THE 1988 hit single Twice My Age by Shabba Ranks and Crystal still holds true in 2017, as many couples partner up while having wide age disparities. Though many insist that age is just a number, there’s still some hesitation when it comes to admitting that one partner is much older or much younger, because of the fear of what others may think.
According to relationship counsellor Wayne Powell, there are upsides and downsides to a generation gap in a relationship. And before two people decide to be involved in a relationship where one partner is much older than the other, Powell says it is important that they frankly discuss the challenges that will arise.
“Be prepared to deal with the opposition you will get from family and friends. There will be awkward moments, especially when you have to make introductions. There must be a comfort level on the part of both individuals. If one or both parties are embarrassed about the situation, then it is advisable to terminate the relationship. A closet relationship has no future,” Powell said.
The advantage of such a relationship, according to Powell, will differ for each partner. He explained that if you should ask a woman why she is romantically involved with a man who is old enough to be her father, she might give reasons that include financial security. Men, on the other hand, will give reasons like sex appeal for dating women much younger than themselves.
The relationship counsellor listed the following downsides of the May/December relationship:
1. Both parties are miles apart in terms of life experiences, and invariably the age gap will pose a problem.
2. Most men who enter into this kind of relationship are striving desperately to deal with that dreaded mid-life crisis.
3. The man tends to be insecure and jealous, as he is quite aware that she might leave him for a younger guy.
4. His fatherly instinct kicks in from time to time to the extent that he comes across as being overprotective.
5. The man may be unfit and unappealing (beer belly) and pose a sexual turn-off to his partner.
6. He may not understand or be able to keep up with her youthful exuberance.
7. He may not be able to keep up with her insatiable appetite for sex.
Despite the differences, Powell said if both parties truly want the relationship to work, the best option would be to visit a counsellor to iron out the issues that will arise.
— Kimberley Hibbert