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April 24, 2008

Creepiness calculator

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:54 am

Math moment, brought to you in easy-to-understand cartoon format: Don’t date anyone under (your age/2 + 7).

(Quoth our tipster: “Last night at the bar some friends and I tried to figure out the upper limit of that formula. We decided it was somewhere between 60-70. A 60-year-old dating a 37-year-old wasn’t too creepy…but maybe a 70-year-old dating a 42-year-old is. It is all arbitrary and relative, I suppose — exposing our own ‘ageist’ perceptions?”)


  1. Wow, that math scares me — some people will get tossed in jail for that, and while those 60 year old guys might like dating a 37 year old, she’s obviously got some daddy issues to work out. And if it’s a 60 year old woman dating a 37 year old guy? My bet is that it would never happen. How can you keep physical and emotional maturities in line? Maybe this formula: Your Age ยฑ (your age/10). So, if you’re 20, you can date 18 – 22 safely, and no statutory rape charges will be filed. If you’re 30, sticking to 27 – 33 keeps it real. At 40, 36 – 44 is right, and at 60, 54 – 66 gives you a big range. When you’re 80, that 72 year old special friend will keep you on your toes. And if you’re immature, you can alter the formula to Your Age ยฑ ((your age / 10)*2) . Usually the 2 is factor enough, but if you’re insanely immature for your age, you might need to make it 3. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Comment by sfnygirl — April 25, 2008 @ 6:34 pm

  2. sfnygirl, you haven’t been around the block apparently with math and an attitude like that. Love doesn’t pay attention to age in such a strict and narrow formula. No one that is with a special someone cares if their age difference makes it “creepy” to other people. Others specifically target their elders and juniors, hence the terms sugar daddy and cougar.

    Although I agree with Breakup girl and sfnygirl that it can be considered creepy, who cares? It is not your life or my life. Break up girl why does there need to be a “formula” unilaterally decided by you as to who and who is not in a “creepy” relationship?

    Comment by Joe — April 25, 2008 @ 9:43 pm

  3. @Joe: The “creepy” comment wasn’t BG, she was quoting someone else.

    Comment by Daphne B. — April 25, 2008 @ 10:11 pm

  4. I think this Calculator serves as a Caution Notice. Let’s be honest. Age difference does cause problems. It may not be a big issue in the beginning of a relationship but as the passion cools down and both face the day-to-day routines, we all know that people of similar age tends to have the same focus, needs and requirements. It’s easier for them to share a life together. A much older husband is looking to retire while the wife is in the prime time of her career.She is travelling on biz but her husband gets suspicious thinking about what guys she will run into. Is this pleasant to deal with? A much older wife is losing the charm of beauty. She gets concerned that her husband is still young and energetic, popular with women of similar age. Is this a good basis for a long term relationship? If we want a relationship that is viable in the long run, we’d better avoid the wrong people to start with; or mostly likely it will fail.

    Comment by Melly — April 26, 2008 @ 10:08 am

  5. according to THIS math it should i shouldnt date people under 23. yipe!
    luckly my bf is 31 so i think im okee with that.

    however, i’ve made it a pretty good rule to not date anyone over 35 or under 28. pretty simple. and no calculator needed!

    Comment by Karen — April 27, 2008 @ 1:47 pm

  6. Goodness Melly, do you really think insecurities are limited to people who have different ages? What nonsense. People who are insecure about what their SO is doing or whether they’re attractive will have the same insecurities regardless of what their or their SO’s ages are. Contrary to your assumption, the difference in age becomes much Less important over time, as you develop plans and goals together and the years of experiences you share grows. Amazing how quick people are to judge and make assumptions about something they’ve obviously never experienced.

    There are so many issues so much more critical than age differences, I can’t believe people waste time and energy worrying about that one. Why anyone would intentionally shrink their pool of prospective SO’s so drastically by putting arbitrary numbers for limits is way beyond me.

    Comment by Lynn — April 27, 2008 @ 5:19 pm

  7. Melly, you seem to be assuming that people of the SAME age have the same priorities and are at the same place in their lives and careers. I’m a happy single person, no kids, in the first few years of a teaching career … so I must be about 26, right? Wrong, I’m 33. Some people I know around my age include the parents of my 5th graders. I *guarantee* you that their daily lives look pretty different from mine. My sister recently finished a master’s in international affairs and is trying to work her way into a career with the UN. So she must be the one who’s around 26, right? Wrong again, she’s 38. One of my colleagues has been teaching a few years longer than I have, is currently partnered with a woman who has three kids, and is the one I usually ask when I have questions about the best way to get things done. You guessed it – *he’s* the one in his 20s. My point is that there’s a lot of variation in what numerical age gets paired up with any given stage of life … if we reach them at all. The couples I’ve known who’ve had big age differences have been very well-matched in terms of their personalities and their views on life. Still, would I date someone who was 2*(33-7)=52? … Uhm, well, I’d have to meet him before I’d decide. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Oh, and as for sfnygirl’s comment about this formula getting some people arrested … I believe I’ve heard that it only applies if you’re at least 22. That puts the low end of your dating range at 18, so you’re safe. *g*

    Comment by Optimist — April 29, 2008 @ 6:01 am

  8. My husband and I will celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary in December. We dated for 1 year and lived together for 6 months before marrying. I am 45, he’s 27 (oh, I can almost hear the brains cranking doing all the maths involved in this process). We are each other’s soul mates and each other’s buffer: where I’m impulsive, he’s calm, I’m a fatalist, he’s an optimist; he’s friendly and gregarious and I’m moody and borderline anti-social. The essential part of the matter is that we DO love and respect each other, and crave each other’s company. For the first time in my life (I’m a divorcee with 2 grown sons), I’m really COMFORTABLE trusting a man, and he shows me day in and day out that he deserves my trust. He’s is ions more mature than I’ll ever be! Also, he makes more money than me, so nah-nah-nah-nah-nah to those thinking he’s with me for my money, and although I’m quite hot, I have never artifically enhanced myself. The way we see it, we were soul mates in another life, because it’s like we always know what the other one is thinking and can anticipate each other’s needs. How long it’ll last? Who cares? We have given each other 5 years of blissful, loving, caring and peaceful coexistence. If it ends, no one will ever be able to take that from us. Moral of the story: a person is not defined by her age. Personality, character, sense of humor and chemistry is what you really need to be looking at (over 18, please). And no, I’m not Demi Moore. :-)

    Comment by Rosa — April 29, 2008 @ 9:11 am

  9. I am 42 and my husband is 30. We are 11.5 years apart in age. I have always liked younger men and he’s always liked older women. People usually guess that we are both in our mid thirties. I look much younger than I am and he looks older. Even his friends are older than him. It’s just his preference.

    He’s also my opposite, as Rosa mentioned about her husband. We share the same values and have the same goals. We respect and treat each other very well. That’s what’s important.

    We are expecting our second child in October.

    The only thing that really ever comes up with regards to age is when we talk about the 1980’s. He was still watching cartoons and I was in high school and college. I think that’s a pretty small detail to deal with.

    Comment by TamJak — April 29, 2008 @ 1:07 pm

  10. Love to here that from Rosa and Tamjak. I have just stepped into a much awaited relationship, with a 34 year old and I am 47. He can not be sweeter and more patient and I am impulsive and cranky sometimes. I was so skeptical of his motives at first, that I made it very hard for him to get to know me. But now that I have let him into my long gaurded personal life I regret having wasted so much time without him. I hope others that have an opportunity to find someone, regardless of the age difference, will not be as stubborn as I.

    Comment by Cheryl — April 29, 2008 @ 4:12 pm

  11. By itself, age isn’t necessarily going to be a factor in a relationship. However, age will correlate to a number of important factors.

    For example, you can find twenty-somethings that are more mature than some forty-somethings. But in general, people get more mature as they age … even the ones that are exceptionally mature or immature for their age.

    Similarly, people tend to get more set in their ways as they get older. Individuals may stand out as being more or less set in their ways than their peers, but even most of those exceptions are becoming more set in their ways as time passes.

    These age correlations also extend to people’s interests. I know some people in their 40s who are into bar-hopping/clubbing/frat parties, but most people start drifting away from those activities in their mid-to-late-twenties.

    On the other hand, the twenty-something demographic is nearly absent from churches. But as people get older, they’re more likely to begin attending church again and getting involved in church activities.

    If people have wildly divergent personalities (mature v. immature, figuring out what they want v. set in their ways) or wildly different interests (partying v. church-centric), they’re fighting an uphill battle in trying to keep a relationship together. And for every trait with an age correlation, most people will have better chances of finding someone who is compatible if they date around their own age. There are exceptions, but they are a minority.

    In general, I think it’s a lot more productive to view prospective dates in terms of similar personality, interests, principles & goals rather than similar age. When I meet women through my normal circles, I normally can learn these important details before I ever know their age (beyond a rough guess).

    However, I pay more attention to age if I’m using online dating. With online dating, the dating pool is too large for me to meet them all or even e-mail them all. Furthermore, I can tell a woman’s age immediately. I generally can’t get an accurate impression of her personality until I go on a date with her. At that point, it makes sense to use age as one critereon for narrowing my search.

    But the biggest age restriction on my dating is imposed by my potential partners. The majority of women prefer to date men around their age or a little older. I look substantially younger than my age, so I’ve had women who were younger then me rule me out as being “too young.” (As an example, my ex-girlfriend initially thought I was younger than her. It turned out that I was 11 years older than her.) I sometimes try to circumvent this by finding “reasons” to mention my age around potential dates.

    On the bright side, NOBODY found it “creepy” that a 38 year old was dating a 27 year old … because we looked like we were the same age. It seems that creepiness is truly based more on our perceptions than on reality.

    Comment by Karl R — April 29, 2008 @ 4:56 pm

  12. I think age is only a problem if you see it as one. I believe that there are those who are made for each other regardless of age differences. Only allowing yourself to date people within a certain age limit really narrows the field, especially as one gets older. Women live longer than men, so if only younger men are available, why not give it a shot. I see nothing weird or odd with large age differences. Thankfully, more and more woman are seeing it as okay to date that younger guy, where once it was only older men with younger women.

    Comment by cathy — April 29, 2008 @ 7:29 pm

  13. Cheryl, I know exactly how you felt. I felt the same way: skeptical borderlining on paranoid. Kept asking myself, “why me? He’s 22, 6’4”, cute, eyes like emeralds and a body to die for. He’s smart, sweet, funny and educated and has a great future ahead of him. Does he not want children? I don’t want any more…I’m 40, I can’t keep up with him, WHAT DOES HE WANT? and so on and so forth….That’s why 6 months went by before I agreed to date him, and from the first date, I fell like a rock thrown from the top of the Empire State. Have never looked back and, frankly, I think he loves me more than I do him. Give yourself a chance. You’ll never know otherwise. At the time I met my husband, I was dating a guy 8 years older than me, and the first time he touched me, my skin crawled. When my husband kissed me for the first time, I dropped my drink and broke his roomate’s best wine glass. I was mortified; he thought it was so charming, he still a piece of the broken glass as a memento (and reminder of his manly power, I’m sure). I knew then he was going to be THE ONE. Needless to say, the sex also blew my mind, and that also helped to my total surrender. :-)

    TamJack, don’t feel too bad. I entered college on september 1980. My husband was born a month later. Lucky for us, he was raised by a hippie/open-minded-flower child single mom, and thanks to her, he knows everything about the 60’s, the 70’s and the 80’s, including music, TV shows and all that. He even knows more song lyrics from the 80’s than I do! I was too busy in college.

    Best of luck to both. I’ll be an eternal believer that his was destined to be he love of my life. Maybe, yours is too.

    Comment by Rosa — April 30, 2008 @ 7:56 pm

  14. Wow.. I am 36 years old, with 2 children and recently divorced. I have met wonderful man that is 13 years older than I am. At first, I have to admit the age issue was always on my mind. But age does not matter! I have gotten to know him and enjoy his company very much. The things that we talk about my ex never took the time to discuss. It doesn’t matter what other people think, they are not the ones in the relationship. If it makes you happy, then it has to be good, right!

    Comment by maria — June 20, 2008 @ 6:31 pm

  15. I’ve been on the dating scene for a while and my girlfriends and I run into a lot of older men who don’t seem to have a clue that girls in their twenties usually don’t want some stranger their father’s age hitting on them. Sure, there are times when a winter/spring relationship works out great, but I would guess they typically involve getting to know each other as friends first.

    Comment by aloria — September 8, 2008 @ 5:27 pm

  16. I wish for a baby.

    Comment by Michael — October 28, 2009 @ 3:31 pm

  17. when?

    Comment by zareena — June 23, 2010 @ 9:24 am

  18. Here’s the thing, age does not make any difference as long as you are both in the same point in life that you want the same things, and as you get older a bigger gap can be there because the biggest conflict tends (in my oppinion) to be having children. My husband is 11 years older than I am – we had our first child when I was 25 and he was 36, our second when I was 27 and he was 38. We are 9 years into our relationship and age has never mattered in our relationship. The only time it even comes up is when he is shocked I haven’t seen a movie and I point out that I was still watching disney flicks at the time it came out.

    Comment by Lisa — August 5, 2010 @ 8:22 pm

  19. @Lisa: Nice! And agreed: numbers matter less than how “cooked” you are inside.

    Comment by BG — August 8, 2010 @ 9:57 am

  20. Well, I’m 16, so i can’t date guys under 15. But that’s stupid because it’d be weird to date a year 10 (15-year-old) or younger…

    However, my mom…can’t date guys under 31. Ah well, poor her.

    Comment by Maryam — December 19, 2010 @ 9:32 pm

  21. i lost my love

    Comment by maliha — December 30, 2010 @ 7:05 am

  22. The only factor age has anything to do with is in relating to life events. I used to always date older woman. My first girlfriend was 4 years older (I was 8 and she was 12), my second was 6 years older (I was 21 and she was 27), my third was 24 years older (I was 24 and she was 48), my 4th was 6 years older (I was 27 and she was 33).

    And now for the first time ever I’m dating younger women. Went on a casual non-serious date with a 20 year old (I’m 27 1/2 now) and soon the same with an 18 year old.

    I didn’t choose any of them because they were older. I’ve don’t go out picking up women at all. Women usually talk to me first and I respond to honesty. It just happened to work out that until now only older women hit on me, and now only younger women hit on me.

    If your calculator was accurate, my first wouldn’t have been able to date anyone who wasn’t 13 (she was 12). My second would have had me just within your criteria. The third would have had me 7 years too young. The 4th would have had me within your criteria. The date I had last month would have fit your criteria, but the one I am about on would call me a creep.

    All in all, I think such rules don’t apply to real life. And they are very culture specific. They do, however, make a degree of sense, but only in regards to relating to events. I never understood until now what it is like to make reference to something “before your time” but that has more to do with age difference than some arbitrary calculation. I doubt, would example, I’d ever go for a 24 year age difference again in either direction because there wasn’t allot to relate to, even if your calculator would say it is ok. But that wouldn’t because the other is a creep, it’s just a preference for being able to relate to people.

    Even so, I don’t consider age much of a factor beyond such extremes and I particularly hate it when people judge an older partner I am with, or otherwise call me a “baby” for making an adult choice. People in general can be very rude to both people with an age difference relationship and I wish people could just be more respectful of the choices of others.

    Comment by Elliander — January 10, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

  23. Hi! Totally agree with you re “life events.” I just wanted to posit the “calculator” I’d come across as a way to spark some interesting conversation. It worked! :)

    Comment by BG — January 11, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

  24. I am 18going on19 in a couple of months an my boyfriend will be 32in a couple of months so we are 13yrs apart in age he makes me happy great chemistry an loves me the way I want to be loved. ..I do question a lotabout if we are worth saving but I’m going to enjoy him until I can’t anymore…those questions come up bcuz of negativity if it works for us it works for us if it does not work I will neva regret or forget bcuz I will move on n learn from the mistakes I make buti love my bby

    Comment by nelly — April 24, 2011 @ 9:30 pm

  25. technically the reverse (upper end) is (your age x2 -7)

    Comment by alanah — June 15, 2011 @ 6:31 am

  26. I am 24 and i am head over heels for a 45 yr old. Age should not be an obstacle. Embrace it all.

    Comment by mksa — March 16, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

  27. I am a 13 year old girl and I am currently in love with a 20-year-old Irish man and he is the best. He has no idea who I am and he is a virgin but I can fix both of those problems ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am planning to visit him at his hotel in New York when he comes in the next tour. I even wrote a fanfic about me and him. But anyways, enough about of our love like. I will end this by saying we are getting married some day.

    Comment by Adriana — November 16, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

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