17 December 2008

Does Age Matter In Relationships?

I found this article from femalenetwork.com very nice that's why am reposting it here:

Does age matter in relationships?

Dec 9, 2008 by FN's Trixie Reyna


At one point in our lives, a lot of us have dated a man who’s either too young or too old for us. Think ten years younger or older. At the very least. Did that particular dating stint stand out from the rest? Did it lead to a relationship? And did age spell the difference in the success or failure of that relationship?

Let’s focus on the relationship in which the woman is significantly older than the man, in the meantime. According to WebMD.com, sexual desire is one of the major considerations older women fall for younger guys. The ego boost from having a younger man still fall for her makes getting into this relationship even easier for the woman. Beyond the physical level, it seems younger men “offer a cultural understanding of older women that they just don’t get from men their own age or older,” as gender expert Susan Shapiro Barash was quoted as saying in the article.

Some younger men, meanwhile, tend to go for older women simply because she has achieved a certain level of experience, confidence, and sophistication—sexual or otherwise—which is a major turn-on. It also helps that older women somehow alleviate the pressure they feel about having to be the breadwinner.

Among the downsides, however, are the woman’s concern about her ticking biological clock, her fear of growing physically too old for her partner, the risk that the younger man may eventually turn to a woman his age eventually, and the big difference in level of maturity, which can eventually cause problems.

There is also a certain stigma against this type of relationship. In the Philippine context, for instance, some people stereotype older women dating younger men as “sugar mommies.” Another term used for “older women who actively seek out younger men” is “cougars,” says WebMD.com. In whichever context, it seems “the bulk of our ‘scorn’ still seems directed squarely at the reputation of the older women,” as observed from a study done on the implications of marriages involving women a decade or more older than their mates published in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy in 2006.

With these pros and cons of an older woman-younger man pairing, you can also pretty much assume their similarity with the downsides and perks of a younger woman dating a much older man. Bottom line, making a quite unconventional relationship work really depends much on how the individuals involved handle the relationship and not let certain pre-conceived notions affect their choice. The same rules for dating and seeking your ideal partner apply.

To quote another article on age differences, “Cougars? May-December? Does Age Matter When You’re Dating?” asserts, “In all your relationships, you will do well if you don’t make assumptions about anyone based on outward appearance, age, sex, race, or any other bias. You’ll do well if you can take each person as they are, for who they are, and know them before you judge.”

So we’d like to know: If you have not yet dated a man way younger or older than you are, will you? Why or why not?

Photo by idman from everystockphoto.com

1 comment:

Avid Relationship Analyzer said...

I have dated an older man from work, mainly because we spend so much time at the office than we do with anyone else or anywhere else. It cultivated a common ground and similar topics of interest. When we are in our business attire, I'm sure people assume we are just colleagues at dinner. However when stepping outside of our "bubble", we face plenty of stereotypical judgments.