Do Age Gaps Really Matter in a Relation?
If we all were asked one question, “would you be comfortable having a relationship with a significantly older companion?” I’m sure most of us would say, age doesn’t matter when love is there. But are these words too good to be true?
The base of any successful relation according to me is compatibility. We all want someone who understands us, appreciates us, cares for us and loves us. Sometimes it gets very tough to find someone with whom you can really be compatible and when you find the right person, you definitely would want to hold on to them. But what happens when the love of your life is 10-15 years older or younger than you?
Recent trends have shown that most people end up with partners who are very close or of the same age to them. I would say around 2-3 years max of age gap is the norm. But then you would also see people who would say, to hell with the norm, I’m cool with partner of any age as long as we love each other.
The biggest examples of such people are the celebrities, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher with an age gap of 15 years, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones with a huge gap of 25 years and Jay-Z and Beyonce with 12 years in between. There are many more such couples and when you see their relation, you feel if they can be compatible, why can’t we.
But why are we sceptic with the age difference? Isn’t love the most important element?
Definitely love is the biggest driving force in any relationship. But like every relation, even the age gap relationships have their share of issues.
Maturity Gap and Difference in Expectations
One of the most common problems is the difference in the experiences of life. These experiences can be about any milestones in their life including career, travel, marriage, kids, and all of these are highly affected if one person in the relation has already “been there, done that”.
For e.g., if you are 20 year old and dating a 30 year old divorced partner with kids from previous marriage, you need to get things straight with your partner. It is possible that having already experienced a family life, he/she may not want to go ahead with you in a similar way. Hopes and dreams change for individuals especially for those who have already lived those hopes that you are dreaming now.
People in a wide age gap often come up with statements to justify their relationship. Older partners have more life experiences which younger partner can learn from and the younger partner can bring a new outlook and innovation in the relation. While this may be true in cases of short-term romances, but in the long run, the success of any wide age difference relation is very less. In future, the older partner might find the younger one too energetic and immature and would want to look out for someone their age and younger one might find their older partner too old and dull and might want to be with someone young.
Insecurity and Jealousy
Another problem that comes up is feelings of insecurity, jealousy and possessiveness. Partners who are older usually have the feeling of insecurity that their young lover would any day move on with someone of their own age leaving them alone. Even when they see their lover talking to someone younger, they would feel jealous.
But again, these flaws can happen in any other relationship as well, you just need to know how to deal with them and have full trust on your partner.
It is very important to judge an age gap relationship by the same standards as any other romantic relationship. Does the person make you happy? Do they treat you well? These are the issues that really matter.
Consider the relationship as a relationship first, and an age-gap partnership second – but with an awareness of the additional issues that an age gap may introduce into any relationship, including aging, different life goals, and social pressure.
But, there has to be lot more to a relationship than just the number of years you have been on the planet. If you have a lot in common, you can really click with each other and you can open up honestly and talk, then to hell with the age gap. Ignore everyone else and if you have found what you are looking for, then go for it because there is nothing better. Age is just a state of mind. True love has no boundaries.
Making a relation with a wide age gap work involves as much effort as any other relationship. The key is strong communication skills, dedication, honesty and lot of mutual effort. Someone who has been in a relation with a big age difference can only tell, “Love is not only blind, it can’t count numbers as well”. In matters of love, nothing else matters.