An oft discussed question among singles: how much does a large age difference matter for a potential spouse?
This is an issue that I’m rather familiar with. After my mom passed away, my father married a woman (my step mom) who is 22 years younger than him. (It’s worked out well for them, but I’ll talk about that in another post). As for me, I’m 41 in a ward for singles ages 31 to 45. When it comes to making friends, I’m an all age opportunist, but as I’ve gotten to the “older section” of mid-singles, I’m finding that most of the men in my ward are younger than me. Even though I think most people in my ward who know me know that I have a 15 year old son and an 11 year old daughter, and that I served a mission, so they must know how old I am; but they still seem to think I’m younger than them, because, I guess, I appear younger than I am. (I’m not bragging, that’s what they tell me. Not that I’m complaining! Thanks Dad, for the good genes.) Then after I become friends with someone or go out on a date, I find out that they’re (gasp) 5 years or more younger than me, and I feel awkward and *old*. But, of course, 41 is NOT old. Of course. And my ex-husband, who at the time was the youngest person I ever dated, was only 20 months younger than me. But my sweet daughter loves to remind me that “Mom, you’re the oldest one in the family!” Why yes, yes I am.
So how much does it matter? One concern that I have is that if I marry someone who is younger than me and has never had any children, what will it be like for him if for some reason I’m not able to have anymore children? And I definitely want to avoid those older men who seem to want to marry a younger woman “just so he can have more kids.” Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of finding someone my age or older who already has kids, because we’d have that in common, but sometimes the older men at activities for all ages (just some of them) make us “younger” women feel like breeding machines.
Now, before anyone gets offended, I say these things with a lot of humor. I most definitely don’t blame anyone for wanting children. And, as usual, I’m going to leave the expertise to someone else. This is a topic I’ve wanted to bring up, and so when I came across this article today, I thought it would be fun to share it:
Stigma? Recently when with friends, one of them (who is actually older than me, yay) was pondering whether there’s more of a stigma these days for an older woman to date younger men, or older men to date women. I’m not sure, but our general consensus seemed to be that it was only creepy if the older (or younger) person had ulterior motives. I’m good with that. But I still feel a little awkward when a guy is too young to remember Oingo Boingo, or when the first Star Wars movie (Episode 4, A New Hope) came out in the theater. I guess that’s my issue.
And, as a last thought, The 1/2 + 7 Rule. My in-laws loved to tout this as an efficient way to decide if someone else is in your acceptable age range. I’m not sure that they felt it was a hard and fast rule, but it was a fun mathematical tool, and my father in law loves math. So, for fun, I share this handy table from Wikipedia that I happened to find when I Googled “age gap.” It’s true. Just don’t think it’s a good idea to use as a tool to try and convince someone to go out with you. Or do. I’d like to hear what happens. Just don’t blame me.
And soon to come, stories from friends with age gaps in their relationship (including those in my family). Because the stories are more fun than the “rules.”
Graph from: Wikipedia