Count the Rings?

Should your dating partners be within a certain age range?

We’ve all heard the “rule” that suggests partners be at least half your age plus seven years, and no more than your age minus seven, then doubled. (I was told there would be no math.) But this is like the rules about wearing certain color clothes after Labor Day, or acceptable dress styles for older women; somewhat dubious of provenance and based on more on managing societal perceptions than value for a particular person.

The actual optimal age range for a partner can depend on the nature of the relationship one wants; it’s probably easier to interact over a long term with someone relatively close in life stage. But not every relationship is about that.

People of very different ages may have common interests and attitudes, but in other ways — values, cultural references, outside obligations, libido — may be quite different. That’s true of any two people, of course, but a significant age difference can add to the disconnections.

But this is another of those places where the answer may be different for monogamous and polyamorous people. If you’re trying to have all your needs met by one relationship, the differences introduced by age can get in the way. But if you are able to enjoy just those parts of a relationship that you have in common, and find others to meet the remaining needs, an age difference in any one relationship becomes rather less important.

My partners span 10 years to either side of me, but age isn’t terribly relevant — well, chronological age, anyway.  For basic compatibility, synchronicity of maturity and spirit matter far more than what the calendar says.

One thought on “Count the Rings?

  1. If you are looking for something long-term that probably the age range should be within a decade. However, as you said, if the relationship is not a nesting partner or primary relationship the age range becomes more flexible.

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