Some believe there is an ideal and appropriate age gap between partners.
The ‘norm’ is generally accepted as somewhere between eight years difference to the same age. But in practice, this isn’t always an easy fit. Most people don’t fit into neat ‘maturity’ rankings, and everyone comes to relationships from a different angle.
For those who do end up having significant age gaps, it can be a mixed blessing. There are certainly cases where the age gap can become a hindrance, but equally, there are times where it has been beneficial to relationships.
Here are ten things to consider if you are dating someone significantly younger or older than you.
“It’s true that younger people generally have a bit more time for partying and going out with friends,” says Norman Fox, a regular contributor to LastMinuteWriting. “For those in relationships with people younger than themselves, it can feel a little embarrassing to be the old one in the group, and can make you feel your age a lot more acutely.”
There are, though, those amongst the younger set who may not feel like partying until the dawn, and likewise, there are those who are older who don’t mind cutting loose every now and then, somehow retaining that lack of self-consciousness associated with youth.
Traditionally, it was perceived as something that only the younger generations found important to a relationship, and that once you hit 40 you had passed your prime.
Attitudes around sex are changing rapidly, though and there is a larger understanding of the scope of sexual attitudes. Ultimately, if there is chemistry, there is a way to engage with one another physically, as long as one is able to talk openly about it.
For most loving couples, money or the lack thereof doesn’t play a part in the nurturing of the relationship. However, as it develops, one may find the other relying too heavily on their ability to pay for things. If a relationship develops into cohabitation, this situation can very easily get out of hand.
But in today’s world financial stability is not necessarily linked to any particular age. Where once you may have found stereotypes of ‘sugar daddies’ and ‘gold diggers’, we now find people in relationships being much more open-minded about how the bills are split.
Children Will Come Up!
Men and women beyond a certain age can feel like time is running out for them to have kids. In contrast, if a partner is significantly younger, they may not feel ready to have kids yet.
However, sometimes the maturity levels may match up perfectly, or indeed, both may decide against having children altogether.
“Much like having kids, the thought of actually getting married can be a bit daunting if you’ve only just started a career, for instance,” writes Desmond Hilquist. “Likewise, everyone comes to a relationship with their own baggage, and with divorce constantly on the rise, the thought of marrying again can be a deal-breaker in a relationship.”
Illness and Death
As we get older, we naturally start to think about our health and mortality. If we’re in a relationship with someone younger than us, we may wonder how we are going to provide for them after we’re gone. In contrast, if you are in love with someone older than you, the thought of watching them age and die can be an unpleasant prospect.
But love is also about bravery in the face of these things, and if we care for someone, we have to put aside these concerns for when they actually face us rather than in the distant future.
About The Author
Cornelius J Johnson specializes in marketing and entrepreneurship. He writes regular material for Lucky Assignments often on finance, start-ups, and marketing.