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Does Age Matter in Relationships? Essay

Relationships, like love come in a variety of forms. It is not uncommon to find two people of different generations falling in love. There are those who argue that age gaps in relationships matter. Yet there are those who believe that age is insignificant.

To them, love transcends all boundaries and should not be overshadowed by minor details like age gap. This paper will consider the argument that age does not matter in a relationship. It will begin by giving reasons why age should not be considered when getting into a relationship as long as one of the partners is not a minor. It will end by giving an alternative view of the subject.

There are several factors that contribute to the success of a relationship. First, a strong relationship should be based on trust. Trust is among the most important values in a relationship. The same cannot be said of age. While age may confer an advantage to a relationship, it cannot be the basis upon which a relationship is built.

Emphasis on age gap can lead to a situation in which two people who belong to the same age bracket enter into a dysfunctional relationship. Compatibility in a relationship is superior to age difference (Drefahl 318). People who intend to have a serious relationship ought to focus on trust. It is like glue in a relationship. Without trust, many relationships may not survive the test of time.

Second, love is an important component of a healthy relationship. People often fall in love with people who have similar interests. In this case, interests bring them closer to each other. Interest appears to precede love but is not an alternative. Age is not normally considered as a pre-requisite to getting into a relationship. It has been argued that age is just a numerical expression of a point in time.

However, love is almost always considered to be an important part of a relationship. This may be because love is linked to other aspects of a relationship like respect and responsibility. Those in love are more likely to respect their partners. Therefore, age gap should not be emphasized because it does not contribute to the development of desirable qualities. Age gap consideration cannot replace love and respect.

Age on its own does not define a person; character does. Character is the sum of all unique traits that an individual has. These traits attract partners to each other. While age may influence how people respond to some situations, it does not constitute a crucial part of character. Relationships are founded on the characters of both partners. Each partner has unique traits that complement those of the other partner.

The selection happens subconsciously in most cases. However, focus on age gap is a conscious undertaking that requires energy. Generally, many people select their partners based on character and not age gap between them. People with a significant age gap may have complementary characters. If the characters are complementary, the individuals should be able to function in a relationship.

Often, relationships are anchored on future aspirations of the partners. When looking for a partner, people often consider their ability to meet life time goals. The achievement of these goals is inevitably affected by the kind of partner one chooses. People look for a partner who is likely to assist them to achieve the goals. This ability is not age dependent.

The age gap between the partners in some cases may be beneficial to the younger partner. The younger partner may get invaluable advice from the older partner on how to approach life’s challenges. However, it is important to note that this may be a source of conflict in a relationship.

If the older partner is not willing to assist the younger partner, it may lead to frustration and mistrust. Therefore, as long as the partners are willing to help each other to meet their future expectations, their relationship is bound to grow and mature.

Another benefit associated with an age gap in relationships is maturity that the older partner is likely to bring into the relationship. This is an important trait especially when it comes to conflict resolution. An older partner is likely to look at things objectively. This may enrich the relationship in the long run.

However, it is important to note at this point that maturity does not necessarily come with advancing age. It is not uncommon to find young people who display a high level of maturity. It is also possible to find a grownup who does not act maturely. In a relationship, maturity ensures that the partners do not blow out of proportion day to day challenges.

Alternative views hold that age matters in relationships. Several arguments supporting this view have been put forward. First, an age gap creates a mismatch of various aspects of life (Kolk 2). The mismatch is greater when the age gap is big. The most common areas of mismatch include marriage, career, children and time. The older partner may have gone through all these stages.

This creates significant difficulty for the younger partner. Communication may be affected by this mismatch. In some cases, one partner has previously been married and already has children. This is an area of potential conflict because a young partner who has not married before may want children (Wilson & Smallwood 19). However, it has to be stated that mismatch is not unique to couples who have an age gap.

Another argument that has been used to oppose age gaps in relationships is quality of life in old age. If the age gap is significant one partner will be going through old age while the other will be in middle age. This diverts attention from love and affection to care and maintenance.

The older partner may require specialized medical attention. This may also result in depletion of resources. However, it should be noted that illness is not restricted to old age. Other people may also get ill. Therefore, an age gap does not necessarily predispose a relationship to these problems.

This paper considered the argument that age does not matter in relationships. It is not uncommon to find a relationship with a significant age gap. Relationships are founded on the principles of love and acceptance. Love ensures that the partners live in harmony. Another important ingredient in relationships is trust. Trust is not age dependent. In addition, age does not define individuals.

Character should be given priority over age difference. The future aspirations of the partners should also play an important role in the choice of a partner. Opponents of age gaps in relationships argue that age gaps create a mismatch in aspirations.

Works Cited

Drefahl, Sven. “How Does the Age Gap Between Partners Affect Their Survival?” Demography. 47.2(2010): 313–326. Web.

Kolk, Martin. 2012. . PDF File. Web.

Wilson, Ben & Steve Smallwood. “Age differences at marriage and divorce.” Population Trends 132(2008): 17-25. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Does Age Matter in Relationships'. 7 August.

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