how young can I go without being considered a pervie?

In ALL, DATING & MATING by Stephanie Klein33 Comments

Half your age plus seven. How do people not know about this rule? Men can date women half their age, plus seven, and it’s all good. So a 33 yr old bartender cannot under any circumstances date a 21 year old. Even if she doesn’t giggle. No.

Comments

  1. I'm aware of this rule, but I thought it didn't really kick in until the men were older; at least 40. Not that I approve of thirty-something men going after teenagers or anything, but I know a few thirty-three year old men who would be perfectly suited to a twenty-one year old girl… particularly if they're employed as a bartender.

    Then again, what do I know? My husband is all of 4 months older than me (today is actually his birthday).

    How much older is Phil than you?

  2. I've never heard of this rule. However, it's like you're describing me:

    Sadly, I was the 20 year old dating the 33 year old bartender. It's one of the biggest regrets. I wish he had some one tell him about this rule (as though he, or I for that matter, would have cared at the time).

    Hindsight is definitely 20/20!!!

  3. My husband is 15 years older than me. I was almost 19 when we met. It was an accidental romance. We've been together 8 years. It can be done, and just because there is an age difference doesn't make it "pervy". We're two people who love each other, and I was a legal adult, so who gives a shit?

  4. A bartender implies he is a little bit immature, so I think that needs to be taken into account; he hasn't really started "working" so occupationally, they are together.

    Perhaps I am a little more forgiving, I am likely to be the 21 year old dating the 33 year old, so I'm probably going to let this one slide or justify it by some means.

  5. But a 22 1/2 year old would be ok? I think the older you get, the less your age matters, but I really don't think anyone in their thirties should date anyone younger than 25. But, it's not up to me to judge… except in the case of close personal friends. Then I'll judge all I want.

  6. Our fine ex-mayor (SF) claims it is his policy that the combined age of his PLUS his romantic interest's age could not be over 100. I believe he is 73 years old now… do the math!

  7. Beth,
    Career choice doesn't necessarily equal emotional maturity. There are plenty of immature traders out there who still act like they're frat boys. Why, our current POTUS still acts like an overgrown frat boy, does he not? So don't assume just because some guy is a hardworking bartender, postman, construction worker, whatever, that he's somehow lacking in maturity.

  8. Hello judgmental. What about looking at individual cases and stories instead of being generalising and ageist??

  9. Hmmm… though it does make some sense, I have to say that every situation is different. That's a little too much of a blanket statement for me not to respond to.

    I was a non-giggling 22 year old when I started dating my ex-fiance. He was 42 when I met him. We worked together (he was an executive and I had graduated college the year before) and we became friends a few months before we started dating. Though I got a lot of grief from the outside world, we fell in love. Even after my father met him, he admitted "I wanted to hate him so much… but I just can't. He's a great guy." We stayed together four years.

    So, I think age is just a number. :)

  10. Now that I'm thirty, I realize more and more just how young twenty-one is. Really, though, she's only been legally allowed to enter his bar for how many months?

  11. Ok…I have never heard this rule…but it applies to me, sort of. I am a 32 year old woman very happily dating a 23 year old guy. We have been together for almost a year and he's made me more happy than anyone I have ever dated before. Does this rule apply to woman too? I find it interesting that half my age, plus seven …equals my boyfriend's age. I had to comment..
    Stephanie, I love your blog. Thanks!

  12. Mari – wasn't assuming, was referring to a few specific acquaintances of my own. That being said, I generally consider traders to be at least 3 steps below bartenders on the maturity scale, and for Christ sake, the President has nothing to do with this issue. Vent your political frustrations elsewhere.

  13. Who is the about? A male friend of yours? Assuming that only b/c you use specific ages for each here…

  14. I'm 39 and dating a 26 1/2 year old. I think I just disqualify as a pervie!! But I'm a woman — does the rule count for us too?

  15. Damnit, I hate this rule. My ex-boyfriend of 4+ years is dating a 23 year old and I want to scratch her eyes out.

    But, he's 33, so apparently that's acceptable. Even though I think it's retarded (but that's mostly because I'm bitter, she's probably fabulous, because admittedly, he does have good taste in women.) ;-)

  16. I NEVER thought I'd say this, but… I'm 21… the guy I want to marry is 31… (we're almost exactly 10 years apart.)
    I realize, of course, that I'm too young right now and am just about to graduate college and I'm still too immature (blah blah blah.) People were disapproving when they first heard- but everyone, including all friends and family, LOVE him. I guess it helps that we were "family friends" first and we didn't meet in a sketchy context. I recognize a good man when I see him (and my parents approve) and I'm not letting him go because of a stupid rule. Well, I guess in a few years he won't be a "pervie" anymore. (And I'm not looking to get married anytime soon.) Oh well.

  17. Gosh, the grandson of a couple I know got me thinking about this last year. After we all had lunch his grandmother gave him my email address, and (knowing exactly how much older I am) he asked me how I was and sent me a few photos from his portfolio, "for fun." Funny. Or not, depending. He was, of course, a fine looking young man, but I don't think he knew what he was doing. Or maybe he did. The way he looked at me left me confused.

    A part of me wanted to protect this boy from being spoiled, from losing that edge… sadly, I think, he is going to. Be spoiled. Lose that thing, somehow, that makes him what he is, right now. Filled with hope. Special. Strangely, I found myself thinking I was probably just as attractive on some level when I was his age, when life felt simple, before my first relationships (they taught me nothing!) But "when I was his age" conveniently ignores something: how he is more together than I am, regardless of occasional lapses that reveal his youth. The scary, dark part. The "maybe he knew what he was doing" part. The part that shines a glaring light on the fact that I need to be saved more than he does. Hoping, for his sake, that he doesn't become like me, I wished for someone or something to protect him from becoming jaded and tired. For real. Impossible. He's too beautiful and it'll hurt him, and he's going to have to work hard to rediscover his wonderfulness later on. Knowing THAT is what the age difference is all about. (I'm getting old.)

  18. wow, this is something I wonder about and was thinking intensely about just this morning. As a 26 yr. old dating a 39 yr. old man, we JUST make the cut. Everyone says age doesn't matter, but when you're looking at raising kids with a man who's gonna age way faster than you, it's a toughie…

  19. I was 18 when I met a wonderful man who was 26. I was in my first year of university and he was already working, owned a house and two cars, plus had two children from a previous relationship. I got hell for it from my parents, friends and the church we had belonged to before anything even happened between us. We fell head over heels in love and it was anything but "pervy" and to this day, I consider it to be the best relationship I have ever had. Age truly is but a number. Everyone who thinks otherwise should mind their own business.

  20. I'm very proud to say I was 24 when I met my now husband & he was 37. We got married a week after his 40th! We didn't know about our age difference right away, it just didn't come up, which we took as a good sign and never let it bother us :)

  21. I note all the defensive 20-somethings. When my daughter hits her 20s I will have to remember that when I was 21 I too thought I knew everything about everything. I got married at 21 (to someone well within the x/2+7 rule) and divorced at 30. And I stayed married about 7 years longer than I should have. But when I was 21, no one could have convinced me that I'd ever feel differently.

  22. I'm a 33-year-old dating a fantastic 26-year old guy. I've never heard of this rule before, and am definitely curious about whether it also applies when the woman is the older one! It's much less the norm, but nobody I know seems to care about our age difference. (My one friend used to make jokes about my "puppy," and my boy occasionally teases me about being a cougar, but it's all in good fun…)

  23. I think of course there are exceptions – sometimes people really do click, regardless of their age or station in life. of course this is the case. But very often, when you think about it … good relationships are partnerships, and how much in common can people in two different life stages have? I'm saying this as someone who was only ever attracted to men 10-15 years older than her. I thought the fact that they paid attention to me meant that there was something special about ME, that I was somehow able to rise to their very mature level … unfortunately, it went the same way both times; I had to learn the hard way that they were actually sinking to MY 18 or 23 year old level.

    No, sometimes age really doesn't matter. But sometimes it really does.

  24. As a non-giggling 19-year-old with a 37-year-old boyfriend (everyone, please, spare me your gasps of horror), I concur with the many commenters before me who said that age is only a number. We have been together a year and a half, and my entire family is crazy about him. Although he is twice my age, people who see us together don't bat an eye, assuming that I am in my mid-twenties and he is a few years older than that. I knew long before I met him that I couldn't so much as have a stimulating conversation with one of the drunken, philandering frat boys that society would have me pursue, let alone enter into a relationship with one. While I understand the tendency to look askance at young women with older men (and am aware that the stereotype exists for a reason), there are exceptions to every rule.

  25. As a non-giggling 19-year-old with a 37-year-old boyfriend (everyone, please, spare me your gasps of horror), I concur with the many commenters before me who said that age is only a number. We have been together a year and a half, and my entire family is crazy about him. Although he is twice my age, people who see us together don't bat an eye, assuming that I am in my mid-twenties and he is a few years older than that. I knew long before I met him that I couldn't so much as have a stimulating conversation with one of the drunken, philandering frat boys that society would have me pursue, let alone enter into a relationship with one. While I understand the tendency to look askance at young women with older men (and am aware that the stereotype is born of truth), there are exceptions to every rule.

  26. Long-time reader, never commented before, but felt compelled to this time. I have to say I side with liv. The age difference will eventually take it's toll. Reason being is exactly what she said…"how much in common can people in two different life stages have". My EX-HUSBAND and I were married for almost 15 years. He is 15 yrs my senior. It was all good when he was in his 30's and I in my late teens and early twenties. Once I turned 30 and he was nearing 45 is when it all started going downhill. I started to see him through different eyes and eventually fell out of love with him. I was his world and I broke his heart. I truly believe it is unevitable and will eventually happen. I lived it I know. I am now 41 and my husband is 43. Completely different all the way around.

  27. I suppose that I am what some folks would call a cougar. (Although I don't see myself as being a predatory kind of woman)I'm 46 years old and I have dated men as much as 14 years younger than myself. Most of the younger men I have dated are very mature for their age and are divorced and don't want more children. I have not pursued them, they've come after me.

    The first time a much younger man approached me with a romantic interest, I brushed him off rather rudely, but he persisted – and it ended up being a good experience. I think the ability of a couple to overcome a substantial age difference depends on the personality of the individuals involved.

  28. I'm 25 and my husband is 44. When I was in my sophomore year of college I started seeing a man who was in his 40s and from that point on I found it almost impossible to be attracted to men my own age. The men that give these relationships a bad name are the men who will ONLY date younger women.

  29. Bonjour,Well my tale has a fine twist.im a 21yr old black female dating a 33yr old white male(more drama:-)…i dont know it all and just like any relationship,i took my sweet time getting to know him before i said yes to anything.hes an attorney,im a business woman,model and student.

    The first time we went out on a date,he couldnt believe i was 21.

    We’ve been seeing each other for some time now and we both share the same outlook on future prospects which is great.

    He really has been nothing but a gentleman from simple things like opening doors to massages after a long day…and theres no sex involved YET;-)

    Yes we’re young and hot but its possible for a man to love you for more than your physical attributes.

    I asked him why a hot,smart,bachelor like himself was still single…he told me that hes met wonderful women that would make great wives,but he didnt want to find someone he could live with,he wants that person he cant live without.
    Mushy yes but if you’re looking for romance and love…thats 1 of the core elements of knowing.

    Love has no age and certainly no color!

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