Have you ever been out to dinner and glanced at another table and noticed an older man dining with a younger woman? Did you judge that man? Did you judge that woman? For many, the first thought is “he’s a pervert,” or “she’s probably a gold digger.” These are said far too often when people encounter individuals involved in an age-gap relationship.
Are friendships, relationships, rapports not respected if those involved are not the same age or undergoing the same phase of life? Today, people are so quick to shame relationships if the individuals involved are not of similar ages. People seem to lose their minds over anything above a seven-year age difference. Without any background information, people everywhere are constantly judging relationships they don’t know anything about.
It is important to note that I am not encouraging older men or women to pursue children. The age-gap relationships I am discussing are those that involve two consenting adults. In other words, both individuals must be over the age of eighteen and out of high school. At this point in people’s lives, they are able to process their thoughts and decisions, and dictate their own lives.
Now, when it comes to relationships in general, the business between the two individuals involved is personal to them, not anyone else. Why do people feel the need to step in and make their opinions known when they see a couple that may be over a decade apart? It is still a relationship, and it is still personal to them. Therefore, they deserve the same respect and privacy all other couples receive.
A common argument against age-gap relationships is that different phases of life are detrimental to the overall well being of those involved in these relationships. Being in different phases of life can lead to challenges in relationships among these individuals. However, we should leave it up to those involved to decide what works for them, what is right for them and what ultimately makes them the happiest. I think we often forget that we are only given so much time on this planet. If one finds themselves deeply in love with a person, regardless of the difference in age between them, who is to say they should not go for it and experience the love and joy that the relationship brings them.
Additionally, our current society does a solid job in advocating for “love is love.” Though this phrase has been traditionally utilized to defend and support homosexual relationships, it should be applied to age-gap relationships. Simply put, if two people are in love, let them bask in it, embrace it and fully experience its depth.
Love is intangible. People do not get to decide when they fall in love or who they are going to fall in love with. Often, love reveals itself at the most unexpected times, not every time love is realized it is wanted. Again, we do not have a choice when it comes to love and natural human connection. When it happens, it should be appreciated to the fullest extent. As long as neither is experiencing unhealthy or inhibitory consequences of the relationship, then the relationship is fine.
Differences in appearance should not matter. Differences in backgrounds should not matter. Differences in age definitely should not matter. So, next time you come into contact with a couple in an age-gap relationship, swallow the judgement, evaluate why you even feel justified to judge and let people enjoy the people that bring them the most joy.
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