A romantic relationship involving partners with a significant age gap is frankly stigmatized and scrutinized in our society. Like any other relationship, an age gap relationship is based on a complex combination of personal preferences, attraction, and of course, power dynamics. But it’s only you who can decide the best suitable kind of relationship or type of partner for you. Here are a few aspects to ponder in an age-gap relationship.
The Generation Gap Factor
According to Manhattan-based couple therapist Irina Firstein LCSW, the generation gap is very real and can cause big problems in a romantic relationship. The expression of a generation gap can be reflected in various aspects, from opposite values to different general ideas of romance. She suggests finding the solution in complete honesty with yourself and your partner, and setting a few hard boundaries instead of shifting your own beliefs.
The Possibility of Having Different Interests
This is another problematic issue most couples face in a romantic relationship with a significant age gap. For instance, while the older partner may prefer a content lifestyle with an early to bed early to rise habit, the younger partner can miss the livelier lifestyle with late-night-outs and restaurant hopping. As physiologist Dr. Sarah E. Hill suggests, age-gap couples should cultivate new hobbies and forge new shared interests to be enjoyed and explored together. Developing a common network with people navigating the same relationship terrain also helps.
Facing a Ton of Stigma
Despite so much progression, society is still full of stigma around relationships with a significant age gap. The worst part is that this toxic vibe can seep into a couple’s space, creating strains in a partnership. Communicating openly with your partner about social expectations and stressors can go a long way to getting ahead of all stigma. A sense of humor can work too! If a couple can laugh about the assumptions and stereotypes, it works like a stress-buster and brings them closer.