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Do large age gaps work in relationships?

Tagged as: Age differences<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (19 July 2013) 4 Answers - (Newest, 23 July 2013)
A female United States age 51-59, anonymous writes:

dear aunts and uncles, i have read quite a few articles here about age gaps, and i know one or two of you are in an age gap relationship. im not going to go into my story because mine is just like a few on here. i will just say that i was just recently left for a girl in her early 20s and my husband is later 40s, he also got her pregnant :(. we were well off in the money area of our life, and i cant help but wonder if this is what the girl was attracted to. yes my husband is an attractive man, but i ask myself, having been young myself once, how attractive can a man be that is old enough to be her father. i know i was not attracted to older men, im not even attracted to them at my age. i wont even look at anyone over 5 years older. 10 would be ok if he looked ok, but not 20+ years. the husband is very excited about being a daddy again, i say more power to him, glad its him and not me. what i want to know is, what youre opinions are on an age gap that large. do you see it working out? yes i know you are not fortune tellers, but what and why do these young girls want in men that old. is it the fact that they have someone to support them? the money? not having to work? and has anyone else had any experience in this happening and did it work? im willing to take him back, being my age it is difficult finding someone again, ive been hurt and dont know if i will ever be with anyone else. will be looking forward to all inquireies. thank you

View related questions: money, older men

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A reader, anonymous, writes (23 July 2013):

Sorry that he left you for a younger woman. But instead of feeling sorry for him get on your ass and have a makeover! Take good care of yourself like you have never done before. For Christ sake, you are only in your 40s, it's not that old. With motivation to look your best and aim for good health you can find new love. Move on, let the loser go. His loss!!! Look at madonna, Halle berry, JLO. They still look stunning in their age and change boyfriends like their teenagers! You have lots of room to still explore around, get on your feet and stop wasting time crying over your ex. It's hard, I know, but don't worry. Time is a good healer.

And to answer your question, yes, some relationships with such a big age gap works, some don't. Depends with the reasons they fell in love with each other for. I have seen someone dating older guys just for money and they even say it loud that they are just with the man for his money, #golddiggers. And have seen some who are really in it for real love. Don't waste your time on this man, chances are even if it doesn't work out with this young lady, you cannot garrantee he will remain faithful to you after you get him back.

Hang in there and Good luck!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (21 July 2013):

wiseowle, that is such a good name for you. thank you for your take on the matter. guess i was just hoping that it was his money, and that they wouldnt last there is a 25 year age gap between him and her. and i just couldnt figure it out. it hurt that he cheated on me, and she didnt care that he was married.

guess i can just go on my way some how, wish him the best with her and his baby. it will be hard, but i have to try. thank you both for your opinions.

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A female reader, AuntyEm United Kingdom +, writes (20 July 2013):

AuntyEm agony auntWOW WiseOWL (I don't know why I think your name is Ernie??) that has to be just about the most insightful reply I have ever read on DC...and so true in all aspects. It just shows you how complex relationships are and how transient the nature of humans is.

To the OP, I am sorry your husband left you for a younger woman, there is nothing fair about love and relationships and it can happen to anyone. Right now there is not much you can do, blame her for it all if you must but he is hardly the 'poor little lamb lead astray'

Whether she roped him in for money is a mystery but one things for sure...financially she has him nailed down now because they are going to have a child'd go grey trying to figure out the whys and wherefores...

If she stays with him, eventually she's going to find herself alone because he is likely to die a long time before her...I dont think young women ever think about that really!!

I really liked WiseOwls take on the 'cougar'. I am 48, but because I take care of myself I look quite a bit younger but that makes no odds to men my age. I'd love to date someone either the same age or older than me but sadly most of them are going through that 'mid life crisis' thing and it's so easy for them to get the attention of much younger women and who can blame them?

Because I don't look my age, I attract younger men and even though I have never dated beyond a ten year gap, I still notice the chasm after a while and find myself babysitting a brat rather than dating!! I think older men who date younger women may find this happens sometimes too.

My advice to you would be not to wait for him to get over it and come back to you, because he probably won't for a long time, if at all. You need to embrace other parts of your life, to replace the relationship that has been a huge part of you for so long. It's a painful time but most people do recover and move on with life.

None of us want to be alone in old age but the differences between men and women are at odds where relationships are concerned and are subject to change at any moment. As Wiseowl said, a lot of people of any age difference do stay together and a lot of older people left behind do find love again, you just have to live your life as it unfolds and do what is right for you.

I am sorry again that you are going through such a painful time.

'This too shall pass'

xxx Em

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (20 July 2013):

All relationships differ. Their authenticity is based on what foundation they were built upon. Love, or some type of advantage?

That may be true in any relationship. There are uniquely-related elements; as far as age differences go.

However; when we are talking about the May-December type of relationship. There are often egos and a fear of aging; that motivates people to seek younger partners.

I am gay. When I was in my teens and twenties; I was often very much attracted to men and women that were nearly 15 to 20+ years older. If they were attractive, and had some unique quality or talent, I went gaga for them. I was fascinated and turned-on by the maturity.

The chronological age-factor was a turn-on to me as well. Knowing that they would be attracted to me, made me all the more attracted to them. I am in my 50's now.

Normally,I might not be physically attracted to anyone in their late 60's or older. That is, if they let themselves go. People often don't age as hard as they once did. A healthy life-style does wonders.

However, there is more than sexual attraction. There is intellectual and emotional attraction, that will make me over-look the physical aspects; and still allow me to enjoy sexual pleasure with someone much older. Sex-appeal is ageless.

When it comes to someone younger, I have little attraction to anyone under 35. They just don't seem to pull me in a sexual sense; but it depends on the individual. I may find them aesthetically handsome or beautiful; but I'm not likely to pursue a serious or meaningful relationship. Never say never. I may say otherwise, someday.

I have been fortunate that my appearance is deceptive. People assume I'm years younger than my looks. I attract much younger men and women, for whatever reason.

However;I don't exploit the opportunity.

I have far too much dignity for that. I'm not fooling myself. My ego is in-check. I just appreciate the flattery, but keep a level-head about it. I don't allow myself to pretend that I'm not my age.

I can't help myself from laughing on the inside, to see an "old cougar" strutting about with a boyish-looking gym-rat following her about like a little puppy. "Mrs. Robinson."

I can't often tell when older-men (sugar-daddies) are with their daughters or girlfriends; unless he makes some overture that is a dead giveaway. I'm never surprised.

These old-farts think money is a substitute for the lack of youth. Spend it until he drops dead, honey! He can't keep up with you. He can well afford the little blue pill. Just make sure he packs them before you leave on those expensive vacations!!! A flimsy willie is no fun. God has been kind to me in that area.

I do find it ridiculous when my mature friends, and acquaintances, limit their dating to young people. As if they grow younger by osmosis. Nothing is more foolish.

Even worse when they try to act or dress like their younger counter-parts. I roll my eyes in disgust. Poor old fool.

They are often taken advantage of for their financial success. They look silly, and are often embarrassed; when they have to correct someone by informing them that the 24 year-old man next to them is their date. Not their son.

The server at the restaurant walks away red-faced; but still slips the younger-one his/her phone number on a napkin.

For some, their ego is so huge and their pockets are so deep; their sense of entitlement far out-weighs their common-sense or dignity, for their age.

I must reserve judgement, to some degree.

My mother was only 16, and father was 26. She skipped two-grades, and graduated high-school two years in advance.

She was highly intelligent, and people always thought she was older growing up. My mother is Native-American; so it was somewhat acceptable in her culture to marry an older man. Ten years isn't too bad.

She was quite pretty, and first-off, my father didn't really realize she was only a girl. He assumed she was older. Based on her beauty and physical-development beyond most girls for her age. So he tells it.

I think he was robbing the cradle, but my grandparents loved him. So I'm careful not to judge too harshly in this area; or I personally would not exist. My mother adored him. They were married over 26 years. My mother died first, of cancer at 42. He didn't get to see her grow old. He didn't die until he was 82. Go figure.

There are disadvantages. The differences in sex-drive. The body changes. Age-spots and wrinkles appear. Boobs sag,

butts droop. The younger-one still bounces around, all firm and peppy. The older one dies his/her hair. Squeeze their guts into spanx, and spend tons on botox injections.

In spite of these changes; sometimes the younger partner never loses their attraction; if they truly are in love.

I am personal-witness to this many times over. I can only offer anecdotal-evidence on this, I must add. I don't know the true statistics. Who really does?

For those on the outside looking in, it doesn't resonate. Only the couple know what they feel about each other. They defy the prejudices of society. Let them be concerned about what it is that brings them together; if they are truly happy.

Of course there are ulterior-motives, and attraction to financial advantages where money is concerned. Many young gay men just want to enjoy lavish life-styles, shopping, and luxury vacations. That is the narcissistic side of our sub-culture. I consider it ageist and ugly; because they otherwise consider older gay people gross. I revel in the fact they will grow older too, and get a taste of it.

However; there is a lot of drama and cheating. They hardly last very long. Same goes in the case of many heterosexual relationships of the same making; including marriages with huge age gaps. They sometimes happen for the sake of having children, or heirs. Men get the advantage here.

I guess the question is, are they happy with these arrangements for what they're worth? They are joined for many different reasons, and breakup for all the same reasons as any other relationship.

The emotional reaction to the fracturing of these relationships are the same as any other.

I hate to generalize that all relationships with age-gaps are doomed to end in tragedy; because I know that is far from true. Just as people don't believe gay people can actually love, marry, and maintain happy family relationships. To each his own. With the exception of pedophiles!!!

It bruises the ego to be left for someone younger and/or prettier. It hasn't happened to me yet, but my experience has somewhat given me the wisdom to deal with it. Not to say I wouldn't be insulted. I'd just realize they will have to face the public ridicule; and the public isn't always that nice. The gap better not be too wide.

Everyone has an opinion.

When most people notice huge age differences; our opinionated society will not hesitate to comment in some way. Often in a negative sense. Attribute that mostly to prejudice, not righteousness.

That's my take on it.

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