While it is undoubtedly true that the perceived threat of a large age difference can play it’s part when it comes to finding a suitable partner, it nevertheless remains a single variable in the evolving and complex algorithm known as a functional long-term relationship. I can’t help but feel that fear and insecurity stemming from stereotypical prejudgment are often to blame for a failed romantic escapade rather than the age gap itself.
In this article, I will do my subjective best to give you an outline why I feel that big numbers aren’t something to get too strung out over. And that they might actually, dare I say it, fully satisfy that romantic bonus you’ve been waiting for.
1. Stereotypes can work in your favor
Despite my belief that when it comes age gaps most stereotypes should be mercilessly shattered, there are distinct benefits to dating a targeted age bracket. For instance, if you are looking for patience to temper that flamboyant and incendiary edge to your nature, dating older men or women might mean finding a higher recurrence of that attribute.
Similarly, if your life seems like a page out of the script of Groundhog Day, you might wish to find someone who is able to inject energy and passion into your life. Chances are, looking down the age bracket ladder may improve your odds of finding what you seek.
If you are the kind of person who is looking for something specific, targeting specific age brackets may well improve your chances.[alert-note]However, this obviously doesn’t mean that all older partners are wise and patient. And it certainly doesn’t mean younger partners are prone to being flighty, mischievous and erratic. Consider stereotypes rough categorical estimations, and not a set of immutable rules.[/alert-note]
2. Age is a number not a trait
The stereotypes about individuals in distinct age brackets are never universal truisms. Not all twenty year olds are flighty and irrational, and not all sixty year-olds seek sanctuary over adventure. While experience can play a factor, there’s no reason why this discrepancy can’t prove symbiotic rather than destructive.
A myriad of personal testimonials hosted over at The Guardian by people who have committed to long-term relationships featuring large age differences are uniformly positive. As minkymoo puts it (regarding the “gaping chasm” of her 16 year age difference):
and you may want to sit down for this one – we are pretty much the same age mentally.
3. A greater perspective
Differences in age can prove beneficial rather than dooming because they offer partners the benefit of two distinctive world views. Cultural and psychological differences can add some spice to relationships, as well as catalyze growth and perspective. Not unlike being given a new cipher with which to decode the world.
Whether the differences work for you or against you is never a given, which is why dating is so important. But potential dating failure has little to do with age, and everything to do with conflicting character and attitude.
If the added perspective is making you glow, it should be embraced, regardless of the chronological age of its source. As the saying goes, feeling good is good enough.
4. Relationships are new beginnings
A new relationship will form a life and character of its own. Precisely because of a relationship’s inherent uniqueness, it will mean that both you and your partner will start on equal footing, regardless of experience, maturity or age.
Nobody is ever fully trained to meander the fjords of love, and it remains a perpetually renewing and entirely novel experience for all involved.
Images courtesy of Ambro and Pakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net