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Dating with an Age Gap

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By Chloe
When you talk to your friends, your family, or even people you meet at free internet dating sites about the "age issue" you get a wide range of answers. Some believe that, as long as both parties are consenting adults, age is no issue at all. Others put limits --even specific number limits-- on what is an acceptable age difference. Ten years is okay, but fifteen is not. Or fifteen years if fine, but twenty is twisted.

But when you're dating or internet dating somebody very different from you in age, there's really only one thing to keep in mind: how you and your partner feel about your age difference. Remember, every person you talk to is going to have a different opinion on what is acceptable and what is not-- especially if you ask them specifically about your own relationship. Before you can even consider making an age-gapped relationship work, you've got to set those opinions aside. It's what you think and feel that counts.

Still, relationships with a substantial age gap sometimes have more difficulties than relationships without one, and it's important to be prepared for those difficulties going in.

Differences in future and goals. Compatibility is an important part of making a relationship work; and while you and your partner may be compatible in most ways, it's also important to be compatible in your goals and desires for the future. Age can have a lot to do with what a person expects from life, and age differences can cause huge discrepancies of opinion about careers, having children, and even where to live. Before getting too deeply involved, be sure to look at your partner's position and your own --this may require an uncomfortable conversation or three-- and decide whether or not your goals will, in the end, be truly compatible.

Number trouble. It's so easy to get caught up in concerns about age. "But I was in junior high when he was graduating college." "But she's only a few years older than my grown children!" Try not to let yourself take this path. An age is only a number-- and you're not dating (or internet dating) that number. You're dating the person. If you keep looking at your or your partner's identity as a number, that number will continue to get in your way. Don't let it.

Less-than-healthy intentions. Just as when you enter any relationship or internet dating relationship, you have to be sure you're entering into it for the right reasons. You may love the self esteem boost you get from dating a much younger person. Or you might be looking for the maturity or stability of a much older partner. And while it's okay if things like this are part of the reason you were attracted to your partner, it's important to be sure they're not the only reason you're with them. If you look at your relationship and see that the only things that truly excite you about your partner are his or her "younger" or "older" qualities, you're probably not in it for the right reasons.
By Chloe

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