Age is just a number. When it comes to relationships, does that really hold true? Not sure, the question of relationships with age gaps invoke such strong feelings in people that it can make life for the persons in the relationship very uncomfortable. It can work, but the couple must be prepared to deal with the impact of potential problems that come along with relationships with age differences.
The first of the potential relationship problems the couple must consider is maturity. The age disparity between the two means that they are at different stages of their lives as, of course over time, we learn more and begin to want different things out of life. So they will be prone to clashing when it comes to handling certain matters. For example, how they manage finances or their lifestyle. The younger of the two would probably be more frivolous with spending and may want to paint the town red every night. Whilst the older might be a little bit more cautious with money as, having gone further in life, he/she has learnt the benefits of proper budgeting. The older companion may not want to party every night either.
Secondly, the couple in the age difference relationship should consider each other’s goals. Again, because of the fact that they are at different stages of their lives, their goals might not coincide. Matters of children, marriage and retirement can present much disagreement. For instance a woman in her 30s might want to get married and have children right away. Her maternity clock is ticking, she may feel like she is out of time. On the other hand, her younger partner might not be so keen on starting a family: he feels like he has a lot of time before that and now is the time to explore and have fun.
The perceptions of others
Thirdly, the perceptions of others. When you might be able to manage the disparaging comments of strangers, you might not be as prepared for the impact of scathing stares and remarks of family and friends. If the older partner has made a good life for himself/herself, the younger might be viewed as a gold digger in the sight of family and friends. If children are involved, they might not be very warm to the idea at first either: if you think about it really, it is hard to see someone almost the same age as you try to be a mother or father figure to you. They will put up resistance. The impact of others’ perceptions on relationships with age gaps can be stressful. It puts a lot of strain on the relationship. The couple may begin to blame each other and doubt what they have. Thus, adding to the relationship problems.
This is a couple with a 32-years age gap. Listen to how they make it work.
Types of friends
Lastly, the other thing that may be a problem is the fact that the couple may not have friends that they can both hang out with. This goes back to maturity levels. If there is a major difference in age and maturity between the two groups then there could be a problem. One set may like jazz while the other group would want to visit the club and enjoy themselves with pop music.
All these factors can cause significant strain on the relationship. So, if two persons with major age differences decide to enter into a committed and loving relationship, they must look at these relationship issues squarely and decide how best to deal with them. In an attempt to solve them there is one thing that is very important right across the board, conversation. They must come together and discuss things that they can control; example, what is the timetable for children and marriage and how to deal with retirement and finances. Compromise is the order the day.
As for the things that they cannot necessarily control, they have to make a concerted effort to deal with it as the perceptions of others will never go away. They can try talking to family and friends about their reasons for entering a relationship with age difference, but ultimately no one can control what others think. They just have to be strong and try to surround themselves with those who do support them. It is a difficult road to start travelling but, if you are in it for the long haul, it can be done.