Truths About Younger Older Relationships

Updated November 21, 2018
Younger Older Relationships

Younger older relationships can bring with them many questions. Is the younger person subconsciously seeking out a parental figure? Is the older person just looking for someone younger and aesthetically pleasing? Or perhaps, in some instances, it's merely a case of people of different ages falling for one another despite the age gap.

Dating Age Difference Calculator

The very question of what is considered too young-or old-has been pondered by the French, who developed a useful formula called "Half Your Age Plus Seven?" To determine the range of what is considered socially acceptable, divide your own age in half and then add seven. For example, a 30-year old can date anyone from 22 to 46, according to the formula. To get 22, you divide 30 in half, leaving you with 15 remaining, and then add seven more to arrive at 22.

Half Your Age Plus Seven

Not everyone will agree with the results of this formula - and it is not supported by science - but it does provide a good starting point, as it keeps younger, less mature people together while giving more of a range for older adults. If math is something you are not comfortable with, use a calculator to figure out if your dating age range is "acceptable" by the aforementioned standard. Or use this calculator, which purports to reveal if your age difference is "creepy" or not.

Dating Outside the Range

If you are dating outside of the range of this formula, you are more likely to have your relationship questioned by friends and family, and you may find it more difficult for the relationship to be successful. But, it doesn't mean that it can't work.

Older Men and Younger Women

Both men and women have their own reasons for dating someone much older or younger than them. It's different for each individual.

Older Men's Motivation

Some of the reasons an older man may be attracted to a younger woman include:

  • Sense of Adventure: It can make the older man feel younger.
  • Respect and Esteem: It naturally feels great to be looked-up to.
  • Physical: Whether purely for sexual enjoyment or because of wanting to father a child, an older man may look to younger women for physical reasons.

Younger Women's Motivation

A younger woman may have her own reasons for wanting to date an older man, such as:

  • Maturity and Experience: She may enjoy his experience and knowledge about life, love, and work.
  • Money and Security: An older man usually is more established than a younger man.

Older Women and Younger Men

Older woman hugging younger man

An older woman dating a younger man has become more common in recent years.

Older Women's Motivation

There are many reasons why an older woman would be attracted to a younger man:

  • Adventure and energy: Some women find that they have far more energy than men their own ages, especially older women, and so they need someone younger who can keep up with them.
  • Adaptability: This could mean finding a man who is able to move for her career, or simply a man who has fewer possessions and looks forward to moving in with her.

Younger Man's Motivation

Younger men have their own reasons for wanting older women, which includes:

  • Experience: Older women have more experience in life that can be attractive to a man.
  • Established: Chances are that an older woman is more established in her career and life, along with a better sense of what she wants.

Younger Older Relationship Challenges

Even if the younger older relationship is meeting the needs of both partners, there are still challenges that the couple may face.

Public Scorn

If the age gap is significant, you may face scrutiny from friends and family, and possibly even the public at large. Bystanders may feel at ease in mocking your relationship as they make assumptions based on stereotypes.


While all relationships can lead to feeling insecure about the viability of the relationship, this is especially true with younger older relationships. You may be constantly wondering if the other person will grow weary of your age and leave you for someone closer to their own age.


There is also the risk that the age difference is too great and you'll eventually break up due to incompatibility. With upbringings in different generations, the differences may simply be too great an obstacle to overcome.

Tips for Relationship Success

Honesty and communication are paramount to any relationship, regardless of the age gap. Web MD offers some tips for relationship success when there is a large age gap, including:

  • Insist family includes your partner in activities - but don't insist your partner participates.
  • Be prepared to deal with age-specific issues, such as the younger partner wanting kids or the older partner experiencing medical issues sooner.
  • Don't get frustrated when sex drive changes, but do talk about these issues.
  • Avoid blaming all the relationship issues on the age gap.

Making It Work

Younger older relationships can work, but you must be honest with yourself and with your partner. Really examine your desires and needs to determine if someone much older or younger is the best person for you. Then be sure to communicate your feelings with your partner. Strong communication will help you to avoid many of the challenges that other younger-older relationships face.

Truths About Younger Older Relationships