While age differences in Hollywood relationships are certainly the norm and almost celebrated as a rite of passage for the rich and famous, they are perceived much differently in everyday life. Many assume foul play. To be clear, some individuals do look at youth and beauty as some magic elixir and engage in predatory behavior.
Not All Age-Gap Relationships Are Predatory
This article is not attempting to excuse or pretend those situations don’t exist; they do. My goal with this discussion is to help people understand that age differences are not all bad and, in many cases, succeed in ways you could never imagine.
Both Partners Face Ridicule
As someone who has been in a long-term relationship with a woman 20 years my junior, I can personally attest to some of the scorn, and ridicule hurled my way from people who just don’t understand the dynamics of a relationship separated by age. The worst of which always includes the reference to a man who has stolen the youth of a young lady in a selfish attempt to validate himself.
Of course, my partner isn’t immune to the insults. She has been on the receiving end of all kinds of “Well-Meaning” interrogations designed to open her eyes to the dangers of engaging in a relationship with an old man.
How Can People Decades Apart Have Anything in Common?
Over the years, most of the shock and awe at our relationship has disappeared as we have blended quite well with our friends and family, who now see our relationship as a wonderful union. However, the concern they once feared was real to them and a genuine concern because they couldn’t understand how two people decades apart could have anything in common. So, if you happen to be in a May/December relationship and are getting hammered by well-meaning people concerned for your well-being, let me help you put them at ease.
Here are 12 reasons age gaps work in relationships
It’s Not About Looks
The biggest misunderstanding from people jumping to conclusions about why a young girl or guy would want to be with an older man or woman or visa-versa is because of looks.
The prevailing thought is that the older person is validating themselves by the youth and shine of the younger person in the relationship. While physical attraction is understandably the catalyst in most relationships, it is rarely the motivation in age-gap unions.
It’s not something we look for!
They Meet Organically
Most age-difference relationships begin as something I like to call “circumstance of acquaintanceship,” The idea is that two people find themselves interacting with each other for no other reason than being in the same place at the same time. They immediately recognize the enormity of their age difference and categorize each other appropriately with absolutely no intention of pursuing a romantic relationship.
They’re Comfortable With One Another
A common denominator in age-difference relationships is the comfort level each person finds with the other. In my case, I found someone who loved to laugh at ridiculous scenarios as much as I did and wasn’t afraid to laugh at themselves. I didn’t think of her as a girlfriend but more as a young person who needed some guidance, and she looked at me as a thoughtful friend she could turn to for advice if needed.
More To Talk About Than You Think
What do you talk about? “Well, once we get past Barbies and Justin Bieber,” I like to tease, “you’d be surprised!”
I think this is the biggest misconception people have regarding age gaps in relationships. What don’t we talk about? The greatest part about being with someone from a different generation is that we constantly teach each other things we would have never known existed.
We Teach Each Other
She is a young computer wizard who has guided me into a world that frightened me to death. She calls me MacGyver when something breaks because I’ve literally fixed things with a paper clip and hair tie in emergencies. Not only do we love each other, but we have grown to admire each other.
We’re Both Choosing the Relationship
Of all the ridicule hurled at age-gap couples, this one hurts the most because it forces you to search your soul and ask if you genuinely love this person, shouldn’t you let her go for her own good?
The answer is absolutely not for two reasons. First, she’s not my slave. She can leave anytime she wants. It’s as much her choice to stay as it is to leave. Secondly, she is the love of my life and has said the same about me.
Breaking Up Would Be No Different than Any Other Relationship
I’m not sure anything is guaranteed with a divorce rate well over fifty percent. We don’t play the marriage game where we live single lives during the day and come home to married life at night. We work together, play together, drink, sleep, socialize, and genuinely love each other’s company, and we have made arrangements to split up everything we ever earned together.
Making Joint Decisions About Parenthood
In today’s world, you must have the utmost respect and admiration for couples who decide to start a family, as the challenges are formidable. Our first conversation revolved around kids and ended immediately. Both of us are career-oriented people, and neither was excited about the prospects of raising children. However, we could if we wanted to, and that’s the answer.
A Better Understanding of Intimacy
The wham bam, thank you ma’am days are over, and the long, loving, nurturing nights have begun. Younger people rarely understand the nuisances of intimacy that lasts longer than five minutes, leaving one party (usually the woman) unsatisfied.
Candlelight and soft music set the mood as you prepare for a long, intimate encounter that includes cuddling, foot massages, back rubs, and deep communication about anything you desire. Eventually, you get the act, savored like a fine wine instead of gorged upon like a cheap hamburger.
When It’s Your Time, It’s Your Time
Years ago, Clint Eastwood had the best answer for this question when asked by Oprah Winfrey about the age difference with his young new wife at the time. Oprah asked succinctly, “You are much older, Clint. Does the age gap worry you?” Eastwood replied, “Hell, if she dies, she dies!” The audience erupted, and truth be told, everyone dies.
A Diverse Group of Friends
Obviously, people of different ages tend to hang out with friends their age, and the same is true with me and my partner. The amazing thing is that our friends are incredibly supportive of our choices and don’t treat us any differently than they do anyone else. We went to a party at one of her friend’s houses where volleyball and beer pong rued the day, followed by copious amounts of drinking and storytelling finished the night. The following week, we went out with my friends, where Pickleball was played all day while the same copious amounts of drinking and storytelling finished the night. The difference with age gap relationships is that you have more friends.
Age is Really Just a Number
Age-gap relationships have problems like any other, but truthfully, they also have advantages. In any case, don’t think too harshly about couples in age-gap relationships. They are there because they want to be and, more than likely, very happy.
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