The heart is ageless, so it comes as no surprise that people are finding love in more mature arms these days. The era of marrying only within one’s age range is gradually being replaced by marrying based on attraction, respect and love irrespective of age.
However, despite the growth of this trend, a lot of people still raise their eyebrows at couples with significant age differences. They consider an age gap of 4 – 8 years normal, but view anything above that as abnormal, imbalanced and inappropriate.
It’s 2018 people, get with the times! Age on its own does not determine the longevity of a relationship. Factors like compatibility, communication, health, lifestyle and mutual respect matter more than the age difference between partners.
There are older people who act immature, and there are younger people who act older and are more mature. So, by itself, age is insufficient in guaranteeing lasting love – IT DOES NOT MATTER!
When an older woman finds love in the arms of someone younger, she’s stereotyped. When an older man finds love in younger arms he’s stereotyped. They are called derogatory terms like ‘cougar’, ‘pedophile’, ‘dirty old man’, ‘sugar mommy/daddy’ etc. names that are sometimes far from the truth.
When the roles are reversed and it’s a younger person attracted to someone with a significant age difference, people automatically conclude that the youngster had a troubled childhood and is projecting their need for maternal or paternal love on the older person. This stereotyping is not only irritating, but is offensive at best.
People are so ‘judgy’ and have a constant need to put labels on things. What should matter when two people find love is their ability to make it work. The age gap pales in comparison to other important factors within relationships, and should not be used to pass lame, pointless judgement on the couple.
In the past, it was natural for older men to marry younger women to care for the homestead and children. These men were considered dependable, stable and hardworking. These days however, dependable, stable and hardworking are not enough to keep a relationship going, especially with relationships starting and ending faster than the sun rises and sets.
Some people set unrealistic criteria and obstacles for themselves, then act shocked when their love-heartbreak cycle repeats itself. Others prefer dating older people because they come across as more stable and mature in reasoning and decision making, compared to younger mates of both genders, who are more emotional, but like all things, there are always exceptions to the rule.
There’s no guarantee that love and marriage between young people will work. There’s also no guarantee that love between age mates would work. Therefore, it is safe to assume that a union between a couple with a significant age difference is also not guaranteed to work. The age therefore, is not the problem, what matters is the attitude and mindset of each individual. Anything can happen to make love go sour.
Things like the outcome of past relationships, education, career accomplishment, sexual appetite etc. all determine a person’s outlook when it comes to love and relationship. It determines whether the relationship would be based on domination and control or on mutual respect, companionship and love.
Some people with vast age differences have so far been able to make their relationship work; others were not so lucky. There will always be exceptions when it comes to relationships and its never good to jump to conclusions or stereotypes based on one’s past experiences or factors such as age.
Love can happen at any time and can be found anywhere – sometimes in the most unlikely places. The fact that one is older does not mean they will fail at love. It simply means that though each person is shaped by different factors, if they both want the same thing they can make it work. They just need to work through their quirks to strike a balance that works, or behave in a manner appropriate to sustain their relationship.
How Important is Age?
Age is only as important as you think it is. It is not more important than love or the mutual decision to make a relationship work despite numerous hang-ups, insecurities and challenges over differing backgrounds, personalities, sexual chemistry, energy levels, maturity levels, career goals, lifestyles, health, money, children…
So… Be Prepared
If you’re dead set on dating or marrying a person much older or younger than yourself, be prepared to handle criticism. People would judge no matter how perfect the relationship turns out. You both need to discuss early on whether certain aspects of the age gap make you uncomfortable. To build a relationship that stands the test of time, couples need to discuss their experiences and expectations openly. They need to get real. Age is only what you make of it.