When this question comes up in conversation, someone inevitably cites the “half your age plus seven” rule.
I’ve heard so many different rules about dating someone older, and they all boil down to a magic number: “Don’t date anyone more than ten years older,” or “Marriages never work if there’s more than fifteen years’ difference.” People love rules, telling themselves that abiding by them will cause them to get hurt less. The most important rule to follow is a general one: Make sure the two of you have the same goals for the relationship and for your daily life together. Think about whether you want to get married; have a big or tiny wedding; have children; be with someone who already has kids; live in the future in the same town or city where you’ve been dating; move somewhere far or close; have extended family very involved or not very involved in your life; have a relationship where you socialize almost always together or often; have a partner who’s more of a social butterfly or homebody; and have a partner who is very involved or not very involved in extracurricular activities. Psychological Age You’ve probably heard someone say, “He seems young for his age,” or “She’s so young at heart.” Though we all have a chronological age, we also have what I refer to as a ‘psychological age.’ How old do you feel, for example? In addition, ask yourself what the psychological age is of your prospective older partner. Again, use those early months of a relationship to gauge whether your sexualities are congruent enough.So for a 24-year old, the upper age limit would be 34 (i.e., 17 * 2).With some quick math, the rule provides a minimum and maximum partner age based on your actual age that, if you choose to follow it, you can use to guide your dating decisions.Does any man really like to be called your Sexy Silver Fox?Although, I call J "Kid" in this super-cute, ironic way. Whether that's a mature twenty-something, an immature thirty-something, or a quirky lady living with three dudes like Jess. And I've added a couple of my own tips for good measure, since I am the younger woman and all. But I've been watching and compiled a list of DOs and DON' Ts from Jess's experience dating the sophisticated Dermot Mulroney as Fancypants, who's a whopping twelve years older.Russell confesses he hasn't dated since 1989 and Jess replies, "That was the year I learned to use the toaster by myself." Not so hot.DO be lovey dovey, but DON' T nickname him something based on his age (Fancypants is cool, though). Jared Leto is, crushingly, out of my age range (39), but let’s be honest.What is the acceptable minimum age for your own (and others’) dating partners?