When we are dating, if we like someone that has a different age than us, the question of age gap will arise. In some cases, people are worried that this age gap will be the cause of too many differences between the two partners and that it will harm the relationship. In other cases, they are just worried about the future of the relationship since they are not both at the same stage in their life. But in all cases, the biggest problem is usually the fear of being judged by the people who surround you for having a couple different from the typical idea of what a couple should look like. So how to deal with this matter of age gap? How to know if it will be a problem for you or not? Let us try to answer these questions!
The age gap can have many different consequences in relationships. Indeed, since older people tend to be more mature, we can have a difference in maturity between both people. Since they did not grow up in the same decade when the age difference is consequent, they might not have the same education and cultural references. Also, if you date someone that is older, the group of friends of your date will be older than your group of friends, so you will have to get used to hanging out with older people. But the biggest difference is the fact that you don’t look at life the same way according to your age. Indeed, someone who is 20 can look at life in a very innocent, selfish, and playful way: life is a game, an adventure, and we are here to enjoy it! While someone, who is 40 might look at life in a completely different way (thinking more about responsibilities and building something meaningful, for instance).
However, this will differ according to people’s personalities, and this is why the age gap will have no importance in some cases. When you think about it, some people who are 20 years old are sometimes more mature than other people who are 40 years old. And sometimes, we can have younger people ready for a serious, stable, and meaningful relationship and a very well organized and peaceful life while older people are less serious and wore wild.
Consequently, the most important thing that we have to look at when we want to start a serious relationship is not necessary the age! The personality, the values, and the way of looking at life are more important. If a woman who is 21 years old and very mature for her age starts a relationship with a man who is 35 years old and normally mature for his age, this could be a great match! As a matter of fact, women tend to be more mature than men in their way of thinking, and this is why we often see young women dating older men.
When it comes to relationships, the most important is to find someone you love, someone you feel comfortable with, and someone who has great compatibility with you. These elements are far more important than the age. However, there are limits. Of course, if you are major, you can not start dating a minor because it is against the law. But what if both of you are majors? Then what is the maximum age gap acceptable? Well, there is no limit, of course, your age gap can be as big as you want. However, you will have to accept that the bigger the age gap will be, the more you will be judged by most people. So if you want to find an age gap that is considered socially acceptable, then you can follow the “half your age plus 7 rule”. This rule means that if you divide your age by two and then add 7 years, you will find the socially-acceptable minimum age of anyone you want to date. So for instance, if you are 24 years old, you can date someone who is 19 years old but not someone who is 18 years old. What makes this rule great is that when you get older, the age gap can be bigger, which is something you can observe in life. For instance, if you are 50 years old, you can date someone who is 32 years old (so an 18 years gap instead of a 5 years gap for the previous example).
What if my partner is 10 years younger than me? In this case, the age gap is not so big, and it might be socially acceptable to date this person. Also, since the age gap is not huge, there might not be so many differences regarding your cultures, references, and even your level of maturity and your way of looking at life. However, there will still remain a few differences. For instance, if you are 32 and your partner is 22, that means that your partner might still be studying while you are already working, and you have a stable financial situation. Consequently, you might be the one that will have more power in the relationship and might be the one who will take care of the most important decisions. If you don’t want to have your partner complaining about this power balance, you should address the problem right from the start to find a solution together.
At the end of the day, when it comes to relationships, we saw that the age gap is not necessarily a problem. Indeed, as long as you can find someone who has a mentality and personality that suits you, the age is not that important. Of course, there are some limits (legal limit and socially acceptable limit), but the age gap can be overcome easily if you found the right partner. Actually, when there is an age gap, this will bring differences between the two partners. Now it is your job to learn from these differences and create a dynamic relationship that will benefit from these differences!