Appropriate dating age difference

Bloggers and busybodies are divided over whether or not the age difference between actress Jennifer Lawrence, 24, and musician Chris Martin, 37, automatically renders their relationship inappropriate.

“relationship expert” Tracey Cox condones it, saying their common ground should count for more than their 13-year age gap; other commenters, meanwhile, condemn Martin as “creepy” and Lawrence as “lame.”If you subscribe to the “rule of seven,” the question of where the boundaries of a socially acceptable relationship lie aren’t a matter of opinion—they’re clearly defined.

Love knows no age, but if you date only people who are members of a different generation, it might reveal something about your approach to relationships.

While people who date only people much younger or older than them owe no one an explanation, it may be helpful to consider underlying reasoning.

In , a 1953 film adaptation of the 1951 play by Frederick Hugh Herbert, Maggie Mc Namara—playing 22-year-old Patty O’Neill—asks her 30-year-old suitor, “Haven’t you ever heard that the girls is supposed to be half the man’s age, plus seven? In the 1950s, Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad “taught that a wife’s ideal age was half the man’s age plus seven”; this age gap should make up for women’s maturing more quickly than men, as well as ensure that the husband was sufficiently authoritative over his wife.

When Malcolm X met his future wife Betty Sanders, he interpreted the fact that their ages fit the rule of seven as a sign that they were destined for each other.

Sometimes a significant age gap makes a relationship impossible.

Bridge this difference by probing deeper and making a concerted effort to understand your partner’s viewpoint.

A big age difference provides you with valuable opportunities to learn about alternative perspectives and experiences.

Men aren’t the only ones who date younger people, though, and the archetype of the “cougar”—an older woman dating a younger man—is rapidly becoming a part of the public consciousness.

Same-sex couples sometimes feature a significant age gap as well.

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But the rule of seven may not actually describe what people consider acceptable.

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