Dating Out Of Your Age Group: Does It Work?
September 5, 2012
By: Aurelia Seidlhofer
As we move into our own flats, take care of our bills and generally take charge of our lives, we are sliding into adult life, where there are less and less laws or moral borders dictating how much older the man in our lives is. As students without any regular income and an insecure job market ahead of us, an older boyfriend with more life experience can seem all too tempting. However, we sometimes ignore the difficulties that come with a bigger age difference. The question is: as independent women can we justify throwing ourselves in the arms of someone who is going to protect us a little bit more than younger guy can? And what if it all has nothing to do with security and you just fall in love with someone 10+ years your senior?
Saying that age does not does matter and love conquers all is naive. A similar amount of life experience makes it more likely that you want the same things for the immediate future, especially concerning big decisions like marriage and having children. On the other hand it’s important not to exaggerate it: age is not necessarily a factor in compatibility, which is still the important element that makes or breaks a relationship. Shared interests, values, ambitions and sexual chemistry easily outdo age as a factor for a happy relationship.
There are quite few celebrity couples, even with the loss of TomKat, that prove the cynics wrong. Age-gaps can work and generally you don’t have to look to far too find a a good example in your circle of friends. Clichés from gold-diggers to mid-life-crisis stricken men who believe in rejuvenating power of a girlfriend half his age can be seen on the streets everyday, but couples with healthy relationships are faced with prejudices too.
Admittedly, dating someone older means that in most cases he will be more advanced in his career, usually with a higher income and this means nicer restaurants, gifts and holidays. However, certain tension points can’t be overlooked. My friend G. complains that his 10 years-older boyfriend is already much more settled down in life, while he’s still dreaming about living in different cities and countries. Topics like children come up much earlier and their ex-girlfriend history is usually more extensive and more intimidating than love-relicts from our just-escaped teenage years.
Equality is another issue that bugs the more independent and ambitious women. It’s difficult to have an equal relationship if someone earns much more money and has much more life experience. You might also not try as hard as you could in your career with an extra financial cushion. What’s more, the idea of having children earlier seems like an attractive option if you don’t want their father to get grey hair when they start school.
And sometimes even the little things can even freak us out about our relationships. “Just think about it”, my friend G. says “He didn’t grow up with Harry Potter!” and the nagging thought is there: will he ever be able to understand us fully or is the age gap too big? But then again could I relate better to a man who grew up with Harry Potter but spends entire weekends watching football matches?
Image by Susi Wiesenegger