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Mind the Gap

I constantly see this trend where woman tell men they're grandpas. or old, or dying when casually flirting with them. Even when the age difference is only 5 years or so. Figured fitting that in was a good opportunity for Ellie to be awkward. :P No episode 3 of Chris and Computers. Running fine so far. Thanks all for the concern.

122 thoughts on “Mind the Gap

      1. I meant computer issues. There’s ALWAYS computer issues, even if they’re just building up in the background. Watching. Waiting until the perfect time to strike!

        1. There’s still hope for Caleb being first. The author post in comic Nightmare Fuel (current post date April 13, 2014) says that Ellie changed Tarra’s speech bubble, but Anise cutting her hair was the first strike. I’ve always assumed the speech bubble thing was mindset/attitude and a result of David choosing Ellie. From that I’m guessing that Ellie & David either don’t get together just yet, or they get together and split and it’s David pining after Ellie that sets of Tarra’s Envy (and attitude change).

          Either way, Caleb’s got a chance still.

        2. Caleb’s got a crippling case of Being In Another Country. It’s sometimes contagious but the vector is an existing relationship. Plus his current girlfriend has demonstrated a longer range for destroying things with her anger than he has, so he may need to defuse that bomb before moving on…

        3. Also, sometimes people don’t realize they’re becoming as interested as they are. I remember convincing myself that the first girl I ever fell in love with was just a friend and it took something very painful to teach me that I’d actually fallen in love with her some time previously and just never admitted it to myself.

      1. There is a school of thought that says older dudes do better with young women. Less sex pressure, a better ability to provide, and a general greater maturity tends to help the concept along. Others say that’s just desperation on the older dudes’ part, but still.

        1. Nope. Men have their peak in their late teens and early 20s. After that, demand starts falling off. The spirit may be willing but the flesh is much less cooperative.

        2. What do you mean by ‘sex pressure’ then? Talking about the mans age implies to me that you mean his desire for sex. If that’s dependent on his age, why is his partners age relevant?

        3. The theory is that both sides of that arrangement, being separated by their respective peaks by several years–one younger and one older–will be less interested overall than two who are at their respective peaks. There will be interest, of course–they’re not dead–but the total frequency will be lowered. I should think that’d be clear by the definition of the word “peak”.

        4. Ok, so I believe the rough numbers thrown out there are age 20 being the peak for men, and age 35 being the peak for women. Correct?
          You’re suggesting that one of the reasons older men choose younger women is because younger women aren’t at their sexual peaks yet, which means they have less frequent sex, which is a good thing because the men have already passed their peak? I don’t think that’s quite the reason why older men go that route, regardless of the definition of the word “peak.”

        5. It’s a worthwhile theory. Essentially, both parties want it less than they would at their on-peak periods. If you have one side peaking and the other one NOT peaking, it causes discord.

        6. I don’t understand why you’d think discord would be good for a relationship. Dissimilar peak points was the whole concept, wasn’t it?
          Maybe the theory has something to it, but I get the feeling the research paper was written by Professor MiddleAgedMan, and the title was “No, seriously guys, 21 year old Amber is my perfect match because we have so much in common and I can provide for her when she needs it and it’s not a sex thing at all like you’re suggesting.”

        7. No, discord is BAD. If you have two people on-peak, or two people OFF-peak, it should cause the best relationship.

        8. Ah, I see. Kind of too bad for the woman in that relationship. As she ramps up to her peak, her lover is starting to push sixty.

  1. I started dating my husband when I was 18 and he was 27, so even less of an age gap than Ellie here. Now it’s been eight years together (married for 3) so it definitely can work but it’s been interesting! A lot of movies and references go right over my head. I occasionally say current slang and he looks at me crazy. And people looked at us funny for a long time when we told them our ages. At the end of the day though, we love each other for who the other is, not what we appear to the outside world or silly old references.

    Tl:Dr; totally worth it, but people are going to judge!

    1. For some reason I feel like I should tell everyone to check out your Etsy. I don’t know why that is though.

    2. I know what you mean. I’ll make a reference to Ducktales now and then and my five years older wife will have to point out that she didn’t see it, as she was too busy being out with her teenage friends then. Pfft…. as if that’s cooler than Ducktales…

        1. If you’d said Tale Spin, I might have been in, but still. No. Rescue Rangers was second-string garbage. You’re spot on with Exo Squad, though. That show was seriously underrated.

      1. Heh. I’m five years older than my husband. Oddly enough we catch the same references, because I babysat his age group and watched the cartoons with the kiddos. And a few years later, I worked in the arcades that his age group lived for. Weirdly enough, I was playing D&D with my teen geek friends, he was playing the same modules with his preteen geek friends. Of course, if I’d been a cool kid teenager, I’d have missed it all.

        1. They should probably settle this in a hot springs fan service wrestling episode. SS has those, right?

    1. You know, she didn’t seem to have that problem, back when the place was standing, either. The dating one, not the Terratorial one. (Ominous crack of rolling thunder in background…)

    2. I don’t remember ever seeing where Tarra dated David. Deux said David was the cleaner of Tara’s messes… did I miss something? (Very likely, I don’t pay full attention to much). As for age “rules” Half plus 9, nothing below 18 is what I’ve always heard. So let’s see, 25+9=34, I could almost date David, but Ellie is right out.

      1. The hypothesis is David was “With Terra it was just a ‘math tutor'” and connected to the cane that Terra had in that one flashback where she was a girl and talking with her older sister in their bedroom late at night. Their relationship is not explicitly stated.

        1. Another item for suspicion is David’s apparent interest in Ellie along with Envy being Tarra’s seven sisters -> seven deadly sins mapping along with the chronicle of what injuries X sustained due to which median sisters listed Ellie as responsible for the changing of Tarra’s speech balloon color (which I always presumed meant attitude/outlook).

      2. the rule is half your age plus 7 (round up)… so that at 21 the other person is legal.. also it is mainly there because younger than that rule just looks off..

  2. The benefit of people a few years younger than you calling you old is that you can then call them ‘practically babies’ or toddlers back.

    Of course, that would be a little weird when flirting, but…in casual conversations, it’s okay.

    1. Yeah, ‘hey baby’ while flirting is generally seen as ‘I’m a sleaze and you should find the nearest exit.’

    1. I assume he has some sort of magic-power much like others. He’s likely blind but probably has fewer issues moving around as a result of his super-human self.

      1. I have a similar assumption.

        However with the name Mr Blue Sky and him requesting Mandalay just toss him in the general direction he lives in, he might just be super durable and not at all bothered by enormous falls (which seems like it could be the kind of hilarious that horrifies people who haven’t read the whole story to know about it upon occasion).

        1. Considering he walked/was thrown away from that fight with D52 with the only damage being to his clothes I think some degree of super durability is a given.

        2. What I was going for was maybe he’s super durable and secretly enjoys putting on the world’s most awkward pratfall show everywhere he goes (because he never gets hurt at all) and he’s just momentarily lucky in these comics.

          I don’t think that’s the case, I just find the idea of David doing that kind of amusing in an “I’m a bad person” kind of way.

    2. I think he’s actually Superman, only he wears black glasses to prevent his laser vision from destroying everything.

  3. So much for her “Nobody over 30” rule then.
    Ellie has to notice that he’s (supposedly) blind yet has no cane or seeing-eye dog sooner or later though.

  4. Of course for the reasoning behind the last panel you could quite easily refer to panel 1. I’ve seen plenty of young women to whom age is not an issue when they are that young, only to find out a few years later when they mature themselves that actually it is.

  5. Something I noticed in my personal and dating life was that a significant age difference could be a problem. I developed a rule that seems to hold true: You form your closest friendships with people who are +/- 5 years of your own age, because you’re both in generally the same life stage. 5-10 years difference makes things a little problematic, and more than 10 years difference in age means you’ll have little in common to build a friendship or relationship on.

    1. It might be interesting to track various people’s feelings on this plus/minus rule. A commonly suggested guideline (for youngest age to date/marry) that supposedly scales with age is the “half-plus-seven” rule (which can be a little off at the extremes).

      Twenty five? 19+

      Thirty? Your range is 22 and up.

      Forty? 27+

      Fifty? 32+

      Sixty? 37+

      Seventy? 42+


      So far as upper limit, I haven’t seen it explicitly stated, but it should just be some inverse algebra: If 1/2(yourAge)+7 is your lower limit, your upper limit (your partner’s lower limits) should be…2x(yourAge-7).

      Testing that out…

      Twenty five? 36-

      Thirty? 46-

      Forty? 74-

      Fifty? 86-

      Sixty? 106….

      So definitely possibly a little off in the extremes. But generally age difference seems less significant (for a long-term relationship; not addressing initial infatuation) as age increases, compared to when young. I still recall a freshman classmate getting all kinds of a hard time for dating a student two years younger, but no one looked twice at a two-year difference when they married in their earlier twenties.

      1. The older you get, the less the age difference can seem like it matters.

        When you’re 60 dating an 80 yo, it doesn’t sound as bad as an 18 yo with a 38 yo.

        Same age difference, less feeling of “Ummm…”

        1. When I was 24 and I was dating a girl who was 19 it seemed like a noticeable age difference. By the time I’m 60 and she’s 55 (yeah – we got hitched about a year later) the age difference should be insignificant. 35 years of shared life experience cancels out the 5 years difference of life experience prior that.

      2. if you can subtract the lower age from the higher and get a higher number than the lower age, that’s too far of an age gap.

        also, if either person is under age of consent, that’s too much of an age gap.

    2. Don’t date younger than the legal min.
      Its illegal.
      Don’t date younger than half your age + 7
      Its unseemly.

      1. Your comment made me think of a Dave Attel bit talking about drunk driving:

        “Some people say it’s wrong, and I call those people the police, but those kids have got to get to school.”

        1. Dave Attel isn’t in anywhere near enough things these days. He should get a youtube channel and a Patreon, then restart Insomniac or something.

        2. “Some people say it’s wrong, and I call those people the police” is a pretty versatile quote for a lot of situations.

          I never really watched Insomniac, but I got his Skanks for the Memories CD and that’s probably the single funniest comedian CD I own (it did literally get a spit take on the windshield at one part, if I recall correctly it was in the long bit that had “a couple of McNuggets and lies later” towards the beginning of it).

    3. That friendship thing may be true when you are 25 or younger, after that it’s got far more to do with life circumstance. For instance my strongest friendships range from -13 to +27 years, but outside of two who I am still friends with since school all of them have been people I have worked closely with or been a member of sports clubs with. Those shared experiences more than make up for any generational difference and the shared time together has already filtered out those that I am likely to seriously clash with in the future.

  6. I got to a “stages of life” sort of idea about too old/too young for dating.

    When I was 23, I found myself interested in a girl that I thought was maybe too young, so I found out she was 4.5 years younger than me. I decided that in itself wasn’t that big of a deal, but I was out of college and she was a sophomore. I thought of what I’d enjoyed at that time and thought it was good and enjoyable and something I’d want someone I cared about to enjoy, but it wasn’t something I was interested in repeating. So I never asked her out.

    In my late 20’s I found myself near a college and in a social activity that included students from the college. I found the freshmen kinda’ got on my nerves, but the juniors & seniors were fine. I chalked it up to likelihood of living off-campus with roommates and having a separate job or doing a co-op or looking out to the future vs “4 more years to play around.”

    That’s where I kinda’ came up with my “stages of life” thing, which has left me with some “younger”/”older” perceptions that have a person with fewer years as older than the other by my private calculus (rough rule – still depending on parents for all support < financially self-supporting < supporting self and kid(s)).

    By that, Ellie & David would be similar stages of life, but the chronological years might still make for irritations.

    (side note – Quinn having to be the adult in her Mom's house to raise her brother does put her as older than Ellie in my mental calculus even though she's not having to work through college, that's just something I hope is a rarer case.)

    1. I had a similar experience: dated a guy a couple years younger than me for my last year.5 of college, and things were mostly fine. He was on schedule to graduate early, so I was planning to hang around and work a year until he graduated, then we’d go on and get married.

      But I’d suddenly transitioned into an actual career rather than the jobs we worked in college, and the ways I spent my time and energy began to shift. Instead of being willing to adapt with me, he claimed my “priorities were getting out of whack” and I was “secluding” myself, because I didn’t hang out in the campus rec rooms every evening anymore. We tried for a semester to make it work, but the change in life stages exacerbated pre-existing issues in the relationship (things were -mostly- fine), and we were over before Valentines. Sometimes life-stage (or life-experience) can be more significant than specific years.

  7. I’m not sure is Ellie is exaggerating her age or not. I was under the impression her birthday was in November, but thinking back on it it might have been September/early October.

    Regardless she was totally still eighteen the last time these two talked.

    1. She was 18 then, and we’ve since had her & Cinn’s birthday (cards with money, her favorite!). That was before all the convention shenanigans, so we’ve probably had the better part of a year pass since then (though her “almost” could mean she’s a 19 years, 6 months, 1 day, so only she & her family know for sure)

      1. Well in Syke (dated 4/30/14) it was established that Ellie’s last day at her last holiday temp job was Jan 10th. Then when she calls KK looking for work she says she’s been out of work for over a month, so mid Feb. Then she does the fake Con thing with Danny for about 3 weeks to give Pumpkin time to have her Patreon side story without having to worrying about her being in the apartment while Danny’s bugging it. So that takes us to mid March, then let’s say a week before the girls find out about the bugging and a week of Ellie working for the dating sit to bring us to the end of March. Give them a week or two between them deciding to have LoveCon and actually having it to bring us into April with a few weeks left in which to have Pumpkin’s birthday.

        Establishing Ellie’s birthday is a bit more debatable. When she moved in with Quinn her second roomie hadn’t paid rent in to 2 months. I think it’s safe to say roomie 2 never paid rent and since Quinn left her mom’s house as soon as she graduated high school let’s say she roomed with KK until the end of June, the roomie 2 for July and August. Ellie moves in in Sept, about a week later they have their big fight, let’s be generous and say it’s another week before Ellie starts manager training and O’Jacks goes out of business on her birthday. So probably mid Sept and Ellie is about five months away from it.

        Although this makes David a bit of a jerk teacher for assigning a paper in the first week of school.

  8. I think this is the woman equivalent of “that guy who always puts down a woman on her looks to make her date him.” Like those guys online who were training women on a forum to becme their free camgirls you mentioned right after the whole cameras all over their apartment deal. On the one hand, putting them down (wether a man or a woman) results in a slight confidence boost. On the other, it also might cause enough of a drop in self esteem for them to do something that they normally wouldn’t.

  9. Don’t do it, David!
    I tried this exact age combination years ago. In three weeks, when you’re mutually breaking up over the phone, she’ll need you to hold on a minute because she needs to dance to her favorite song that just came on the radio. You’ll awkwardly listen for a few seconds to see if this is actually happening, then just hang up. It will be more obvious than ever that you’re on completely different worlds.

      1. If you’re asking about a 32 year old dating a 19 year old, yeah, despite my better judgment of it, I decided to give it a try at her suggestion. I learned quickly there’s a reason you shouldn’t do it.

        If you’re asking if there are actually nut jobs than can swing from crying on the phone to happily dancing on the turn of a dime, yeah, there seem to be people that level of crazy.

        I have more stories of that ill fated relationship to support my argument if necessary.

        1. Necessary for support, not really. Still welcome entertainment if any good ones come to mind, though.

  10. Well, guess we’ll see how this goes for her. I’m with a guy 11 years my senior. We’re just perfect for each other, we like similar things and know mostly the same references. When we have different references we educate the other on origin. Two and a half years going on strong for us. Sadly for him he is balding so he has been called my dad by strangers more than once…

    1. If it becomes a problem:
      1. Get him a hat.
      2. Inform him how handsome he looks in it.
      3. Brush hands off, a job well done.

  11. Is Ellie a lot shorter than I thought, or is David just really tall? Because that looks like nearly a foot in height gap there.

      1. If female partner is >1′ taller than male partner expect partner dances with normal dance position to be awkward. Increased height gaps will make for increased amusement for bystanders.

    1. For all the talk of “18 is legal” the truth is, even a mid 20 person is looked at awkwardly for dating an 18 yo, at least if they look to have an age difference (some mid 20’s still look 18 and all).

  12. I dont know about age differences, but Fogel’s First Law of Relationships is “Don’t marry anyone crazier than you are.”

    1. I’m interested in any useful methods for reasonably accurate measurements of crazy.

      Extra points if possible from a distance.

  13. That gap isn’t so bad. I once worked with a guy 18 years older than his wife.

    The CREEPY part was that he had babysat her while she grew up…

        1. While I don’t know this with certainty, I suspect if my memory said the first time I’d seen a particular person’s naughty bits was changing their diaper that would make the concept of any kind of fooling around with that person entirely too awkward to even contemplate. I suspect I’d need to not have had that kind of direct experience of the age gap for me to be able to deal with it.

    1. I think I read that book. Or did you work with Grover Cleveland?

      Friends of mine who were married had a 10 year age gap. I think he was just really mature for his age, and she was somewhat immature for her age. They got married at 25/35, and stayed married until he died 46 years later.

    1. Is it possible you just missed it because you don’t use internet abbreviations? It’s as old as chatrooms.

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