Large Age Gap Relationships - Five Stereotypes Busted
Last updated on : October 08 2021
Are Relationships With Large Age Differences Healthy?
Many people date outside their age group today, and these couples continually face prejudice because of their age differences.
People who insult those who want to date someone older or younger than them are doing a disservice to people who want to be happy and in love.
Given this disservice, we will identify and bust the most common stereotypes about relationships between couples with significant age differences.
Stereotype 1 - A senior relationship is a relationship without sex
According to the users from granniestomeet.com, regular sex slows down aging and prolongs active life.
Interestingly, older people still having sex have a higher life expectancy than those not having consistent sexual experiences.
Still, there is the persistent idea that older people are not sexually involved with their partners.
This conceptualization that older adults are chaste is more of a lingering effect from people not wanting to think of their parents as sexual beings with desires.
While that is a pessimistic view for people to hold of their parents, it's inexcusable and inaccurate to apply that belief to everyone within a specific age group.
Studies have emerged over the years that show older people; specifically, those above 70, are still sexually active.
About 52% of married people over the age of 70 are still sexually active with their partner, and 54% of unmarried men over 70 are sexually active with women in many different age groups.
Over the age of 70, about 25% of people have sex at least once a week.
Thus, it's clear that more mature people are still looking to have sexual interactions with people in their age group and outside of it, too.
When you consider a relationship with someone older than you, you need to realize that they are still sexual beings with feelings of personal intimacy.
Not only is being sexually active with someone in this age group healthy for their physical wellbeing, but it improves their mental wellbeing too.
Remember that a senior relationship is not a chaste one.
Stereotype 2 - A relationship with a significant age gap is always a relationship of convenience
Another big stereotype that people have about being in a relationship with an age gap is that it's about personal convenience.
What do we mean by this? A relationship of convenience refers to when two people are together because they get something they each want.
For example, an older man dating a younger woman is often perceived as a relationship of convenience for several reasons.
For one thing, it's viewed as the man using his potential wealth and knowledge to get what he wants from a younger woman—a physical relationship.
Moreover, it's often said that a young woman looking for an older man is a "gold digger," someone that only wants to be with the man because of his wealth and status instead of his personality.
These accusations make people feel horrible about their relationship, and it can even sow seeds of doubt in one. It is straightforward to see why these stereotypes can be so harmful to the two dating people.
Even if we looked at relationships with an age difference as a marriage of convenience, psychologists have questioned whether that is bad for two people to have.
After all, it was the way people married for hundreds of years before the notions of romantic love came about.
More importantly, it's a presumption that is unfairly levied at people with age gaps in their relationship, usually ten years or more and is usually never thrown at people of similar age.
Also, this stereotype is never used to criticize age gaps in Hollywood or among other famous people because the assumption is that money is the only equalizer in a relationship.
This stereotype dismisses these relationships out of hand. It does not consider the dating couple looking beyond their physical bodies and into the mindset and soul of each other.
More often than not, it seems that only bitter people cannot recognize the beauty of these relationships.
Stereotype 3 - There will be different views about joint children
One murky area of a relationship with an age difference is children.
When you have a significant enough age gap in a relationship, the idea of having children or communicating with existing ones can become troublesome.
According to the stereotype, these relationships are bound to fail because an older person either has children, cannot have more children, or will not want children, and a younger person will always want children.
That is not always the case, and it's certainly not set in stone that an older person's children will dislike the new beau.
However, it's essential not to ignore the fact that dating an older person could come with the complication that they are dating someone much closer in age to their child, especially in relationships with a gap of 15+ years.
While psychologists insist that older parents listen to their children's concerns about their younger dating partner, it is necessary to understand the root of their children's objections.
If they believe that a relationship is bad for their parent because the partner is the wrong choice, that can be significant.
However, if they refuse to deal with the thoughts that their parent is romantic, sexual, intimate being with real feelings and something to offer their young partner, it's safe to ignore their concerns.
Not all relationships are about children, after all.
Some young people are happier without children, and more people feel emboldened to say so in this day and age than ever before.
Still, it is essential to remember that the "children" talk will come up for people with a significant age gap in their relationship. And people in a long-term relationship with an older person will have to make decisions about children early in the relationship.
Stereotype 4 - An attraction to an older person is not healthy
The last criticism often brought against age gap relationships is that it's not healthy to find older people attractive.
Some psychology papers have written about love and attraction to older people, referred to as gerontophilia.
Gerontophilia occurs when a person has a severe physical attraction to older people, which some people begin expressing as early as their mid-20s.
While some people have lumped this in with other unhealthy sexual attractions to specific age groups, the fact is that relationships with older people are not built solely on the physical connection, even though it is there.
Instead, attraction comes from the desire to be with someone with experience and the right mindset for a loving relationship.
People will often find their romantic partners in the same way they find friends of their age—by partaking in the same activities.
Whether working in the same field as their partner or having the same personal interests in an activity, like sports, older and younger people connect and develop a partnership without investing time thinking about their age difference.
Stereotype 5 - Relationships with a large age gap are uncommon and unusual
Dating between older and younger people is more commonly seen nowadays. That has led to some people thinking there is an increase in the number of age gap relationships.
The truth is that age gaps in marriages and partnerships date back thousands of years; it is only in the last century that people have focused so intently on age differences.
Moreover, finding someone who is older and looking for love is more readily available with the advent of specific online dating communities and forums for single people.
Also, older people are healthier than ever and live longer than before, so they have time to contribute and be helpful in relationships.
The belief that older people should not be objects of attraction is a deeply flawed way of looking at relationships.
Prejudices about age gaps in relationships are often unfounded, unsubstantiated, and based on the mistaken belief that older people lack the desire for physical intimacy and the ability to be agents of their own free will.
Holding these stereotypes might also reflect on you because it is no business of yours why two people might want to be together, and you can only surmise why. If you speak or think these thoughts, these actions will always be behind the couple's back.
Hopefully, this article makes you rethink the way you look at relationships.
Make sure that you identify and help dispel the stereotypes about age gaps in relationships to help educate those around you.
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