Roger von Oech

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isabella mori

fakers of birth certificates and other such documents will make a killing; EREA (equal rights for equal age) will first be a clandestine grassroots organization and then become a multinational NGO; dr. garfield barnyard will invent a rapid-aging procedure that will be a huge hit at the 107th plastic surgeons' conference; and "wrinkle-free" will become a swearword

Jan Karlsbjerg

People would just feel even less of a "need" to get married, but just live together. :-)


Courtship would become a clandestine underground subversive activity. Arranged marriages become a major business as people get ridiculously specific about age ("he is just two months away from being the right age!"). Shelters would need to be set up for people in age-abusive marriages, especially the younger partner (if the marriagable age is 16) who is being overpowered by the older partner. There will be a lot more widows and widowers, and big associations to link them. People would either remarry lots, have multiple partners (to fulfil the age thing) or just not marry anymore. Love is a foreign concept, as people start marrying only for benefits and not for personal care. Human relationships become a matter of cost benefit analysis; connections, feelings, and companionship are foreign concepts.

Roger von Oech

Isabella: I guess as with any new law, there are new opportunities around the edge for shady activities.

Jan: Perhaps the "20 year gap rule" would be a marriage disincentive for some. But don't you think that after people had lived with it for a while they would discover new incentives?

Tiara: Interesting takes. I like your comment "Human relationships become a matter of cost benefit analysis." I agree that there would be many more business opportunities for bringing people together from different generations in a "love" setting.

Ahmad Alhashemi

The rate of extra marital relationships will sky rocket among married men and women.

In match making sites, partner age preference will turn from a numerical field to a binary field.

People will organize mating years every five years to increase the chances that their offspring (clumb births together). Elective abortion rates will increase during non-mating years.

If the legal age of marriage is at 16, the 36th birthday will be the happiest day for men and women (not only because it is the day they go for the younger, but they will also be the hottest choice for the youngest).

The total fertility rate will exponentially go down as the restriction become more and more difficult leading to the extinction of man.


Wow, there seems to be a lot of cynacism attached to this exercise. I think this scenario is happening more and more, although without the legal imperative.

I think there might be a good chance for people to find true partners. Scientists and educators are always saying that girls tend to mature earlier than boys. As I've seen in my own family, the breakdown in a marriage can often begin with the disparity of levels of maturity. Perhaps with the current cultural norms stood on their heads, younger women and older men and younger men and older women would help address this. It could make sense.

I've known young ladies and gentlemen who were way older than their years and older ladies and gentlemen that you would never conceive of being called old (or even "older").

I'm not sure it wouldn't work.

Roger von Oech

Ahmad: "the 36th birthday will be the happiest day for men and women" You're probably right. Maybe that will do away with the "mid-life" crisis as we currently know it.

One issue that hasn't been addressed yet is the children of the various unions. I figure that most kids will be born to young women and middle age men (although there will be some kids with young fathers and middle-aged women).

Dianna: I wonder if most middle-aged people wold opt for the much older or the much younger partner. Certainly our expectations of what we expect from a partner would be redefined.


In Psychology Today, I read that 40 year old men married to 20 year old women do not experience any kind of mid-life crisis. Simply put: the mid-life crisis is due to the female partner's loss of fertility. Men feel the need to acquire cars and fancy gizmos to attract a younger female.... This seems simple enough. It also means that a 20 year old man married to a 40 year old woman WILL experience a crisis. Midlife isn't really midlife at all then, is it? Not very PC. Simple babymaking. But human is as human does. In short, in spite of all the wisdom the younger partner would benefit from, grandpa would be the smuggest.

OCD On A Stick

Intergenerational marriage may become a proponent for geritol and geriatric health programs. Just think about the number of fathers that would be 40 or 50 years older than their first child. How else will they keep up without some sort of medical intervention?

I married when I was 23, so in the intergenerational marriage world, I would marry a man who was 43. I didn't have a child until I was 30, so my husband would be a father at 50 years. By the time my child was 10, my husband may have to slow down a bit tossing the football in the back yard.

Intergenerational marriage may also become a great marketing ploy for digital camcorders or their futuristic equivalent. Almost every single child would not know one or more of their grandparents...which is a great cause for recording every waking moment of someone's life for the sake of creating memories for the descendents.

hidden persuader

People would(perhaps) marry and procreate more often, as they're partners who die first. Human beings are social animals, they hate being alone :)

hidden persuader

People would(perhaps) marry and procreate more often, as they're partners who die first. Human beings are social animals, they hate being alone :)


In search of an article that would list both the pros and cons of inter-generational relationships, I have found many of your comments passe. However, this could be due to the fact that the article was published back in 07, so I'll give you guys a virtual pass for that. :) Its all love. The one thing I didn't read that anyone may/may not have given any thought to, were if two were on similar life/career paths (i.e. ministry, business industry). Perhaps you and your intended have both accomplished lots and are equal in material value & wisdom and neither money (or lack thereof) really matters. What if your desire is to grow in love and to build onto or further enhance your quality of life (not pocketbook, ring size, or lot sq footage). What if you genuinely enjoy the company of this person or the words of Patrick Swayze in Ghost. "you complete me," were reasons for inter-generational marital bliss? I tend to be more optimistic (not flighty or in the clouds) than most and even I missed it. I waited for the man of my dreams to come & sweep me off my feet, lavish me w/gifts and who matched my list perfectly. Instead the man I chose was worth so much more. He made me experience life quite joyfully outside of the many superficial things I worried over. He even convinced me that balancing my checkbook every .5 hour was not a way to an invigorating life! We lived life passionately the best 7 months of our engagement until tragedy struck and he died less than 2 months shy of our wedding day. Thankfully since his departure, I have vowed never to look for happiness from the outside alone. It is totally what is in the heart of those individuals that matter most. So, if you've got the gall and you are ready to grab the bull by the horns, than do it! Life is too short to have sooooooo many regrets. I only wish he were here to see how much I've grown. In the age where we have allowed so many untraditional unions to take place in our society, here's one I recommend: marry someone of the opposite sex who still makes you smile when you want to frown, who brings out the kid in you, and challenges you to experience new things. Marry your other half - your life partner --the one who completes you. I have and I will take this with me to my next chance meeting encounter. <3 Toodles <3

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