Nowhere is this truer than with the issue of age (though from what I’ve heard, race could be a close second.) It seems odd to me that in certain situations we feel it’s permissible, even morally imperative, to shove our two cents down the throats of those who engage in relationships or behaviors we don’t understand. We are mighty selective about what we choose to chime in on as well. We will ignore domestic abuse, child abuse, elderly abuse, the homeless, the poor, the injured…but put a 19 year old man in the arms of a 40 year old woman and all hell breaks loose.
|16 year age gap|
Not true. Everyone develops differently and this issue can occur in close-age relationships as well. Compatibility and the ability to maintain a relationship depend on how well a couple's outlooks coincide and what they require from each other.
Does a mature woman require more than a younger one? Maybe. But many seek such things as a stable family, income, and place to live, including younger woman. The younger man--any man--if to satisfy these needs, must be able to understand them and to cope with the duties of attaining and maintaining them. This requires a specific kind of maturity and responsibility and is something that men can learn at any age. Some may attain it young, others never. Age is not the meter by which this kind of maturity is measured. Instead one must look at education, raising, and innate personality when determining a man's ability to act responsibly and handle pressure.
Also, varying maturity levels are not an issue in themselves. An older woman may use her maturity in beneficial ways, possibly compensating for any lack that the younger man might posses, solving a variety of relationship problems. But of course, a relationship should not be one sided, so the man must be able to meet the woman's needs, often generated by her own maturity, in order to keep their life together balanced.
I'll admit, Kimberly has been through a lot more than me. She's been through a lot more than anyone I know. But this hasn't made me feel inadequate or incapable. I treasure her experiences and learn from them whenever possible. Honestly, I learn from everyone I know.
*A younger man can’t hope to handle family responsibilities such as children and home life that the older woman may require.
Yes, raising children: something a young man is often said to be incapable of doing. However, children require different forms of attention and care, and some of these can be easily addressed by a younger man. First, a younger man can provide for the kids as any man capable of working. He can also watch them and keep them safe. Secondly, a young man can imbue children with the morals and knowledge they need. His only lack may arise in, once again, dealing with the responsibility and stress of raising children. Some men will be able to cope at a young age, others may not, and others may struggle. However, the more mature woman can always use her experience to help her partner handle problems.
Raising children, no matter what your age, is always a learning process. Both an older woman and a younger man, if first time parents, start off with the same level of experience in parenting. And people as young as 18 are known to marry and reproduce together quite frequently, bringing children into a family in which neither of them are experienced.
Now, raising kids does feel daunting, but it would feel that way no matter what age I was. Nothing in my life can prepare me for that kind of responsibility nor give me the skills to do it perfectly. But I'm willing to try. I want to try. Besides, Kimberly knows so much more about kids than me and I will have her support. So, I can't fail. Right? Right, because failure's not an option.
*A younger man isn’t emotionally ready for a mature relationship and will likely be unfaithful with so many wild oats left unsown.
But of course, some may argue that limiting a young man in this way is unjust, robbing him of experiences he is morally obligated to obtain. However, the entire purpose of relationships is to fulfill physical, emotional, and even spiritual needs. If an older woman can fulfill these for her younger man, than that is not depriving him of anything except disappointing and heartbreaking experiences. It’s true that these may be valuable experiences for some, but they only provide knowledge on how to best engage in effective relationships, which is not necessary if already engaged in one.
And I am engaged in one. And I don't have some sort of natural urge to be unfaithful. Instead, I have a natural urge to be with Kimberly.
*If the age gap is more than 7-10 years, the generational gap is too extreme. There will not be a basis for common ground and they will soon tire of each other.
Furthermore, not everyone is tied to their specific generational icons. Kimberly, for example, is sadly lacking in proper pop-culture knowledge of the last several generations. We are working on rectifying this. She is, however, brilliantly informed in literature, art, music and culture. This level of genius spans any gaps between us. The rest I can introduce her to.
See you at the party! Love,
Kimberly and Dmytry