Conventional wisdom about what is appropriate in a relationship is well on its way out. These days men and women are more open about exploring what suits them and understand that an equation which may have worked for others need not do so for them. However if the age difference between two partners is too great, it leaves the relationship vulnerable to certain complications. So here are a few aspects to consider before you decide to date a much younger person.
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Are you doing it to feel young?
One of the foremost reasons why older partners prefer to date someone much younger is the illusion of youth that the relationship affords to the former. History is replete with instances of famous men, think Aristotle Onassis and Charlie Chaplin, well into their sixties or seventies who embark on a high profile relationship with nubile young things. The same sentiment works in case of an older woman too who imagines basking in the reflected youthful glory of her much younger partner. While such a relationship may infuse a youthful love of life into the older partner, the change may only be a fleeting illusion. This is because if a person does not feel energized and satisfied from within, no arm candy in the world can make him or her feel so.
Does it make you feel in control?
One measure of the rich and powerful male is an ability to attract a woman half his age and whose looks are most likely to give Jessica Simpson a run for her money. Once again this affords the older partner a feeling of being the one in control of the relationship, one whose wishes and whims determine the course of a relationship. Cougar dating brings the same phenomenon in the ambit of older woman-younger man relationships. While it is only natural to yearn for an equation where you are holding the remote control, in the final analysis, it does not augur well for the health of a relationship. Not only is the younger partner going to get tired of playing the passive role sooner or later but if the only things holding the relationship together are your wealth and power, what is to prevent your date from moving onto a larger gold-mine should he/she find one?
What about emotional maturity?
If you are lucky, you may come across a partner who is genuinely interested in you and only happens to be much younger than you are. You may find yourselves enjoying the same things in life and surprise, surprise - even the sex is great! But the very fact that your partner is far younger implies that you both cannot be on the same level of emotional maturity. Years of experience at home, work and in previous relationships are bound to leave their footprints on your present emotional make-up and expecting someone with only half as many years as you to match up to your level is fair neither on your partner nor on your own emotional requirements.
How important is intellectual compatibility?
Possessing differing intellectual wavelengths might not seem such a big deal in a budding relationship. However there is only so much partying, vacationing and sex that a relationship can enjoy. There comes a time when partners like to explore each other’s inner life as well and discover all that he or she considers worthwhile in the world. You would like to know what your loved one’s thoughts, opinions and priorities in life are. And if you find a huge chasm between your intellectual make-up and that of your partner, it can be a challenge to find enough meaningful things to hold your relationship together.
Is it about insecurity?
Very often insecurity over advancing years and waning looks may lead a person to date someone several years younger. You may feel that you possibly cannot look your years if you can attract and even hold the attentions of such an attractive under-25 lover. But no matter how young and inexperienced a person might be, he or she will invariably pick up any hint of neediness on your part and that can prove disastrous for a relationship. Your neediness may scare him or her away or worse, tempt your partner to misuse your insecurity for material advantage.
Don’t ignore health issues
Younger partners are bound to be more energetic, whimsical and passionate than someone several years older. While it would be natural for them to enjoy the sea on an early spring day or go camping for several miles just to take in the view, you may find it difficult to keep up with your loved one. Moreover sexual dysfunction becomes a part of life once the years catch on and this may in turn lead to angry words and hasty actions in a relationship. Here more than ever, emotional maturity of both partners becomes crucial so that they are able to negotiate such problems together.
Stick to your stand
Once you have decided that your partner is the one for you, don’t let the age difference weigh down your relationship. You don’t have to explain your decision to anyone else since all that it matters is that you two are compatible and happy with each other. While men with far younger partners have been lavished social acceptance since ages, it is still difficult for a woman to date a younger man without having to defend her choice to the rest of the world. Even though high profile couples such as Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore or Madonna and her model boyfriend Jesus have garnered some much-needed positive publicity for older women-younger men pairings, it is crucial to let go of the mind block if one is serious about making such a relationship successful.
Any sort of distance, whether in personalities, sexual preferences or ages, can pose a challenge to a successful relationship. However with a healthy lifestyle and effective communication, partners can negotiate age-related issues and enjoy a mutually satisfying love life.