So, what problems does a modern couple face if an age gap is involved?
When adults, who are only a few years apart, are in a relationship, their shared values and life goals are typically quite similar. This makes things easier when it comes to making decisions and genuinely being happy in their relationship. When a significant age gap is introduced (10 years or 20 years and over), it can sometimes cause problems as you will likely have different life goals. This can cause a divide in the relationship because you both may have different short-term and long-term goals.
For example, you may be a woman in your mid-thirties considering having a child soon, but if your partner is in their late 40s, they may not be looking to have children. However this is not a given for every relationship, maturity is relative and age does not dictate individuals’ long-term goals.
Below we’ve offered some insightful tips to remember if you are dating, or considering an age gap relationship.
Remember Maturity Is Relative
Regardless of age, you must not patronise your partner. Don’t fall into the habit of feeling as though you need to teach them things. They’re mature enough to be in an adult relationship and if you start trying to control their actions, this can come across as patronising. This is particularly important if you are the older one in the relationship.
Alternatively, if you are the younger one in the relationship, the same concept applies. Do not patronise your partner for preferring the more traditional things in life or calling them out if they aren’t interested in going to parties or other events they may not be interested in. Remember that it may not even be a question of age, but instead general preferences. Don’t assume their outlook is based on their age!
Explore New Hobbies & Mutual Interests
Following the idea that maturity is relative, it’s important to appreciate and identify mutual interests. Relationships thrive on enjoying pastimes and hobbies with your partner, and while you don’t have to share every interest with each other, you need to enjoy each other’s company. For example, meeting up with their families, friends and general social circle is important for both yours and their development. It can be stimulating, insightful and empowering for both of you.
It’s important to dive into each other’s worlds, meet new people, experience new adventures and generally become more involved in each others’ lives. This is the catalyst for discovering new opportunities and hobbies you both enjoy and enjoying more quality time together.
When in an age gap relationship, it’s essential that you don’t let age become the elephant in the room. It should be clear that you are with your partner irrespective of age and not let it become a constant talking point. With that being said, it’s equally important to be comfortable with the age gap in the relationship and talk openly about it. It’s healthy to be able to communicate your worries and concerns – even if it is about the age difference.
As Wendy Patrick, PhD remarks; “Loving, healthy, happy relationships can survive and thrive regardless of age. As happy couples know, true love transcends demographics, bringing people together through affection, fondness, and compatibility—not age”.
Respect Each Other’s Values in the Relationship
Disagreements and arguments are normal in a relationship, but don’t assume this is happening because of the big age gap. The most important factor of any relationship is strong and transparent communication skills. You need to be able to discuss problems and work towards a resolution in a mature and non-patronising way.
It’s normal to think or assume that you’re arguing because of the big age gap, but you need to be confident that you’re able to resolve it. If you keep circling back to age, then you need to talk about what your worries are regarding the age gap and whether there’s a solution. For example, if you want children and age is stopping them or you, this is a serious conversation that requires a resolution.
A research study back in 2018 found that older individuals were more relaxed about the prospect of age-gap couples than young people were.
“What’s actually important is that the couple – regardless of their ages – have the same desires for the future. If you don’t, then the relationship will undoubtedly fail. It’s common in age-gap relationships for one half of the couple to want children, whereas their partner might have a ‘been there, done that attitude. These sorts of things need to be discussed in advance to make you on the same page.”
It’s also essential that you feel confident regarding the age gap. It shouldn’t bother either of you, at least not to the extent where you find yourself constantly arguing about it or that it stops you from enjoying time spent together. As long as you share genuine love and mutual respect for each other, the age gap should not come into the equation.
If You’re Struggling With an Age Gap Relationship
If you’re currently struggling in your relationships and you believe the age gap has a part to play, we may be able to help. At Vida, we specialise in bespoke matchmaking, as well as date coaching for all couples in the UK and further abroad. Whether you’re new to an age gap relationship or you’ve been together for a while and are running into problems, date coaching will help you feel more in control and help you achieve the outcome you want
Alternatively, you may be looking to meet someone new, in this case, we can put you in touch with one of our professional matchmakers to help you find your ideal partner.
To learn more about our bespoke matchmaking and date coaching services in the UK, contact Vida today.