Can age be just a number in relationships?

Posted by James, 09 Aug 12

I may have had my fair share of dating much younger women and a couple of older women but I must admit, once, I met this woman with whom we had so much chemistry from the word "go" but decided not to pursue her; not because she wasn't hot enough for me but mainly because I realized she was older than me ... much older... 8 years older. Reason being: there is no way I was ever gonna date a woman who is older than me by more than 5 years... I mean how is it even supposed to work?

I believe I am not the only one who shares such sentiments. Many men and women alike base their "to date" or "not to date" decisions on the age of the prospective other... riding on the familiar misconceptions about age difference and dating, fearing what people might say about it; some even think its unnatural or nontraditional. I made the decision not to date my +8 years woman because I thought conflicts may arise based on the age difference because of her level of maturity and my lack of it. At the same time, I was afraid that being older, she might try to control me - be the one with the balls in the relationship.

Such are among the many misconceptions people have over big age differences in relationships. And when people come across a couple who is 'mismatched' in terms of age, conclusions are made; with the main one being: The relationship wont last. Some of these misconceptions have some basis because I have a friend who is married to a man 13 years her senior and they have been having problems because of - lemme call it - generational gap. Their interests are not in sync at all. Wonder how they got to the "lets get married" stage. The thing is, the man is super insecure when she goes out with her girls. He even wants her to dress the way women from his 'era' do.

Today, we see younger men genuinely interested in older women. Today, we see younger women dating not just father figures; even grandfather figures (men in their 80s plus) for love; not financial stability or buying time till he kicks the bucket to inherit his estate. And today, we see these relationships actually working. Just because a man or woman is considerably younger than the spouse doesn't mean he or she has a financial agenda or has been lured into the relationship with gifts; neither does it mean that the couple has some kind of psychological problem. Is it so hard to admit that they may be compatible without the usual name calling: gold digger, dirty ol' man, cradle snatcher?

Most people believe these relationships are doomed to fail because of the sexual aspect of it; that the young will always run to the young for more vibrant sexual encounters. We forget one thing: Physical attraction has never guaranteed mind blowing sex. Looking at Hugh Jackman and his wife Debora-Lee Furness (13 years his senior), they have managed to stay married for a whole sixteen years. According to an article on Romanceopedia:

"Young men sometimes find older women more interesting than those who are younger. All too often, a young men perceive women their age to be too engrossed in themselves. By contrast, a maturer woman of experience understands this, and knows how to make a man feel satisfied and at home with himself. She mingles the maternal instinct with her knowledge of human nature, and flavors it all with that touch of flattery so agreeable to the masculine taste. The mature woman ... studies his weaknesses and avoids aggravating them. ...the older woman does it in a manner so tactful and natural. He loves it."

The point is: Many such relationships have come to flourish into happy marriages. In an article, Love: What's Age Got to Do with It? on Oprah.com, Dianne, 46, who is married to Mike, 32, admits she worries a lot about her looks now more than ever before and she has had to redefine beauty. She says: "When you're with a younger person, you have to think, 'What's going to happen in five years? Ten? Is he going to leave me?' Your answer could be, 'I'm going to get a facelift.' My answer is, 'I'm going to be such a beautiful person inside that it's going to shine through to the outside." And when Diane asked Mike whether she should get botox, he refused saying: "One thing that makes our relationship strong is the fact that we were friends for so long beforehand. So when it comes to physical beauty, yeah, you get older, you get wrinkles, you get gray hair, but it's not that big a deal."

Yes, there are those relationships that are based on some form of mutual agreement: "Be my hot trophy wife or husband and live lavishly and have financial security." But if it works for both of them, who are we to butt in?

We live in the modern times and its high time we got rid of these misconceptions and prejudices. If you are in a relationship with someone much younger or much older, the more you scrutinize your relationship along the lines of how far off it is from the norm, the more you will see those differences between the two of you. There are challenges and decisions like whether to have kids or not to be made. Some spouses have had to make that sacrifice just to be with the one they love. The balance of personalities which is vital for relationships to prosper has got nothing to do with age. Younger people actually do fall madly in love with those who are considerably older. Judging those who date and marry spouses who are not within the 'usual' 5 year old gap is wrong!

The thing is, we all have pictured our perfect mates. But when it comes to who you fall in love with, finding yourself with a man old enough to be your grandfather isn't that impossible. If it feels right, do it! If you love him, do it! Nothing else really matters. Don’t listen to what people say or take to these misconceptions. So long as both of you are happy and comfortable with one another, nothing else should matter.

I think its high time I picked up my phone and call that woman I refused to date once upon a time... give her a fair chance if she is still single and if she'll forgive me for being such a douchebag!

11 responses to "Can age be just a number in relationships?"

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  1. Posted: 12 Jul 13

    I was married to a man much older than me. I like younger men because they have a lot of dreams and energy. Not saying that men my age and older don't but it all comes down to being compatible with the person. My only concern is when it is a minor let's say 15 and seeing a man old enough to be her father. When you're an adult age shouldn't matter. You just have to be mature and have some shared interests.

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  2. Posted: 27 Aug 12

    well I think yes and no... physically no- age doesn't matter but mentally age does matter...just recalling some people of the past..I can surely laugh at how immature some were...we just were not on the same mental level- not matter what the physical age was.

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  3.   obilo says:
    Posted: 26 Aug 12

    Actually reading through the comments of other authors makes me to differ a bit; imagine a teenager of 25 involved with elder of let's say 50. it's ridiculous i read the bible several times but never come a cross such kind of arrangements basing on the moral and religious pespective. Let's not allow our hearts desire to control us but rather we should control such desires.Honestly speaking i do believe the victims of such suffer alot because their conscience and ability to conceptualize and judge between right and wrong is compromised. I just can't imagine my self in such amix "God forbid" the point is I just don't think age is just a number reality should be observed and embraced

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  4.   beesbum23 says:
    Posted: 24 Aug 12

    age??? it has got no truck to do with love, physical or sexual attraction, maturity or moral behavior. i strongly believe that when one has found that special person, you just want to be with one another, you don't see number written on their forehead. you are what your mind and soul feels, have seen old people feel more alive and vibrant than young ones and vice verca...i prefer my white chocolate older thoug.

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    • Venusphoenix says:
      Posted: 05 Sep 12

      All the old testament guys in the bible married young women. I have spoken to many people from 3rd world Africa and one of the things we disagree on is older women with younger men. I can't say I would do it in the continent of Africa, but I must say that my most successful relationships have been with me 10-15 years my junior. Really...

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  5.   souljah says:
    Posted: 21 Aug 12

    Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. We are always the same age inside. They say that age is all in your mind. The trick is keeping it from creeping down into your body.

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  6.   MsChae916 says:
    Posted: 12 Aug 12

    Sorry for the typos...should have read over more carefully.

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  7.   MsChae916 says:
    Posted: 12 Aug 12

    I had the privilege of being married to a man who was actually 30 years my senior, I married when I was 27 and he was 57, on May 31, memorial day.1982 ..we had 2 beautiful children and were together before the marriage for 3 years than married for 6 I had our first child when I was 30 and the second when I was 33..we have sinced divorced..he found a younger woman than me to cheat with ..I'm not bitter..I am truly thankful for the relationship we shared..I learned a lot, and experienced at the time what I thought was true love...we did everything together even the kids came...I guess I was just so shocked when he was unfaithful...it threw me for a loop. At any rate, we still remained cordial with each other..I quess I got my revenge in a round about way, when the young lady he was seeing, decided to go back to her husband of 10 years leaving my ex a total wreck, after emptying out his entire bank account, savings and all...classic I loved it. He recently passed away this past March, we still were friends to the end..and oddly enough, he will be missed to a certain extent. These relationships do happen more often then you think..my ex and I shared love of jazz, travel, good food and he was one of the most romantic men I knew...and would always be dressed to the nines..that's what's initial attracted me....Once we got together it was wonderful...and trust me the sex was off the chain., there's a lot to be said for maturity.. Will I do it again, who knows..maybe it's time I try someone a little younger..who know what will happen...but I am definitely open to all the possibilities. Age is nothing but a nubmer! I agree that older women can bring it...because of our experiences...there's so much to explore...and I thank God for that!

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  8.   Switiling says:
    Posted: 10 Aug 12

    I think love is what fuels a relationship.All other issues including age are secondary,so long as there is understanding between the two parties.I Wont mind dating a man much older or younger ..

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  9.   DarthZannah says:
    Posted: 09 Aug 12

    It really doesn't matter. I'm currently with a guy 24 years older than I am. We get along great, we have generally the same interests and enough differences that we don't smother each other. Prior to him? 19 years older. We had a great 3 year run but long-distance didn't really work. Age is only an issue if you make it one. :)

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    • RayGer says:
      Posted: 18 Sep 12

      DarthZannah, you give us older guys hope! Thank you baby!

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