Ben 10? Should you date a
How to make your relationship work if there’s an age gap between you and your partner
A COUPLE’S VIEW Power couple and co-authors, Mo and Phindi, advise a woman who is worried about dating a man 10 years younger than her
IAM 40 years old and I am dating a man who is 10 years younger than me. He is such a great guy; he calls frequently to check up on me, has taken me out on several dates and paid the bill and massages my feet when I visit his place after work. He is just too perfect and matured than other men older than him whom I previously dated. I have often been of the notion that age is nothing but a number, but my friends are adamant that he is acting this way because this is the start of a potential relationship and like all men, he will change as well. I like him very much, but I am worried about the age factor. Is age everything or just a number? Can I go ahead and date a young man without being scared of what people will say?
FINDING a loving and caring man who is genuinely into you is not easy. Women often become anxious when they reach the age of 40 because almost every man their age is unavailable. The remaining ones are riddled with relationship issues such as fear of commitment, midlife-crisis and player syndrome. Most of them believe they’re doing fine, but fail to realise that few people want to hook up with them.
So if at 40 you caught yourself a good one, reel him in. Love him back even more.
There’s nothing stopping you from dating him except your own limiting beliefs and too much attention to social pressures.
It might work or it might not, but that’ll be the same as with someone your age. We’re not so concerned about him, as he seems fine with dating
a woman 10 years his senior, otherwise he wouldn’t be there. However, we’re more concerned about you and why the age gap seems to bother you.
What if you didn’t know of his age and were simply dating a man who seems loving and caring towards you? If he has genuine intentions, does his age matter? WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND There are some things to keep in mind when dating a man much younger than you:
Less baggage: When you enter into a new relationship, you bring former lovers along with you. But a younger guy likely has less baggage. Men can have preconceived notions about women and relationships based on past experiences. The younger and less experienced he is, the more open he’s likely to be in your relationship. However, less baggage can also mean a lack of relationship skills such as communicating and resolving problems and conflicts. Be selective about your battles and learn to compromise on stuff that’s not vital to your relationship. More energetic: You might have calm and mature dinner dates every now and then, but be ready for a little bit of adventure. Younger men are as adventurous outside the bedroom as they are inside it and they’ll bring out a more youthful, vibrant side of you. Don’t fight that, embrace it. He’s likely to see you as smarter, so he’ll want to please you, not just physically, but emotionally and intellectually. He’ll come up with creative date ideas that will bring romance and a youthful energy and make you feel empowered and appreciated. Mismatched priorities: It’s important to set the ground rules and mutually agree from the onset about what both your intentions are about each other and the relationship. Depending on which stage of life he is in, he’s likely not ready to settle down yet as much as you probably are or want him to be. Getting married and having children may not be top of his priorities. Furthermore, he may still want to remain highly connected with his peers than couple up with you. This is where he derives a big part of his identity still. Unsolicited advice: Whenever he's faced with a challenge, try to understand where he’s coming from, but don’t try to give him advice or “when I was your age” lectures. He’ll go through a lot of first time experiences while dating you and they may be a big deal for him. Let him be. Otherwise you’ll start to sound patronising and open up a whole new can of worms. Know when you can offer help and when he just wants you to listen to him.
Finally, dating a guy much younger than you is a social taboo. Expect to be looked at funny and be talked about. It simply comes with the package.
However, it’s more important what you think and believe than how everyone else, including your friends, feel about the situation. You don’t have to defend yourself to anyone, but you do need to find a way, preferably with your boyfriend, to shut people up. Relationships are hard work and challenging, no matter the age difference. It really depends on whether both of your maturity levels match. If your maturity levels don’t match, you’ll be stuck with a child that happens to shave.