Age doesn’t matter as most will say. But it is far from reality. Even with love in the air, maintaining a “May-December relationship” is definitely challenging.
In fact, according to a study by Emory University in Atlanta, the bigger the age gap the bigger the chance of separation. Out of 3,000 couples, they found out that couples with a five-year age gap are 18% more likely to split up compared to those with a gap less than 5-years. And this increases to 39% when the age gap is 10-years. And a whopping 95% for those with a 20-year age gap.
Another longitudinal study (13 years!) by the Household, Income and Labor Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) surveyed 8,682 households with 19,914 individuals. They were surveyed each year to about their life satisfaction.
They found out that men with younger wives tend to be more satisfied than men with older wives. Likewise, women with younger husbands are more satisfied than women with older husbands.
Basically, the older person is generally happier than the younger one.
But for what it’s worth, statistics are just statistics. Age gap relationships certainly have ups and downs but we have the power to influence the outcome. Sure, it will be hard. But we have the power to be the outlier and achieve our forevers.
With that, we give you some tips to overcome the challenges of age gap relationships.
The Judging Eye
People are quite judgmental with everything (especially if you’re in the Philippines). They judge your clothes, the way you speak. Heck, they even judge why you eat pizza with pineapples (It’s Hawaiian good!).
With a romantic relationship with someone old to be your father, you are sure to bring stares and irks from many. Our tip? Just ignore them. As with many haters, they might not have enough spice in their lives that’s why they gossip about yours.
Bring out that rhinoceros thick skin and flaunt your love in the world without pretensions.
Judgment from Family, and Friends
It’s a totally different scenario when such judgment comes from your family and friends. You will have so much unsolicited advice as to why your relationship will never work. This words will hurt as they come from people you are close with.
But know that regardless of age, this is what they do. They just don’t want you to be hurt. Be patient. Let them take their time to accept your relationship. Do not go all defensive and ballistic when they start butchering your love one.
Remember, these support systems are essential in your long-term relationship. Even though you don’t believe their qualms, you need your friends and family on this journey.
Know that it is just a phase. As long as you show that you are happy with your relationship, they would have no choice but to accept it. You are family after all.
Gaps in Interests
Growing up in two different decades might pose differences in interests. I mean you haven’t even existed when he was watching his favorite children’s shows.
But is this not common in every relationship? We all have our own likes and dislikes. It’s just more likely to have differing views when age comes in.
To battle this, why not find something that you both like? Find interests that you can share as a couple and try to work out things that you disagree with.
With mutual compromise and mutual enjoyment of interest, I’m sure your relationship has more lifeline than what those gossipmongers predict around.
Planning for the Future
The future is certainly something that should be discussed when you have a long-term relationship. But the age gap might provide a challenge as to what goals each one wants to pursue or can still pursue.
Do you still want children? What will we do when age-related illness kicks in? How about the finances?
The older of the two might be offended by these questions because of their self-image. It may even go above as fear that you might leave them because they are growing old and weak. With your good intentions, you need to talk about these aspects of life. But it should be discussed sensitively.
Why? Because what makes a relationship strong are shared goals. The lack of shared goals is the reason why couples break down. And when you know what you both exactly want, you can both work together in achieving it.
With that, I wish you a fruitful relationship for all of forever!