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Age gaps

Dating someone older than you can be a really exciting turn-on. But relationships with age gaps, especially big ones, can cause problems. Be sure the years won't come between you.

oranges in love

Age gap - not a problem. The fact we're both oranges however....

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How big an age gap is OK?

Age isn’t always an issue in relationships, and many couples span the generations without any significant problems. But there’s no denying that it is a factor when you’re younger.

Why? Because you’re less experienced at dating by default, and the strong emotions that go with it can be hard to handle. At the end of the day, you have to ask whether you might be better off learning from your mistakes with someone closer to your age.

Questions to ask yourself, aren’t so much number-related, but:

  • Are they kind to you and treat you well?
  • Do you feel like an equal in this relationship?
  • Do you feel under any pressure from them for this relationship to move faster than you’re happy with?

Do you just fancy them because they’re older?

Ask yourself what draws you to this person, and be sure that age is not a factor. Sure, an older date can seem more mature and sophisticated than people your own age, but are you really going to have that much in common? It’s good to have different interests, as it helps a relationship to breathe, but if it’s just about having a trophy date then chances are it won’t last long.

Why are they dating someone so young?

As well as asking what you see in someone so much older, ask what that person sees in you. What’s more, why aren’t they dating someone their own age?

Telling your friends

Chances are your mates will have an opinion about whether you should be going out with someone so much older. Your instinct might be to ignore any doubts they cast, but it’s good to hear them out rather than just go with your instinct. They’ll have your best interests at heart, after all, plus they’re not so close to the issue as you.

Telling your family

If you’re still living at home, and planning on dating someone old enough to be your mum or dad, then you should consult your folks. If you’re living under their roof then you can’t expect them to turn a blind eye to the situation. If you’re keen to make the relationship work, then why not invite your date to meet them – that way they can see this person is genuine about you, and not someone who simply ‘likes their bananas green’.

What about sex?

If you’re much younger than your partner, chances are, you might be less sexually experienced too.   They’ve had more years to work up to stuff, and try things out with different people. It can be sexy, taking lessons from a more-experienced tutor, but it’s SO important you’re comfortable with all the sexual developments when they happen. Don’t feel any pressure, or be under any rush just because they’ve done certain things already.

Photo of oranges by Shutterstock

Next Steps

  • Visit Madly in Love to discuss mental health and relationships, share stories and get support and advice.
    • Got a question about friends, dating, love or family life? Ask one of our trained advisors. This service is free and totally confidential.
    • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
    • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.

By

Updated on 07-Aug-2014

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