Can There Really Be TOO Many Years?
Age difference in a relationship is always a contentious issue.
How much is too much of a gap?
Is it okay to date a man who is old enough to be your dad?
Or a woman who is old enough to have been your teacher?
How do you avoid being labelled a cradle-snatcher, a cougar or a sugar daddy?
The classic rule of thumb for working out if it’s ‘okay’ to date someone younger is: half your age plus 7.
The resulting number is the lower limit that you can acceptably date.
- So, if you’re 30, no younger than 22.
- If you’re 40, don’t go below 27.
But, of course, it’s far more complicated than that.
There are all kinds of factors involved in relationships that can’t be calculated into a simple numerical equation.
Here are some of the things to consider if you’re thinking about dating a person who is much older or much younger than you.
Are your lifestyles in sync?
Younger people can have mature tastes and interests; older people can be young at heart.
Make sure that you and your prospective partner enjoy the same day-to-day activities and that no-one will be frustrated by the other’s habits and daily routines.
Meeting someone through online dating is a perfect way to eliminate these worries.
You can compare your interests first, instead of getting into a relationship and finding yourselves incompatible.
What are your life goals?
If you want to get serious with someone who is a very different age from you, long-term plans are even more important to consider.
You’ll need to cover bases like kids, retirement plans, travel ideas and career aspirations.
In many ways this is the same in any relationship, but an older partner may already have a family or be getting closer to retirement age, and a younger person might want to take off backpacking around the world.
You may have to negotiate how these different stages of life affect your relationship.
Again, if you meet people online, you can be matched according to compatibility so this worry is eliminated.
Do they get on with your friends and family?
While the most important thing is that you’re happy, many people don’t want to cause friction with their families or friends.
A younger partner might have difficulty integrating with your friends; your parents might have difficulty accepting a partner who is closer in age to themselves than to you.
You may have to explain to those close to you why you want this relationship, or you may have to learn to live with their disapproval.
Can you deal with misunderstandings?
You may find in a relationship where there’s age disparity that you get misunderstandings, funny looks or even outright disapproval in public.
These potentially awkward situations or this negative attention could have repercussions in the relationship, so be sure that your skin is thick enough to take it.
Do they make you happy?
As already mentioned, if you’re happy in the relationship then none of the above matters. If you don’t notice the age difference, or don’t care, then that’s all that really matters.
You don’t want to regret passing up a great relationship just because of the opinions of friends, family, colleagues or strangers.
Speak Your Mind Because I Know You Have One
- Should age really make a difference in dating?
- What is the age difference between you and your partner?
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