Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Age Gaps In Relationships...

Such a touchy subject, can a relationship work when the people are of different ages. Unlike the days gone by where a young lady would usually marry a man old enough to be her father (who probably was one of her fathers best friends in fact) we have become more and more image-conscious. 'How ridiculous would I look with a toy-boy?' or 'Am I a cradle-snatcher if I get with her?' are likely to be thoughts we experience regularly if we're single, as we are often looking for somebody to fit with us like a puzzle piece, into society's mold of what is socially acceptable.

Imagine for example, the sneaking around that Monica and Richard did on Friends... And the bitchy comments that middle-aged women were making towards them, almost as if they were doing something terribly wrong by falling in love with one another.

But why? It's been said, time and time again, that we can't help who we love. Who is to say that when I'm fifty I won't meet a thirty-year-old and find them as attractive as I would have done when I too was thirty? And if that is the case and I did like him, then what would be so wrong with me pursuing it? We are both consenting adults and might fall in love, and yet, society would call me a sad old lady, dipping into the younger pool out of desperation. Having said that most of us don't have to look far to find example relationships with age gaps as most parents, grandparents, uncles and aunties aren't the same ages.

It's not the actual gap that I find problematic in Age-Gap Relationships, but rather the time in life when the gap occurs. For example, it's not outrageous for a 23-year-old to date a 20-year-old, and yet if they were dating when he was 16 and she was 13 it would be a big deal.

A twenty-year-old friend of mine recently met a guy who is perfect for her in every way. Apart from of course the fact that he's only just turned seventeen. So what is she supposed to do? Is it really the end of the world that there is a three-and-a-half year age difference between them? I don't think so, but what I do think is that the age gap needs to be forgotten whilst the maturity levels are considered more. Everyone is different, right? He could be more mature and ready to settle down than she is for all she knows!

The fact of that matter is that - for the most part - men mature slower than women. That is to say that a twenty-five year-old man is more likely to be prepared for the same level of commitment wanted by a twenty year-old lady, in comparison to her equal age counter-parts, so what concerned my friend initially was that she is looking for someone to be her Forever. In the meantime, she can't help but think that a seventeen-year-old should be running around having sex with loose women, going on 'Lad's Weekends' and breaking hearts, and she doesn't have time to let her's be one of them. But isn't that just a stereotype for his age group? And if so, is he really worth losing over a silly stereotype which may not even apply to him? So then what is her other option? Well, I've told her to give him a chance, get to know him, forget about his age. If it doesn't work out, then it doesn't work out and she can put it all down to experience. What's the worst that can happen?

Plus, just because a guy is older it doesn't make him any more mature... I know many a twenty-five-year-old 'man' who loves nothing more than to while away his time on a X-Box 360, or some other, equally unfathomable-to-most-women games console.

Don't get me wrong, my girlish tendencies towards romance are not clouding my judgement enough for me to blindly assume that love can transcend any age difference (for example, pedophilia is NOT RIGHT not matter how 'in love' the pervert claims to be). Not to mention that I can't imagine it will be easy for the two of them, because if Friends was anything to go by, people of different ages in love matches often find difficulties in the fact that they simply want different things out of the relationship; Monica wanted babies, Richard wanted someone to settle down with in his 'old age'. However, this does not apply to all Age Gap Relationships, so again I guess you really don't know unless you try!

When there's such a lack of lovely guys in the world, it just seems such a shame to rule those younger (or older) out of the running for The One. What do you think? Am I mad for basically stating that I would gladly (albeit intrepidly) date anyone from age 16 to 30 (I say 16 because they are of 'consenting' age and I reckon I could fancy someone of 16, 30 because I've never found anyone over that age attractive at all... so far...)? Or do you understand where I'm coming from? What are your experiences with Age Gap Relationships? Yea, or nay? I'd love to hear from you, so please chuck me a comment or two when you get a chance :)

Love you all... no matter how old you are ;)


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