Dating Outside Your Generation
Relationships are meant to be based off compatibility, but the truth of it is we’re all just working with what we have around us. Most couples of a similar age meet naturally through social circles, schooling, work, and the occasional dating apps. We interact with people who are mostly around our age, but that does not mean people outside a generation won’t share a similar mindset.
Age-gap relationships, typically defined by relationships where one person is 10 years or older than the other, are a hot button topic with layers and opinions. A ton of celebrities seem to have found love, despite significant age gaps. Take a lesson from Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones, Sarah Paulson and Holland Taylor, George and Amal Clooney, Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger, Jay-Z and Beyonce, Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas.
A common mistake with these relationships is to assume the age difference is the only power dynamic at play. Anyone who has ever been in a relationship will know, there is always a power dynamic regardless of age.
If you’ve been interested in dating outside your generation, and can get past the possible scrutiny and busybody conversations with family and friends, you might not only discover a new love, but a new perspective on life.
It’s easy to list the stereotypes that come with an age-gap relationship. Many of these are made fun of in media, like sitcoms (Barney Stinson from “How I Met Your Mother” may come to mind when reading this list). Here are just a couple:
If you’re a man dating someone younger, you might be seen as creepy, domineering, and taking advantage of your younger partner.
If you’re a woman dating someone younger, you might be seen as all the things above, plus delusional about the aging process.
If you’re a man dating someone older, you’re seen as a playboy who is in it for the money or, simply put, a fetishist.
If you’re a woman dating someone older, again, you’re in it for the money, but you also have daddy issues.
In a society where we are consistently breaking stereotypes, why do these still exist? When you consider the pros of dating outside your generation, you might consider an age-gap fling.
Whether you’re dating someone older or younger, there are sets of experiences that define each generation. For Boomers, it might be the club scene in the ‘80s, with new wave music and the rise of sitcoms. For Millennials, it’s growing up in the digital age and, well, the “Macarena.” Whatever the experience, learning about different generations and their strengths and weaknesses helps us create a stronger future generation. This process can seem less daunting when it’s coming from a loved one, an equal in life that has no parental or offspring connection. So, if you consider expanding your mind and creating a better future, then I’d start changing the age range on your dating apps ASAP.
If you’re looking for a lifestyle change, an age-gap relationship might be just the thing for you. If the speed of young adulthood with constant partying, drinking, and hookup culture is taking its toll, taking an older lover might be the slowed down, yet loved-up adventure you need. If you’re stuck in a rut and looking to experience a refreshed outlook on life, consider taking a younger lover. Find someone who wants to travel, experience nightlife, and have a couple wild weekends away. Experiencing love outside your generation might be the thing you need to create a positive and healthy lifestyle change, if you’re looking to do so.
When you’re the younger person in the couple, you get to soak up all the knowledge and life experience of your older partner. Who doesn’t want to inherit the wisdom, confidence, and refined nature of a practiced lover? Just because you want that experience does not mean you are 1) being exploited and 2) a gold digger. It means you are open to exploration and expanding your sexual prowess. And maybe, eventually, you can pay it forward and be the wise, confident, and knowledgeable older partner as the cycle continues.
Relationships work best when they’re mutually beneficial. They work when you learn, support, and grow with one another. Generational differences are an easy scapegoat to not partake in an age-gap relationship, especially when you’re not in the mood for introspection.