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In any mature relationship, the highest priority tends to be how compatible we are with our mate.
Everyone wants to have a partner that makes them feel understood, appreciated and cared for. And it sometimes happens that you find this kind of compatibility with a person you never would have expected. For example, what if the person you love is a decade or two older (or younger) than you are?
While we may think “love conquers all” there are some common issues that couples with wide age gaps face. Read on to discover just what those issues might be.
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What’s “Normal” In Relationships?
Statistics on modern relationships have shown that the majority of people partner with someone who is within three to five years of their own age.
But as our society has become more accepting, we have begun to see ever-increasing age gaps in relationships. It’s not uncommon now to see partners with an age difference of ten to fifteen years or even more.
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What Problems Can Arise For Couples With Wide Age Gaps
One of the most immediate issues for partners with large age differences is that they are at different points in their lives in regards to their careers, family, travel and general experience. If the older partner has experienced many major milestones already, they may not be interested in doing it all over again.
For example, a 30 year old eager to start a family may find it conflicts with their 50 year old partner who is already raising teenagers from their previous marriage. The idea of starting a second family may or may not be on their “to do” list, and it’s important that both partners opinions are taken into account.
The age difference becomes more obvious when you compare major life experiences. That’s why it’s vital that both partners are open about what it is they’re looking for in the relationship from the very beginning.
Another common issue is when a couple is mistakenly identified as parent and child.
How many times will you be able to ignore it when a waiter talks to your “Dad” instead of you? Will you laugh it off or will you set them straight? Something else to consider: if you are habitually attracted to much older partners, you may have issues that should be addressed before you commit to a relationship.
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What Are Some Of The Healthy Care Issues That You May Want To Consider
You may not think that the twenty year age gap is that big a deal right now, but as you get older it may turn into a huge consideration. You need to recognize this as something that most likely will affect your life together. The quality of your lifestyle will be impacted by the age and health of your partner.
A couple with twenty years of age difference means that one of you will be an active middle aged person, perhaps firmly ensconced in an fulfilling career, while the other is readying for retirement. The older partner may be eager to start traveling and enjoying their golden years; how will that work when the other partner is still working 40 hour weeks with 2 weeks’ vacation a year?
What’s more, while it’s true that “age ain’t nothing but a number”, sooner or later time will have its way. How will you cope when you are no longer a partner and lover but have become your spouse’s full time health care provider?
Relationships with large age differences can work. Like any other happy partnership it takes devotion, honest communication and lots of work.
But if the love is there, it is always worth the effort.
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