- Category: Love and Relationship Readings
- Last Updated on July 16, 2013
- Written by Mark Blair
What is the age difference between a man and woman that creates an ideal relationship? An older man? An older woman? Same age? The real answer is that it depends on a number of factors, of which age appears to be the least important.
Age and maturity are two of the things that influence a relationship. But the two aren't necessarily related. An older person may not be particularly mature. Nor does youth mean immaturity. Age is a measure of the amount of time the person has been on this planet and the number of opportunities the person has had to grow.
There are 50 year old men and women who seem to have lead a sheltered life and act as if they are still in their 20s. There are 30 year olds who have experienced more life than the average person can imagine. And their personality shows it.
Some people confess that they connect with an older person because of their experience and world view. They see the older person as someone who can draw them into many experiences to help them grow. Some women admit to being drawn to the older man because of the man's stability. Some older men admit to preferring younger women as a way to prove that they "still have it”.
Regardless of the reason, there are some key concepts to keep in mind for a relationship between people with a wide age difference.
Time and experiences mold our preferences. Is one of the couple's favorite bands Paul McCartney and Wings and does the other consider that ancient history? Can one recite the dialog from all of the Twilight movies and is the other still grasping the concept of glittering vampires? The ability of this couple to co-exist depends on their ability to respect each other's preferences, even though they may not understand them. If one partner finds joy in their preferences, the other should be supportive. Individual preferences are what help a couple to grow together.
This is a little like preferences with an important difference. Beliefs dictate our behavior. Beliefs can be very strong. And they can ruin a relationship if each partner can't be respectful of the other's beliefs. Age does play some part with beliefs, especially in the early years of a person's development.
A person who grew up in the Ronald Reagan era may have some strong conservative views. A partner who supported Bill Clinton may see the world in a more liberal sense.
Religious beliefs can be a big factor in a relationship. A person of the Catholic faith can have a very conservative or a more liberal view of their faith depending on the decade in which they grew up.
The way people with differing beliefs can co-exist is if they recognize that they don't have a monopoly on the absolute truth. Having a belief but being open to the possibility that there is more out there than what they've learned, allows a couple to grow and learn together.
Age does play a role in a person's goals. A 50 year old man has little chance of becoming an astronaut. A 22 year old woman is unlikely to become the President of the United States. But switch the ages and a strong possibility exists for those goals to become true. Goals can be a deciding factor in a relationship if one or both partners have a goal that they want to achieve "no matter what". That doesn't leave much room for the other person.
But if the person says "I would like to achieve this goal and have you accompany me on this journey", that creates space for both the goal and the other person in their life.
Big Age Difference - Good or Bad?
The bottom line is that there will be challenges. Background, career, culture, family and personality are all factors in the relationship. If love and the chemistry is there between two people, and they recognize that there are challenges, they can work together through them. Then age becomes a non-issue and love wins.