Taylor Swift: Jake’s too old for you! How old is too old to date?

We’ve been hearing news reports and seeing photos of a new Hollywood/Nashville couple: Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal and they make me very worried!

(As of last night a story and photo of the pair getting coffee was People.com’s most read story of the week.)

I have written before about how much our family loves Taylor Swift. She’s smart, beautiful, talented and just overall seems like a good girl. But that’s just the thing  – she’s a girl.

Gyllenhaal is a man. He’s 29-years old. Swift is only 20. He was in a long-term relationship with Reese Witherspoon (who was about five years older than him according to People.com)  and he seemed to help with her kids. (A very mature role for him to take.)

Taylor, we understand why you like him. Who wouldn’t? He’s gorgeous, sexy, hot, seemingly intelligent, seems nice, and who wouldn’t melt from his smile. We get it. But he’s just too old for you.

If a regular sophomore in college brought home a 29-year-old man who was out of school and working, parents would flip out! They are just in a different mind-set and have experienced so many more things in life!

Now if Taylor was 30 and he was 39, I would have less of a problem with it. But 20 is just too young and innocent! He’s a grown man!

So what do you think: What is an appropriate age difference for young couples? What about in high school – should freshmen girls be allowed to date senior boys? What about high school girls dating boys in college – even just freshmen and sophomores? What about in college – is a freshmen girl OK to date a senior in college? What about a college girl dating a man out in the workforce? When does an age difference no longer matter? (I have opinions and answers for all of these questions!!)

184 comments Add your comment


December 2nd, 2010
12:46 am

I love this couple. Taylor is a 4 time Grammy award winning artist. She writes her own songs and runs her own show. Taylor is extremly intelligent and is very successful. She works with people who are way older than she is and I can understand why she wants to date an older man. She and Taylor Lautner who is around her age had the chemestry of a wet paper bag. She probably felt like she was babysitting him. Jake is a funny, down to earth guy who like Taylor just wants someone to love. This is definately my all time favorite celeb couple. I really hope they last.


December 2nd, 2010
12:49 am

my husband of 14 years is 8 years older than me….women mature much quicker than men, and i’ve heard many around her comment that she is a thirty year old in a twenty year olds body. I support this 100 %


December 2nd, 2010
12:55 am

I think that her being in the spotlight makes her grow up a lot faster than other girls her age. Men also mature slower then girls so they probably would be a good match. I know many 20yr old girls that go out with like 28yr old guys. No big deal. Now John Mayer was another story lol. That just goes to show that she just likes older men. Nothing wrong with that.


December 2nd, 2010
12:56 am

I don’t think you’re asking the right question. Everyone is saying that Jake is too old for Taylor. Taylor is just entering her 20’s and Jake is entering his 30’s. From past experience, my 20s were difficult because I was learning some very important lessons about life. The lessons got easier when I learned that you keep getting the same lessons until you learn them. Unfortunately, for me, it was not until I was into my 30s when that became clear. So, it’s not about the chronological age, but that they may be on different stages in life. Jake may be ready to get married and have kids. Would Taylor be ready to do that? It seems as if her career is just beginning. She could be a young Mom if she started having kids in 5 years, but she would have to compromise her career. Those are the kinds of questions we should be asking. But, 9 years doesn’t mean anything if they’re on the same maturity level. But if they’re not, then, 9 years could be an eternity.

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December 2nd, 2010
1:25 am

Would we be hearing so much about Jake if he WASN’T “dating” Taylor? Seems kinda fishy. Taylor doesn’t need PR. Can anyone say the same for Jake?

Where/How did they even meet? It seems like this “thing” or whatever it is came (literally) from nothing.

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December 2nd, 2010
1:32 am

ya i honestly dont see what the big deal is there is other celebrity couples who have age gaps that spand 25+ years. megan fox’s husband is over 30 and she’s early twenties no one seems to care. Everyone is so focused on taylor because she is portrayed as a young girl but in reality its not. She’s not sixteen people she is old enough to make her own decisions. i love this pairing i think theyre adorable if u have ever watched jake in an interview he is funny and has a goofy presonality exactly what taylor swift has. leave the girl alone i have tons of friends who are 19/20 dating people in their late 20’s early 30’s age is just a number!


December 2nd, 2010
1:35 am

She needs to be with someone on her lever and at her age. Which she will never find now! But she can WAIT for Taylor Lautner to “catch up with her.” It does take boys longer to emotionally develop. She is as developed as can be, so naturally she will relate more to an older male. It’s science! But she needs to give someone her own age a chance. She does seem so perfect, but she knows that she’s not. She needs to give these guys a chance!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 2nd, 2010
2:05 am

I completely agree that she did seem to have any chemistry with Lautner — he did seem too young for her. But can’t there be an inbetween age guy — how about 24 or 25??

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 2nd, 2010
2:07 am

Just found this on ABC news — theories on their relationship — very cynical!



December 2nd, 2010
2:11 am

taylor is really mature for her age, so i think someone that age might be good for her.


December 2nd, 2010
2:36 am

You ask so many questions at the end of the article about younger girls dating older guys. What about the other way around? Are you perfectly content if a 20 year old guy wants to be with a 29 year old woman? Quite frankly I think once you’re 18 it’s fair game and Taylor is a smart woman. Yes, woman. She’ll be just fine.

Moe Foley

December 2nd, 2010
2:40 am

Taylor has perhaps the cleanest, sweetest reputation for a major female pop culture star in decades.
She is literally the only female pop star who doesn’t resort to overt sexuality to sell her records (yes I realize she does fashion photoshoots -tame ones). You can be a skeptic and say that’s some kind of facade, but it’s clear she is consistent at all times. That takes an incredible amount of maturity. She had prepared herself for stardom and role model status from her childhood. I think she can date a guy a few years older who is known to have a similar grounded reputation.


December 2nd, 2010
2:49 am

Everyone needs to shut the f&^k up!!! She is 20 years old and that is old enough to date whom ever she wants, even a 40 year old man. It’s not like the girl is 16 or 17!! She is an adult and can make her own life decisions. What’s wrong if their 9 years apart huh?? You people kill me!!!


December 2nd, 2010
3:52 am

from john mayer to jake – that’s an upgrade for taylor. oh the 9 year gap well time will tell how big that gap really is for them. either it will be an issue or it won’t be an issue..who is to know except for them


December 2nd, 2010
6:07 am

Taylor is no ordinary 20 year old…far wiser, more mature, more experienced, more worldly and a multi-millionare several times over. She is no wild child. She’ll be fine. Plus, she has strong family connections that will be there for her and offer her sage advice regarding relationships. I would just leave her be on this one.


December 2nd, 2010
6:29 am

Taylor will be 21 next week and Jake is currently 29. They are the same exact ages and age differences as my boyfriend and myself. I will be 21 in two months and my boyfriend just turned 30. We are on the same maturity level socially and emotionally. Most of the guys I know that are my age do not want a serious girlfriend and are just looking for the next quick hook-up. Men in their late 20s/early 30s are more seasoned in the dating world than the younger boys they once were. I’ve never gotten along with someone better in my life in the dating or in the friendship world. I believe Taylor and Jake will be a perfect fit if the media does not tear them down.


December 2nd, 2010
6:35 am

I don’t see anyone complaining about the mid-30 Ryan Seacrest and Julianne Hough (sp?) The age gap is bigger in that relationship.


December 2nd, 2010
6:37 am

20 is to young & innocent???

Come on. I have seen 18-20 year olds serving our military willing to sacrifice all on foreign lands.


December 2nd, 2010
6:48 am

Why does it really matter anyway? This relationship will probably not make it 3 months. I also agree with smh…..the media has made no mention of Seacrest and Hough. Oh wait…..Seacrest is the king of media these days. He probably controls what they say about him.

First time poster

December 2nd, 2010
7:24 am

You’re “very worried” about this relationship, really? Wow. I can find a million other things in my own life, about my own child to be “very worried” about.


December 2nd, 2010
7:26 am

TWG…you brought a host of new people to the table today…good for you.

I know little about these two, so I will not pass on them. If my 18 1/2 year old daughter came home with a 27 or 28 year old, I would be wondering. So far, that has not happened.

@ rona… ( to me) a young mom is not someone who has kids in five years at age 25. A young mom is someone who has kids before they are 20. catlady can perhaps tell you stories of young moms closer to 15. Just my opinion and it may not be worth much.

Have a nice day all!


December 2nd, 2010
7:30 am

Bubble Boy finally gets laid….by a girl this time!
I won’t quit you!!


December 2nd, 2010
7:45 am

There have been rumors for years that Jake is gay, not that there’s anything wrong with it. If he is, he needs to stop hiding behind pretty women like Taylor, Reese and all the rest and just be who he is. It’s worked for Neil Patrick Harris, and while Hollywood is still a very homophobic, closeted place, maybe Jake could be the first leading man to come out and then he’ll realize no one cares. We only care about how good his films are!


December 2nd, 2010
7:48 am

Really?? These news stories have you worried?? I would think that it is up to Jake and Taylor to decide if they are right for each other. Just because they are celebrities, they are still entitled to their private lives. Geez!!

Did I Miss The Hayden Article

December 2nd, 2010
7:48 am

I don’t remember reading an article regarding Hayden Panettiere – isn’t her boyfriend like 40 and she’s 20? So, why are you trying to tend to Taylor Swift’s business?

mom of 3

December 2nd, 2010
7:54 am

Did anyone realize a soldier from Senioa, Ga died in Afganistan?


December 2nd, 2010
7:59 am

Taylor Swift and those around her are NOT so smart with this move. There are so many ways this could damage her, because we all know the probabilies of this working out into a true, lasting relationship are slim to none!

He may be mature, etc, but she needs to date MEN closer to her own age. An 8 or 9 year age gap doesn’t matter when your in your 30’s or older, but early 20’s is a NO-NO!

Some of you people promoting this hook-up need to have your heads examined and your hormone levels checked. Morals (or lack of them) can still screw up your life!


December 2nd, 2010
8:04 am

I don’t think these people or their relationship matters. Who are these people and why are they important? Now, Theresa, if your 12 year old was going out with a 22 year old….

Yes, MJG, I have seen quite a few of these relationships. My former students have been in them. One was impregnated by her mother’s boyfriend at 15 (mom was 28, boyfriend was 24). As I have related before, it is not uncommon for my Guatemalan girls to be “given” to a much older man in their early to mid-teens.

My adult daughter dated several men 10 years or more her senior. My son in law, her husband, is 15 years older than she. If they are happy, I am happy. Now, if she had been 14…


December 2nd, 2010
8:09 am

Taylor Swift is a grown woman. She can date whomever she pleases. My mom is 8 years younger than my dad. She was 19 and he was 27 when they met. They married a year later and have been married 40 years. They still “date” each other. My dad still opens her car door, pulls the chair for her at the table and buys flowers just because. Recently my mom fell ill and my husband commented on how much it appeared my dad loved my mom after all these years. I still remember my friends saying the same thing about them when I was younger. It’s so obvious that they’re best friends.

My point is, Taylor Swift is an adult. I’m sorry but 20 just isn’t that young to me. Jay-Z is 14 years older than Beyonce but I’ve never heard anyone mention it. Perhaps it’s because she looks older, but they’ve been dating since she was in her early 20’s. They’re married today and I would assume they’re happy. This is a non-issue.


December 2nd, 2010
8:12 am

20 is not innocent and anyone who thinks it is lives in a fantasy world. Especially for someone who lives in the limelight of Nashville/Hollywood. I’m not saying that she’s learned the lessons of life that a 29 year old has but her life is so abnormal that we don’t have the ability to compare it if we haven’t been there.


December 2nd, 2010
8:15 am

Theresa, seriously – you’re “Worried” about this? American’s know more about their favorite celebrity and yet are oblivious to things that you should be truly worried about, such as 6 U.S. Soldiers were assassinated by an Afghan border patrol guard on Monday and this mindless war continues because people are focused on celebrities rather that real issues.


December 2nd, 2010
8:29 am

It’s stunning to open the AJC today to see that a nineteen-year-old soldier from Georgia has died in Afghanistan and then scan down to see your comments about Taylor Swifts love life. If you choose to worry about the lives of young adults you don’t know, I can think of far better subjects.


December 2nd, 2010
8:30 am

@ Photius…isn’t this what the rabbi was talking about on Glenn Beck?

Gotta scoot…enjoy the winter weather, after all…it is December!


December 2nd, 2010
8:31 am

My husband is 10 years older than me. We started dated when I was 19. We’ve been together for 16 years and married for 12. Sometimes ages is not an indicator of anything. *shrug*


December 2nd, 2010
8:32 am

I am sorry, out of respect should it be a capital for Rabbi….I hope I did not offend anyone.


December 2nd, 2010
8:43 am

Dont you have kids to raise? Get a Life!

Mrs. G

December 2nd, 2010
8:57 am

As far as Taylor and Jake go, as with any celebrity relationship, I don’t really care…it’s not like I know them personally, ya know?

But with regard to age differences, I think that it just depends on the people, their maturity levels, and what they are looking for in the relationship.

I think that high school freshmen girls are a little young to be dating high school senior boys; just thinking about myself at 14 and then what the guys I dated at 16, 17, and 18 (who were 17 and 18) were like? 14-year-old me wasn’t ready for that, haha. Not that I speak for everyone, of course. But I wouldn’t want MY 14-year-old daughter (if I had one) dating an 18-year-old man.

I dated a couple of college freshmen when I was still in high school (when I was 17 and 18). I see no big deal with that; just a year before, they were in high school, too.

I think that once a person gets to college, it doesn’t really matter – I wouldn’t blink at a college freshman dating a college senior and several girls I knew in college were dating guys who were in their mid-twenties.

My husband is three years older than me; had we met in high school or college, he would have been a senior when I was a freshman. At 27 and 30, it’s no biggie (and it’s definitely not a nine year age gap)…but once upon a time it would have been! I’ve thought before about how, when I was 13 and not even thinking about driving, he had a drivers license. When I was 18 and had only tried alcohol when my parents gave me a little glass of vodka (I think to deter me from drinking…LOL), he could legally go to the bars (and I know for a fact that he did). Now, though, we can do all of the same stuff…so, I think that as people get older, age gaps matter less and less.

I will say that I have a cousin who has always dated older guys. She’s 23 now… When she was 18 or so, she dated a guy who was (I think) 25 or 26. They ended up moving in together and living together for a year, I think. She dated a guy over this past summer and into the fall who was 42. That relationship was the buzz of the family; from what I heard, my uncle wasn’t too pleased, but he knew that he couldn’t do anything about it. I think that the relationship just ran its course and they broke up because they were at such different places in life (she had told me that several of her friends were getting married and I could tell that, although she is only 23, she is looking to settle down, too; she had also told me that her ex-boyfriend was divorced and not looking to marry again in anytime in the near future). But, while it lasted, she was happy. So, honestly, to each her (his) own, right?

Mrs. G

December 2nd, 2010
8:58 am

Oh, look…another essay from Mrs. G. :) I got carried away again. :) Have a great day, guys!

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December 2nd, 2010
9:16 am

at 20, i was WAY too immature to date an older man. i was in a completely different stage of life as a college student than a man who, at 29, most likely would have been on a career path.

taylor swift (although i’ve never met her) seems pretty mature for her age, though. she is also not a college student. maybe they work…

i just know that i would not have been able to do it! (and i’m sure i’m not the only one out there who was into different things in college than men who had already graduated. i seriously held on to my youth as long as possible! dating an older man seemed a bit much to me…and WAY too serious.)

mom of 3

December 2nd, 2010
9:20 am

I know this is suppose to be a fun blog but sometimes fun needs to take a back seat out of respect. @Photius – let’s please remember that we are in a land where peace is never going to happen and killing our 20 year olds. I bet they would love to be back in the states going on a date instead of putting their lives on the line so all of the “fluff” can be talked about on blogs.
There is a 20 year old from Gainesville, Ga in the hospital in Bethsada right now fighting for his life because he took a grenade. He is lucky to be alive.
Maybe it’s just all a little to close to home right now for me to care what some celebrity is doing. Jack Nicolson sat with my son-in-law, while he was in the hospital after his unit ran over an ied, for 45 minutes just talking. Let’s talk about these celebrities that go to the hospitals and visit the injured and dying soldiers. Where’s the article about them? Oh yeah, they don’t it for publicity. Sorry to put a dampen spirit on your upbeat blog today but too much tragedy too close to home to give a rat’s patooty about how old is too old to date someone.

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December 2nd, 2010
9:53 am

No, I don’t think that 9 years is that big of a deal..As others have said, she’s been there, done that and blah blah..My boyfriend in high school was 28 to my 17..I was always more mature for my age than most of my friends..

@mom of 3 & jean..Yes I did know that a soldier from Senoia was killed and that he left behind a young wife and child..I said a prayer for him and his family this morning.. We are all aware that young men and women are dying every day in the military and we all feel sadness for them and their families, but most of the time this isn’t Theresa’s topics to talk about..There are other blogs to deal with that..I have a nephew in the military and a good friend that her husband is a police officer in the war zone, so trust me that I feel sadness for them..


December 2nd, 2010
9:58 am

Seriously? I’m sorry TWG, but this is silly! She’s of age and he’s of age -end of story! Do you not think she’s probably FAR more grown up than the average 20 year old -having lived in the entertainment industry these last few years? She probably has stories that could put 50 year olds to shame! Aside from the fact that I don’t care for her or her music -they’re BOTH adults. Everyone matures differently, but I would put money on the fact that she’s light years ahead of her 20 year old peers as far as worldliness goes. I can’t believe you would think she has a shred of innocence left! Please!

My parents were married -happily I might add -for almost 46 years. They married when my mom was 18 and my dad was 26, so not much less of an age difference than these two. I have a cousin who married a man 27 years her senior at age 18 the day after she graduated from high school. They’ve now been married for over 30 years and have raised 3 really great kids who are married, successful and providing them with grandchildren. They still have a great relationship and are always off camping, fishing and enjoying themselves. I dated two guys when I was 25 who were 12 years older than me. We had a blast! Is there some huge difference in 20 and 25? There wasn’t really for me.

Given my parent’s experience -they wouldn’t have minded at all if I had brought home a successful and nice 29 year old when I was 20. In fact, my mother encouraged me to date older guys for their maturity level, and I guarantee you they would have been FAR happier with a 29 year old who was nice than the guy my own age who I dated throughout college! I seriously hope after your kids leave the nest that you aren’t planning on closely monitoring their dating relationships. Even in college -there are decisions they need to make for themselves! Unless you know they’re caught up with someone who is an addict, criminal or abuser -you need to stay far out of it! Unless of course you want to push Rose head long into the arms of her 40 year old college professor lover just to spite you -if you continue with the over-protective helicoptering, she’s going to be looking for the chance! I know that sounds mean, but seriously -I hope you’ll think along those lines as they grow up.

I had an EXTREMELY over-protective mother, and while I don’t ever remember rebelling or doing anything specifically to spite her or my father, I was WAY too interested in many of the things they were so eager to keep me from. Their fondest saying to and about me after I hit adolescence was, “We don’t know where you came from!” In the end -people fall in love with who they fall in love with, and once that happens for real -especially when they’re young, in college and experiencing their first real independence -they will drop you like a hot potato to be with that person. Remember that!


December 2nd, 2010
10:04 am

With the exception of my now ex husband, I have always dated older men. At least 10 – 15 years older than me. I like older men, they don’t play games, they know who they are and what they want. And they are at a time in their lives where their kids are mostly raised, and they have money!!!!!!

As for hollywood romances – who the hell cares? I sure don’t. I have more important things to worry about, like rearranging my sock drawer…..


December 2nd, 2010
10:07 am

@rona -if Taylor Swift had twins right now it wouldn’t compromise her career! At that level of success and wealth, having children only compromises your career if you want it to. There’s the day nanny, night nanny, traveling nanny, blah blah blah -not to mention all the housekeeping and chef staff and the personal trainers to make sure you are bikini ready a week after giving birth. Seriously, if Jake knocked her up tomorrow, she would be on the cover of every magazine and every show would be devoted to the “Taylor baby-watch.” I also seem to recall Jake’s ex-love, Reese Witherspoon, who had her children younger than 25 with Ryan Phillippe, and it didn’t hurt her either.


December 2nd, 2010
10:10 am

@mom of 3 -thank you! I wonder how his mother is dealing right now? Maybe a topic on how you would REALLY feel (patriotism and pride aside) if your 20 year old enlisted and shipped off to Afghanistan would be good, as well as hearing from those who currently have active military children. I wonder how many parents these days fully support their child’s decision to enlist and how many really try to talk them out of it?


December 2nd, 2010
10:39 am

I love Taylor Swift’s music too, but I don’t know (or care) very much about her private life. However, a 20 year old is an adult and should be free to date whomever they please.