however, it'll cause conflict.

If your 25-year old friend acts like an 18 or 19-year old most of the time, then it might work out. If he acts 25, then Pool-Boy might be right.

Personally speaking, I have problems considering dating people my own age (18) or younger, and it's not because I find them to be horrible to talk to. It's just that I don't consider myself at the same level of development as them (although, to be fair, a lot of them are, but for whatever reason, they don't show it; that's another issue entirely, though). Of course, being one of the youngest 18s on campus probably makes my life a little bit simpler.







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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
i could almost be that example.

i'm 25 and i'm sorta kinda hooking up with an 18 year old. she doesn't act like a kid, and i met her through her older sister who is my age. she's very mature and yeah, there is some jokes when we hang, but the only opinion that matters is hers...and her Police Officer father



(edited by rikidozan on 5.2.03 0110)


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Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
I think the key is the fact that it all depends on the principles involved. Even somebody the same age as you does not mean that things are going to be copasetic. People within ages are different emotionally, at different maturity levels and have different experiences(both sexually and otherwise). So the people involved tend to be more important then any specific age(though of course legalities do matter).



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Since: 13.2.02
From: Back in the Heart of Hali

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.03

I have to agree that it depends on what people are looking for and what they're ready for.

My girlfriend dated a 27-year old when she was 17. It didn't go over well with anyone, and he was not exactly nice to her. At the same time, she'll never get into any discussion about how it might have had something to do with "age." It might be that he was a jerk, it might have been that they weren't good for eachother, but heaven forbid I even imply that it had anything to do with age.

I find myself questioning the motives of a 25-year old who gets involved with an 18-year old. There's a vast gap in potential development there. And even if the 18-year old is "old" for his/her age, a 25-year old had simply seen much more of life, again, even if he/she is "young" for his/her age.

I think part of the reason the gap is "allowed" to get wider as people get older is because of the development issue. Once you're past your early 20s there is surely still plenty of potential differences in upbringing, outlook, etc., but I believe the playing field is somewhat more level.

Flinging is another thing entirely. I dated a 38-year old woman when I was 25. It was a rewarding and fun experience. But neither of us had any intention of getting in any way serious.




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Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.73
Personally speaking, I have problems considering dating people my own age (18) or younger, and it's not because I find them to be horrible to talk to. It's just that I don't consider myself at the same level of development as them

You do realize that every 18-year old feels this way.



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Since: 3.1.02
From: Knoxville, TN

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#16 Posted on
Yeah, I'm aware of that. I know I'm sheltered.







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Since: 1.3.02
From: Silicon Valley, California

Since last post: 3603 days
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#17 Posted on
I've seen this mentioned by a dating expert as a guideline.

gal's age is between guy-20% to guy+10%.


I think maturity level is pretty subjective. You have to wonder if someone is more mature because they've
dated a lot or if they are more mature because they handle life situations and responsibilities well.

.



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Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.73
A lot is maturity, but I think a lot really is just plain-old chronological age.

For instance, you've just done the nasty with your S.O. You light up a cig, say "I love you, baby," and flip on the T.V. It's showing old re-runs of T.J. Hooker. Your S.O. says "I thought William Shatner was so hot when I was in college." That wouldn't weird you out? Just a bit?



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Since: 7.8.02
From: Boston, MA

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.20
Agreed that the age/maturity of the people involved makes each situation unique. As for myself, at 31, I really couldn't picture myself dating a woman much younger than her mid-20's.* However, the upper end is a little more open. (likely well into the 40's, although I can't speak from experience)

*Exceptions being the lovely and talented Ms. Spears, that girl who plays Topanga, and basically any woman that enjoys professional wrestling. We all know that watching wrestling reduces our maturity level to teenage levels, anyway.



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Since: 8.1.02
From: Modesto, CA

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#20 Posted on
"My girlfriend dated a 27-year old when she was 17. It didn't go over well with anyone, and he was not exactly nice to her. At the same time, she'll never get into any discussion about how it might have had something to do with "age." It might be that he was a jerk, it might have been that they weren't good for eachother, but heaven forbid I even imply that it had anything to do with age.

I find myself questioning the motives of a 25-year old who gets involved with an 18-year old. There's a vast gap in potential development there. And even if the 18-year old is "old" for his/her age, a 25-year old had simply seen much more of life, again, even if he/she is "young" for his/her age."

I have to agree with Tarnish here. Say everything you want about how "She/He is 18 but they are mature for their age," trust me, they are STILL not as mature as someone in their mid to late 20s. It's just a fact. Just because someone is mature for their age at a young age does NOT mean they will not go through important stages and changes in the upcoming year, because they absolutely will. This is (hopefully) when most people formulate who they are and what they will be doing with the rest of their lives. Saying that a 25+ and 18+ relationship will last, even in today's world, is just foolish.

I too had a friend who was 27 and dated a 17 year old and the damn thing just didn't last. And just like Tarnish, God forbid I ever said anything to my 27 year old friend about age being the issue. What is it with people who date way out of their age range?

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