How many years apart is too big of an age difference for a couple? When you are older, it doesn't seem to matter as much. Although, personally, I think I'd draw the line if I was old enough to be his father, or he was old enough to be my father. Personally. I've almost exclusively dated* guys exactly my same age and the few older guys I've dated* were only two-four years older than me. My parents are 3 1/2 months apart. My in-laws are only months apart. My siblings are all married to someone within two years of their own age, as are Jed's. Jed is 6 months my senior. So I don't have a whole lot of experience with huge age differences.
The other night we watched Wait Until Dark - a great suspense movie. It was going to be our Halloween movie, but I didn't think of that in time and it was checked out, so we watched it a week late. As movie watching in our house goes, we also looked up all sorts of stuff about the movie and the actors on Wikipedia. Alan Arkin was married three times. He was old enough to be his second wife's father and his third wife's grandfather.** That's just too big of an age difference for me.
Here's why I'm thinking about it. I've been working on this story idea for... well... years now. Sad, but true. It's a girl falls in love with the boy next door sort of story, and the boy next door is her older brother's best friend. I think I finally decided that he's about 4 years older than she is. Not a big deal when she's 20 and he's 24 or she's 30 and he's 34, right? But how does it play out when they are younger, when she's 10 and in love with him and he's 14? Not so bad for her... but a 14 year old in love with a 10 year old? Ick, you know? That's where I'm stuck.
I read Love Walked In recently and it dealt with an age difference sort of like my story. The man solves it by saying something along the lines of, "I won't keep many things from you, but that's my secret" referring to how and when he fell in love with her. Sweet. But I still kept thinking... he's a few years older than her, did he fall in love when they were kids? When he was a teen and she was a kid? That's sort of gross.
So what do you think? How big of an age difference is too big? And any other thoughts.
*In almost every instance, by "dated," I mean, went on a date with... possibly more than one date, but very rarely in a long (or even short) relationship.
**I went back to Wikipedia to check my facts and the age differences between he and his last two wives had been removed.