“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.” – Mark Twain. As life expectancy goes up and people take better care of themselves.
Table of contents
- Why doesn't age matter to some?
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- 5 Struggles All Couples With An Age Gap Have & How To Deal | Her Campus
- 5 Struggles All Couples With An Age Gap Have & How To Deal
Add an age difference between partners, and you add a whole separate level of complexities to the relationship. You may find insecurities within yourself of which you were unaware, or may find that your friends and family can be critical of the relationship. However, an age difference in a relationship can be overcome, and can lead to a rewarding romance.
Why doesn't age matter to some?
Communicate with your partner. One of the greatest problems in relationships is a lack of communication, and an age difference can feel like an elephant in the room. Talk about the age difference, what it means and how it makes you feel. Openly discuss topics such as children and future goals for the relationship. Share concerns and bond over understanding each other's perspective.
This will encourage respect and growth within the relationship. It will also make you aware of what your partner is looking for and needs, and will help guide you into a healthy relationship. Engage in activities you both enjoy. Whether golfing, movies, or fine dining, spending time things you mutually enjoy will strengthen the bond and take the focus of the relationship away from the age difference.
The more interests and hobbies you share, the more you will find in common to enjoy together. When dating someone much older than yourself, be wary of their motivation. Did they just get out of a marriage and are simply trying to prove to themselves they still have what it takes to bag a babe?
While others may find it creepy, dating someone ten years older or younger could be just what you need to keep the relationship interesting. While you might be able to keep your man young and modern, he could impart his extra years of wisdom on you, working out a beautiful balance between youthfulness and maturity in the relationship. Studies have found partners with more than a 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 someone years their junior or senior. While there is 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. For example, in some African countries about 30 per cent of unions reflect a large age gap.
5 Struggles All Couples With An Age Gap Have & How To Deal | Her Campus
So does age matter? And do couples with large age gaps experience poorer or better relationship outcomes compared to couples of similar ages?
Across Western countries, about 8 per cent of all married heterosexual couples can be classified as having a large age gap 10 years or more. These generally involve older men partnered with younger women. About 1 per cent of age-gap couples involve an older woman partnered with a younger man. The limited evidence on same-sex couples, however, suggests the prevalence rates are higher.
About 25 per cent of male-male unions and 15 per cent of female-female unions demonstrate a large age gap.
5 Struggles All Couples With An Age Gap Have & How To Deal
But what these trends tell us is that the majority of the population is likely to partner with someone of similar age. This largely has to do with having social circles that generally include peers of similar ages and being attracted to others who are similar. Similarity entails many things, including personality, interests and values, life goals and stage of life, and physical traits age being a marker of physical appearance. Many of the reasons proposed for age-gap couples have been largely rooted in evolutionary explanations, and focus on explaining older man-younger woman pairings.
From this perspective, it's thought men's preferences for younger women and women's preferences for older men relate to reproductive fitness.
That is, the extent to which someone has "good genes" — indicated by their attractiveness and sense of energy also known as vitality — and the extent to which they are a "good investment" — indicated by their status and resources as well as their warmth and sense of trust. Although men and women place importance on a partner who is warm and trustworthy, women place more importance on the status and resources of their male partner. This is largely because, with women being the child bearers, the investment is very high on their behalf time and effort in child bearing and rearing.
So they are attuned to looking for a partner who will also invest resources into a relationship and family. In couples with an age gap it's more likely the woman is younger. This is probably because women place more importance on resources and men on fertility. But because the building of resources takes time, we tend to acquire resources later in life and so are older by the time we have acquired enough wealth and resources to comfortably provide for others. So, women being attuned to status and resources might explain why some women may be attracted to older men.
In contrast, there's evidence to suggest men value attractiveness and vitality more than women because, from an evolutionary standpoint, youth is seen as an indicator of fertility. Given men cannot bear children, evolution suggests they're attuned to younger women to enhance the chances of partnering with someone who can provide children.
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