How old is too old and how young is too young? Let me just start by saying… this is subjective. Yes, there are some guidelines that society likes us to follow but you also can’t help who you are attracted to either. Let’s talk it out together and see if we can map out some guidelines for dating outside your age range. 

We All Have Preferences

Maybe you already know that you’d like to be with someone your own age or of similar age to you. This is simply your preference. If you already know this about yourself then you can stop reading and go set your age ranges in your dating profiles. But maybe you have an interest in dating someone 15+ years younger or older than you. Is this acceptable?

It’s not “wrong” as long as you are both consenting adults of course, but there are some rules that society has given us that we can use as a guideline. 

The Rule

What is accepted by society is usually a 10-20 year window. However, there is a formula that can make this more precise. 

Half your age plus seven is for the minimum age range you can get away with (ie: 40 years old can date a 27-year-old) and half your age minus seven times two for the maximum age (ie: a 40-year-old can date a 60-year-old). A similar Google search will give you this information many times over.

This isn’t set in stone by any means and there are plenty of relationships that fall outside of this age gap like Catherine Zeda Jones and Micheal Douglas, they have 25 years between them. Or Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart have 23 years of difference. 

If you don’t care what anyone in your life thinks about how many years are between you and that special lady then by all means continue living your life. 

How Will an Age Gap Affect Your Relationship? 

Something I would suggest doing if you are considering dating someone younger or older is to think about their experiences in life and how that would affect your relationship. Someone who is younger may still like to party often, or travel the world and have tons of experiences. Someone who is older may be thinking they would like the start a family and have less travel in their life. 

The age gap doesn’t really matter as much if you have the same values and the same life goals. I would suggest being upfront about this from the start to make sure you are getting into a new relationship on the right pretenses.  

You may also have to consider children if you are getting into a relationship with someone who is much younger than you. Resentment may be strong if you have kids who are of similar age to the person you are considering dating. Even your ex may give you a hard time about this. It may not be a deal breaker for you but something to be aware of as these types of feelings may put a strain on your relationship.  

What’s the Verdict?

There is a long-standing cliche that portrays an older man with a young, hot 21-year-old as his mid-life crisis. Some people might snicker and say she’s a gold-digger, you’re a sugar daddy, or she’s a cougar if you went for an older lover. As long as you’re in the relationship for the right reasons then this shouldn’t be an issue.  


Age Gaps: How Big Is Too Big?

May 16, 2023