Does age really matter in relationships?

Does age really matter in a relationship, or is age more of a factor when it comes to love and compatibility? The history of relationships reveals that age matters little in establishing male and female liaisons. Older men have long been romantically linked to younger women, and in some cultures, that tradition holds true to this day. But the topic of age has become more prominent over the past few years, with the biggest twist being that older women are now openly dating younger men, and younger men are becoming more attracted to the wiser and more established older woman.

Dirty Old Men and Gold diggers have existed since the accumulation of wealth created the perception of power for men, and a life potentially free from financial need for women. Now, many of those same women, after years of involvement with men who could not or did not satisfy them emotionally, have taken matters into their own hands. Armed with an equal level of power and social status, either attained or self made, older women now establish relationships on their terms with little regard for age.

Based on these current trends, age does not matter when it comes to two consenting adults making a conscious decision to be together, regardless of the reasons why. Even in relationships where both individuals have motives other than love, their presence in each other's lives serves whatever purposes that they've attached to them.

But age does matter in a relationship to some degree. Not the physical age which is counted in years and has little relevance to whether two people can be happy, but the emotional age, which either widens or lessens the gap in long term compatibility. Emotional age is a much better determinate of whether two individuals separated by years, have enough in common to enjoy each other, explore each other, and grow with each other.

Everyone has an idea of what they want in the person with whom they share a relationship, but the reality is that people often settle for far less than what they had in mind. Relationship decisions are now made as much for convenience and security, as they are for love and a fairy tale ending. With more than 50% of marriages in the United States ending in divorce anyway, are people so wrong in making the decision to enter into relationships based on satisfying personal wants and needs?

The bottom line is that if two people like each other enough to enter into a relationship, regardless of any age differences, then few outside interferences will deter their decision. And the reality is that they have every right to do so, despite their reasons.

Who knows, they may just fall in love and live happily ever after.


Carla Smith said...

Great article! My own personal opinion is similar to your own. Unfortunately there are no guarantees that any relationship will stand the test of time. However, call me old-fashioned, but I believe that there is a point where entertaining a relationship with someone considerably older or younger is just not appropriate. The point at which it becomes inappropriate is hard to pinpoint.

Terry Marsh said...

I agree Carla. Although there is really no right or wrong, it boils down to what's right in an individual's life.

Trueman said...

I don't think it does, but you have to consider the difference in current status, social settings, and even in sex. She might not be as flexible as she used to be.

bingkee said...

I don't think age has got to do with a relationship. I witness a lot of great relationships and marriages from friends and family that there is a wide age gap, usually men younger than women. I think emotional age is not a general conclusive basis for its success. Some people just mature emotionally even if they're young. I have a first cousin whose husband is 8 years younger than her but the husband is more mature , more assured and more nurturing than my cousin.

Great post...

Dee said...

Great article !
I'ts my own experience. Well, maybe will not be a problem when the guy is older than the girl, but my bf is almost 20 years older than me. And we're happy.

No matter younger or older, the maturity is the most important for me.

TonyM said...

Actually, anything could matter in a relationship. Now, as to age, it really depends on the person.

If there is a real love between two people, age may not be focal factor anymore.

These days, it is now accepted for women to have older guys as their lover.

Anonymous said...

it doesnt matter

Rock&AHardPlace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LoveIsHardToComeBy said...

Very good article and well said!
But how about a more significant gap? What about 29 years? A woman who is almost 30 and a man who is almost 60. A lot of factors come into play. I'm the victim. I work with a great guy, and we fell in love. I don't think I should live my life unhappy without him just because he's significantly older than me. I know I'm the younger generation, and I think differently than most, plus I happen to be very open minded but wouldn't it be more of a regret later in life if he and I didn't take advantage of this opportunity to spend hopefully the next 30 years together than to not? It's not like he is older than either of my parents, when we're together age doesn't seem matter, our income's don't have enough of a difference for it to be a factor. Isn't anyone a believer of you're as old as you feel? What can't he and I do and enjoy in this life now, that I could do "better" if I chose to be with someone closer to my age? I could go into deep detail about all the pros and cons to our specific situation and why I know in my heart that we could make it but at this point I guess I'm just looking for some positive feedback, or negative if you feel its necessary, because he's worried he will waste the prime years of my life, and I don't want to lose him. But this isn't my first rodeo,... I wouldn't want to spend these years any other way. Opinions and suggestions are welcome. Life is too short to be anything but happy.

With all my heart, I can't just walk away from this. We've been seeing each other for a year and a half. We're in love. I'd have to physically be forced to leave him because mentally and emotionally, I can't.