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We’ve all heard the saying, “You’re only as old as you feel.” Of course, the older you become, the more you want to believe that. But can this same state of mind apply when you are in a relationship?
Even in today’s increasingly liberal dating culture, age difference between couples remains a divisive issue.
For freshman Megan Spearman, this issue really hits home. She hates hearing judgemental comments about her being six and a half years older than her boyfriend, especially from close friends.
“They don’t know my relationship. They don’t know how much my boyfriend and I click,” Spearman said. “I prefer they just keep their opinions to themselves. I don’t go bashing their relationships.”
Of course the real key to a successful relationship, of any age variance, is how much you are willing to do to make that relationship work in “perfect” union.
The more you work towards this goal, the more it seems to fall outside what is deemed culturally acceptable. The pressures of friends and family will challenge you and lead to cracks in your “unacceptable” relationship.
“It was really hard at times to understand each other, especially since he comes from a very conservative family and my family is very liberal. I had to change many, many things,” sophomore Cindy Santana admits.
Age variance within relationships is not only an issue of different numbers, it also involves accumulated maturity and experiences that cannot be attained overnight.
“I never knew four years could be so much of a difference”, Santana explains.
Your partner’s maturity level becomes the pink elephant in the room as we seek out the right partner for a “perfect” relationship. When maturity levels match up, the rest of the relationship will fall into place.
Students like Santana believe that in all relationships, age gaps especially, understanding one another is a major component in a “perfect” relationship.
“To love someone means to be with them, understand them completely and never let anything bring the relationship down,” Santana said.
Your own maturity level must be taken into account.
“I’ve always been pretty mature for my own age, and that is why I like older guys,” Spearman said. “I always forget that he’s six years my senior.”
But even with significant age gaps between partners, these women seem to forget that aspect and focus more on feelings rather than logic. Sophomore Brianna Lucero, who opens up about her past relationships, provides evidence that age difference can be masked by feelings.
“I just recently got out of a relationship with a guy who was seven years older than me and I have dated a guy who’s 11 years older than me,” Lucero confesses. “I think the older you get, the less it matters how much of an age gap there is. Age gaps shouldn’t really matter; it’s just a matter of how you feel.”
However, there are two of you and your partner’s feelings must be taken to account.
“I try to be perfect by caring more about his feelings than mine. Because I think that’s what love is as well; setting [their] feelings before your own.”
Although couples come in all combinations of ages and personalities, the important thing to keep in mind is compatibility.
Two people will only be able to make a relationship work if they don’t constantly feel the urge to kill each other.