Wait! He’s How Old Again?

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WAIT! HE’S HOW OLD AGAIN?

“Age, status, and opinions of others are irrelevant. Our hearts are endless and our souls infinite… Ages are mere reminders of the hours logged on this earth and the precious time remaining… Close your ears and open your hearts; Love and be happy”

The above quote is from few tweets by Casper Smart back in 2011 when it was rumoured that the back-up dancer and choreographer was dating Jennifer Lopez shortly after the singer went public with her decision to divorce Marc Anthony. And if you do follow global entertainment news, at least you would know by now how the whole thing eventually ended. Though my post today is not about those two people, because I don’t write entertainment news, and I am not thinking about doing so very soon. But because I am talking about age differences in relationships, especially in a situation where the woman is older, those two people came to mind.

There are times when age difference in relationships really matter and other times when it really doesn’t. But from an evolutionary perspective, it makes sense for women to prefer mates with resources and to like partners who are more established in age and life experiences.  All of which are more likely to be found in older male partners. Men, in contrast, are hypothesized to be most attracted to women in their reproductive prime, which tends to be when they are younger. So, most times normalcy is when the man is older in a relationship. But times have changed and men aren’t the only ones who date younger people, and the archetype of the “cougar” is rapidly becoming a part of the public consciousness.

Age itself might not be a big factor in compatibility, but elements like maturity and life experience, which tend to correlate with age, can make or mar a relationship’s long-term potential. But so can future goals, background, culture, family, career, personality, and sexual chemistry. In my experience, maturity and age are two things that rarely co-mingle but age still does matter in relationships, and any guy that tells you otherwise is either just coming out of secondary school and had a crush on one of his teachers, or he worships Hugh Heffner.

My post today might be talking about a younger man in a romantic relationship, but at the same time an older man in a romantic relationship should take a cue as well. For me, if your woman is 20 years younger than you; tell yourself what you want, you are a sugar daddy to me. And as for women, you can’t tell me it is love that will make you to date and even go ahead to marry someone you are 20 to 30 years older than, especially in this part of the world. Are you Madonna?

But if you are still adamant and want to go ahead to buy that 21 years old boy’s love and loyalty with money and turn him to a ‘toy boy’ when you are already in your 40’s, you might just consider these points below.

 

  • Know When the Difference Is Too Large

 

I understand that love can be fickle, and you can claim that you somewhere along the line fell in love with that young man; (even though I don’t believe you) a large age difference can undermine the long-term viability of your relationship. If you want to have children, you’ll have to consider whether fertility will be an issue and whether you especially will be around long enough to help raise your kids (Dude can decide to kill you sometime in the future). Age differences can also mean significant differences in lifestyle, things he wants to do, you might not want to do them anymore, and if you decide to play along just to catch up with him, you might end up looking like a fool.

 

  • Understand Your Reasons

 

Before you begin a relationship with a guy much younger than you, it’s important to make a careful assessment of your motivations. If you only date people who are members of a different generation, it might reveal something about your approach to relationships. If you have a history of dating people who are significantly younger than you are, maybe you like to feel  your partner admires your experience, or you simply want to slow down your age or constantly roll back the years. A significant age difference might not necessarily mean something is significantly wrong, but a long-standing pattern is always worth examining.

 

  • There Will Be Generational Differences

 

No matter how understanding you are, there will be some generational differences. You might have different political views, find each other’s music obnoxious, or have no understanding of historical events that profoundly influenced your partner’s life. So, the question you need to ask yourself is, “Am I prepared? Am I going to cope for a lifetime?”

 

  • There Will Be Criticism

 

Be prepared to explain why you’re in love with this younger man, especially to your close family members and friends. And be prepared for snide, inconsiderate remarks from the public. I don’t have any tips on this, but you might need to take a crash course from Toyin Lawani, 32 year old CEO of Tiannah Styling, on how she handled all the insults and criticism thrown at her when she announced her engagement to her 21 year old boo back in 2013.

 

  • As You Age, There Will Be Insecurities.

 

We all don’t like to age, and the older person in the relationship definitely doesn’t. So, when you are 50, and you see your 30 years old partner having a happy conversation with someone in his age bracket, won’t you find yourself wondering if your partner connects better emotionally with someone their own age instead of you? What do you plan to do about it?

And as for you, the ‘Ashton Kutcher’ of Nigeria, I have just two things to point out to you, before you start singing the over-played ‘age is a number’ song.

First, marriage vow states “In Sickness and in Health” and I know that you know health and the natural aging process are both factors that will impact on the quality of your lifestyle with a partner who is vastly older than you. I know you feel very cool about it now, but how will your relationship cope with the ravages of time? Would you be frustrated because of the different energy levels? If you are 28 and your partner is 42, and still looking good, it may seem nothing today. But when you are 45, and your wife is already approaching retirement, will you be comfortable with the idea of becoming your wife’s live-in-lover or live-in-nanny?

Secondly, have you considered the additional baggage? Has your ‘Sugar wife’ being married before? Does she have kids from previous relationships or marriage? Can you deal with that? Consider these two things before you propose to that older woman, abi na she dey propose to you sef. Stay Safe.

 

Christopher Bamidele

Christopher Bamidele

Chris Bamidele is a passionate and unapologetic Nigerian; an amateur writer and aspiring TV director who holds a first degree in Mass Communication, but majored in Radio and TV Broadcasting. He is cool headed, a realist, and an optimist to the core. Chris Bamidele blogs African stories on www.degreatest2.wordpress.com and tweets @degreatest2. He currently lives in Lagos.

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