Numbers mean different things to different people, and some people consider age to be more than just a number with regards to relationships. Although all people were created equal, not everyone is a right fit for each other. Your equal might be someone who hails from your generation; someone who you won’t need to explain what life was like in the era that you were raised in. On the other hand, the right partner for you could be someone who shares your interests, and the age difference is not an issue.
If you’re having a tough time deciding how to choose a mate, always focus on pursuing someone who shares your interests and goals. You will never regret partnering with someone whose vision matches yours regardless of your age. If you’re feeling uneasy about being in a relationship where the age difference is quite big, here are some important things to keep in mind.
Together but still lonely
Never enter into an age gap relationship just because you’re feeling desperate for companionship. You should only join forces with someone if the match makes sense. It’s easy to feel an instant attraction to someone who is different and intriguing. However, if you aren’t being acknowledged or appreciated by the person who you want to be with, then you shouldn’t be staying in the situation. Some people only appreciate people who are in the same demographics as themselves, and they don’t value the different viewpoints and experiences that their much older or much younger mates have. If you two aren’t communicating well and can’t find common ground, the relationship will feel unfulfilling.
Find things that the two of you can collaborate on. Maybe you have similar tastes in music, and if so, that’s great! Go on dates to see concerts together. Make a point to involve your mate in your life, and request that your mate does the same with you. Loneliness will feel even worse when you are actually in a relationship and you don’t feel any togetherness.
Being disrespected by relatives
I once worked with a woman who was married to a man more than 20 years her senior. This woman was in her 40s when I met her, and her husband had already passed away. Her husband had an adult son from a previous marriage, and my co-worker’s stepson was a holy terror towards her. The stepson was close in age to my former co-worker, and he used to secretly physically and verbally assault her and threatened her not to tell his father what he was doing to her. The stepson’s violence even caused my former co-worker to miscarry pregnancies. The stepson didn’t want to see his father have children with anyone other than his mother, and that’s why he was so aggressive and hateful to my former co-worker. This woman kept the abuse a secret from her husband for a long time and when she finally confessed to her husband about what was happening, it was many years later.
The husband was appalled at his son’s behavior, and he cut his son out of his life. However, the damage was done. My former co-worker wasn’t able to have any children due to the miscarriages that she suffered, and her dreams of becoming a mother were shattered. Her loyalty to her older husband put her in a very vulnerable position because she was afraid to expose her stepson’s terrible deeds. She didn’t want to break her husband’s heart and let him know what a monster his son was.
You need to consider that your age gap match won’t just affect the two of you; it will affect other people in your lives, and those people might not approve of your union. You both should create an action plan on how you’re going to address any opposition to your partnership from loved ones.
Playing within your limits
Love is a gamble. You have no idea exactly how things are going to turn out. I personally have an age gap limit where I won’t get involved with someone who is more than 10 years younger or older than me. I might change my personal age gap policy, but I’m doubtful that I will. I chose my policy based on my personal dating experience. I’ve simply never felt very comfortable dating outside of a 10-year gap. I’m fine with dating someone who is younger than me; that’s never been a problem. And I don’t mind dating older men as long as the age gap isn’t so big that he’s old enough to be my parent. And, since there are people who became parents when they were 15 and 16, I don’t feel comfortable dating someone who could be either my child or my parent, because it feels unnatural to me.
I’m fine with being friends with people of all ages, but dating requires being more selective. A dating relationship is like a friendship, only it’s more intense and life-impacting. Who you date affects who you live with, who you create children with, and who you mingle your finances with. Figure out what kind of life you want to live, and choose a mate with who you feel one hundred percent comfortable. If you’re like me and you prefer dating someone whose age falls within a certain range of yours, then you should focus on finding someone who can help you fulfill your goals.
Relationships should be uplifting and worth the effort that you’re putting in. As long as you and your mate are at least 18 years of age and older, you have full authority over your decision-making. If you don’t feel like your relationship is providing you the return on investment that you’re looking for, then you may need to re-evaluate your reasons for being with the person you are with. If age is nothing more than a number to you, then take a plunge and pursue that individual who caught your eye. There are many successful stories of people who are perfectly happy in their large age gap relationships. But, if you are in an age-gap relationship and you see signs of incompatibility, don’t waste your time. The number of minutes you spend in a relationship that isn’t a good match should be monitored and limited carefully by you.