Can a relationship work when a woman is over ten years older?
Another month, another round of reports (substantiated and not so substantiated) about celebrity splits. The latest celebrity marital bliss to bite the dust is Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon.
Many tongues wagged the day the couple got married back in April 2008. After all, they got married only after months of dating. That, plus Mariah was more than ten years his senior with a previous marriage under her belt. Nick has admitted that as a youth, Mariah was his obsession. He idolized her from afar and was totally awe struck and smitten when they met. Their big age difference did not matter to him. He was a young man in love and that’s all he saw. Six years later, Nick aged 33 is a father of three-year-old twins. Did the age difference play a role?
While we can only speculate in the case of Nick and Mariah, what about all those other relationships that try to make it — relationships where a woman is significantly older than the man? Are they doomed to failure? Why should we, as a modern society, even care about such trivialities? We should not. But inevitably we do. As much as we may condemn such views as hypocritical (after all, we are a lot less alarmed with a man dating a woman ten years his junior), they not only exist, but also make this couple’s relationship even more difficult to preserve (as if relationships are easy in themselves).
While no one can decide or dictate to a couple if such a relationship will survive, here are some things to consider before initiating it:
- Like it or not, men and women age differently. While wrinkles make a man ‘distinguished’, they make women ‘old’. You may disagree with that statement as shallow, but people will make presumptions about you. Are you ready for strangers to assume you are with your son when you are out with your husband?
- Sexual curve. If you are a man in your twenties dating a woman more than ten years your junior, you relationship may have many benefits: she is at the top of her sexual peak; she is experienced; she knows what she wants and goes after it. What happens in ten years? Are you still going to be learning or will you want to become a teacher?
- Do you wish to have children? Depending on when in life you meet her, a woman may or may not be able to have any (any more) children. If that is what you want — fine. However, if you are dreaming of family, are you sure she will want to adopt? What about her own children from a previous relationship? Are you prepared to adopt her family as your own?
- A decade is a long time. You read different books, watched different shows, and listened to different music. At what point, as an older woman, will it become tiresome to you to educate your mate about things that happened when he was a toddler? Many women tend to be more mature as compared to their male counterparts anyway — so if he is that much younger than you — will you begin to feel like his kindergarten teacher? How long until that becomes old (pardon the pun)?
- How self-assured are you? Women have many issues about self-confidence to begin with. Being around younger women has not been known to boost that confidence in older women. If you are certain at the age of forty that your twenty-five-year old boyfriend can adore your laugh lines will you be just as certain at the age of fifty that your thirty-five-year old husband will find your crow-lines charming?
Like it or not these issues and more are the once you will need to consider before embarking on a path of a relationship that you may or may not be able to handle.
If, however, you are willing to overcome all of pre-conceived believes- be they societal or your own, you may have a beautiful relationship that will last a long time.