Age Differences: How Low Can You Go?

The most famous cougar of all.

Today’s Question Du Jour is: How much younger can you date before it is indecent?

This topic came up during a Football Saturday/Man’s Night get together. It has become obvious that I have one particular friend, code-named Mark, who is looking forward to enjoying my bachelor experiences vicariously. Saturday night he was pleading with me to go to a bar where younger women hang out, which I said I wasn’t interested in. At this point the focus left football and today’s Question Du Jour was discussed for the rest of the evening.

At the age of 41, soon to be 42, how low can I go? Where is the cut off?

I was planning to use the age-ole rule of thumb: half your age plus seven. As the name implies, the formula for said rule is: your age/2+7.

For a 42 year old, that is: (42/2)+7=28 years old.

My friends passionately pleaded otherwise. They made good arguments for maturity being a state of mind not related to age. They also said that many younger women will find my experience and wisdom attractive. I have to admit, they made some good arguments to make me second guess my initial thoughts on the matter.

Adding to my doubt was an incident that happened this week. As discussed previously,  (see Selfie Dilemma) I am taking my adopted adviser at Deliberately Delicious’s advice and being more shameless about getting pics for this OKC profile I’ll be activating next month. Well, I asked a random woman to take a picture of me because a certain background was cool. I’ll be damned if she didn’t write down her email on a piece of paper and give it to me when she handed my phone back. Folks, it has been a long time since that has happened to me! She was gorgeous too.

The catch is that in the course of email conversation (and hell yes, I emailed her as soon as I got back to my office) I was disappointed to learn that she is only 23 years old. But if she is handing out email addresses to older men she isn’t innocent. So now I have all these mixed emotions on the subject. I am comfortable with being called a cradle robber in jest. But being a bonafide cradle robber? — I am not comfortable with that.

I open the topic up for discussion. The question that come to mind are:

  • How low can you go?
  • When is the age difference so great that one should just walk away from potential opportunity?
  • Are the standards different for a man dating a younger woman as opposed to a cougar dating a boy toy?
  • Should the target age range published on your OKC profile be different than your actual cut-off? (ie, I would be willing to date the right 25 year old, but I should never make it look like I am targeting that on OKC. Right?)

I appreciate your thoughts and comments on the subject….

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12 thoughts on “Age Differences: How Low Can You Go?

  1. Well, here is the thing… there is too young to have as a serious relationship, and too young to screw. I think there is a difference. I could not have a serious relationship with someone that has no idea what Seinfeld is, wasn’t around for tape cassettes, can’t remember Michael Jackson’s Thriller era. But could I screw someone that has no idea we used cash before debit cards. I don’t need to have conversations during sex. 🙂

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  3. Most people who say “age is just a number” and argue that you can be “mature for your age” often forget that age often correlates with maturity and being “mature for your age” often means you’re still significantly less mature than someone who is older than you. Maturity is gained through life experience, and most young adults don’t have much of that. So you have to draw a line at some point and refuse to go below it. I personally would not want to date a man who was younger than me (although I could deal with a few years younger) and 12 years older (although that’s pushing it) is my limit.

  4. “Mature for your age” is rarely a global statement. There may be aspects of someone where they seem older but their age will still show itself. There are lots of younger women who will find an older man attractive. But once you start getting into “he could be her father” territory (at least while she’s let’s say <35), that may not be a healthy attraction. Probably best to be flattered, get the ego boost, but continue looking for someone who's maturity and experience is a closer match.

  5. Haha this is great- thanks for copying the link to my page. According to this formula, I could date this guy in 2 years when I’m 32 and he’s 23 and there would be no problem! Ill have to let him know…

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