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07 Oct, 2022
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Age Gaps In Relationships – H&S Love Affair

Age Gaps In Relationships: How Much Is ‘Too Much’?

Age Gaps In Relationships
In any relationship, you will notice some similar qualities to the partner, but not all. And, while some couples believe that age difference can impact their relationship, others may see beyond numbers. Having said that, with large age differences, even though a couple may be completely satisfied, it’s still possible to encounter challenges because of the huge age gap. The question then is, what is too big of an age gap in relationships? According to research, anything above 10 years, is considered too big and can present with challenges in the relationship, be it earlier, or later. Of course, there’s always exception to rules, with every relationship being unique, and there’s nothing good communication can’t overcome.

5 Factors To Take Into Consideration:

1. Different Levels Of Emotional Maturity – As it is, there is a difference in the level of maturity in a couple, but as the age gap gets more significant, so does the difference in level of maturity & the more mature partner can end up carrying a bigger emotional load which could lead to exhaustion and even an end to the relationship. Having said that, being older doesn’t always mean being more mature, though it’s common that older people have a higher maturity level because they have more experience.

2. Difference In Priorities- The older partner is more likely to face “phase of life” related challenges such as challenges with health, energy levels, life priorities, wanting to settle & have a family before their time runs out etc. This isn’t just the case with people with bigger age gaps, having different priorities can be a challenge in any relationship.

3. Longevity Concerns- As the older partner ages, end-of-life concerns can come to play, where the younger partner may have concerns or fear of being left behind to age.

4. Social Stigma- People may be judgemental or criticize relationships where the age gap is prominent. This could mean dealing with pressure from family, friends, community and society at large. Some of the common accusations include ‘she married the old man for his money, she’s a gold digger.’ or ‘it’s all about the looks.’ These statements can seem hurtful & harsh if they’re coming from people you know.

5. Unbalanced Power Dynamics- An older partner may assume an authoritative role in the relationship, making decisions for their partner, or using their partner’s financial dependence as a way to control them.

For all the above factors, it’s important to talk about them openly with your partner, as your future could depend on your compatibility, if you are looking at a long-term relationship. Communication is key, and it’s important to be pragmatic. Below are 6 tips to help you through your challenges.

5 Things Couples Can Do To Overcome Their Issues Related To The Age Gap:

1. Communicate Clearly With Each Other- Having open and honest conversations about the challenge is imperative! Be open and let your partner know how you feel.

2. Desensitize Yourselves!- People will criticize, but what they say shouldn’t affect your relationship, provided you are happy. Learn to turn a deaf ear where possible!

3. Set Boundaries With Your Loved Ones- If you feel your judgemental loved ones are overstepping or judging your relationship harshly, upsetting or disrespecting you and your partner, it’s best you set your boundaries, so they know they have to be respectful, even if they don’t understand your relationship.

4. Have Your Own Support Network- Befriending couples who have the age gap can be helpful, as they can best relate to your relationship.

5. Seek Professional Help- You shouldn’t have to navigate the challenges on your own, it’s always a good idea to get outside help from a counsellor who can help you talk through and handle your challenges with your partner.

 

 

 

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