Is Age Really The Problem?
Claim of Value
Meaning & Madness At The Margins
~ The Romantic Relationship Between Consulting Adults Should Not Be Subject To Social
for more than 50 years is making a come back, generation gap couples from Frank Sinatra and his now widow Mia Farrow’s twenty nine year difference to today’s Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s
fifteen year difference. Does age really matter? But more importantly is it the most important aspect of a functional relationship?
Shouldn’t the most important aspect of a relationship be the type of love the couple shares and the way the couple function
inside and outside the relationship? In this paper points will be made to discuss both sides of discussion.
It’s what is on the inside that really matters; well that is what parents have been telling their children for
years. “The age differences are not as much of a problem when the couple is younger… But later on in life when
the couple gets progressively older it becomes more of a problem because the older spouse eventually gets into health and
energy issues that the younger spouse finds too troublesome to deal with in their own stage in life.” says Cindi Wright
a psychologist. “As the old saying goes, the path to true love is never easy.” (www. handbag.com 2005) In most
cases a large age gap would cause a similar problem. But what is the age difference at which this occurs, and is it the same
for all relationships? The answer is no. Everyone has different emotional needs. Is the older partner looking to fulfill a
period of time in which they missed out or maybe finding the most fertile mate to conceive offspring with? On the other end
of things, the younger partner may seek a relationship with an older partner as a way of increasing their status… or
to fulfill a parental figure.” (Wikipedia) Is either wrong? The answer is no, as long as both partners realize what
type of relationship they are in and are eagerly willing to meet the needs of the other partner. Age should not be the kill
factor for a relationship. “Marriage is a tool and a test to deepen your love and reverence, trust, and obedience”,
says Dr. Emerson Eggerich.
In a romantic relationship or marriage, “they are one of those highly combustible mixtures of ego, temperament,
sex and emotional baggage that is liable to go poof at any moment. Applying a dialectic perspective, we reconceptualize marital
commitment from an individual variable to a dyadic variable. We propose a path model that predicts seven relationships among
four key variables, that is, commitment, projected longevity of the relationship, communication maintenance behaviors, and
marital quality. Basing the hypotheses on past research as well as original ideas, we view marital commitment as a phenomenon
that marital commitment construct and maintain through communication.” (www.npr.com)
Now look at the flip side of the situation, when a twenty five year old marries a forty five year old, the gap physically
and emotionally grows wider with each passing year. (www.wikipedia.org) Later on when the couple gets progressively
older it becomes more of a problem because the older spouse eventually gets into
health and energy issues that the younger spouse often finds too troublesome to deal with in their own stage in life. (www.marriagemissions.com)
Sex. In a sexual relationship age does matter. Women’s
sex drive starts a lot later than a man’s and also ends significantly early than a men’s. She is also begins to
loose fertility in her mid to late twenties. To sum it up, a women’s sexual self lives a significantly shorter life
than a man’s huge never ending sex drive. The key is a successful fulfilling bedroom life in a functional relationship
in order to conceive offspring if desired. Let’s not beat around the bush, for a relationship to be completely successful,
the sex life has to be good for the couple. Not only is sex important , it is also important to explore the type of love the
couple has and see the needs that will need to be met in order for the relationship to be fulfilling for both partners. According
to an article found on www.bbc.com, called: Scientists find love in nine ways, there are nine types of love
and different needs that must be fulfilled for each of them. They are:
· Central Story of Love in Our Culture: trust, recognition and support.
· Cupid’s Arrow: love rooted in the physical attraction
· Hedonistic Love: little more than the pleasant and hedonistic feelings of
· Love as Ultimate Connection and Profound Feeling: a belief that love is the most profound of human feelings.
Demythologized Love: the romantic myth of love is rejected in favor of hard work and compromise.
· Love as Transformation adventure: unpredictable love which can bring
pleasure but can easily go wrong.
· From Cupid’s Arrow to Role-bound Relationship: love begins as an uncontrollable passion before the couple settles down.
· From Cupid’s Arrow to Friendship: initial intense feelings give away over time to a relationship based friendship.
Dyadic-Partnership Love: involves “the merging of two
people” where both partners put their relationship before their own individual needs. (www.romanceopedia.com)
“It also shows that there really are ‘other’ ways of thinking about love and we hope that these might
ultimately help change some people’s expectations in a manner that is positive for them.” (www.bbc.com 2005) An
important thing for any relationship is not to have expectations. Expectations tend to have a “heavy burden of responsibility
we often place on our partners to make our lives better” (Dr. Watts). A relationship is not to be stressful. It is about
making life better by making your partner life better.
Age gap separation is only a problem when the law says
so, in cases of infantophilia and pedophilia. That is both a legal, moral and mental issue. “Researchers said the most
dominate view was that love should be based upon mutual trust, recognition and support.” (www.bbc.com) once above the age of consent, if a relationship works, it should be aloud to grow and blossom and not frowned
upon by society. The key to a lasting marriage is “mutual respect for and enjoyment of each other’s company”,
which reinforces a sense of abiding friendship that allows positive thoughts about one’s partner to outweigh the negative
thoughts. (Ciottman 1999)