Age Gaps: What’s the big deal?

On Thursday night I found myself going out for my friends birthday at a club called the Underground. I spent a solid thirty minutes talking to a guy about politics and films and other things that we both found interesting. Towards the end of the evening he asked for my number and I gave it to him. On a whim, I asked how old he was. I knew he seemed slightly older; I figured he was in his mid twenties. I was very shocked to realize that he was in fact 33 years old.

33 years old. That’s a 15 year age gap, only five years less than the age gap between Minnie and Monroe. While it was certainly shocking, I realized that in the situation, it really did not seem like that big of a deal. I didn’t feel like I was really breaking any significant social laws. I still found myself attracted to him, and I did not feel as if I were being taken advantage of.

I think the difference between the two relationships is the social significance. This was someone who held no role of authority or influence in my life, he was simply someone I met at a bar on a Thursday night. And while the likelihood of me pursuing the relationship is small, the point is that the significance of an age gap comes in the social structures behind it, not the ages themselves.



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