Last weekend, the boisterous, fifty-four-year-old Alec Baldwin proposed to his twenty-eight-year-old girlfriend. So over on Nerve Dating, we asked you what the appropriate cut-off was for an age difference in a relationship.

47% of you threw caution to the wind with the answer, "Age is just a number," although one respondent from that group did add, "It is a little weird if the person is older than your parents."

11% responded with the choice of "twenty years," followed by 16% who thought "ten years" was a bit more appropriate. A scant six percent of people chose "five years," which would, after all, cut out millions and millions of potential suitors and keep all your conversation pretty damn current. 

The rest of the votes went towards the traditional "half your age plus seven" rule, leading our readers to stop everything they're doing for some serious long division. One commenter had more to say about Baldwin, adding, "Would she have anything to do with him if he wasn't famous? Maybe. Maybe not." While Baldwin's now fiance squeezes by on the "half your age plus seven" rule, you do have to wonder if she'd still be engaged if her soon-to-be-husband wasn't Alec Baldwin, incredible actor and classy son-of-a-bitch, but rather Alec Baldwin, incredible insurance salesman and classy son-of-a-bitch.

Want to meet a classy son-of-a-bitch of whatever professional calling? Head to Nerve Dating.

Commentarium (23 Comments)

Apr 04 12 - 6:44pm

No one older than the younger of your parents or older than the eldest of your children (though you get to have one exception -- mine is Helen Mirren).

Apr 05 12 - 2:12am

Excellent choice of exception!

Apr 04 12 - 7:16pm

If you are polyamorous, you don't have these problems. You can have more than one lover, so you can have lovers of different ages, sizes, races, etc. And I do. By the way, there is a great deal to be said for having lovers who are older because there is a lot to learn from them. And you can still have a partner who is closer to your own age.

Apr 04 12 - 7:21pm

Yay poly! Watch out monogamists, we're coming for you!

Apr 04 12 - 7:35pm

Well, I'm not coming for monogamists, in any sense of the word. They are even more trouble than singles.

Apr 04 12 - 7:38pm

Yeah, he's real classy, this is the guy who called HIS daughter " "thoughtless little pig" (hey, Rush Haters, what do you think of that). And then there was " I don't give a damn that you're 12-years-old or 11-years-old, or a child," ... yup, that's one classy guy!

Apr 04 12 - 9:47pm

"fifty-four-year-old Alec Baldwin proposed to his twenty-eight-year-old girlfriend...squeezes by on the 'half your age plus seven' rule.

54/2 = 27, +7 = 34. So by "squeezes by", you mean "totally fails".

Apr 04 12 - 11:02pm
gnessaig oct.

You forgot the golden exception to the 'half your age plus seven', and that is the Gold digger clause: A woman can get with a man of any age if his regular income exceeds 6 figures (& if she's not fussy at all, 5 figures).

Apr 05 12 - 2:14am

I explained this exact clause (and the half plus seven rule) to my AP Literature teacher this morning when we were discussing Svidrigailov's pedophiliac relations in Crime and Punishment. I'm glad I'm not the only one who knows about the Gold Digger/Trophy Wife/Sugar Daddy Clause.

Apr 08 12 - 7:04pm

and yet, it is widely socially accepted..even endorsed.
Socioeconomic status is a largest pinkest elephant in the room that everybody preconditioned to ignore.
Men attracted to younger females out of a declining libido and popularity..and women are always will be picking out the ugliest oldest idiot with the largest bank account. not a penis..blame the Darwin. . blame the society. Blame the media..
because no matter what... at the end of the day it is always more comfortable to feel sorry for yourself and cry by seating in Mercedes...and not on the bicycle in a poring rain..
There is a silver lining.. here I promise: yes. proven personally. Get happy and successful by yourself. Find an equal..absolutely equal. and fall madly in love.
and invite me to your wedding .

Apr 04 12 - 11:21pm

I've seen some great May/December relationships. Peggy Seeger was half Ewan MacColl's age when they met in the 1950's and he wrote "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" for her. They stayed together until his death decades later, and performed as a duo until the end. And of course there is Woody Allen and Soon-Yi.

Apr 05 12 - 12:13am

You're really citing Woody and his step-daughter as a healthy relationship? Really?

Apr 05 12 - 1:30pm

It seems to work for them. They've been together 15 years, three longer than he was with Mia and much longer than his two earlier marriages. Judge not...

Apr 06 12 - 12:56am

Um.. Jesus she was a kid which meant there MIGHT have been abuse going on but at the very least it is a relationship where a very young girl is being influenced by an older person in authority. Since she's been in that relationship ever since.. she doesn't really know anything else. This is NOT a good example and it should be self explanatory as to why.

Apr 08 12 - 6:51pm


Apr 05 12 - 12:17am
Older than I look

I'm almost 28 and get mistaken for being barely legal quite frequently. I tend to date guys that look like my apparent age, instead of the 27-38 year old guys my friends tell me are socially acceptable for me to go out with.

Jul 15 12 - 5:07pm

I frequently get mistaken for being 10 or more years younger than I am, and I'm 36. And I end up dating 22- and 23-year-olds because that's who approaches me, rather than men my own age (who seem to be either married by the time they're my age, or just completely unable to be in a relationship, if they're not). And as someone who doesn't have kids at my age, and still prefers to go out rather than staying home watching TV, I seem to be more compatible with younger men. I don't seek them out, but it seems that I naturally tend to end up with them.

Apr 05 12 - 11:59pm

I think it's pretty dependant on your own age. Being 18 and dating someone ten years older is a very different thing than being 30 and dating someone ten years older.

May 15 12 - 1:21pm


Apr 06 12 - 3:26pm

Problems with the half your age + 7 rule occur when you start dating at 4 years old.

Apr 08 12 - 7:05am

Age has nothing to do with attraction or compatability. But maybe I think that way becuz I'm very old and most of the women I'm attracted to are much younger!

Apr 08 12 - 12:59pm

I am 41 and my boyfriend is 64. We began dating 10 years ago. Ive lived with him for the last 4 1/2 years and I am happy. He is NOT rich, actually far from it. I love him because he treats me great and we get along very well. He has a 38 y.o. daughter and a son who just turned 41. His daughter and I are pretty close. She doesnt have a problem with our age difference. Age IS just a number.

Apr 08 12 - 6:13pm

Age... is not a number when you walked around with the man who everybody see as your grandfather.
Automatically assuming that he s rich and you re a gold-digging opportunist .
Age is a double edge sword.On one hand is a power for money exchange ( yes , yes, don't roll your eyes. . All " ashtons" are fading away from " demi"... right after they gather a few millions in bank .
Heff and younger blonds are so over.... dirty, disgusting and un- natural.
NObody ever gotten attracted to a loose balls and saggy boobs... yet. without an agenda..