How To Navigate Age Gaps In Your Relationships
Discussing age gaps is all the rage right now. Whether it’s gossiping about Leonardo DiCaprio and his significantly younger GFs or ~viral~ articles, we simply can’t get enough of them. That said, we want you to be prepared for navigating one if it ever becomes a reality for you. You never know who might come along!
Plus, if you’re already in one, odds are that because of the taboo, you might feel a little weird going to others for advice. Trust, though: No matter where you’re at with this, we got you. Here’s what we think you should know, according to experts…
Learn More About The 🌎
For starters, an age gap relationship can be a great learning opportunity. “The difference in generations can lead to fascinating conversations, exposing partners to new ideas, cultural references, and ways of thinking that they may not have encountered otherwise,” explains therapist Sophie Cress, LMFT. They can also provide a sense of stability and balance, Cress says, as “partners may complement each other's strengths and weaknesses, creating a harmonious dynamic.”
Stuck In Different Stages 📈
Like any relationship, age gap partnerships come with their own set of challenges. One might be opposing priorities. “While one partner may be more focused on advancing their career or starting a family, the other may be content with their career or close to retirement,” Cress says. If these differences go unaddressed, it can cause tension and conflict.
Social Stigma Sucks!
Age gap relationships “are often judged and stereotyped by society,” Cress says. This can also lead to external pressures and scrutiny from family and friends, which can affect the relationship and undermine a couple’s confidence.
Make It Work, If You Want To 🥰
“Rather than viewing age disparities as obstacles, you should celebrate the diversity and richness they bring to the relationship,” Cress says. This means embracing the differences in cultural references, music tastes, and generational experiences as opportunities to broaden your horizons and deepen your connection with each other. You can also strengthen your bond by finding common interests that you can enjoy together.
Don’t Forget: Address Power Dynamics!
“It's important to be aware of power dynamics that can arise when there's an age difference, and to work proactively to maintain an equitable relationship,” Cress says. It’s crucial that you encourage open dialogue about decision-making, responsibilities, and contributions to ensure both partners feel empowered and valued.
Overall, everyone has varying comfort levels with age differences in relationships. So trust your instincts, prioritize mutual respect and understanding, and choose a partner who values and supports you, regardless of age! 💜