Age ain’t nothing but a number, right? That is until some 65-year-old shows up to his birthday party with his arm around an 18-year-old. Then age is so much more than a number. So the versed asks the question – how much of an age gap is too much of an age gap?
The rule of seven
It is a rule that exists to show if the person you are dating is too young for you or not. The equation is pretty straightforward. Divide your age in half and then add seven. That is the youngest you should be looking at. So say you are 23. Half of 23 is 11.5, add seven to that and you get 18. Nobody would look at that and think it is creepy, right? What about if you are 44? Half of that is 22, add seven and you get 29. No issues there.
So that’s law?
Well not exactly. Here’s the thing. People don’t always act their age. You can get some 45-year-olds who still hit the clubs drinking like they are in their teens. Conversely, you get 20 somethings that have their life mapped out for them through their own sweat and toil.
In my opinion, this is why I dislike disparaging remarks about slack millennials. It is a massive generalisation. People are people. You can’t lumber people in together. Maturity is of course affected by age. But maturity and life-experience are not always married together.
The danger zone
If you are a man or a woman dating a much younger person here are some things to consider. If they fall outside the rule of seven bracket people may think it odd. In particular, people who are above the age of consent but still in their teens represent a “danger zone”. Ultimately if you are in your thirties and your partner is in their teens, people are going to question it. Some will poke fun. Others may think it is destined to fail.
How bad can it be?
Pretty bad. You may have to face people calling you offensive terms suggesting that what you are doing is wrong. I won’t patronise you by listing them here.
But is it?
Not in the eyes of the law it isn’t. Sometimes you have to really believe that you aren’t doing anything wrong. And ultimately you are not. Societal norms exist, of course, they do. But you have a right to be happy. And if somebody makes you happy then surely there is nothing bad that can come from it?
Of course, there are potential pitfalls. You may have found someone who sets your world on fire. That’s great. But with generational differences come some differences in attitude. If you are someone who existed before the boom in mobile communications you may find an obsession with technology cumbersome.
Younger generations have oppositely gendered friends far more commonly. Older generations sometimes feel like if you are friends with someone of the opposite sex it must be because you want to sleep with them. It may seem draconian to some, but people still hold these views. If you are someone that does and you are with someone that doesn’t, that is going to cause friction.
Worth the hassle?
So having to deal with people judging, trying to surmount the differences in attitudes, is it worth it? I’m afraid that only you can make that decision. If the other person makes you happy and you think they are perfect for you then age is just a number. And in the immortal words of Dr Kelso from Scrubs “who the hell cares what anyone else thinks, look into your heart and do whatever the hell makes you happy.”