Dating is an exhilarating yet scary experience. Finding that perfect partner can be a challenge. So when you find your ideal match in someone 7 years older than you, it may seem like a dream come true.
Take supermodel Karlie Kloss, who fell in love with a man seven years older than her. Now, the model is happily married to Josh Kushner.
As they say, age is just a number, but many questions will arise in your mind. For example, is it okay to date him? Is it acceptable in society? How different will this relationship be?
This article will quench your thirst by providing all the answers to your questions.
Can I Date a Man 7 Years Older Than Me?
When an older man tugs at your heartstrings, it can be dreamy yet confusing simultaneously. Dating a seven years older man may be a far cry from your age group.
So, can you date him? The answer is yes. Of course, you can.
Rest assured, many people fall for someone older than they are. Some celebrity couples have a massive age gap, like George and Amal Clooney, with a 17 years difference. Midsommar star Florence Pugh is currently dating Zach Braff, who’s 21 years older than her.
While age may be an essential factor in a relationship, other things also determine its success.
Important Questions to Ask Yourself
To assess the viability of your relationship, you should ask yourself four questions.
1. Is the relationship short-term or long-term?
You don’t need to worry about long-term challenges if it’s a fun, short-term relationship.
If it’s a long one, ensure both parties are on the same page. They have similar requirements and are compatible with each other to proceed successfully.
3. Do you want children in the future?
Dating someone older may mean marriage or kids may be on the cards for him sooner than you expect. So have an open discussion about parenting from the start if any of you want children.
4. Does your inner circle support you?
If you’ve accepted him into your life, your friends and family can play an important part in making the relationship successful. It becomes easier to maintain if you have their approval.
If everything is going your way, there’s no harm in a man seven years older than you. You can read books on relationship advice or talk to close friends if you feel unsure about pursuing a relationship.
Is a 7-Year Age Difference Too Much in a Relationship?
The following important question can be if the difference is too much.
Most people commonly believe a 1-3 year age gap is ideal and unnoticeable. At 4-7 years, it starts garnering attention, but it might be an insignificant difference. However, age gaps beyond eight years can be significant and highly scrutinized.
Studies suggest an age gap of fewer than ten years brings more satisfaction to a relationship. Conversely, going beyond ten years may lead to more trouble in paradise and may become problematic.
So, a 7-year age difference is at the threshold of the dating line. It’s inching closer to being worrisome, but you may still be in the clear.
Things You Need to Know When Dating 7 Years Older Man
After the assurance that there’s no harm in dating a 7 year older guy, let’s discuss what the relationship will entail.
There are certain things you can expect from this relationship.
Your age gap means there might be varying communication levels. However, it vastly depends on people’s personalities. Usually, older guys prefer open communication rather than skimming around the topic.
Different Financial Responsibilities
He might be more secure in life than you if you’re in your 20s. So, unequal financial stability can be expected.
You might have some growing up to do emotionally while they can be more in tune with their emotions.
This might seem challenging at first, but they won’t necessarily understand some memes, pop culture, or trends of your age group.
You both may have different things expected from life. For example, you could be waiting for a job promotion that changes your life’s direction while they’re at a firm career place.
What Do Older Guys Want in a Relationship?
Older people may have different relationship expectations than younger people. Here are some things they want in a relationship.
Sense of Security
They want to feel safe in a relationship. As the age climbs, you prefer deep connections that bring you stability. Assurances and kind words can bring them solace.
Along with serious relationships comes companionship. Everybody wants someone to love, cherish, and who has their back. Knowing you can share your daily activities with someone is incredibly important as you grow old.
Older men want someone to talk to. It can be light conversations to make them forget about the day’s trials. Or they talk profoundly about their emotions and feelings.
They like someone who maintains himself, so they take good care of you. Your youthful appearance can be attractive to them.
For older men, late-night pub visits are too much. They want a mature relationship and no longer prefer wild activities.
Even if your youthful habits can be endearing, that doesn’t mean you can be irresponsible. They want someone to romance, not to parent.
Humor and Playfulness
Yes, maturity is a preference, but that doesn’t mean it would be all serious. Fun and games are an important requirement to make them feel young and enjoy life despite their age.
How to Dress When Dating an Older Man?
You might think if you’re dating someone older than you, you’ll have to dress too maturely. However, you can keep your style and still impress him with your dressing sense.
Wardrobe preferences vary from person to person. For example, some older guys prefer feminine, youthful looks, while others prefer a more practical approach. Nonetheless, you can find a middle ground and try some things that the majority of older men would like.
Wear a dress that accentuates your best features. You can incorporate some trendy designs like the off-the-shoulder style or unique necklines. But remember to dress stylishly yet gracefully. Those wild outfits that you wear to late-night parties might not work here.
Yes, heels make you sexy, but you don’t need stilettos everywhere. Older men understand the need for practical dressing, so dress comfortably yet attractively. Also, it’s best to keep your makeup minimal and glowy. Most older men appreciate natural looks compared to younger men who might like the all-decked made-up look.
It’s pertinent to mention that you don’t have to change your wardrobe just to impress a man. However, a few changes here and there can go a long way.
Do’s and Don’ts of Dating an Older Man
Like in every relationship, there are certain things you’ll have to pay attention to when dating an older man. However, it’s not something too drastic. Most do’s and don’ts apply to all relationships, but there may be some things that require special care.
When dating an older man, this is what you should do.
While dating an older man might expose you to new experiences, holding on to your individuality is essential. Fully relish the activities of your age group and celebrate your youth without guilt.
Learn from his experiences.
An older man can have a lot of advice and guidance to offer you. It might seem overbearing and annoying, but you can benefit from it.
Prepare for scrutiny.
Dating an older man will undoubtedly come with unnecessary criticism. Be mentally prepared for it and focus on what makes you happy.
You can introduce him to your young interests, and he can share the activities he enjoys.
Treat the relationship as a same-age one.
Treat it just like any other relationship, and don’t make it too big a deal.
However, here are some things you shouldn’t do.
Point out the age gap.
Don’t enjoy your youth at his expense. Making fun of his grey hair, maturity, or aging can quickly backfire.
Use pop culture references he won’t get.
You shouldn’t constantly discuss things he doesn’t know. That might make him feel inadequate or left out.
Avoid unrealistic demands, temper tantrums, and doing irresponsible things. They can make him feel like he’s dating a teenager.
Make him jealous.
This tactic is another example of immaturity. While this might work on younger guys, older guys are done with it.
Push him into things he doesn’t want.
Don’t nag him to accompany you everywhere. Similarly, respect his physical limitations and make him comfortable.
Let society’s criticism get to you.
As you prepare for the scrutiny, remember not to let it get to you.
If your partner makes you happy, pursue the relationship without shame.
How Far Can an Age Gap Be Acceptable?
Now that we’ve covered the highlights of dating a 7 year older guy, you might think, what’s the limit?
Fortunately, as mentioned above, dating a seven years older man may not bring you much trouble. Beyond that, it tends to be problematic.
However, an unofficial dating rule might suggest what is acceptable.
The Rule of Seven
This famous rule is also called the ‘half-your-age-plus-7’ rule. That means you can date someone who’s half your age and add 7 to their age.
To explain it more, consider you’re 24. Someone half your age, which is 12, then add 7, and you’ll have a total of 19. So, you can acceptably date someone 19 years old.
This is the lesser end age.
For the higher end, subtract 7 from your age and double it. For example, if you’re 24, minus 7 is 17, and if you double it, you have 34. That’s the maximum dating age for you.
It may seem very mathematical, but most dating gurus use this rule to assess the acceptable range.
While it may be a popular rule, an article published in The News Republic disagrees with its notion. It states that this rule suggests an ideal relationship rather than an acceptable limit. That’s why society may think differently.
Socially Acceptable Age Gap
A Dutch group did some research to understand how much of an age limit is accepted by society. The study showed men fantasize about women a couple of decades younger than them. But, usually, they prefer someone of their own age.
As for women, those in their 40s feel 35-year-old guys are acceptable as opposed to the Rule of Seven. On the other hand, they are more lenient and have a higher maximum age.
Thus, this rule may be too lenient sometimes or too stringent depending on people’s requirements.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter much because society can pick and choose who to condemn more or less. The acceptable age limit drastically differs from person to person.
Potential Harms of a Big Age Gap
We can say age is just a number, but it can bring you into some dangerous waters.
You might be easily manipulated as a young person, and the more experienced one can have all the say in the relationship.
Even if a larger gap works for you, society may criticize your relationship endlessly.
Experts say this criticism is generated because the age gap might make people uncomfortable. They think someone benefits more (the older person) and it creates an unfair relationship.
So keep these things in mind and don’t be so pliable. Don’t let someone take advantage of you or let society dictate to you.
Dating a 7-year older guy can be an exciting and learning journey for you. You might be pleasantly surprised, or it may not work for you.
However, we’ve quoted many celebrities thriving in large age-gap relationships, so you can too. As for undue societal influence, if you’re happy in your relationship, disregard everything.
Remember to be firm with your desires yet act smartly. Don’t shut out anyone who’s rightly looking out for you. Stay safe, and you can enjoy the newly blossoming romance like any other.