Age Difference in Couples

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ninj

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In another thread, the topic of the gap of years between partners came up. Some interesting discussion started around the double standard that exists that assumes it's always normal for men to have a younger, (sometimes much younger) partner, but it's somehow less acceptable when women are the older ones. They are considered to be either predators or gold diggers.

Other consequences from the older/younger pairing aren't gender-specific and apply to same-sex marriage too, like values, tastes, memories, the opinions of family and friends.

Is this changing? Thoughts?
 

Carolla

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I suspect it may be changing - I do know of a much younger couple where she is a few years older, but they seem well matched.

I think when the age difference is substantial (+10 years?) the difference is noticeable in the early years, not so much in the middle of life, and then again more significant when one partner is in their senior years. A friend's parents were 25 years difference - Dad was older. They had a family "later" in his life - so by the time the kids were teens he was into his 80s which created additional stresses.
 

ChemGal

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When it's only a few years and people are adults, who cares? My grandma is older than my grandpa and it seemed to be just fine. I'm older than Chemguy by slightly over a month.
With big age differences I personally get an ick factor. That varies at the age range. Like a 13 year old and a 18 year old - totally different stages in life, one barely into their teens and a legal adult. 20 and 25? I question why, especially when I was in undergrad and had friends with relationships that had similar spans but especially if both undergrads at the time it wasn't so out there. In grad studies I do know a few people who waited until the end of the course to start dating students from the courses they TAed. It didn't matter gender-wise, I judged them similarly. I felt like it wasn't the way to start a relationship - basically if you have to wait for someone to 'age-up' or get out of a teacher/student type of relationship it seems like maybe seeking out someone else is a good idea. Over time though it becomes less of an issue.

I do know professors who have dated undergrad students - to me that's a different level of inappropriate. Ditto for family relationships ie. aunts or uncles, even if not a blood relationship don't get into an intimate relationship with relatives.
 
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I am about 2 years older than my ex, but I didn’t really consider that a notable difference. When I was in my 20’s, I had a few “boyfriends” who were 5-10 years older. Looking back, they wanted to “show me the ropes”, shape me...they enjoyed my naïveté. Some of their “guidance” was appreciated - some of it was not, it was just controlling.

I don’t think younger men, significantly younger, are generally attracted to older women. Some, maybe, have passing curiousity. But I have no false expectations of meeting a vibrant 29 yr old who will sweep me off my feet. They just wouldn’t be into me. And that’s totally okay.
 
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Mendalla

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I am 9 years younger than Mrs. M and it's only now becoming an issue as she draws near retirement and I really have a few years left before I am ready. Though I am mellowing on that as I start to realize just how much I have lost interest in my present job.

In general, I have no issue with age gaps so long as both are above the age of consent (16 in Canada) and there is no obvious exploitation going on. I do think that there is a certain amount of older men (and to an extent older women) for whom a younger partner is a way of proving they are still sexual, passionate beings rather than a serious relationship. Not if that is exploitation or who is exploiting whom if it is.
 

KayTheCurler

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I don't take much notice of which partner is the older unless there is a huge difference. Most of the couples I know consist of a man and a slightly younger woman. Some friends, long married, have the woman five years older than the guy. Never seen any problems coming from that. However, I was taken aback a bit when a recently graduated girl married a fifty year old neighbour. They proceeded to start a family about a year later. I have lost track of them over the years, but he would definitely be an old man by now.
 

ninj

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Hugh Jackman has been happily married to his wife, Debbora-Lee Furness, for over 20 yrs. They have 2 kids. The age difference is 13 years (she's older).
Also France's president Emmanuel Macron is married to Brigette Trogneaux who is 24 years older....the same gap as Melania & Donald Trump.
I expect it will be less of a "thing" over time.
 
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ninj

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I don’t think younger men, significantly younger, are generally attracted to older women. Some, maybe, have passing curiousity. But I have no false expectations of meeting a vibrant 29 yr old who will sweep me off my feet. They just wouldn’t be into me. And that’s totally okay.
Oh ya never know ;) As long as you have a genuine interest and attraction to each other.
 
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ninj

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I suspect it may be changing - I do know of a much younger couple where she is a few years older, but they seem well matched.

I think when the age difference is substantial (+10 years?) the difference is noticeable in the early years, not so much in the middle of life, and then again more significant when one partner is in their senior years. A friend's parents were 25 years difference - Dad was older. They had a family "later" in his life - so by the time the kids were teens he was into his 80s which created additional stresses.
I was talking to a very young woman once whose father had Alzheimer's. He was 35 years older than her mother. She had younger siblings too. But misfortune happen in any relationship.
 

Naman

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This thread is making me very thoughtful. I will have to take some inventory and think some more before comment further.
 

Waterfall

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My sister's husband is 15 years older than she is. Now in his early seventies, she is in her late 50''s.
Travel out of the country is now not a possibility due to his serious health problems and the extremely high cost of health insurance. She remains very active through work and her community and he is retired now for 13 years. She supports the family, while he putters around the house and she constantly encourages and finds outlets for him outside of the home to keep him from being too much underfoot.
He has increasing anxiety problems throughout the night and many trips to doctors and sometimes emerg. Depression has been an issue for him too.
She loves him dearly but as she says marrying someone so much older does present a unique set of problems to deal with as they physically and mentally age faster than you. Her life is now more restricted as she puts it.....but on the other hand health problems can happen to the younger one too.
 

Mendalla

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Yeah, I have kind of lucked out in that my wife takes after her mother, who remained pretty healthy, independent, and active into her eighties. That's one of the reasons our age gap isn't that apparent in daily life.

In the end, I am probably more likely to have aging issues than she is given that I am already dealing with type 2 diabetes and arthritis in my fifties.
 

Seeler

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Seelerman is six years older than I. We were 29 and 23 when we were married, but he always seemed younger than his age. Many of his friends were in their early 20s. The only time I think I noticed that he was older was when the children were little. He never seemed to play and roughhouse with them like I saw other fathers doing. But perhaps this was just his personality, and the fact that he worked long hours. I was the one took them sliding, or enrolled Seelerboy in hockey or T-ball. I was the one the try to teach him to catch a fly ball. And I was the one that recognized their need for incteasing independence as they reach their teens. Nevertheless, he loved his children and tried to be a good father.
He continued to look and feel younger than he was. People were surprised when he retired at 65. He thought he was 10 years younger. Now in his 80s, people think he is in his early 70s at most.
I find that as people get older their health and physical condition is more important than their number of years. Right now Seelerman is much stronger and more active than I am. He does much of the housework and laundry, as well as all of the outside work, and some of the cooking. He keeps his bowling average up, and dances every dance even when I sit one out.
And he still as handsome as ever, with his white (and thinning) hair and neatly–trimmed beard.

Not for everyone. My older sister is a month younger than her husband – they grew old and feeble together. My younger sister is several years older than her husband, he kept her young until recent years, and now they too seem to be aging together. They have recently sold their home in the country and downsized to a small apartment in town. In many ways Seelerman seems to be the healthiest of us all, even though he is actually the oldest.
 
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Waterfall

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Yeah, I have kind of lucked out in that my wife takes after her mother, who remained pretty healthy, independent, and active into her eighties. That's one of the reasons our age gap isn't that apparent in daily life.

In the end, I am probably more likely to have aging issues than she is given that I am already dealing with type 2 diabetes and arthritis in my fifties.
Doesn't always work that way....my Moms mother lived to 96...she died at 49. My older sister died at 56....I have outlived them both.
 
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Oh ya never know ;) As long as you have a genuine interest and attraction to each other.
I would prefer someone my own age, or close-ish to it, actually. I notice good looking younger men but I don't think I would want to date anyone under 40. Also, someone who is an intellectual "depth" match is as important as anything else. Someone who has things to talk about. I miss my ex a lot - we talk on Skype. We are a mental match in lots of ways - that is most important in a mate, seriously. I knew that but it's been affirmed with distance. I really don't miss when he behaved like a 20 yr old, especially when it was important that he be more mature, though.
 
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That was a problem too often, still is. Maturity level, for men and women is important - I think. And that tends to - but not always - come with age. We regressed when life hit hard, but we're anomalies. Or maybe we're not. Maybe marriages breaking up is always a bit to do with regression in maturity when life hits road bumps.
 
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It's really doubtful, in any case, that a man in his twenties, would want anything to do with the average woman in her mid forties or older - and it's kind of creepy to think of that dynamic dating, imo. There would have to be something not quite right with that picture - some issues - for that to happen.
 

Lastpointe

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My sister is 11 years younger than her husband. Now that she is 70 and he 81 it seems a bit more of a problem

My daughter at 24 started dating a guy who was 29. After about a year they lived together. She hosted a 30th birthday party for him and his friends. About six months later we were all taking a trip and we were buying the tickets. So we had to have his passport info. At that point he had to tell her he was actually 38. Eventually that broke them up, though it was the lie more than the age difference
 
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