Well isnt that the $64,000 question? The answer really is a personal thing. There is no right or wrong answer, as long as both parties are over the age of consent. If you were to research the subject you would probably find that it is not uncommon for people to be in a relationship where there is an age gap. Sometimes there is quite a difference in the ages.
In some parts of the world it is not uncommon for young women to marry older men. Everyone has their own opinions as to why a young girl would marry an older man, especially one that is much older than she is. You know the sort of thing, the girls are gold diggers, trophy brides or mail order brides, etc. It is also becoming more popular these days for older women to marry younger men. Again some of these young men may be gold diggers, but most people seem to think it is because the older woman wants a toy boy. Whether like the older men they want to have a trophy on their arm to show off to their friends or whether they prefer younger men for their sex drive, these couples often find their families and friends cant cope with their relationship and often turn against them.
If you were to ask these young women why they would rather be in a relationship with an older man, they are likely to tell you that they are looking for someone who is serious about their relationship. They think that young men dont want to settle down and really dont know what they want. Younger men may also not be thinking about a relationship leading to marriage, whereas an older man has sown his wild oats already and will more probably be looking for a serious relationship. Most women also think that an older man will more likely have a better job than a younger man (although we all know in this day and age that this is not always the case!), therefore the older man will be the better catch. Some women believe that older men wont break their hearts the way younger men have done, they believe that an older man will have the staying power for a long term relationship.
In the case of mail order brides, the young women are looking for an older man to be involved in a long distance relationship. In this instance they are looking for a man with a good job, hence being able to afford to fly to the young womans country to meet her. They hope that this long distance relationship will lead to marriage. But what about love, after all that is usually why couples marry, isnt it? It would appear not for the mail order brides, they say that they want to be attracted to the man they choose, but behaviour is more important. If a man acts like a gentleman, they may in time find him attractive and eventually fall in love with him.
Some women believe that older men know how to treat a lady and believe that a younger man wont be as patient and is more likely to stray. They also believe that an older man wont want to bed everything with a pulse in a skirt. (Yeah I know most guys arent worried about the skirt part these days!)
Personally, I dont think there is a problem with a big age gap in a relationship. However having said that, I have to wonder what on earth a 16-year-old girl and a 50-year-old man have in common. Apart from an ageing man having a dolly bird on his arm, I cannot conceive what she sees in him. Am I being harsh? He may be a stud, the best lover ever, but how would a young girl know that. She wouldnt have had so many sexual partners that she would be able to assess him like that. Would she? Well I hope my 16-year-old daughters havent!!!
We all have different ideas as to what is acceptable to us. We dont choose who we fall in love with, it just happens. So how can we choose what age the person we fall in love with should be? What is acceptable to me might be totally unacceptable to my sister and most certainly would not be acceptable to my parents. However, before we pass comment on anyone else, we should take a close look at our family and friends around us. I know a young girl who is 17 who is courting a 26 year old, now when her parents found out they went ballistic. Well we all want what is best for our kids, but hang on dont go throwing those stones just yet. Her parents for example, what is the age difference there? Well its about 3 or 4 years. What about grandparents? 5 years. Great grandparents? 7 years. Now no one told any of those couples that they couldn't see each other because of the age difference, they all married and were together all their lives.
Of course if my 16 year old daughter came home and told me that she was courting a 50 year old man I would flip out, but at 16 they are classed as adults and there is little or nothing that you can do. If you lay down the law and tell them that they cannot see the older person, then all you will do is push them closer together. If you tell a teenager they arent allowed to do something then that is exactly what they are going to do. Perhaps if you leave it be and dont make a big thing out of it, it might just all fizzle out. To a 16 year old, an older man might seem like a good idea. After all hes experienced, he knows how to treat a girl and when you go out he doesnt expect you to hang around on street corners. But, these young girls will realise that the kick or thrill they get with this older man soon wears off. He wont be able to keep up with a young girl for long. He wont want to go clubbing and partying all night.
As Ive said before there is no right or wrong answer to this question, but I think that this debate will go on for a long time. Does age matter? Surely the answer has to be that it should only matter to the couple concerned. If they are happy with the age gap then everyone else should respect their feelings and wishes and leave them to get on with it. As parents we can only be there to pick up the pieces.
Have a view on anything in particular? Why not share your opinions with other people. Its a great way to get things off your chest!
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