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Age Differences in a Relationship

In: English and Literature

Submitted By sheinell
Words 1595
Pages 7
November 19, 2012

Age in the relationship

Well is that not the million dollar question? The answer really is a personal thing. There is no right or wrong answer, as long as both parties are over the age of consent. If you were to research the subject you would probably find that it is not uncommon for people to be in a relationship where there is an age gap. Sometimes there is quite a difference in the ages.

As we mature, the biggest priority in our long-term relationships tends to be compatibility. We long for someone who understands us, appreciates us and cares for us, above all else. Sometimes in life, people find this compatibility with the most unlikely of partners. But what happens when the love of your life is 10 or 15 years older (or younger) than you?

Maturity and age are two things that rarely co-mingle. Age is the vehicle by which we experience common milestones in life. These milestones give us the ability to relate to one another. We all experience a first kiss, first partner, first sex, marriage, home, career, child, divorce, etc. There is a reason that most couples today do not have a significant age difference. Consider that over the last one hundred years, the average age difference between married couples is 3.5 years. Coincidence? No. Call it what it is — a trend.

In some parts of the world it is not uncommon for young women to marry older men. Everyone has their own opinions as to why a young girl would marry an older man, especially one that is much older than she is. You know the sort of thing, ‘the girls are gold diggers, trophy brides or mail order brides, etc. It is also becoming more popular these days for older women to marry younger men. Again some of these young men may be gold diggers, but most people seem to think it is because the older woman wants a toy boy. Whether like the older men they want to have a trophy on their arm to show off to their friends or whether they prefer younger men for their sex drive, these couples often find their families and friends can’t cope with their relationship and often turn against them.
The cultural aspect of age within a relationship in places such as India it does not matter the age due to religious beliefs within this society. Religions such as Islam and Hinduism
If you were to ask these young women why they would rather be in a relationship with an older man, they are likely to tell you that they are looking for someone who is serious about their relationship. They think that young men don’t want to settle down and really don’t know what they want. Younger men may also not be thinking about a relationship leading to marriage, whereas an older man has sown his wild oats already and will more probably be looking for a serious relationship. Most women also think that an older man will more likely have a better job than a younger man (although we all know in this day and age that this is not always the case!); therefore the older man will be the better catch. Some women believe that older men won’t break their hearts the way younger men have done. They believe that an older man will have the staying power for a long term relationship.
Lets be honest here some women likes them old. , the men they have dated and clicked with have generally been anywhere from six to twenty years their senior. Now a twenty year age difference may not be the norm or "average" (neither is six, for that matter), but its hardly a strong predictor for the success of a relationship (after all, nearly half of those couples with the "ideal" age difference between them get divorced), and its amusing how shocked people continue to be about an age discrepancy.
Some women believe that older men know how to treat a lady and believe that a younger man won’t be as patient and is more likely to stray. They also believe that an older man won’t want to bed everything with a pulse in a skirt. (Yeah I know most guys aren’t worried about the skirt part these days!)
We all have different ideas as to what is acceptable to us. We don’t choose who we fall in love with, it just happens. So how can we choose what age the person we fall in love with should be? What is acceptable to me might be totally unacceptable to my sister and most certainly would not be acceptable to my parents.
In recent history, relationship statistics indicate that most people end up with a partner that is close to them in age — around three to five years either side tends to be the norm. But times are changing, and now more and more people are saying to hell with society's age stereotypes, and pairing off with people who are 10, 15 or more years apart in age.

There are some common problems faced by couples with years, even decades between them. A common problem for those with a major age gap in their relationship is mismatched life experiences. These can include major milestones like career, travel, marriage and children — all of which are profoundly affected if one person in the relationship has already "been there, done that".
If you're a 25-year-old hoping for a family of your own one-day, and are dating a divorced 45-year-old with teenage kids from a previous relationship, you need to get things straight with your partner about their interest in having a second family. Age gaps can become more prominent when it comes to big life experiences and rites of passage. It pays to be clear about your relationship hopes and dreams from the start.
Not exactly a problem, but certainly something of an embarrassment, is the likelihood of social situations in which you and your partner are mistaken for parent and child — or worse. Work functions, booking into a hotel for a weekend away, and shopping for clothes together are all potential minefields for couples with big age gaps. Do you nod and smile through gritted teeth as the sales assistant talks to your "Dad" or "mom" or do you set the record straight then and there?
Your age gap may not be that noticeable in your lifestyle right now, but the bigger the age gap, the more you'll need to consider what your life together will be like in the long term. Health and the natural aging process are both factors that will impact on the quality of your lifestyle with a partner who is vastly older than you.

A gap of 20 years means that one of you will be a sprightly 45-year-old, while the other will be approaching retirement. And yes, you're only as young as you feel, but how will your relationship cope with the ravages of time? Are you comfortable with the idea of becoming someone's live-in carer rather than live-in lover? When some men divorce becomes final, they go out of their way to date women of different ages ranging anywhere from twenty-two to fifty-three years old. some may find that with younger women,they feel attracted but bored. With older women it was just the opposite. Age is not just a number. It is a fairly accurate measurement that describes where you have been and what is left in front of you. It tells you what you may have in common with someone. Know what you are attracted to, understand what you want in a partner and a relationship, and confirm that these things are in agreement before you choose to spend time with someone. If you meet someone extremely younger or older that you are into, look for common interests before committing to a date.

Age itself is not a factor in compatibility, it's elements like maturity and life experience, which tend to correlate with age, that can make or break a relationship's long-term potential. But so can future goals, background, culture, family, career, personality, and sexual chemistry. Its a tendancy to think that the combination of those factors (maturity and life experience included) takes precedence over whether or not your significant other gets your clever jokes. And while we're at it, can we retire lingo like "cougar" , "cradle-robber" and "sugar daddy" it condescends both parties in question and is on par with sticking a cutesy label on someone who dates outside of their own race or background.
There is no right or wrong answer to this issue, but this debate will go on for a long time. Does age really matter? Surely the answer has to be that it should only matter to the couple concerned. If they are happy with the age gap then everyone else should respect their feelings and wishes and leave them to get on with it.
Making an age gap relationship work is like any other successful relationship — it depends on strong communication skills, dedication, honesty and a lot of effort. Date and let date, age and maturity often go hand in hand, but you can certainly have one without the other. But as anyone who loves someone regardless of an age difference will tell you, love is not only blind, it cannot count either.…...

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