Age is a question of attitude, not a question of numbers. Or as Mark Twain put it: “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
That may be partially true: some people “age” faster than others, in both mind and body. It is not rare nowadays to see older people who are in good physical shape and young at heart and/or very mature young adults. This can sometimes lead us to think that age difference does not matter.
But if you are looking for a deep intimate relationship, one where good communication and understanding between partners is crucial, there are a few facts about age you may want to consider:
- With age comes experience. Older people are not necessarily smarter or wiser. But being older means having gone through stages that younger people still haven’t reached: graduating from college, getting a job, marriage, having children, getting divorced, etc. All these experiences shape who we are and, although everyone’s specific experience is unique, it is a lot easier to relate to people who are at the same “stage” of life.
- Nobody should have to leapfrog through life. If you are in a relationship with someone who is much older than you, chances are your partner has already experienced some milestones such as getting married, becoming a parent, etc. Will he/she be willing to go through them again or will she/he have a feeling of “been there, done that, never again”? Will his/her attitude keep you from fully enjoying these events which, for you, are firsts? Will you be missing the sort of bonding which comes from sharing special times with your partner?
- Some experiences cannot be described. One could think that with good communication every experience can be shared. So what if your beloved never had children? So what if he/she is too young to remember a world without cellphones? He (or she) can probably “get it” if you share your stories. Not true. Some life events need to be experienced first-hand to be fully understood. If you are a middle-aged professional, you cannot expect a young woman right out of school to understand your career path. No matter how mature or smart she is.
- Age is a big determinant of cultural references. Most people are influenced by the type of culture that surrounds them when they are young adults. The type of music, clothing style, cinema, books, etc. they like is often what was prevalent when they were in their college years. Having a partner who is the same age as you will make it more likely to have that common culture, almost regardless of your country of origin. This can make daily life a lot easier as a wide common ground reduces the potential for disagreement and creates a comfortable environment for the relationship to develop.
- No matter what we do, age affects our bodies. It is possible, with work and determination, to stay in good physical shape. However, we should not fool ourselves into thinking that this is not relative. An older person, even in good shape, will never have the energy level of someone younger. To be in a relationship with someone who is much younger often means having to push yourself beyond healthy limits. And still being unable to compete. Reversely, being the younger partner means putting yourself at risk of not living to your full potential or even of becoming a caretaker long before you are ready to retire from active living.
In the end, whether age difference matters or not depends a lot on the type of relationship you are looking for. Is equality important to you? Are you seeking companionship? A best friend? A soulmate? Do you mind (or want) being taken care of or taking care of your partner?
Thankfully we all have different ideas as to what type of relationship and partner we want and there are enough singles around to satisfy the needs and desires of everyone. The most important thing is to be clear as to what those desires are, so we don’t end up frustrated by another disappointing relationship.
If you would like us to help you clarify what your personal needs are, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be delighted to talk to you!