In a time when age differences (so-called cougars and cubs) are as common as May-December relationships, large age differences are a regular part of dating. Everyone is familiar with the concept of the older man or woman, but that doesn’t mean that stereotypes for these kinds of relationships aren’t still going strong. Not only will you have to deal with these stereotypes, but you’ll also have to address the very real problems that can occur in these relationships. As things become more serious between you and your partner, you may find that weighing the pros and cons can help you decide if your romance can go the distance despite your differing ages.
Cons Of Relationship With A Large Age Difference
Many of the problems that arise in a partnership with large age differences are direct results of the aforementioned societal stereotypes. Family members, friends and colleagues may have no problem telling you that they disapprove of your relationship. If you’re an older woman with a younger man, many people may openly criticize you on the assumption that you’re only in it for sex. Your partner could easily find himself labeled your boy-toy. If you’re a younger woman with an older man, your peers and parents may feel that he’s taking advantage of your youthful naïveté. Of course, they’ll also think he’s a totally lecherous hound who will inevitably dump you for a younger woman. Sometimes these stereotypes turn out to be true, but whether they apply or not, all the negative talk can take an emotional toll on your relationship.
Other Things To Consider
There are weightier problems to consider, too. As the younger half of the relationship, are you prepared for the strong possibility that you will outlive your partner by many years? Do you want to have children of your own, but your older partner is done with their child-rearing years? Is it incredibly awkward for either of you when you’re among your mate’s same-aged friends? Should any of these be a deal breaker, it’s best that you’re honest with your partner about your feelings. You may find that ending the relationship now saves you both from more pain in the future.
Benefits Of A Relationship With A Large Age Difference
However, there are also many benefits to being in a relationship marked by age differences. If you can get past the issues above, you could reap a lot of joy. Some people are truly old souls or young at heart, so they’re better off with an older or younger partner than someone closer to their age. As the younger half of the duo, you can learn much from the wisdom and experience of your older love. If you’re the older member of the relationship, having someone younger in your life could help keep you more active and youthful. Sometimes your biggest differences can keep your relationship that much more interesting.
In the end, no matter how large the age gap, what really matters is that you love each other. If you’re having a good time and things feel right between you, you’ll be able to weather the stereotyping and conquer your problems. After all, age is just a number.