Is Age Really A Factor?

Does age really matter when it comes to being happy or having a lasting marriage? There are many ideas on what the optimal age difference between partners should be. Most publications or studies I have seen say that the best age difference between partners is 3-5 years. Anything greater than 9 years is considered a significant age difference. A significant age difference between partners can mean a difference in lifestyle, beliefs, tastes, energy levels, and sex drives. But this does not mean that two people with a significant age difference cannot have a very happy marriage or relationship. It just means that they may have to work a little harder at it at times. I think that age is a state of mind and if two people are compatible then their actual age doesn't really matter. As long as they are adults to start with of course.

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Interesting Facts

Men who marry younger women live longer lives. Reasoning is that she has a stronger social presence and it motivates and helps the man who typically doesn't have as much social interaction with people.

The greater the age difference (younger or older) between partners the lower the woman's life expectancy. Reasoning is that she receives less social support because of violating the norms in society and tends to be rejected from society.

Lifestyle, Beliefs, Energy Levels

People usually start dating and start relationships because there is some kind of connection there. They connect on some level. If the connection is there and can be built upon, the age difference sits in the background. It can rear its head at times and should be dealt with as it does. If there are disagreements on things such as beliefs, those should be discussed and worked out. Really no different in a relationship without a significant age difference. If there are lifestyle issues then I do not think those two people would really be together to start with. They would determine early on that they have different lifestyles that do not agree with one another. We all have different energy levels regardless of age. There are many older people that have a higher energy level than their younger counterpart. I think this is something once again that can be worked out if two people care for one another and it becomes a problem later in the relationship.

Realizing A Few Things

Being in a relationship with someone that is significantly older means you have to understand that there will come a time when your older partner will not be as active as you are. Or that you may have to take care of your spouse later in life. Children may not have that parent as long as the other younger parent. These are things that have to be expected and should be thought about before you make the commitment to be in that relationship. Realizing this later in the relationship could cause the relationship to end. Nothing in life is guaranteed. Your older spouse could outlive you by years. But you have to know that things like this are a possibility.

Our Family
Our Family | Source

Our Significant Age Difference

I have been married to my husband for 4 years and have been with him for 7 years now. He is 17 years older than me. This is our second marriage for both of us. I had two children by my previous marriage and he had none. I intended on him being my Sugar Daddy! I would always laugh and tell him and all my friends this as we were dating. The Sugar Daddy status ended when I found myself expecting our first child together. Oops. He had his first child at 50 years old. Fourteen months later we had a second child together. With four children all together he became a father and no longer could be considered my Sugar Daddy. We connected the first time we met on many levels and age did not really play into it. We do find at times that age comes up or may be the reason for disagreements on things. We work those things out. I sometimes wonder what planet he is on or can not figure out why he feels the way he does about things. We can agree to disagree on things at times and just leave it at that. I have no clue what he is talking about when he references old TV shows or things that happened in the 60's. I give him that opportunity to be the expert on something and enlighten me. It is quite funny at times. I can't wait until he can get his 10% senior citizen discount at Hardee's! We have a lot of kids and that will go a long way. His friends have grandchildren and he has a 4 year old daughter and 3 year old son with two stepchildren under 13. He says he wouldn't have it any other way. Being in our relationship is sometimes like being in a hurricane because that is just the type of woman I am. Our significant age difference gives our relationship a nice balance and I wouldn't want it any different. So it is possible to be happy when there is a significant age difference with a little extra effort here and there.

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Comments 9 comments

Au fait profile image

Au fait 5 years ago from North Texas

The idea that only people with a 'significant' age difference have different tastes, libidos, values, energy levels, etc., is ludicrous on it's face.

You will look very hard to find 2 people in the world who agree on absolutely everything, and after all that searching you will come up empty handed. There is no such thing as 2 people who agree on absolutely everything. Even identical twins -- as close in age as 2 people can get -- have differences.

There will always be some differences between spouses, best friends, and family members. Learning how to deal with those differences in a positive way is the key.

It is important when it comes to marriage, to take the time to explore these issues where there may be important differences BEFORE one gets married. However, many people who do realize there are some major issues between them go into denial and imagine being married will solve the problem, or that having a baby will solve the problem. I promise you neither of these things will solve the problem -- they will make the problem worse if anything.

It can be difficult to accept that love doesn't solve everything, but sometimes it doesn't. More often than you might think, it doesn't. Instead of solving the problem, people end up killing the love.

Learn to accept that no one is perfect and find a practical, logical, caring way to deal with the differences. If you can't do that, admit it to yourself and accept that marriage may not be in the works for that particular relationship.

A very painful decision often times, but like so many things, you can pay a little bit now or you can pay a whole lot later. Another words, endure the pain of not being able to marry the person you love at that moment, or go through an horrendous divorce later. More than 50% of all first marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. About 57% in the Bible Belt.

Always remember what your priorities are -- keeping your marriage and your family together and happy -- and not necessarily winning the argument and being right. Sometimes putting the importance of winning and being right ahead of everything else can mean the end of a relationship, and especially if you're already married, that's not a win.

I'm glad your marriage is working well for you now, and I wish you and your family the very best for the future!

Voting you UP and interesting . .


angela p profile image

angela p 5 years ago from Richmond, Virginia Author

Au fait - I agree. I also thought that all relationships have these issues. Thanks for commenting.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

Angela to Angela -- My last husband (and I do mean my last) was 20 years younger than I. I was a "cougar" (I guess as this was 20 years ago) before the word was ever coined. We divorced over problems that would/could be encountered by anyone of any age. In fact he made it clear to everyone that age was not the problem -- I didn't make anything clear to anyone once I made up my mind. Age, or lack thereof, is the worst reason in the world not to be with someone you love -- life's too short. Now, would I do it again? Probably not -- raising one was enough! LOL. Best, Sis


angela p profile image

angela p 5 years ago from Richmond, Virginia Author

Angela-you are so funny. You are right. Life is too short. We are happy and age is not a big deal for us. I am just happy to find someone to put up with me! Lol. Thanks!


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

Hi angela,

Love your theory. I feel that age should never be an issue to connect with people. It's the mind set and the thinking that matters. I am happy that you found your better half even with a wide age difference. Cheers to many more happy years together..Merry Christmas!


angela p profile image

angela p 4 years ago from Richmond, Virginia Author

Ruchira - thanks for commenting. I don't think about our age difference and it doesn't really come into play much. When it does we handle it and move on. Appreciate the kind comment. Merry Christmas to you too!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Hello,"angel," here on January 11, 2012.

GREAT read! Amazing presentation. Informative and very helpful. Voted up and away for I love your writing style and I am now honored to FOLLOW you.

Wish you my best on the stay-at-home mom project. Just be tough when you need to and tender all of the time.

Please keep up the great work and I Invite YOU to check out my hubs, that is if you need a good laugh.

And I would love for you to be a follower. That would make my day. Highest Regards,

Kenneth Avery,

from Hamilton, a small (but proud) town in northwest Alabama that reminds you of Mayberry, that sweet town we loved on

The Andy Griffith Show. Much Peace and Success to you!

A belated Happy New Year to you. I will be looking for you soon. Be cool.


angela p profile image

angela p 4 years ago from Richmond, Virginia Author

Kenneth - thank you so much.. I appreciate your support. I am off to read your hubs now.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Hello, angela p...you are welcome. YOU deserve all the truthful comments that come your way. YOU are an amazing talent and so wonderful at hub writing. Thank you for reading my hubs too. Hope you got a good laugh. That would make me feel good if you did.

Your friend . . .Kenneth

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