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Senior Dating: Dealing With an Age Difference

If you find yourself dating or in a relationship where there is a significant age difference, having open communication and common goals are more important than ever.

For many people, simply finding the right person to date and commit to can be a tremendous challenge, let alone coming up against the opinions and standards of society. But that is exactly what people experience when they are with someone who is either much younger or older then they are. Not only do you have to deal with the scrupulous eye of society, you may find yourself at odds with your friends and family as well. Dealing with an age difference may seem more difficult than you expected, but there are things you can do and try to make the relationship easier on you, your significant other and those around you.

It is important to make sure you and your significant other have similar life goals, such as when or if to get married, to start a family or even when to retire. The larger the age difference, the more difficult it may be to parallel your life goals. If the age difference is considerable, like twenty years, then one may be thinking about retiring when the other wants to start a family. By discussing your future and comparing each other's life goals, the two of you may have a better chance of working out your relationship.

Another consideration when dealing with an age difference is how to handle family and friends. They may not understand what you see in your partner and vice versa, and may be hostile to the situation at hand, which can be uncomfortable for everyone. If there are children (whether young or grown) involved, then they may be very resentful as well. It is very important to handle everyone's feelings and concerns with sensitivity, tact and honesty. Being upfront and honest about your relationship to friends and family will hopefully help them gain a better understanding of the situation. There is no guarantee that everyone will completely accept your relationship, but try to be sympathetic and compliant. Your friends and family feel they are voicing genuine concerns and they do want you to be safe and happy.

One thing to keep in mind when it comes to conflicts with family and friends over your relationship is how it is going to affect you and your significant other. Disagreements may place real stressors on the relationship, especially if you and your partner do not see eye-to-eye on how to handle the situation. Even if you do agree on how to deal with your friends and family, constantly coming up against people and their opinions can be stressful on the relationship as well.

Dating someone who is remarkably younger or older than you is a definite challenge. It is important to make sure you both share the same goals and dreams and that you are both ready to take on the judgments of those who disapprove. In order for your relationship to weather the storms ahead, you will both have to present a united front as a couple.


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