Is a 13 year age difference bad?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2003
Is a 13 year age difference bad?
Mon, 08-04-2003 - 8:30am
My mom and I had a discussion about the difficulty I am having finding a boyfriend. I am 22 years old and have not ever been in a relationship longer than 6 months. I am almost finished with school and will have my Bachelor's degree next May. I have a full time professional job and I own my own business on the side.

My mom went to work the next day (after our conversation) and asked one of the young men that she works with, where he and his friends hang out. Her intention was not to try to fix me up with this young man it was to find out where the professional, handsome, intelligent, men were in the city that we live in. She said he never did answer, but asked her to give me his number. She was a little taken back and kind of nervous that I would be upset. I wasn't and called him on Friday. We made a date for Saturday evening. My mom didn't tell me much about him because she didn't know much, he's just a co-worker and he's new.

During our date I asked him when he graduated from high school and he said 1985! I was just 4 years old in 1985!!! I found out that he is 35 years old and will be 36 in September. He doesn't look this old at all!!! He looks to be about 26 - 28. Anyway, we went out and I really liked him and I think he really liked me although I am never really good at telling.

I said all of that to say, is he too old for me? Should I go out with him again? He told me at the end of the date to call him. Should I call him? When? What should I say? I am so bad at dating, can anyone help me? I am so nervous, I don't want to look stupid or immature.


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-08-2002
Mon, 08-04-2003 - 10:13am
My initial reaction is "Yes, he's too old for you." do seem to have a good head on your shoulders. You are graduating soon, you have a fulltime job, and you own your own business. That's an impressive resume for a 22 year old. Still, there's a huge difference between the experiences of a 22 year old and a 35 year old man. Depending on your personalities, the two of you could fall into roles that left you, as the younger less experienced partner, feeling childlike. It doesn't have to be that way, though. My sister married a 32 year old lawyer when she was 21 years old. They are still married after 20 years. She has a strong, dominating personality so their interactions were more equality-based than might be the case with a more passive young woman.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 08-04-2003 - 1:26pm
I totally agree! My first reaction was yes, he is too old...b/c I am jaded and I thought...he was just interested in pursuing an "easy" 22 yr old. I say easy not b/c I think you would sleep with him...but that the r/ship would be easy. You don't have baggage (long term r/ships you got hurt in) and at 22 you probably won't be pressuring him for marriage like a gal my age (31)...LOL...but I could be wrong so just go in w/your eyes open and see what unfold. Date him and enjoy yourself!

Good luck, Go.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 08-04-2003 - 2:56pm
I don't think it's terrible. I am turning 37 and look nowhere near 37 and is 37 really "that old???" - oh, please. ;-)

Act "as if" you are mature, sophisticated, charming - that sometimes can work. My only issue with the age difference is phases of life - I would never date a man in his early or even late 20's because I would feel more like a mentor career wise than a girlfriend.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2003
Tue, 08-05-2003 - 1:45pm
I want to thank everyone that replied to my problem. He called me yesterday and asked me to go to the movies tomorrow night and I am going to go and just have fun. I'm just going to let come what may! Thanks again for all of your help!
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-30-2003
Tue, 08-05-2003 - 9:42pm

I don't think you should ever let age be a factor if you are attracted to someone. My brother is 13 years younger than his wife and they are still happily married after sixteen years. Also remind yourself that you are the catch he should be so lucky to catch and whether you like him, not vice versa. That will make you feel more at ease and remember at your age, you have time on your side and if it doesn't work out, there are plenty more. In the first few dates find out about what you need to know him to see if he is compatible with you. You can also try dates that involve an activity that is fun and that can take away some of the first date jitters. Anyway, good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-16-2003
Fri, 08-08-2003 - 7:14pm
I don't think 13 years is a big deal, especially because you sound very mature. I'm 25 and dating a 36 year-old; it doesn't feel weird at all. What's weird to me is the thought of dating a 20-something. For some reason, I haven't met any 20-somethings I was attracted to. Mentally I just seem to connect better with older guys.

Have fun!


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Sat, 08-09-2003 - 12:41am
I'm jaded with my opinion but here goes...

I was 19 and started dating a guy who was 32, divorced and had 3 kids. It lasted for a little less than a year, and then we split up for a number of years...

After I finished college, we got back together for 3 more years. During this time, I felt more like the mature one in the relationship -- I would give him money when he needed it, planned activities for when his kids came to visit, took them out for birthdays, etc.

I found out through his best friend that he was engaged to someone else, and he has since married her. I don't know what happened after that; I broke off all contact with him and anyone associated with him.

It took me 7 years to get over that particular heartbreak.

So no, I don't think you should date someone 13 years older than you, not seriously anyway. It does work for some people, and it may work for you, but for right now, just enjoy the moment, especially if he's buying dinner! :-)

summer 2010 sig by Tara

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-19-2003
Sat, 08-09-2003 - 12:12pm
Perhaps 13 yrs difference isn't much to you right now, but in time it will be.

Consider: at 32 he's still very much a "stud," or possibly likes to think so; being w/a younger woman reinforces that thinking. It's all well and good to date someone older, but if you take it to its natural conclusion--when you're his age, he'll be 45. And when you're 20 yrs older, he'll be 65 and, depending on his health, you could possibly be little more than a nurse.

I suppose I feel that way b/c I've gone that route; I dated a 51 yo man when I was 32. It didn't last, obviously--he was looking for more $$ than I had--but the thing about older men, I've found, is that they tend to be really controlling. They're older, so they think they know better and you don't. Which is fine, if you want a Daddy, but I like to think for myself, thank you.

All I'm saying is, enjoy the dating, but when he starts talking about the future (if he does), think twice.


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2003
Mon, 08-11-2003 - 5:42pm
Well, if this brings you any consolation, I think that if the two of you really like each other than age shouldn't be a problem. I'm 18 years old and I'm talking to a 24 year old. My parents are fine with it because my guy respects the fact that I'm a bit younger than him and they (my parents) have the same age difference between them. So I don't think age should be a problem, when you're both adults. As long as the two of you have an understanding and don't think age will cause problems in your relationship, go for it. :)
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 08-11-2003 - 8:10pm
I have to delurk and pipe in here.

I'm engaged to someone 11 years my senior. We've been together over two years. Before him, I dated a man 13 years my senior. We had a VERY wonderful relationship, but due to several issues that are very personal - we mutually ended our relationship. Before him was my ex-husband, we were together for 7 years. He was 5 months older than me. Before him was three boyfriends, one 5 years older than me, one 7 years older than me, and one 13 years older than me.

Out of ALL of those men - only ONE was controlling. My ex-husband.

I've always been attracted to older men. None of them were ever controlling, none of them ever played "daddy" to me (that position is filled - I have a daddy - a great one - thank you very much!), none of them were manipulative. ALL of them were great.

And as far as the "when you're 52, he'll be 65" argument, fact of the matter is I could get hit by a bus on the way home from work tonight and be a complete invalid. Or he cou.d drop dead of a heart attack tomorrow at 37. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed for any of us. If you find someone that makes you happy and that you love and that loves you back, don't let something as ridiculous of age keep you from happiness. One day of happiness is far better than a lifetime of misery. In my opinion, anyway.

I'm sorry you've been burnt, Ash. Hugs to you!