Age might be “just a number,” but our relationships affect more than the present moment and the two lovers. There are practical aspects to sharing our lives that are impacted by age differences in the partners, but are those challenges more important than love?
Interracial taboos have all but vanished in most of “polite society,” but there is still a stigma attached to some relationships between the older and younger.
When it doesn’t matter.
A 50-year-old man with a 30-something woman doesn’t attract much attention these days. They’ve both been around the block and can enjoy a couple of great decades or so before the reality of age becomes a factor.
When a woman in her mid-20s teams up with a man in his mid-30s, she is able to skip some of the more difficult “building periods” most of us go through when we’re just starting out.
She is likely to experience a somewhat elevated lifestyle, a better income, a more settled and stable partnership and better sex than her counterpart who marries a college sweetheart.
The same would be true of a younger man with a middle-aged woman. Of course, some would argue that triumphing over the bumpy ride shared by young lovers can create a stronger and more meaningful bond.
A younger woman who has never felt appreciated by her young boyfriend may also discover that an older man has a whole different sense of real beauty and a much deeper appreciation for the wonderful woman she is.
“If it’s all for fun, the difference in
age may not make any difference.”
When it matters.
A decade or so between fully mature adults (let’s say, 25 to 80) doesn’t really have much of an impact on a relationship.
But, what if she’s raised her kids and he still wants to start a family? What if he’s 45 and she’s 19? What if she’s a teacher and he’s a student? What if he’s very old and she’s very young?
These are the kinds of hurdles that can sabotage a relationship. When one partner’s future goals are impacted by age, the couple can end up with irreconcilable problems. Being on the same page in life is important if you want to take a relationship to the final level of long-term commitment.
It’s really a matter of choice. If it’s all for fun with no long-term relationship or family in the offing, the difference in age may not make any difference.
But when young men and women who were children only a few years ago are involved, when making babies becomes part of the mix or when one has a position of power or trust over the other, special care must be taken to put good judgment above the affairs of the heart.