Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Bridging the Age Gap

Does age difference matter in a relationship?

age difference relationships

When I was 22, I dated a man twice my age. To add even more to this already controversial situation, he was divorced with two daughters.

Are you a little bit shocked? That’s how many of the people in my life reacted.

I can’t even try to describe how much I went through the ringer with my friends on this one. They teased me and judged me incessantly. I still haven’t heard the end of it and it was two years ago. They joked about him missing Bingo night, catching the early bird special, and various other ridiculous senior citizen jokes. Breaking the news to my family was the worst part. It was one of the most awkward conversations I’ve ever had. “Hey Mom and Dad, my new boyfriend is closer to your age than he is to mine!”

Age differences in relationships are somewhat of a stigma. People judge you and wonder what the hell you’re thinking, especially if you’re the one who’s younger, you’re a woman, and it’s not just a sugar daddy relationship.

But the guy was youthful at heart, which is what attracted me to him in the first place. I never, ever thought I’d find myself in this crazy age gap situation, but experiencing it made me realize that, to a certain extent, age¬†is just a number and it doesn’t dictate who you fall for. We had a ton of fun together and, surprisingly, could relate to each other quite well. However, dating someone who’s much younger or older than you creates obstacles that may not exist in other relationships, such as:

  • Self-consciousness and feeling like you need to explain your relationship
  • Criticism from friends and family
  • A more complicated future – you’re at different points in your life
  • Each person usually has friends who are in the same age range, which makes it harder to relate with them and get involved in the other person’s life

Ironically, his youthful spirit is also why I ended up dumping him. Older definitely did not mean wiser in his case. He was like a 15-year-old, and the worst part is that he couldn’t handle his drinking. You’d think after 20+ years of drinking, you’d get the hang of it.

But if you ever find yourself falling for someone who’s much older or younger than you, remember that it really¬†can work, and feeling like you have to fight for someone (expect that a lot of your friends or loved ones may openly disagree with your relationship) can actually bring the two of you closer. The most important thing is, like in any other relationship, to respect your significant other and treat him/her as your equal. Also, don’t label the relationship based on the numbers. If you start looking at the person and not the number, you’ll start to forget that an age discrepancy exists in the first place.

Want the secrets to building a healthy, loving relationship regardless of age? Every couple should know these.

June 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured, Love Relationship Advice

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