I came across some reading I’d like to share with anyone looking for more stuff about age gap relationships.
Age gap relationships (or “spring-autumn” relationships) may come in for criticism and ridicule, no matter how balanced or healthy they are. Partners with a significant age gap may find themselves the target of ridicule or outright criticism from family, friends and strangers; or they may worry that there is something wrong with the relationship.
Cultural norms about dating age gaps are based on two assumptions: that the age gap in relationships will be a small one, and that (in a heterosexual relationship, at least) the man will be the older partner. This simply isn’t the case in many relationships.
Psychological Factors in Age Gap Relationships?
There are psychological reasons that some age gap relationships may be unhealthy.
- It is often suggested that the younger partner is seeking a mother or a father figure, or someone to guide and care for them.
- Older partners may be the target of those who assume that their interest in their significant other is purely physical or that they can’t have found an equal in someone younger – especially for substantial age gaps of ten years or more.
People mature at different rates, based on family patterns and life experience. It’s possible for two people at different ages – even with a 20 or 30 year age gap – to be equally “mature,” however you define the term. After all, how often do we hear the cliché that “women mature faster than men”? Some women at 30 are more mature than men at 50 – and vice versa.
Online support groups and chat rooms for age gap relationships abound. One of the most repeated comments on these boards is the reassurance that “age is just a number” and that love is about the person, not their age.
In Love with the Partner, not her Age
It’s hard to argue with love. If love is real, and the relationship is good, then age becomes secondary.
It seems sensible 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.
Friends and Family of Age Gap Relationships
The largest stumbling-block in most age gap relationships comes when friends and family – and even strangers – are introduced into the mix.
People may feel threatened or confused when witnessing a happy relationship between partners with a visible age gap, and some of them make comments that offend. Parents, in particular, may find it difficult to see their son or daughter with a romantic partner who is the same age as themselves – especially if the older partner is the woman, which really goes against what is expected. It may also be a challenge to enter each other’s social circles, especially if friends or colleagues are limited to people of one’s own age.
It may be helpful to give friends and family time to get used to the idea of an age gap relationship. Since their interest is usually in ensuring their loved one’s happiness, seeing the couple together and happy will eventually win them over.
Remember that although family and friends mean well, it is not their relationship! Only the couple themselves know what goes on within their relationship, and only they have to live with whatever they decide to create in their life together.
Age gap is not an obstacle for love
Age gap relationships have always been common, not only among movie stars. However, there are lots of prejudices towards age gap relationships and very often friends, family and acquaintances are negatively biased towards lovers with a significant age difference.Age gap relationships, frequently called “spring-autumn” relationships are typical for some cultures and circles and a subject in ridicule in others. It is especially hard to be in a age gap relationship, if you are the younger guy or the older woman, though thanks to Hollywood stars, the stereotypes are slowly breaking.
Stereotypes for Age Gap Relationships
Age gap relationships are largely stereotyped and even though it is not an exception to have a healthy, loving relationship with somebody who is 10, 15 or even more years your senior or junior, still many people look at age gap relationships with suspicion. In the case of a much younger lady, the first assumption is that she is with the man because of his money. The second assumption is that she is looking for a father. And last, if none of this is true, the only explanation left is that the girl is so unattractive that she simply can’t find a younger man.
Sure, there are many cases when people date somebody because of money or because they are looking for a mother/father to take care of them, or because nobody but their current partner will hook with them but how many of the “normal” relationships – i.e. relationships, where the partners are not far apart in age, aren’t based on such motives.
Can Age Gap Relationship Be Successful?
Sure they can – the question is just a rhetorical one. There are so many examples of successful age gap relationships, that it makes no sense to deny the fact that age gap relationships can be successful. The fact that it is a partnership between two individuals of different ages doesn’t make it of a lower quality. When people share the same values, have similar interests and views on life, their biological age comes second.
If one forgets about the age factor but judges a relationship according to its real value – i.e. are you happy with your partner, is the relationship fulfilling, etc. – then it is really of minor importance that the age gap exists. Being commanded by stereotypes is not wise.
In many cases it is external factors, such as family, friends, colleagues, who are the most fierce opponents of an age gap couple. For parents it might be difficult to accept the fact that their daughter, and especially their son, is dating somebody who is closer to their own age, or could be a daughter/son of their child. In other cases it is just plain envy from “friends”, who see that you are happy with somebody half or twice your age. So, if you are in an age gap relationship, do not allow others to tell you what is wrong and what is right but judge with your own head.