DOES AGE DIFFERENCE MATTER?
Hi Valentine, I have a boyfriend who is nine months younger than me. At first it wasn’t serious but now he wants to meet my family and I’m beginning to love him. However, I am worried the age difference will ruin the relationship?
BY VALENTINE NJOROGE
So, full disclosure – I am 36 and my last boyfriend was 30 – and age was not the reason why we broke up. I believe that age means nothing.
The only rules that state men should be older are societal, and even then, I think economics have more to do with it than anything else. It takes years to build the kind of business or career that can support a family, so most men aren’t ready to settle down until they know that they can take care of a wife and kids. Women are at their most fertile when young and so typically marriages are formed between a slightly older man with money, and a younger woman who can produce a bunch of kids.
That said, age gaps of 10 years or more can create particular challenges regardless of whether the man or woman is older. Each person in that relationship has different cultural references and was influenced by different things as they were growing up.
I joke that I date younger men because I am immature. But the truth is, I am more liberal than my age group, and my perspectives are very different from those of most men who are older than me. I find younger men are as liberal as I am, willing to try new things and generally easier to get along with.
Nine months barely qualifies as an age gap in my mind. You may know Carol Radull, the TV and radio personality? Her husband is nine years younger than her and they have been together for years. I know several other couples with the man being younger than the woman (one by 15 years) and they are happy.
Ultimately it is a matter of personal preference but don’t let such a small thing dissuade you from a relationship in which you are happy.