Dating and Sex Marriage

Relationship age gap: How old is too old?

(Photo: Urban Belle Mag)
Written by Dolapo Akitoye

When it comes to age in relationships, I had never really seen it as a problem. I mean, as long as both parties are of legal age, then there are no problems.

Obviously, I have my preferences. I do not really see myself with someone who is younger than me but hey, stranger things have happened. I could very well fall in love with someone who is younger. However, at this moment, that is not something that I would want.

I’m not going to lie, there are some moments of judgment where if I see a man date a really young woman or a woman date a really young man, I question it in my mind for a moment. However, who am I to judge? It’s not something I see myself doing but as long as there is love there, then let us all be happy.

It wasn’t until recently that I really started thinking about it. I watch this reality show called Real Housewives of Potomac and one of the housewives is a woman in her late twenties called Ashley. Ashley is married to a man that is basically twice her age. They have been having a lot of problems lately. Most of has to do with the restaurant that they just opened, which has not been doing very well. From all the reality shows I have watched, I know that a restaurant business can be stressful on a marriage. Owning a restaurant is a tough business and it can test the strongest marriages.

Anyway, Michael is basically the money when it comes to this business. He is the one that basically put all his money into the business. However, Ashley is the one that runs the business. She is the one that is basically there every day to make sure everything is going fine. Now, the restaurant hasn’t been doing great and Michael was threatening to shut it down. Ashley is not happy about this. So she tells him that if he takes such a drastic action, then their marriage might as well be done. That’s how upset she is.

Now, the whole point of this story is that Ashley starts to feel a little disrespected. She started to feel as though Michael treats her as a child as opposed to a partner and in a sense, I see where she is coming from. I don’t think he even realizes that he does but sometimes, it seems that way.

So now, not only does this man have all the money, she also feels like she is talking to her father sometimes and this obviously with the age gap.

Even though I’m all for love, I feel like when the age gap is too much, it can become an issue. Not always, because there are a lot of successful marriages where the age gap is a lot. However, it can be a problem for a lot of relationships.

Psychologist, Seth Meyers, Ph.D says that:

While there are always exceptions to the rules, a good rule to remember is that dating someone more than 10 years older will present challenges now or later that add to the preexisting challenges any relationship has

Relationship expert, Rachel Susan also lists areas where a huge age gap can be a problem. She says:

You can see varied cultural references, disapproval from family and friends, and perhaps community disapproval, as well.

She also adds that “it might be hard to relate to each other’s peer groups, too”.

I can understand what they are saying. There are hurdles for a relationship where the age gap is really wide that the couple would have to cross. At the same time, it can be done if the couple has love and respect for each other. As someone who is on a spiritual path with God, I also think that this is the most important thing.

The couple has to see themselves as partners growing together. If the love and respect are strong, they will be fine. Personally, I go with the experts in saying that I wouldn’t want to date a guy that is more than 10 years older than I am. However, if I meet a guy who loves God and loves and respects me strongly, it doesn’t really matter how big the age gap is. While it might present its own issues, as long as he doesn’t treat me with any kind of disrespect, then it wouldn’t be a problem.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Please leave them in the comments below.

About the author

Dolapo Akitoye

Dolapo is a passionate writer and poet. She holds degrees in Journalism and English Literature. She also has a MBA. Read more stuff on her personal blog at www.dollywrites.com

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