“I know that is thick! She is of age of my daughter! But I cannot stop thinking about her, and I’ll do everything for her love!”
(From Personal Communication)
“I was only 24 when I found my husband. He was 47 then. For 2 years, we dated and then we appeared like a bizarre partners together. Some claim I was being stupid and that the guy was just stringing me along right up until he found somebody he could be truly serious with. My personal recommendation to those who may have issues around dating older guys: the sex may be irregular yet incredibly great! He could be really romantic from time to time however you must make do without those all-nighters that other women speak of. My family members don’t invite us to functions any longer but I really don't mind. I’m in love. “
(From Message Board)
Does Age Matter in a Relationship?
The truth is there is probably no right or wrong answer. It really is a personal thing, and each and every case is unique. Definitely if we assume that both parties are over the age of consent.
In some parts of the world it is not uncommon for young women to marry older men. Everyone has their own opinions as to why a young girl would marry an older man, especially one that is much older than she is. You know the sort of thing, ‘the girls are gold diggers, trophy brides or mail order brides, etc. If you were to ask these young women why they would rather be in a relationship with an older man, they are likely to tell you that they are looking for someone who is serious about their relationship. They think that young men don’t want to settle down and really don’t know what they want. Younger men may also not be thinking about a relationship leading to marriage, whereas an older man has sown his wild oats already and will more probably be looking for a serious relationship. Most women also think that an older man will more likely have a better job than a younger man; therefore the older man will be the better catch. Some women believe that older men won’t break their hearts the way younger men have done. They believe that an older man will have the staying power for a long term relationship.
We all have different ideas as to what is acceptable to us. We don’t choose who we fall in love with, it just happens. So how can we choose what age the person we fall in love with should be?
Challenges in Relationships
Yes, every person is unique, and there are no general rules to apply and proclaim this is right or that is wrong, however, there are common biological and psychological patterns associated with human aging, so thinking about and foreseeing the possible consequences is a must for a grown-up mid-life or andropausal person.
There are several age cycles to adult life, each with different maturational milestones to achieve. Couples who are in different phases of their lives may find that they are in opposition to their partners' phase of growth. A woman just beginning her career cycle and whose partner is reaching the age of retirement may find him less than enthusiastic about her achievements. His "been-there-done-that" attitude and discouraging remarks in response to her personal strides in carving her place in the world can create considerable tension. He may be looking forward to relaxing rather than relating and may feel uncomfortable socializing with her colleagues and friends who are of a different generation. A woman's individuation process may be thwarted if her older man behaves like a father. Early in the relationship she perhaps thought his generosity, stability and other paternal qualities were desirable traits, but now they are interfering with her newly found freedom and sense of self. She will either continue to submit to his authority and lose her identity or rebel if he tries to dominate too often. Psychologically, she no longer wants a king to rule her. Instead, she wants a lover to match her. She will be at her sexual peak when he may have to take a little blue pill to feel as sexually alive.
A man who chooses a "pretty young thing" to call his own, may have second thoughts when he snaps out of his midlife crisis. He will yearn for an equal complement rather than an object of affection and sexual pleasure. He may become intellectually bored with his "too young" romantic partner and may tire of waiting for her to catch up to his intellectual level. Wisdom is what he will desire as he steps onto the path of midlife spiritual emergence, someone insightful who can shine the light one the deeper aspects of his soul and fill the hours of his life with true companionship.
When a couple is a generation apart they may not think the same way or even speak the same language. As a result communication and relating can be awkward. The couple may not share the same values or have the same attitudes and opinions about a gamut of subjects. Each generation has its own evolutionary track and when there is a generation gap in a relationship it may prove difficult for both members to understand each other's perspectives. The lists of differences (likes and dislikes) may be too long, making it hard for them to find a common ground of mutual interests.
Those who insist age doesn't matter usually bring up a number of arguments in support of their claim. They will say things like: "She's mature for her age"; "We have so much in common"; "Age is just a number"; or "We are so much in love." All may be true and good enough reasons in one's own mind to pursue the relationship in the moment. But what is also true is that huge age gaps can create huge problems in the long run.
Therefore, in many cases, the relationship between older man and much younger woman are pretty much fragile and don’t last long in many cases. Here are the common reasons:
1. Fantasy love fades, and pretty fast (Usually within a year). At first, you are in love with her looks and youthful spirit. Eventually, you realize that you have not much in common, like interests, friends, activities, and you may start looking for a relationship with deeper substance.
2. You may feel younger, but dating younger women won't make you younger. No matter how hard you try to make the wrinkles disappear, the darn things keep showing up in the mirror. No matter how much you force yourself to dance on the youngsters’ party, you cannot compete with the guys roughly of her age.
3. Older men and younger women frequently use each other, similar to a business arrangement. You’ve got money, assets, power, and security; she's got youth and beauty. If the money runs out, or someone richer comes along, she'll break the lease, leaving you with an empty wallet and your arms around a tree.
4. OK, maybe she's not using you. Perhaps she loves you because you’re more patient, laid back, mature, gentle, and understanding than men her age. Still, she's likely considered your bucks at some point. I mean, you don't see many younger women with penniless older men, do you?
5. Different energy levels. At 10 p.m., you’re wearing pajamas and falling asleep with a book in your hands and glasses on your nose. She's got on her dancing duds and is heading for the clubs. If you are failing to keep up, she might seek someone younger who's able to meet her needs.
6. Different aging patterns. As you age, naturally you will start to look older than her - i.e. the age difference will become even more abrupt, and she may resent you for this , especially if you become less mobile.
7. Different maturity levels. You’ve got maturity and knowledge that come only from living through years and experience. Bob Russell, a retiree in Phoenix said, "I took a younger woman to a movie. When I mentioned that the actor looked like Humphrey Bogart, she looked at me sweetly and said, 'Who is Humphrey Bogart?' After that, I dated women my own age."
8. Common goals and interests. You want a golf cart to drive around the retirement community. She wants a Corvette with chrome wheels, and she's opening a flower shop with her girlfriend that requires working 60 hours a week.
9. Lifestyles differ. Take children, for example. "I have two men friends in their late 50s who not only married younger women, but have conceived new babies. Imagine her, years from now, buying 'Depends' for him, and 'Pampers' for the babies. Not to mention the antidepressants for herself attempting to manage the two," said Ivory Dorsey, 54, of Mableton, Georgia.
10. Stand by your man? Younger women may not stand by their older guys through the inevitable hard times that accompany growing old. And while pursuing younger women, guys miss out on meeting someone older who would have been there for them.
11. Sex, sex, and sex again. Just as with women closer to your age, when dating younger women, the chance for intimacy (unless one or both of you are practicing abstinence) will most likely arise if the relationship progresses. And, guys, whether or not you want to admit it, a younger woman definitely has more staying power than an older man. Will it work for you? Will it work for her?
Handling Age Differences
Yes, you probably already got the idea. Dating with much younger woman is not out of question, but might be quite challenging. And I am not referring to winning the young lady, but mostly to keeping the relationship alive and healthy. But, being honest, age difference is not the only obstacle for finding right match. The same can be applied to the multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-language, or multi-religious relationships.
Here are some tips for handling a significant age gap while dating:
- Remember that age is truly just a number. Keep in mind that you'll be dating a person, not a birth date. The sooner you get that number out of your mind, the easier it should be to concentrate on the things that truly attracted you to this woman. As long as you see yourself as dating a "19-year-old filmmaker" or a "45-year-old businesswoman", the age gap will continue to be a problem for the relationship. While it might be satisfying to brag to your male friends about dating a 20-year-old college student, you certainly wouldn't want her to refer to you as the 50-year-old man she's dating. When dating women significantly younger than you, it pays to get out of the numbers game as quickly as possible. If neither one of you looks your age, at least you won't be confirming other people's suspicions about an inappropriate age gap.
- Keep the age difference at least halfway believable. Fifteen years is usually the maximum age difference that there should be when dating younger women. It is true that relationships have worked out where the men were twenty, twenty five, or even thirty years older than the women, but these are rare and carry their own set of problems with them. But… there are exceptions! May be, your case is one of them?
- Be aware of your partner's concerns about an age gap. Dating someone much younger is rarely without a few bumps. If you think you're feeling self-conscious about the relationship, consider how it must be from your partner's perspective. A number of women have self-esteem issues which may be intensified during an uncommon dating relationship. A younger woman may feel intimidated when surrounded by your older female friends. She may think you'd be happier with someone with more maturity or life experience than she has. If you are pursuing a serious relationship with someone much younger, you must remain sensitive to her concerns and address them head-on.
- Limit yourself to mature young women. Being seen with a giggly, silly, immature young woman who does not know how to act in public will only make you look foolish. No one will expect her to act any differently because her immaturity will be so evident, but you will not be afforded that same courtesy, because everyone will know that you should have known better. But there is more… Lynn Phillips, a psychology professor at New York University, did a famous study of young women who were in relationships with significantly older men. Most of the girls she interviewed described these affairs as mutual, exciting, and fulfilling. They pushed back against the suggestion that they were being exploited, claiming in many cases to have initiated or at least welcomed the sex with older men. Phillips then interviewed a similar number of older women. Each of these was over 30, and each had been in a relationship with a much older man while still in her teens. With the benefit of hindsight and experience, these older women acknowledged that they’d been used and hurt and exploited. They admitted that their claims of maturity and sexual adventurousness were all a pretense. In other words, what Phillips found is that while there are some teen girls who are “asking for it,” it’s not what they really want. Teen girls feign sexual sophistication; men need to be able to see through that.
- Concentrate on similar interests not affected by a generational gap. Some couples find these generational gap situations to be enlightening, not divisive. Each can contribute his or her knowledge and experiences towards a common goal. Participating in mutually satisfying activities on a level playing field can often take away some of the anxiety and awkwardness of a generational gap. A younger partner shouldn't have to feel inadequate for not remembering the Beatles, and an older partner shouldn't have to feel out-of-touch by preferring Frank Sinatra to the Rolling Stones. When it comes to a relationship with a significant age gap, there are inevitably going to be some differences in taste when it comes to movies, music or television. It is important not to let these generational differences overrule the common ground of your relationship.
- By all means, be romantic, but don’t overdo it. Flowers and small gifts are an occasional nice touch, but you never want her to think you are buying her affections, or worse, that you think you own her. Pay close attention to her reactions; you will be able to tell if she feels that you are overdoing it a bit.
- Make sure your motivations are healthy. When entering into a relationship with a significant age gap, make sure you are pursuing it for the right reasons. It's not unusual for an older divorced or widowed man to seek out a much younger woman to date, looking for assurance that he has not lost his sexual appeal. This approach is especially healthy, especially for potential romantic partners. Remember that you are dating real people with real emotions, not just an idea in your mind. If you find yourself attracted to someone who is significantly younger, it's best to move very slowly. A younger woman may appear to be mature for her age, but she is still her age. It may be the best to pursue a relationship of this nature when both partners are emotionally ready for dating and the interest is clearly mutual.
- Work with your family and friends on proper acceptance of your younger mate. Some friends and family members may openly object to the relationship, while others may question why you haven't pursued a more age-appropriate relationship. These are the people, which are important to you, so work with them carefully and slowly, showing them that your intent is serious, and your feelings are deep. If you have children of your own, especially if they are close in age to the younger women you date, by all means consider their reactions and feelings, but remember that it is still your life. Do not, however, try to force a relationship between your children and your new partner.
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