Is it okay for a 38 year old man to date a 24 year old woman?
Depends if you want to deal with 20-something issues again. You have already been there and done that. Why would you want to do a repeat performance ? What's wrong with the women closer to your age who are living life and are more self reliant? You need to ask yourself (seriously) on why a 24-yr old is interested in you ? These days some are looking for a sugar daddy or something.
The main thing is that you 2 need to have more in common than hitting the sheets. I have dated a man that far out the age range (14 yrs. my Sr.) and it was experience. It was really exhausting dealing with his friends. His female friends were nasty to me because I was so young and they assumed that I had no life experiences(I have plenty) but I held my own, this is why my former beloved pursued me and he loved my brand of spunk and maybe the young lady question has her own brand of spunk and that is what attracts you to her. Keep this in mind, if you pursue her, some people(even those close to you) may not be very receptive to her because she is so young. You may be placed in a situation of choosing you gal or your wing-man. Good Luck Honey. :)
Is it OK? Somewhat. It's OK with some people more than others.
Questions come to mind. Can she hold her own with you? It may seem pleasant to you if you can reason her out all the time, but if she doesn't feel she's listened to and understood properly, and her needs aren't consistently met in her mind, this can hurt your relationship over time. Your ability to overrule her can backfire, not just to her, but you can be seen as controlling her, taking advantage of her, and people won't like that.
What can you learn from her? In order to keep you connected to her, she needs to have knowledge of her own areas to bring to the table. If you're never asking her honest questions, then you're not connecting for yourself. You will disregard her over time if that's not there. You also need to be able to accept that as she gains knowledge, she will expect to exercise it and be respected for what she's learned, just as you would. She won't stay young, but she will likely improve in quality if you see it that way.
The bigger the age difference, the more differences there are in terms of what is found to be important, why, and what's expected when problems come to pass. Also, she may be asked to deal with issues she may not have been expecting for another 10–20 years, like your declining parents, older children, or even signs of your own decline well ahead of hers. If she's with someone her own age, then that person is in the same stage, with largely the same problems.
So by age alone is this a great thing? Not really, but it doesn't mean the two of you can't fit together. Maybe you can. Tread carefully and you might luck out.
It is certainly legal. Both are adults above the age of consent.
Culturally, well, you'd have to consult your culture. You didn't offer enough detail for us to guess.
But this being the internet, I'll guess anyway, and give you advice that hasn't been well thought out.
In the USofA, we have a rough general rule called the "creepiness equation". It's provenence is uncertain, and there's no scientific accuracy to it to speak of. But it's still a cultural touchstone, useful in determining if something "feels creepy."
Here we go. Take your age, divide it by two, then add seven to the result. Dating anyone younger than this is creepy.
So, applied, we have 38/2=19, 19+7=26. Creepy for a 38 year old to date anyone younger than 26.
Since you ask about a 38/24 relationship, the answer is, no, that's not OK, it's creepy.
Ask again in a few years, when you're 42 and 28. Now we have 21+7=28, finally left the creepy limit behind.
Someone told me the other day that the "acceptable" limit is half your age plus seven.
I'm not sure how I feel about that myself. That would mean I could go as low as 27 which just seems weird to me. She'd have to be a bloody amazing 27 year old. For me, 10 years my junior (32 as I write this, I'm 42) is about my outer limit. Any lower than that and I feel our perspectives on life would be so vastly different it would be difficult to find a connection which is really important to me.
If you find a connection with her though, go for it. She's an adult, capable (hopefully) of making adult decisions. If she's into it, see where it goes. It could be amazing, or it could fall flat on its face.
In my opinion age shouldn't be a factor when it comes to love. As long as both parties are of legal age, is is just a number/word, and it shouldn't stop two souls from being together if they are meant to be together. True love is greater than all other Minor factors like age and class. As long as the two are happy together and want to be together, they shouldn't feel pressured by society to be apart because of a simple factor like age.
Considering you're both over the age of 18, and therefore adults - it's legal.
If it's legal, you're allowed.
I, personally, wouldn't have dated anyone who'd be 14 years older or 14 years younger than me, but to each his own, I guess.