Age Gap Dating Only an Issue if You Make it One
You might have thought at one time you wouldn’t date someone a decade or two older or younger. But then it happened, you couldn’t deny the opportunity and now you are wondering, praying, and hoping that this person is worth all the time and energy you are putting into this relationship. There is one issue that some daters grapple with when new to dating someone younger or older, his or her partner’s age.
Every now and again something will come up that makes it difficult to feel completely confident about the relationship. Whether it is a difference of opinion due to lack of experience, a generation gap when it comes to interests, or a sense of humor you can’t get into because the person is older or younger, these issues tend to remind you of that significant age gap between you and your date. However, your experience dating this person may not be as bad as your mind might be making it out to be.
When dating older or younger, remember you have a choice: you can choose to focus on the pros of the relationship or the cons. Since everyone is different the positive attributes of the relationship that keep you interested in this person are left up to you. Do you like the way she looks, talks and how she manages her time and money? Do you find his conversation interesting and his character trustworthy? Now if the cons are suffocating the pros, meaning that they are taking over your mind quite often, you might want to reconsider dating this person as opposed to swearing off dating mature or young people altogether.
What is it about this person that is so irritating that keeps you thinking about how young she is? Could you be settling with her because you believe you can’t find anyone better? Choosing to focus on the positives of age gap dating will help you learn more about yourself, your special someone’s needs and what you might be able to offer this person you truly care about. Yet, what some pessimists do is spend valuable time analyzing everything that is wrong with the relationship. “She is just a baby…what will people think? We won’t work out because he is just too old. She is 20 years younger than me! I have a daughter her age. He is close to my father’s age!”
People who date older or younger experience disappointments, set backs and more that make them feel like maybe age gap dating is not in their best interest. One wrong comment or joke about someone’s appearance or age can make a person feel bitter and disinterested in “old, tired men… immature, silly women” as some jilted lovers have described ex-partners.
It can be disheartening when one is trying to explain an historical event or childhood interest knowing full well a date isn’t the least bit interested since he or she wasn’t born during that time period or was too mature at the time to even care. It can also make one feel awkward when a mature date is displaying gray hair and out-of-date fashion or young and hip decorated clothing like someone in a music video while people stare at the two misfits.
Age gap dating can become a major problem when one or both parties can’t see beyond their differences. He or she may still hear naysayers’ past comments in his or her head every time there is a challenge in the relationship, “I told you he was too old…she is not your type , she is far too young!” The mature date may be angered because people half his or her age are interested in his or her date. He may even detect that family and friends of his girlfriend are trying to persuade her not to date him. The young woman may have noticed that her older date seems to respond well to women his own age and think, “Why does he bother with me?” Meanwhile, she too is wondering what his family and friends are saying to him about her.
The more you read about people’s personal struggles dating someone older or younger, the more concerns will be raised within you. Sure, it’s a good idea to get wise counsel as you need it when it comes to age gap dating, but sometimes you can find yourself making a big deal out of nothing. Not all age-gap dating challenges apply to all. The more baggage, hang-ups, stereotypes, negativity, etc. someone brings to a relationship, the more likely there will be problems. From unreasonable exes to health issues, if you know you have some things you are personally grappling with and there seems to be no peaceful resolve in your life, you might want to reconsider age gap dating until you are more confident in who you are, what you want, and how you intend to make things happen that will improve your lifestyle. But, if you aren’t having these kind of personal issues and are simply having minor problems with your current date, then address those concerns. You can make your age gap dating experience more enjoyable by doing the following things:
1. Talk about your interests, differences and insecurities with your partner and those you trust for counsel.
2. Visit new places and discover new things together that will bridge the age gap.
3. Meet relatives, co-workers and friends that are supportive.
4. Create distance from those who are unsupportive of your relationship.
Young people know one thing more than most when it comes to dating and that is they believe they have plenty of time. They can start a relationship and finish it without reveling over time lost. Yet, one whose youth and beauty is fading quickly or already long gone, knows he or she doesn’t have time to waste on empty conversation, frivolous spending and hot and cold romances. For some daters, this is why they feel pressure and will pressure a date to make a commitment. Age gap dating can either make you feel like you want to rush things or take your time depending on the pace you set for yourself from the beginning of the relationship to the end. Arrest those negative thoughts about age and focus on the positives concerning your relationship. Most of all, be grateful that you have finally found someone who brings a smile to your face!
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