One kind of sexual relationship which is not so common but also not rare is relationship with age difference. All of us we have met or we have in our close social environment two people that despite the age difference between them, they remain together and seem really happy. On the other hand we certainly know couples that couldn’t manage differences that come up from age difference and finally they decided to break-up. Before we discuss some possible reasons why a couple with an age difference could remain together or break-up, let’s try to define what exactly could be considered as “an age difference”. When two people have a significant age difference between them?
Obviously, we are not talking about almost same-aged people (with one or two years age difference) but about people with some years between them. Yes, but how many years? How many years can be considered as a significant age difference? The truth is that there is not a specific answer regarding this question. Of course we can always say that an age difference of 20 or 25 years between a couple is enough, but an age difference of 5, 7 or even 10 years for some people seems big and for some others not really. So, age difference is firstly a subjective subject, as it is also anything that has to do with love and personal relationships.
But even if we cannot exactly identify which age difference is more or less big in order to check compatibility of two partners, nevertheless we can enumerate positive and negative elements of this kind relationships. In this way a relationship could be judged based on specific factors that lead to safe conclusions. How many little candles are in someone’s cake is not at all enough cue for his/her behavior in a whole relationship.
Positive elements of a relationship with age difference
- Sharing different experiences: The first and the basic element of a relationship with age difference is that partners have different type of experiences to share and provide to each other. Age difference means different interests, experiences and even opinions with regard different subjects. These differences could lead to an interesting relationship and to intense and meaningful discussions between partners.
- Older partner usually has more patience: Or at least this is the conclusion in the majority of relationships with age difference. An older partner usually has further and more complicated experiences which “help” him/her having more patience and understanding regarding a possible immature behavior of a younger partner. In addition, an older partner could give some useful advice to someone younger or he/she could understand better difficulties and concerns from a past age. A phrase like: “I have been there before exactly in the way you are here now” could be proven really useful and relieving for a young partner who thinks that his/her problems are unique or unsolvable.
- Younger partner would bring vividness and energy inside the relationship: And of course this argument does not require really deep thinking. A young human being wants to live, to learn and to explore like a new car which hasn’t gone for many kilometers wants to go for more. A young partner considers his/her older partner as a way and a guide to “see” and experience new things. From his/her side, a younger partner would offer liveliness, energy, craziness, spontaneity and impulsivity in his/her relationship and he/she would remind to the older how wonderful could be sometimes lack of thinking and knowing almost nothing.
- Older partner would give safety and guidance to his/her younger partner: This positive characteristic is related with all the above points. If maturity is something that is gradually acquired through life experiences then probably older partners have already realized some basic things regarding life in order to feel more confident and sure about their choices and decisions. In this way they can provide to their younger partners the safety they need.
- Older partner could provide financial security to younger partner: In a relationship financial security is equally important with emotional security. Romance is wonderful but love should be expressed in practical terms too. And the most practical way is by offering material goods to another person. As I always say: “If a couple after 5-6 years of being together keep using terms like “my money” and “your money” they clearly have not understand the term “relationship”. Things do not look good either if one partner always takes care of the bills and the other one usually thinks how he/she will spend money with friends. So in a relationship with age difference if an older partner can afford to offer financial security a younger partner should appreciate goods that have been given to him/her.
- Sexual life is being experienced in a different way but with equal interest from both partners: An older mate usually has sexual experience. That means that probably he/she can have an interesting and qualitative sexual life. In addition, frequent repetition of sexual act is possibly more difficult for a mature partner but duration is usually longer. On the other hand, a younger partner brings vitality, energy and durability in sexual act but his/her lack of sexual experience usually does not help him/her – at least at the beginning – to experience quality and fulfillment regarding sexual pleasure and this is the point where older partner could offer “help”.
Negative elements of a relationship with age difference
- Absence of common interests: This is the basic element in the phenomenon called “generational gap”. It is really logical the fact that two people with age difference between them will get excited by different situations and things (so sometimes they cannot get excited with the same things). Different ways to have fun, different hobbies, different spiritual development and some many other “unequal situations” could normally come up between them.
- Different priorities in life: Equally normal and expected with the above element. Usually people in different ages want different things and especially in their personal lives. Ordinarily an older partner desires a stable relationship in order to create a family in the future, while a younger partner probably has not at all thoughts about it or maybe he/she thinks that is too early for these kind of thoughts and conversations.
- Different opinions: Simply because in your early twenties life seems in some way and when you become older seems completely different. Important experiences that we live day by day change a lot the way we see things. So, they also change our minds about things.
- Lack of communication: which is connected with all the above elements. Two people with different experiences, different priorities, different interests, different emotional and mental development would often disagree or have a lack of understanding.
- Different friend groups and different environment of two partners cannot keep up with: If it is too difficult to combine two different same-aged friend groups, then let’s imagine how difficult can be to keep up with two friend groups of a couple with age difference. It is only possible only if friends of a couple really want to try to find a common place between them and at the same time they should not feel that they have been pushed to do it. Partners should accept that it is very difficult and rare for people with big differences and especially with a big age difference to feel good with each other. Moreover, sometimes it can be only a matter of luck so there are not many things that they can do.
- Non-acceptance from social environment: Here we have the exact opposite scenario from the above. We should not forget that relationships with age difference are still a taboo for some people. That is why people with quite older or younger partners compared to themselves should expect that some of their friends will not accept, understand or help them in any way. Moreover, they may withdraw away from them.
- Older partner may have sooner health or sexual problems: Unfortunately, this fact has only to do with biology rules so sometimes there are not many things that someone can really do for this. The only thing that can play an important role here is love and understanding from younger partners in order to find a solution for each problem that will arise.
Instead of an epilogue
Relationship with age difference is not an “alien” kind of relationship. It exists. It is frequent. It can be really easily found in our lives. Like every other kind of relationship it has beautiful and hard elements, different from other type of relationships and some other similar. We should not forget that when we discuss about relationships, we cannot have in mind formulas, recipes or a specific phenomenon. There are always some rules and tendencies regarding relationships but these always coexist with uniqueness of every relationship and peculiarity of two partners. That is why no one cannot guarantee if a relationship would last or not. And also that is why no one should start a relationship by calculating positive and negative data in his/her head. Of course, love, contact, companionship and joy are really important factors for a good and lasting relationship. Unique characteristics of the personal relationship of a couple and of partners separately would also play an important role. However, we should always remember that in many situations of life some rare or unexpected and uncontrollable factors could come up. And if I should give somewhat of advice to many couples in this world that would be: Forget about what people call “specifications” or “standards”. I can assure you that most of the times they do not exist (or if they exist, they do not last). One day ideal will disappear and problematic will finally work because everything is meant to change in our lives. Fight without many guarantees but with faith in what you believe and live. Then you will see how unexpectedly good things will go.