TL;DRPeople say it’s impossible for a relationship to work out between lovers with large age differences, but a lot of people prove them wrong. Age can create differences, but no two people are identical, and just because there are differences doesn’t mean a relationship is doomed. Explore what can go wrong and what can go right in a relationship with an older or younger lover with Mysticsense.
You know the signs an older man is falling in love with you. He calls, he makes you a priority. He introduces you to his loved ones and moves towards building a life with you. You are thrilled. You are in love with a wonderful person, and you feel right on top of the World, but some of your friends are not so sure this is a good idea.
What if he doesn’t enjoy the same things you do, or expects you to pass up on all typical things somebody your age partakes in, insisting you settle into an “older people’s” lifestyle immediately? What if he said “I’ve been there and done that” when you tell him you want children, and he keeps you from becoming a parent? What if he uses his experience to manipulate your career or decisions, and you are nothing but a young plaything to him?
While some people take younger lovers to make themselves feel “young again”, the chances of success in a relationship between people of different ages can be quite high despite disapproval from others. What things can actually go wrong in a relationship between lovers who are much older or younger than one another? What can go right, and what should you take into consideration when you are falling for somebody who is much older or much younger than you are?
What Can Create Problems?
What things can be deal breakers in these relationships and what things can go wrong based on age difference? You will be pleasantly surprised to find out that the issues that can happen for people whose lover is much older or younger can be the exact same issues lovers who are one another’s age face. Best of all, these issues can be overcome if both people work at it!
If They Are Not at The Same Life Stage As You Are
Each of us goes through stages of life. There is childhood and adolescence, where we move towards the independence of adulthood. Then there is the young adult period where we “cut the apron strings”, moving out, learning how to support ourselves and live on our own. We go out with friends, establish hobbies, work at our careers, and make our place in society based on who we feel we are and the things we do. Many people fall in love and have a family of their own during this time.
If a relationship begins with a man in his twenties and a man who is in his sixties, and the older man tries to get his younger lover to give up the dream of parenthood, saying he had already raised kids, that can be a dealbreaker in a relationship. While it is completely understandable the older lover does not want to raise more kids, it’s not fair to expect the younger lover to give up the miracle of raising kids of their own.
Many couples who are different ages are able to work these differences out. One woman met her husband who was 20 plus years older when she was in her 20’s. He’d raised kids, but they fell in love, married, and started a family together. His first two children, already grown with kids of their own happily welcomed two baby brothers and a sister, and the couple stayed together. On the other hand, one woman married a man who was fifteen years older than her, and he never wanted children. This was one of the things that ended their relationship, but they both moved on, remarrying other people and they were both happy.
While there was greater age difference between the first couple, they were on the same page about being in the stage of life of starting a family, and the second couple, while having less of a difference in age, were not. The number of years difference may not end a relationship, but even a couple who are exactly the same age will break up if they are unable to move forward together into life.
If They Try to Change You
Besides disagreeing on where you want to be in life, one major issue that can end relationships is if one of you tries to drastically change how the other person is. Say your lifestyle is that of a social butterfly, but they are a private homebody, and they try to make you stop going out places, or traveling, and only stay home with them all the time. On the flip side, say you try to force them to be just like you, and start getting out to all the places where you go, and forsake their home time. Your relationship could be doomed if you two can’t come to a compromise.
One couple was able to work out lifestyle differences. He was twelve years older than she was, and fairly anti-social because he was easily overstimulated by large groups of people. However, he never tried to get her to be less social, and did join her gatherings, excusing himself to decompress when he felt overwhelmed. She never tried to force him to attend events he was uncomfortable with, and he enjoyed going with her on outings as a result of feeling understood, and able to leave when he needed to.
If The Relationship is Not a Priority
As with any relationship, if one or both of you don’t make being involved in the relationship important, the relationship will fail. It is exciting to meet, and share feelings of romance with somebody new, but not every new romance works out in the long run. One complaint a lot of women who date older men who are highly successful in their career voice is the man spends all of his time at work, and she feels like an afterthought. However, some older women who are dating a younger individual say their younger boyfriend or girlfriend is not understanding of the amount of time they need to devote to their children, and they can’t devote every evening and weekend to dating.
On the other hand, too much time, as in nearly every waking moment together with no alone time, or time with other friends and family can signal an unhealthy co-dependent relationship. This can spell disaster and lead to breakup. A balance of time together and time doing the things necessary for family and career must be reached so both people in love feel their partner is focused on the relationship, but also understands their need to devote the time to other important things and people.
What Can Make It Work?
Despite what some might say, a relationship between people who are several years apart in age absolutely can work out long term. There are some simple things that, if present in the relationship, can help ensure success!
If You Have Shared Interests
Regardless of how close to the same age you are to one another, if you share interests you partake in with one another, it can bring you closer together. One woman went through a nasty divorce, and a friend started spending more time with her to be supportive while she was dealing with it. They did a lot of hiking, nature trails, and camping together. He was fifteen years older than she was, and she enjoyed her time with him so much, after she was over her ex, she began to date him. Two years later, they became engaged, and moved forward in their new life together, happily.
If You Have the Same Goals
There was a couple who had about a about thirty-year age difference. She initially refused to date him, thinking he was too old. Many years later, after them being married the whole time, he passed away. She had become a stepmother to his children and a step grandmother to his grandkids. They agreed on a simple life in a quaint suburb where they raised plenty of dogs, traveled together, and lived happily. Neither of them looked to be wealthy or have a lavish lifestyle, and they both focused their lives around family.
Another couple were fifteen years apart and could never agree on anything. The man wanted her to drop out of college and stay home, only cooking and cleaning for him. He was a long-haul trucker, and she would be alone for weeks or possibly months at a time while he was gone for work. He would demand she cut class or stop doing schoolwork and go places with him instead. She wanted to graduate college and start a career for herself. Their relationship didn’t last long, and they both moved forward with other lovers who were more well suited to them.
There was half as much difference in age between the second couple as the first couple, but the second couple did not have the same goals in life and were unable to create a lifestyle together. Working to build a life together is something that keeps couples going strong regardless of age difference, and an inability to do so can lead to the end of a relationship.
If You Both Make Each Other a Priority
A love saying is ‘There’s you, me, and our relationship’. Two people might make up the relationship, but both of the people have to put efforts into the relationship itself for things to work. If one or both of you aren’t making efforts, the relationship is likely to fail. Harriet Lerner Ph. D. wrote the top complaint men have of wives is they nag or criticize, and the top complaint wives have of husbands is they put them in the position to have to nag by ignoring them.
HuffPost sited more issues that drive wedges between couples including ending communication and no longer spending time together. They also sited substance abuse, fighting, arguments over their kids, and stressing over financial issues. Seeking counseling with a psychic relationship advisor or family therapist can help you and your partner identify bad habits you have fallen into that can damage your relationship before it’s too late. To read this article, see here: The 7 Biggest Complaints Of Long-Married Couples | HuffPost Communities
If you have been together for a while and you aren’t making time for your relationship like you both used to, an easy way to get started again is by prioritizing time together. It may seem silly to some people but setting date nights that are non-negotiable and going out to enjoy time together is one of the best ways to reconnect. Taking a break at work to call your partner or snag a small gift of flowers or their favorite wine on the way home can also show them you are thinking of them. Remembering why we fell in love our partner in the beginning can help give us the motivation to make the relationship more of a priority again. The years might have gone by, but that beautiful individual you fell in love all that time ago is still there, waiting for you to love them again like in the beginning.
If You Are Truly in Love
“True love doesn’t have an ending because true love doesn’t end “ is an anonymous saying that could not be more true. If you and your partner love each other, no matter what happens, you will still always be in love. Illness, financial loss, fights, and tragedies can separate some people, however, some people’s unbreakable bond of love keeps them going strong no matter what. In an article, Pew Research Center reported that 88% of the respondents said love is the reason to get married, with doing so for financial benefits having much less importance. Love is what helps bring people together and keep them together long term.
However, marriage isn’t the only way people show commitment, the research showed, with about 18 million Americans living with a partner they are not married to. While stereotypically, some state the older you are the less likely you are to approve of this, living with a partner they are not married to is rising most rapidly for Americans over the age of 50. As a matter of fact, in 2018, a study showed that living with a partner you are not married to is more common than marriage! Of those between age 18-24, seven percent of them are married, and nine percent are living with a partner they are not married to.
One couple lived together for over ten years before getting married, and ten years later, celebrated twenty years together! Another couple lived together happily for twenty-five years and were still going strong with no plans to marry. Marriage isn’t the only force holding people together, it’s love! USA Today reported that Tinder said 40% of Millennials refuse to be in a relationship JUST so they aren’t single, and furthermore that 72% of them pledged to remain single until meeting what they call “the one.” People understand the need to be in love to make a relationship work and are willing to wait for it!
What The Studies Say
The good news is, studies report high success rates- IF certain criteria are met. Studies find that if a couple feels their relationship is disapproved of, breakup risks increase. When we have a significant other, they become a part of our extended friends and family group, and if somehow, they don’t fit into our lives, chances are, the heartbreak of things not working out may be inevitable. Some couples are able to stand up to disapproving friends, and family, however, putting their relationship first! So other people’s naysaying does not have to end a relationship
Another factor is just how old are the two of you, most specifically, the youngest of you both? Success rates between a 40-year-old and a 60-year-old are higher than those of a 20 year old and a 40 year old. The difference in age, itself, not necessarily being 100% the deciding factor, but how far off very young people’s lovers are from them in age as opposed to an older person’s lover who is older than they are. But still, plenty of couples have worked things out for the long haul, age differences aside.
Keith Richards is 12 years older than wife Patti Hansen, and they have been married for three decades. Deborra-Lee Furness and Hugh Jackman are also twelve years apart in age and they have been together for over twenty years. Perhaps a more famous story is that of Edith Piaf who in her last years was courted by and loved by Theo Serapo, who was twenty years younger than her and they stayed together until her death. Want to see more famous couples who have large age differences but have a great life together despite the fact some would assume they couldn’t? Read here: Celebrity Couples With Surprisingly Big Age Differences (msn.com)
What friends, family, or society may say really doesn’t matter when it comes to deciding who you want to be in a relationship with. Your heart may choose somebody who people would not call an ideal partner for you, but who cares? Love is love, not a number. Only you can decide who you love and who you want to spend your life with, and age doesn’t have to matter.
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