Are you entering a new relationship? With a large age gap difference? As people say, ‘it’s just a number’, but being in an age gap relationship does come with a few difficulties compared to other couples. However, if it’s true love, nothing will get in your way. Some studies relationship satisfaction reported by age-gap couples is higher!
Does Age difference in relationships matter?
Romantic couples with a large age gap often raise eyebrows. Studies have found partners with more than a ten-year gap in age experience social disapproval. But when it comes to our own relationships, both men and women prefer someone their own age but are open to an age gap of 10-15 years.
There is a variation across cultures in the size of the difference in age-gap couples. all cultures demonstrate the age-gap couple phenomenon. In some non-Western countries, the average age gap is much larger than in Western countries.
Things to consider in an age difference relationship.
When you’re in an age gap relationship, your insecurities, and even flaws, can bring a whole host of issues to the table. Things that you wouldn’t usually think twice about, may start taking over your thoughts. Did you act too immature? Or are you going too fast?
The most important opinions on your relationship are your own. Both of you must be careful not to let outsiders influence how you may feel about or treat each other. However, for your relationship to work, it does mean that you both need to find a happy medium with your friends and family.
A factor that does impact the outcomes of age-gap couples is their perceptions of social disapproval. If one partner believes their family, friends and wider community disapprove of their union, then relationship commitment decreases and the risk of break-up increases. Unfortunately.
Your social lives may not merge as easily as you think but give it time and don’t expect that either one of you should give up your friends and family for the relationship to work. This will eventually make one or both of you feel resentful.
It’s hard. We like to believe that we don’t care what others think but it’s usually not true.
You need to be united though for the relationship to thrive!
If you’re older, don’t assume you know best or patronise your partner, and if you’re younger, don’t forget that you have a voice, they don’t know best, but don’t turn to childish characteristics. It is key that the relationship strikes a balance and that you don’t slip into a parent/child relationship.
The power dynamic.
With age-gap relationships, a common mistake is to assume the age difference is the only power dynamic at play or that it’s the most important one and associated with either a desire to control or a need for security.
Even if relationships are ostensibly equal, there’s always a power dynamic to consider. They may be almost imperceptible, but imbalances exist, whether it’s the ability to stay rational amid chaos or big ones such as class, wealth, life experiences, education, or emotional maturity.
Relationships work best when they are mutually beneficial…
Don’t force your relationship on them.
Let them see how well your relationship is working and involve them in your life. Only those who don’t truly care for your happiness will struggle to support you and your relationship. Be careful of being paranoid and making assumptions about your friends and family’s opinions that aren’t real!
Age Preferences Are Embedded Into Our Mating Psychology.
Evolutionary psychology is based on the premise that the human mind has evolved adaptive strategies to support reproduction and survival (Buss, 2016).
Ancestrally, women benefited by seeking men who have the status and resources to support their child-rearing and the willingness to do so. These traits are tied to older men.
Men, meanwhile, have evolved a preference for younger women because their youth is a signal for fertility, and over eons and eons, men have better reproductive success when they partner with women who can bear children. Therefore, larger age gap relationships tend to be this way round.
But, age is just a number, right? If you’re happy, go for it!