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Claim of Fact

 

 

Is Age Really The Problem?

Stacey Schiefelbein

Claim of Value

Meaning & Madness At The Margins

182 F

Draft Three

 

 ~ The Romantic Relationship Between Consulting Adults Should Not Be Subject To Social Stigma. ~

 

 

              Hollywood’s trend 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.

 

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            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 

      excitement.

        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)

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Stacey Schiefelbein