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Dating & Relationships

Dear Lisa,

I have two questions: First: how young is too young to date for a 40 year old man? The old adage is half my age plus seven. That means 27! Secondly, should I consider dating a Christian woman, or should I just stick to Catholic women?

Sincerely, Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

You bring up two very good questions, ones that I’m sure are on the minds of many single people out there. I’ll give you my thoughts on both and hopefully the rest of the singles out there will offer their opinions.

I’d like to tackle your second question first. In my experience, it is best to have a romantic relationship with someone who has the same spiritual beliefs and values you do. I’m not saying that people of different faiths will necessarily fail at their relationship, but they are starting out their new life with strikes against them.

2 Corinthians 6:14 says:

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? (NASB)

That’s a pretty clear statement that God wants strong marriages that thrive because both spouses have the same belief system.

Marriage is wonderful but it’s tough, too. There are so many things in life that can put stress and strain on a marriage: difficult financial times (which is one of the top causes of divorce), the temptation to view pornography, the temptation to be unfaithful to your spouse, serious illnesses, death of a child, loss of a business, etc.

So when the chips are down and you need to cling to each other for support, having the same belief and value system becomes a big part of the foundation that will keep you strong. If you already don’t agree on your beliefs and values you will be lacking that strength in your foundation.

Contrary to popular opinion, the emotion of love does not conquer all.

But another important reason to date specifically Catholic women is because many times in an “unequally yoked” relationship, one spouse abandons his or her faith for the other’s and you might be tempted to give up the precious gift of your Catholic faith in exchange for something else just to please your spouse. That would be tragic.

As far as your second question is concerned, how young is too young?, I would say it should be taken on a case by case basis, but a good rule of thumb is to stay within 6 or 7 years of each other’s age at the most. This is strictly my opinion, but I believe if there is too much of a difference in age, it invites discord into the relationship instead of strengthening it.

The spouses should have the same level of maturity and their goals and interests should be compatible. She doesn’t have to like your sports and you don’t have to go to the spa with her, but all of your beliefs, values, goals and interests should compliment each other, not divide you.

God may have plans for good marriages between Catholics and non-Catholics or between 40-year-olds and 27-year-olds, and I will leave that up to Him because He always knows best. But the relationships I have witnessed with a huge difference in age tend to have more than their fair share of troubles, more than life would normally bring.

That’s my two cents, my friend. I very much look forward to hearing what other people have to say about the issues.

You can also chime in with your opinion at asklisa@catholicmatch.com.

(This post has been read 7,120 times)

73 Comments

  1. Mary-853373 June 24, 2013

    gee, that make me up for someone……75 divided by 2be plus 7 = maybe 45! i don’t think so.

  2. Robert-969678 June 24, 2013

    I AM 72 AND IN GOOD HEALTH. MY QUESTION ALSO REVOLVES AROUND AGE, SPECIFICALLY WHAT AGE GROUP SHOULD FOCUS ON?

    • Peter-449116 June 24, 2013

      Robert, in my experience (I’m 68) if you’re retired it’s better to stick to dating women who are also retired. Gets too complicated otherwise. Just my opinion. If you’re looking for a gal half your age, make sure she’s a nurse!

  3. Alice-788574 June 24, 2013

    And who wants to marry in order to be someone’s nurse? I agree that 6 or 7 years either way is a good rule of thumb. As far as dating non-Catholics, I suppose it would depend on his openness learning about the Catholic faith and respecting my beliefs. I live and breathe my faith, so in building a relationship with me, he would be building his relationship with Christ (by association!). If that were not the case, and faith was a point of division, that would be three end of the story for me.

    • Alice-788574 June 24, 2013

      You can’t tell I’m having Swype difficulties, can you?! :-\

    • Richard-595743 June 25, 2013

      “And who wants to marry in order to be someone’s nurse?” Anyone espousing such an attitude is not ready to marry anyone, because one never knows who is going to be most on the receiving end of help and support (emotional, financial, physical, etc.) down the line.

      • Peter-449116 June 25, 2013

        I meant marrying a nurse in a humorous way in my previous post and did not intend for it to be taken seriously. Sort of a dig on guys who are cradle robbers.

        • BethAnn-980663 June 25, 2013

          Hi Peter. I got it the first time you said it and thought it was very funny :)

        • Ann-1080387 June 3, 2014

          I got that. It was funny: made me smile. :)

  4. Lois-765906 June 25, 2013

    I agree with Lisa :)

  5. Cara-868560 June 25, 2013

    I def think the 7 year is a good limit. Any bigger of a difference and it seems creepy. I also try to keep in mind that in many cases women tend to outlive men and the older a man is than me the higher probability that I’ll have to live without him around. Of course that isn’t always the case.

    • Ross-949870 June 25, 2013

      I have had a relationship with younger women than myself in the past and it was not creepy. It was a warm and loving relationship that we endured for almost 3 years. Had it not be for such a large distance I am sure we could have made a good marriage too. We are friends still. Anyway, people should just seek love above all else.

      • Molly-941933 June 25, 2013

        Well said, Ross….Christ and love above all!

      • Cara-868560 June 25, 2013

        Sorry, I didn’t mean to come off as offensive. I have people in my family who do have a larger age difference. My great grandparents were almost 20 years apart (I’d say it worked out, but one of them died ~5 years into the marriage). Anyway, I think slightly larger age gaps can work out. However when people are in relationships with others that are closer to their children’s age (or the age their children would have been) it can cause family problems.

        Maybe it’s not creepy for some younger people, but I have noticed that usually it’s the older person who initiates the contact with younger people. When I’ve had this happen with people much closer to my parents age it does feel “creepy,” uncomfortable and like sexual harassment.

        Yes, God is love but that love isn’t necessarily meant to be the equivalent of marital love. As for with different religious beliefs in my marriage course at a Catholic university we learned that marriages are more likely to fail if the couple has different faiths and if the importance of faith weighs much greater on one person’s heart than the other (though every couple thinks they’re the exception). <-The problems usually arise when the couple has a child and both people feel strongly about their own beliefs. Here's just one article on the topic- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/04/AR2010060402011_2.html?sid=ST2010060404322.

        If your Catholic faith is the most important thing in your life you're not going to sacrifice that for a relationship. You'll want a relationship with someone where it is front in center and can be for your children as well. That's why we're all on a Catholic dating site, right?

    • Richard-595743 June 25, 2013

      So, a 41-year-old man marrying a woman of 49 is “creepy”? In my opinion, such a view suggests an arbitrary value system and is foreign to my way of thinking. I guess mutual values, shared interests, personality chemistry, love, etc. don’t count for much these days. Oh well, “to each his own.”

      • Delia-898212 June 25, 2013

        I am a 72 year old widow. My husband and I married when I was 28 and he was 18! He convinced me that our age difference was not a problem when I said to him “what are you going to do when you are 60 and I am 70 and unable to walk?” His answer was “then, I will carry you.!” However,it was not to be: he died at age 60 when I was 70 (and still able to walk and dance). We enjoyed a great friendship and loved each other greatly; had our problems but worked them out with God’s help and our willingness to accept each other and forgive and forget. I have noticed,though, while on this and other Catholic websites, that men my age are looking for much younger women. Richard I agree with you, one can fall in love for such more important reasons than “who is going to take care of whom?” Love is patient, love is kind..” and is self-giving. Delia

        • Mary-982883 June 28, 2013

          I too have noticed that men in my age range are looking for younger women. It seems they are still seeking to start families.

    • Patrick-735057 June 26, 2013

      It is sad that a person would find a 10, even a 12 year age gap “creepy”. I do work out a lot and based on my family history and health habits, I see no reason that I won’t live well into my 90′s. I may be in my mid 30′s, but people always assume I am 26-28. I have been looking for the right girl to marry for a long time, because I refuse to settle; there were a couple times that I thought I had finally found the right person, but unfortunately after a year or 2 there were just too many blazing red flags to over look.

      See, I would like to have a family one day, but not today, and the women I have dated near my age are in a big hurry to rush into a relationship and start a family way too fast. That typically leaves me dating girls who are in their early 20′s to about 27. They push with far less pressure and actually allow the 2 of us to relax, get to know all about each other, and have fun. I will probably want to have kids close to the same time that a girl in her early to mid 20′s will want to begin that phase; until then there are just too many things I still want to do. I have always found that girls are usually looking much sooner than guys to enter into serious relationships and remain committed to each other while together. Sadly, most guys I am friends with who are in their mid 20′s and younger talk about how they cheat on their GFs every chance they get. I think that younger girls get tired of that.

      My Mom and Dad are the same age as a lot of my friend’s grandparents because they married later and I was born later, my Dad is also older than my Mom, but he is actually the healthier of the 2 because for 15 years now he has been going to the gym 3 days a week, running for 30 minutes, then lifting weights until he has engaged all of his muscle groups. He is nearly 80, but pain free, capable of running fast, and still very strong. He is why I will never quit lifting weights, it’s like the fountain of youth, but most people are just too lazy to do it. I’m 6’1 and a lean 220lbs and I would put my health, stamina, and physique up against any guy in his early 20′s.

      Though the same age as many of my friends, I was raised under a moral code from an earlier generation. My Dad always taught me from an early age how to treat girls, how to respect them, and to always protect those who are physically weaker from abusive people.
      I am by no means an uptight church boy either though, I like to go out with my friends and have fun, I love trying new things, seeking new hobbies, laughing until it hurts. I am a unique blend; most people say that I am about the nicest person they have ever met, but I have a wild side too…I just know where to draw the line.

      So that’s my story and that’s my life and that is why I would find it to be truly sad if a good girl with potential, who may be 12-13 years younger honestly felt it in her heart that she couldn’t date me because of our age differences

      • Mark-973089 July 1, 2013

        Patrick, I am around your age 36 and I find this all the time with some women on here that age. Some girls in their 20′s on here who are attractive are willing to date men older then them. But some Catholics fail to understand that women have dated men older then them since the beginning of time and it will always be that way with some women who seek that

  6. Elizabeth-51838 June 25, 2013

    i’m 34…I’m not looking for another dad….so men in their 50s and 60s…please stick to your own age group. My age limit is 5 years older – if you’re OLDER than my 39 year old brother…you’re too old

  7. Mark-930958 June 25, 2013

    As men, we have to respect the fact — and it is truly a fact — that women by and large will not date a man more than 10 years age-difference. A casual review of age screens that women post on the on-line dating sites will bear this out.

    Couple of exceptions:

    1) …unless they meet and get to know each other first, before the age thing even comes up…in which case it’s just Nature with a capital “N” taking its course, and

    2) …unless the man — a good man — is deeply & sincerely wanting to raise more children in his life, and he then *has* to find a woman outside the typical 6-7 years (or 10 “max”) in order to fulfill his heart’s wishes due to fertility. The difficulty, of course, in such a case is in finding a woman who can make an allowance for Love (with a capital “L”) truly conquering all.

    • Theresa-110510 June 26, 2013

      Lots of men like to say they want to have children or more children as an excuse to marry younger; when what they are really wanting is a way to deal with their mortality; their midlife crisis. Do you really think young women are so stupid as to not realize if you are going after them for their youth solely and thus disrespecting them; that they fully respect you? They are likely going after you for your security (money, etc.) And don’t be so sure they’ll stick around once they do fall in love with someone more their age. (Of course you could have found someone compatible closer to your age and they know that.)

      Who do you think is going to be doing the work looking after the new infants anyway? The mother in her 20′s, early 30′s or the dad close to 50 or 60? You won’t be able to relate to your children with what’s going on in their world (maybe not even your wife); and your kids will just wish they had a younger father. Sorry; but that’s reality.

      Anyone wanting additional children would be wise to consider adopting older children who need homes; but especially those significantly older. Marry spouses for the right reasons; and not as someone to be your baby factory.

  8. Marita-847688 June 25, 2013

    If you go by the half your age plus seven rule then a 57 year old could date a 100 year old. Not likely. By the same token, if the 57 year old was the older party, they could go as young as 36. Still not likely. So, by this logic, the age range for a 57 year old is 36-100.

    • Peter-982951 June 25, 2013

      yes your reasoning of using a 100 year old just backs up the theory to not go below a certain maturity level

      • Marita-847688 June 25, 2013

        I’ve heard that this works if the younger party is no less than 21. Still, the older you go, the more it seems weird. With this logic, my age range is 21-40. That is a huge generational gap and very odd.

  9. Eric-941851 June 25, 2013

    6-7 years. There goes my hope of finding a young lady of child baring age.

    • Melissa-537851 June 25, 2013

      Um, you are 38….Women can bear children even into their 40s. But a 31-32 year old is very much within child bearing age.

      • William-527364 June 27, 2013

        you might want to rethink that Melissa. I was 19 years older than my girlfriend. Her mother was the real problem, just a old drunk.

    • Bernard-568827 June 25, 2013

      Pretty much.

  10. Steven-968680 June 25, 2013

    Different faiths? Are you kidding me?! A muslim or buddhist is someone of a ‘different faith.’ Both Catholic and Protestant followers of Jesus Christ are of the same faith!!! Even though there is a disagreement on a number of doctrinal issues we are brothers and sisters in Christ! My goodness, a non Catholic woman who is a devoted follower of Christ should not deter you at all!!!

    “The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council.”

    - http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/ecumenical-and-interreligious/vatican-ii-and-the-ecumenical-movement.cfm

    • Mark-930958 June 25, 2013

      Some divorce-statistic reality for consideration regarding “beliefs” versus “faith.”

      Percentage of U.S. non-Catholic Christians who divorce within 15 years: 50%+

      Percentage of U.S. Catholics who remain married more than 15 years: 75%

      That’s an enormous difference…and a sign of true, fundamental differences in faith as regards both the belief-in and the following-of what Jesus actually taught as regards marriage. To Protestants, divorce is a solution to a problem. To Catholics, divorce is a problem.

      Caveat Emptor, my friend. Been there…done that…got the T-shirt. All the best.

      • Peter-982951 June 25, 2013

        PRAISE THE LORD FOR YOU BROTHER

      • Theresa-110510 June 26, 2013

        Mark – your comments on the divorce stats being higher for Catholics than Protestants. First of all, for Catholics the percentage should be 0 as ‘we say’ we don’t believe in divorce. Secondly; stats are never accurate as they don’t consider all unions; and you have to as well take into account more Catholic marriages would have ended sooner had the ‘annulment’ come through quicker. Protestants accept that while all marriages should last and quote the same biblical verses we do for that – that not all marriages are good ones and they end. We get this too, just choose to call these by a different name. We should just be honest and say we don’t agree with Christ’s teaching on divorce.

        Seriously – when people are serious about their faith and beliefs; they need to be with another Christian who shares and/or respects those beliefs. If one is involved with a strong believer of their brand of Protestantism it likely won’t work as a couple will continually be arguing over their differences. If one is married to a Protestant (of beliefs not too out there or in difference from our own) who agrees they will attend their services separately and that children (if they are present or will be) will be raised Catholic – then with everything else present I see no reason to shut the door on this partnership; and think a person would be a fool to throw this love away. Just because a person says they are Catholic, even going to Mass regularly; gives no indication that they believe or even understand all the church’s teachings and beliefs; or feel their faith involves any further commitment than an hour on Sunday. For myself; if my local church had nothing for any child of mine to share his/her faith with others their age I would look into what my spouse’s church had to offer that they could join (after of course speaking my concerns with my pastor.)

        I have had discussions on matters of faith where a person contributes more and is truly interested in matters of faith in Christ from Protestants than I have with Catholics. Talk about faith around Catholics in a social setting and I’m considered a ‘holy roller’ and others turn their attention to someone else to talk to. This is women as well as men. (this is for the most part what I have seen; some Catholics I’ve met I know love their faith; but I have to tiptoe discussing matters of faith with any so as not to scare people off as this generality is reality the majority of the time.)

        The point was made about how a strong Protestant could end up wanting out later should they meet someone in their own faith as being a concern we should have. I agree with that; but that point goes both ways. In my own archdiocese I have seen annulments granted where there was nothing wrong with the initial marriage (other than the one Catholic wasn’t practicing her/his faith – a case of parents had them baptized as a baby and so they are Catholic; and so was married In the church; and had to be annulled to remarry in it – to make the parents happy.) As the second marriage was to another baptized Catholic such as they were, they had the annulment granted. I’m sure this happens A LOT.

        I know someone serious about her faith in the exact situation being married to a Protestant and the marriage has lasted about 30 years now (he is so supportive I’m surprised he hasn’t converted.) Had she been stupid and waited on a ‘strong practicing Catholic’ to come along she could be like us and still be single. And she also respects him enough to let God be the one to touch his heart rather than forcing her beliefs down his throat.

        When kids are older it is up to them where they choose to attend church anyway. I would far rather they choose to stay going to a good Christian church than to fall away from going to Mass and Catholicism when they are 15 (which will happen 95% of the time.) I’d prefer Christ stay in their lives, wouldn’t anyone? Nothing worse than them searching for meaning years later and joining some cult or faith where Christ is not the focus anymore.

    • Peter-982951 June 25, 2013

      restoration doesnt mean lowering your churches values – its when man thinks he knows better that he goes off on his own understanding and starts his own denomination because he cant accept church law and order 1cor 1:10 and submit to your leaders ( church)heb 13:17 !!! this is the reasoning behind marriage outside “gods church” – im sure this will come up in marriage.
      i am all for going out and mixing in christian fellowship but stand firm on the lords word. i dont care any for my opinion or anybodys JUST CARE FOR WHAT JESUS SAYS

    • Danny-148314 June 25, 2013

      On this issue, I have to disagree with you, Steven. I engage in online apologetics quite frequently, and believe me there are huge differences in faith and doctrine between Catholics and non-Catholics that would have an immense impact on a marriage. I am completely devoted to Christ’s Catholic Church, so when I imagine myself marrying a Baptist woman, for example, I see nothing but conflict.

      What will happen when I demand that our children be raised Catholic? What will happen when I try to teach my kids about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, but she tells them the bread and wine are only symbolic? What will happen when Sunday rolls around and I will go to Mass while she goes to a Baptist church? Further, I would refuse to attend a Baptist worship service and forbid my children to go there because doing otherwise is pointless in my opinion. Christ founded only one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church, so why go where I know He is not fully present?

      These are some of the sticking points I see popping up between a devoted Catholic and an equally devoted non-Catholic. Understand I’m not saying such relationships cannot work for others, but for me ones faith is one of the most intimate and important aspects of ones life. When life gets rough, will the foundation be there faith-wise to help the two pull through the storm?

      • BethAnn-980663 June 25, 2013

        I agree as a rule of thumb it is better to marry a Catholic, but we do need to be open to God’s will. His call to Joan of Arc was certainly not a typical call for a woman, especially back then. So as long as there is no doctrinal problem, the final discernment should be the individuals prayerfully and with spiritual direction.

        I married a chaste, traditional, latin Mass going, homeschooling, frequent confessing Catholic man and he got another woman pregnant and left me less than 2 years in.

        My sister married an unchurched non catholic who has since turned Catholic and they have 9 kids and pray the family rosary.

        My best friend married an unbaptized man and they have been together 20 years now.

        So, we do need to be careful.

        • Cara-868560 June 26, 2013

          Random but the phrase “rule of thumb” originally came from the idea that a husband shouldn’t beat his wife with any stick thicker than his thumb… <– after learning this I've refrained from using the phrase ever again.

          • Marita-847688 June 26, 2013

            That’s terrible.

          • Jim D. June 28, 2013

            Cara–this is an urban legend. The phrase “rule of thumb” most likely comes from the practice in previous generations of using the thumb as a measuring device.

          • Cara-868560 July 1, 2013

            Jim’s def correct on this one. I looked up the story behind the phrase and that’s not it. (They don’t exactly know what it is but that tale of the origin of the phrase came from feminists in the 1970s). I originally heard that false origin tale from a professor so I kind of assumed it to be true…

  11. Monica-906320 June 25, 2013

    I would stick to around 5 to 7 year spread in age or closer. My parents were 18 yrs different.
    It worked for them (but the queen was my mom) and the kids were the workers. So I’d say that the balance was really off for the kids, that was the problem.

    I wouldn’t want that big of a spread. There’s too many things that you don’t have in common.

    And in retrospect, yes faith is important. But if love jumps out at you, try it.

  12. Richard-928572 June 25, 2013

    Hello everybody, I believe that 7 – 10 years difference is ok. As long as we both have a lot of the same morals and values. And we put God first (not each other), than It is definitely worth taking a chance. My subscription ends in three days, I’ve been on this site for 6 months and still haven’t went on a date, I’m debating weather I should renew my subscription or try at another time in my life? Maybe God has other plans for me right now, and I’m totally ok with Gods will. Thanks for listening.

  13. Matthew-965185 June 25, 2013

    A gap of more than 5-7 years will also lead to generation gaps. I don’t find it desirable to have to explain a joke because the person is too young to relate to the reference. Just one of the “generation gap” items that could be encountered. The other issues are older men who have already raised their kids and a younger woman who still wants to start a family. The lifestyle mismatch would also become an issue. Lets face the facts….age differences do present problems. There is also the health issues to consider, depending on the age.
    Staying in your own faith is also better if you plan to raise children. Having 2 different religious beliefs would be confusing for the children. Older couples don’t have to worry about this as much, but needs to be considered.

    • Cara-868560 June 25, 2013

      So true. My family is a prime example of what an age gap can lead to- My great grandparents on my mom’s side married 20 years apart. My grandpa was their youngest child any my mom was my grandparent’s youngest child. Though all of the marriages following my great parents marriage didn’t have much of an age gap it meant that in order for my baby sis to have met her great grandpa to meet her great grandpa he would have had to live to be a 140. That’s ridiculous. It’s something we laugh about, but it’s kind of sad since many of her friends will have at least met one great parent and her regular grandparents are sold old that she’s barely had a chance to get to know them. Actually, half of my aunts and uncles are near the age of most of her generation’s grandparents. :(. It’s crazy what difference one age gap in the family makes on the rest of it!

      • Mark-973089 June 25, 2013

        Cara, I think at your age it is much harder to give somebody 7 to 10 years older then you a serious look. Now if you are closer to 30 and I am at my current age of 36, it would not be as much of a problem then. I have seen many marriages that have 10 year age differences work out successfully.

        I do not even bother to look at the profiles of most women on here under the age of 28, because it is normally to much for them. But I am open to the possiblity if a younger woman contacted me. As women have dated men older then them since the beginning of time with good results

  14. Craig-622190 June 25, 2013

    I think 6-7 is a good Idea.My paternal grandparents were Catholic and Presbyterian and they made it work. After my divorce I was trying to keep an open mind about it. For me ir didn’t work at all. I want to find someone to share and grow in my faith with me. I finally decided it was time to quit trying to reinvent the wheel with off brand parts. If she wanted to convert –great! But how can you make someone else do what you’d never consider doing yourself

  15. Steve-279118 June 25, 2013

    My only comment here is it should not be about the numbers. It’s more about energy and life. I have friends older than me with more energy and others younger with less. It’s also about your goals and what you are looking for in the relationship.

    Steve

  16. Richard-595743 June 25, 2013

    Aside from being merely a personal opinion of the author (that couples should stay “within 6 or 7 years of each other’s age at the most”), her main argument for this is that “the spouses should have the same level of maturity and their goals and interests should be compatible.” Well, maturity, goals and interests are generally not dictated or even indicated by age. For example (and this isn’t exceptional), a 27-year-old woman might find a particular 35-year-old man to be more on her level of maturity than an average 20-year-old man; similarly, a 50-year-old man might discover that he and a particular 60-year-old woman have truly compatible interests and goals, and so on. In my view, this is an overall weak and poorly-argued topic (and boring to boot).

  17. Mark-930958 June 25, 2013

    The 6 or 7-year max gap thing is clearly just an opinion, and…in my opinion…shouldn’t have been offered up on a site like this. It’s too judgmental, even with the after-the-fact caveat that it’s really up to God. Would suggest leading with the latter, and just stopping while one is ahead. ;-)

    And I’m a little taken aback at the lack of thankfulness here for those who wouldn’t even be here (most to all of us?) if the 6-7 year ‘judgment’ hadn’t been broken at some time in the past.

    Quick story: my family has done the genealogy thing, and it turns out that we weren’t able to find a patriarch in the past who was born outside the U.S. until we got to the early 1600s (!). Turns out, that man had married his same-age +/- 2 year wife in Europe, moved to what we now call New England, and lived there for over 30 years until she died due to illness. He then — at 61 years of age — married a young widow (28 years-old!)…and they proceeded to have EIGHT children!

    Call me nothing but thankful for the fact that their **33**-year age spread worked out just fine.

    Oh, and his first name…? “Able.” ;-)

    • Mark-930958 June 25, 2013

      P.S. The first marriage ended upon her death…and childless. I’m a descendant of the 2nd-born son of the second marriage (and glad to be here!).

      • Juanita-871228 June 25, 2013

        Great story, I do think that love can come at any age. Life is to short not to enjoy being together.

  18. Natalie-982381 June 25, 2013

    As the daughter of parents with a 12-year age gap, I have seen first hand that age difference between a man and a woman is not an issue. In fact, it would matter just about as much to me as the colour of my partner’s hair (i.e. not at all).
    My Mum always comments that, when she met my father, they had the same emotional maturity, they loved each other and they had independent intellectual/professional pursuits. It never made a difference that Dad was older. And although my Dad never discusses such matters, he implicitly makes it obvious that he feels the same way. I suppose 24 years of marriage is a great testament to their joint successes!

    As for my opinion, it’s pretty much been encapsulated in what Richard said..

  19. Chris-427945 June 25, 2013

    Yeah, the whole “(age/2) + 7″ isn’t sustainable past a certain point. That said, I prefer to be the older one in a relationship, which means my range of interest is from 23-30/31.

  20. Cara-868560 June 25, 2013

    Maybe the general rule is don’t date anyone younger than you by the amount you wouldn’t bbe okay with dating someone older than you.

    Ex: if you’re 40 and don’t want to date someone 15 years older than you don’t seek out someone 15 years younger.

    • Joan-529855 June 25, 2013

      I like this one Cara. It always amazes me how many 45 year old men want to date a 30 year old woman but won’t date a 60 year old woman. If you want to date someone 15 years younger you should also be willing to date someone 15 years older.

      • Peter-982951 June 25, 2013

        when you can have children in your 40s and 50s etc and have kept your body fit and healthy to be able to cope with motherhood and give your children the same physical support than i would be keen ( but i doubt it very much ) just the same for a man older who cant keep himself in shape for his wife and kids. I can back this up – im fitter and healthier than most guys and girls 17 years younger.
        Fair call though – for coupes not looking at having a family it should go either way hey??

      • Margreet-667487 June 27, 2013

        May I share my experience closer to home – meaning on CM? I’ve been on this site for over 2 years and hadn’t met anyone who really jumped out at me until a few weeks ago. On reading his profile, I discovered he is most everything I’ve been looking for in a man and I fit practically all that he says he’s looking for in a woman! Best of all, he’s CATHOLIC and a widower with grown up children which will give me the opportunity of becoming a grandmother some day as I don’t have any of my own. Wondering if HE could be the one and feeling nervous and excited, I wrote telling him how right I felt we were for each other. And though I usually don’t write to men who don’t post a profile photo, it didn’t even matter what he looked like as I already felt some strange sort of chemistry for him. Was it the Holy Spirit working?
        I waited and waited praying every night for St Raphael’s intercession and telling him how much I wanted to meet this man but, you know what, I’m still waiting cos he never replied. I’m not devastated in the least because I know if he’s not God’s chosen one for me, He will provide me with someone else – in His own time. My job is to do my part and I’m doing it.

        However, after reading this article and the comments, I suddenly realized the reason he hasn’t responded to me is because, probably in his opinion, I’m too old for him! We are both 61. He’s most likely looking for a woman 10, 15 or 20 years younger than him. And I am specifically interested in someone my age because I did the rounds with older men when I was younger – up to 21 years older but it didn’t work out that’s why I’m still single. And a couple of years ago I’d met 2 different men in their thirties who were interested in me – and even though my friends said I should be flattered, I wasn’t about to go out with them because I knew it wasn’t much more than sex they were after.
        And even though I feel young and look young and dress young, a certain man my age that I’m SO interested in has rejected me without meeting me or even getting to know me because he thinks that I’m an old maid!! It’s sad but c’est la vie.. .

    • Mark-930958 June 25, 2013

      If there were a general rule, me-thinks it would quickly be broken, Cara. All’s fair in love & war.

      I think what you’ve been experiencing via online dating sites — a disproportionate number of older men seeking your time — is partly due to the nature of dating sites themselves, including this one.

      Meaning: people who are looking to find someone, are too often looking to ‘get’ someone special…rather than *being* the right person. IMHO, that pretty much sums up most dating sites…people (egos) ‘getting’ what feels right rather than ‘being’ the right person. YMMV.

      • Cara-868560 June 26, 2013

        Mark- I think you’re definitely right with your last comment about it becoming too about what person I can “get” rather than what kind of person I can “be.” Like my profile says, for New Year’s I devoted this year to devoting myself to further developing the qualities in myself that I’m looking for in a potential spouse. We should all work on becoming the best version of ourselves for our potential spouse.

        As for the many older men pursuing much younger women… unfortunately, I don’t think it’s just limited to here. It happens all the time at the gym or other random places in the “real world” too.

        In the long run, rules or no rules, it’ll be up to the person being pursued to decide if they’re okay with it or if it’s “creepy.” Obviously, the pursuer needs to respectfully accept whatever response they’re given.

  21. Chelsea-743484 June 26, 2013

    Some of my great-grandparents had quite a disparity in age: he was 47 and she was 23 in one case, and he was 36 and she was 18 in another case, for example. Both were married for around forty years (until the deaths of husbands; both had a combined quantity of 23 children that survived past infancy). My mother’s parents even had quite an age disparity, about ten years and they were married for over forty years, until my grandfather’s death.

    I don’t think there’s anything that ought to disqualify older men from dating younger women as long as they’re of marriageable age.

  22. David-794627 June 26, 2013

    I take some these remarks quite personally as my late wife was a Protestant now she is a saint. Her end of life spiritual experiences were similar to those of Blessed Franz Jungerstatter the famed war resister to Hitler’s Army. Like Franz Judy wrapped herself in Scripture and the Lord as she prepared to go home. I became a far better Catholic Christian as I was privileged to take care of Judy in her last year of life. I hope to be as ready as those holy ones were as it becomes my time to go home. Being a child of the 60s and one who came to spiritual awareness with Vatican II i might say Teresa and Steven are right on. There are two criteria for a serious Catholic Christian to consider: Will this person be a help to my spiritual growth and will i help their growth. If you can not say yes to both of these questions think and pray about not doing it. i’ll be honest was not that wise but our 36 years together worked out that way.
    The first time i went out after i was widowed I went to a Catholic singles dance and almost left when i saw how young the crowd was. I danced and talked and encouraged the young people and when i did the speed dating at the last table when the young lady i talked to was so young i said “you could had circumstance been slightly different the age of my granddaughter so i wished her well. my lower limit is 49 (the age of my oldest niece plus 1) and my upper limit is 70. I am 67. My fifth grand child was born last Sunday. I am her only living known grandparent. Judy And my son’s mother in law are with the Lord. the other grandpa is unknown. If a woman who I date is uncomfortable becoming my newest granddaughter”s grandma then she is the wrong age and if i would not accept and embrace her children and grand children i am the wrong age for them.

  23. Joanna-615441 June 26, 2013

    As a choleric, I need a “leader.” How can you (any man) lead me in my Catholic Faith if you are not Catholic yourself? I am not discounting other Christian denominations in their fervor to Our Lord, it is just Catholicism has much more to it. Again, not an indictment against our Christian brothers and sisters, just an acknowledgment of a difference.

    That being said, I was married young (21) to a man 15 years older than me. He came from the “live and let live” generation and it ended quickly (thank God). It was a generational difference and that is one of the reasons why I am pretty set against someone 10+ years older than me (or younger). Not that men 10+ years older than me aren’t worthy of a “younger” wife, I’m just not her.

    I think the age difference seems insurmountable or mountable depending on your current age. At 21, 36 didn’t seem so “old.” But at 50, I am not comfortable with 65. I used to go to Church with a woman who was 40, she met and married her 80 year old husband while they both went to Adoration. And this man was handsome, healthy and did not a look a day over 55! It worked for them. I am not them.

    SO! Date whomever you feel comfortable dating, love whomever YOU believe God put in your life, but do not take offense to those who have a different opinion or set of parameters.

    On a side note: Guys! Go to Adoration in your area, there are a lot of amazing, beautiful women there of all ages.

  24. Melissa-365568 June 27, 2013

    I’m just going to say it… Men like physically attractive women, and that often means dating younger… Much younger! I see no problem with a 38 year old man dating a 25 year old woman. I also think it needs to be said that it is the women arguing for more age similarity, and the men who are agreeing are not telling the truth.

    With regard to faith… That is number one, and it cannot be compromised.

  25. Barbara-740721 June 29, 2013

    Dear anonymous,
    Why do you state a Christian woman or Catholic? Are not Catholic women also Christian? This causes enormous misunderstanding with some protestant groups who THINK Catholics are not Christian!
    Why not say Catholic or some others type of Christian woman?
    But I DID know what you meant!

  26. Cara-868560 July 1, 2013

    Interestingly enough I just talked to my 93 year old grandma on this topic. She said a lot of her friends married older men largely because all of the men their age were away at war, injured from war, or dead from the war. That didn’t leave that many men to pick from. Haha I hadn’t thought about that!

  27. Casey-655539 July 1, 2013

    Men and women look for different qualities in a spouse especially if they intend to have children. For men youth and beauty are often very high on the list. These two qualities are usually indicators of physical health and ability to bear children. This is one of the reasons men often pursue younger women.

    For women a man’s stability both financial and emotional is usually very important. When a woman has small children to care for it could be said she is at her most vulnerable. She wants someone who can provide for her and her children as well as someone who is loyal and supportive. So for many women around the world age is not as much of an issue if they like the guy.

    The age thing hits close to home with me. I left college and joined the workforce at the age of 19. I am now 29 and have recently returned to earn a degree. I am surrounded by girls in their late teens and early twenties. I’m always very hesitant to strike up a conversation or make friends with my female classmates for fear of being labeled a “creeper”.

    On the other hand women my age have usually already started their careers and are looking for a man with the afore mentioned stability. So I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I just have to trust that God will guide me to where I need to go.

  28. Philip-600116 July 5, 2013

    Good Morning

    This is fun.

    I was 82, Valerie was 66. She contacted me first. She lived 600 miles away. We talked via several methods and two months later we had our first F2F. Zip lining in W. Virginia.

    She had her PhD and I had some College. She was beautiful and I was, whatever. We dated at both ends of the chasm and two months later we became Engaged. We planned to move to Florida. I put my home up for sale. We were planning a new business and we both were health concious. She had a Black Belt in TKD.

    We married October 6th 2012. She died March 23, 2013. We were married 5 1/2 months. I am now 83 and recovering from my loss. I will prevail.

    My point: It is not what you want out of a marriage rather it is what are you willing to give in that marriage. Age is merely a number. What is in your head and what is in your heart?

    Recalling the first time you married, did not you have misgivings about leaving the comfort of home? What does the future hold? Where will live? How will we survive? Will we move from my present State, City, Country? OK, lets apply those questions to your situation today and see if you are willing to give or are you intent on just receiving?

    That beautiful People should be the discussion, not age, location, finances, etc., etc.

    God love and happy thinking

    Philip

    • Yvona-915208 July 7, 2013

      Philip, what a great story on what love and marriage should be! Thank you for sharing.

  29. Patricia-846886 July 16, 2013

    I’ve been on Catholic Match since March of this year & during that time, I’ve communicated with 3 men, two were my age of 66 and one was 60. None worked out yet I can understand the reasons so I’m not disheartened or dismayed. In fact, I consider those contacts a ‘learning experience’; esp. because I was married for 38 years so communicating with a man again after my annulment hasn’t been easy. My chances of meeting a future spouse on Catholic Match are pretty much ‘nil’ because I’m very Orthodox Catholic & that means having high standards. My greatest desire is for God’s will & after such a painful divorce, I’m not about to take the risks of carrying that cross again. As well, my life is very fulfilling so I’m not miserably lonely as a single woman. I can accept the fact that I may never marry again but I really do hope that God places a strong Cath. man, with my/God’s values in my future.
    With that said, it’s nearly humorous that the majority of men contacting me are much older, even tho I’ve written in my profile that I would only consider someone within 5 years of my age. A l0 year age difference is FINE for people if they’re much younger but that changes when a person reaches their 50′s or 60′s. I’m totally beyond surprised that this is mentioned more often. I often wonder if I’m the only one who’s noticed this??
    As well, I would BET my life’s savings that all men my age who do a ‘search’, don’t put their own age in but rather someone who IS younger. That is a fact (truly!!) and if they’re nice looking, they can meet a woman who IS younger. That can & does happen.
    NOT so when a woman, unless they perhaps met me first to see that I don’t look & act like older than I am. What is 66 supposed to look like? That’s all the more true because men my age won’t even SEE my profile because they’re all looking to get to know & marry someone who is younger! And they can get away with it too. Not the case for women & that’s how it will always remain. This is a bias that will never die.
    Amen & amen . . :)
    Amen & amen . . .

  30. Emily-628945 August 3, 2013

    I know that “traditionally” the older man, younger woman combination has been far more common than the reverse. It seems a disconcerting phenomenon for me, however, that this is so prevalent on this site (and other online sites) at this time.

    I am speaking for those of us who are middle aged or older….often looking for a second life relationship. Statistically, women age more slowly and live longer. (I am aware that there are exceptions). It would seem that on THIS side of life, flexible age ranges would be more acceptable.

    I find many men my age are already losing their general vitality and energy levels. While one never knows what life holds (my 2 YOUNGEST brothers died while I still had grandparents), I don’t want to be expected to be anyone’s nurse or more accurately for me, therapist.

    When people meet me, they see a vital active, playful, athletic woman but online, I am too old. I find it very sad and of course, personally frustrating. I joined an online site because it IS more difficult to meet men but I feel pigeon holed by a number that doesn’t fit.

    One man my age was looking for someone 25 years younger than us so he had someone who could “keep up” with him skiing….well, when he found out that I am a ski instructor, he wondered if he could keep up with me! I have to admit, it made me laugh!

    Thanks for listening….sorry that it is so philosophical.

    I pray that I will meet a spiritually serious man who loves to adventure! In the meantime, there is life to be lived and loved. God bless and help us all.

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