Age Gap in Relationships

For some, dating someone much younger or older isn’t a deal breaker because age only tells of a number & to others it means more than just a number — it represents what stage in their life this person is on (and possibly their maturity level as well). I can definitely see both sides equally as good because both sides hold good arguments BUT.. If it were up to me to make a decision as to how to go about this; I’d say it would depend on compatibility. 

I am at the middle stage of my life, where I am not fully where I would like to be but I am not so far behind where I can’t see any progress towards success. Based on this information alone and my age, one might assume that I am either slowly working towards goals and embarking on new chapters of her life OR that I am scraping the surface of “adulthood” & not yet ready to settle down. I would agree with both of those sentences because while I am working towards success in all aspects in my life, I have yet to reach a point in my life where I am ready to build a family, buy a house, and live comfortably. These are things that I might be working towards but not things I have obtained & for some, this would be on the opposite spectrum as themselves & others might see this as way to embark on a new journey with me. Either way, I can understand both points of views, but what people tend to ignore is the more important aspect; which is: is this person compatible with me? 

I have dated someone who was 12 years older than me (I was 21-22 and she was 37) and I have also dated someone who was only 2-3 years older than me (I was 23-24 and she was 26-28) but never anyone younger than me until I started speaking to someone who is younger than me by 3 years ( i am now 26 years old). I can tell you that all them differed in their own way, because dating the older woman made me feel confident but at times it hindered me from wanting to be myself fully (silly, fun, etc) because she was more serious & our careers were on a different paths as well (she was settled in and I wasn’t working in my profession) she had little to no debt & I was paying on debts from college & credit cards, the bulk of our relationship was based on having me meet her expectations; when it really came down to we weren’t compatible due to personalities and differing lifestyle choices. My ex was closer to my age & we managed to click very well minus a few personality differences that in the long run played a part in my failed relationship. She was trying to be this “mature” adult but made very childish choices & I was trying to be a mature adult but couldn’t manage my emotions very well. The younger person I am speaking to, it started off on different wavelengths until she recently decided what was important to her and her future & then we became more interested in building each other in ways that my other relationships did not. I didn’t want to put the pressure of me going towards goals, improving my education and working multiple jobs,etc on her because I wanted her to live life the way she wanted while she was young but I wanted to challenge her by asking her questions to make her think about her future so I could determine if maybe we would be compatible. Sometimes it takes asking the person questions and gaining knowledge about their goals/aspirations and how they plan on achieving them in order to know how the person may add value to your life (if any). It takes researching the person’s agenda but not pressuring them to change their course of action to meet your expectations. 

The reason I find this question more important when determining if age is a factor within a relationship is because if two people are on different wavelengths; the relationship will fail no matter the age gap — but if two people can somehow add value to each others lives, click on a deeper level & challenge each other in a positive way then I don’t see age as an issue. Now with this being said, I do believe there are exceptions to the rule such as dating a minor — because I feel as though at their age they still have so much life to live before being tied down in a relationship with all the bells and whistles; at that age they still have self exploring to do and making plans for their futures & of course their maturity level may differ compared to adults. I also believe dating someone much older for money and lavishes, doesn’t mean you are compatible because there is a bargain in which you are giving your companionship in order to have a high profile lifestyle (and while it may seem as though you have to be compatible to do this, you don’t because you can pretend in order gain something from someone). Problem with dating with an age gap is putting aside their age and really looking at the bigger picture which is does this person add value to my life & if so, how? 

I think everyone can benefit from dating someone who differs in age by 5-10 years  (assuming it is an appropriate age) and not one where a party is taking advanateg of another person because it may be a learning experience and maybe humbling experience as well due to the fact it may bring on challenges — but not all challenges are meant to be bad ones, sometimes challenges are the kind that help us to grow.

 Thanks for reading, hopefully everyone has enjoyed this post, if you wish, leave comments & share! 

Shay-lon 

2 thoughts on “Age Gap in Relationships

  1. I have dated/married younger and older. Never connected with anyone my age. At 20 I was engaged to a guy 2 years younger. I feel like he felt the need to impress me. My ex husband was 21 years older no joke. That didn’t go well and he had a jealous streak that I ended it and kicked him out due to 1)him not acting more his age but some young 20 year old which is why he was attracted to me in the first place. I was 25. And he ended up abusive physically. I won’t go into details on that. The man I am married to and very happy with (we have been together 8 years approaching 8 years of marriage is not quite 10 years older. I’m 34 he’s 43. He turns 44 in October. It’s been the best for me in terms that he challenges me but I challenge him. We realize that yes apart we are strong but together we are unstoppable in anything we put our minds to. You have to realize that you not only do they need to challenge you but you need to challenge them.

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