Paper 2

October 13, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Does Age Matter in a Relationship?

 

 A couple of months ago, Hugh Hefner, 85, and his ex-finance Crystal Harris, 25, announced that their engagement was off (People Magazine: Hugh and Crystal Harris split).  Most of America probably could have predicted this.  A 25 year old wanting to marry an 85 year old?  How does that happen? When I saw that article in a People magazine, I couldn’t help but wonder if their 60 year difference in age had anything to do with the split.  Some people think that age really does matter in a relationship, and others beg to differ.  I know many couples who are eight or ten years apart, but how far is too far?      

  Before researching this topic, I automatically thought ‘No, age doesn’t matter in a relationship at all’.  My opinion was just from my personal experience because my boyfriend is 25 and I am 19 (turning 20 soon).  About a year and a half ago when we started dating, my parents were very uneasy about the idea of their youngest daughter dating someone who is five and a half years older, but as time went on, they got over it, and now they absolutely love him.  But what if he was 10 or 15 years older than I am? Would we get stares walking down the street together because people disagree with our relationship because of our age?  Some people really don’t care about the age difference in a relationship, but others think that age absolutely matters in a relationship.

J D Murrah, a marriage counselor and writer states his opinion on whether age matters in a relationship, “The question of whether or not age is a matter of concern in relationships has often been debated by family and friends. The simple answer to the question is ‘yes” (Hubpages: Does Age Matter in Relationships?).  Most commonly, you see men dating younger women, but in some situations, you see women dating older men.  Take Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher as an example.  Demi Moore is 15 years older than Ashton Kutcher and some may think she’s just being a ‘gold digger’ or that she is trying to find her ‘youthfulness’ in Ashton because he is so much younger than her (The Guardian:Relationships-Why the Age Difference Matters).  If you read People magazine, or any of the ‘Hollywood update’ magazines, you should know that recently Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher may be having some marital issues.  It has been said that Ashton Kutcher cheated on Demi Moore and has kids with another women (People Magazine: Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher-Are They Splitting?).  Whether that is true or not, there is still a possibility.  It is very possible that some of those marital problems could come from the large age difference between them.  It is said that women tend to mature quicker than men do, that is why some women date older men, but why would an older woman date a younger man?  Maybe it is for the thrill of having a ‘hot younger guy’ or maybe it’s for the sex, who knows.  Women and men who are far apart in age and are in a relationship have many things to consider that would affect their relationship, and something to consider would be their biological differences.  

Biological differences is something that cannot be improved or helped, it’s just how your body works.  As people grow older, their biological needs and drives change.  When there is a significant difference in age, the needs and drives of one person do not match up with the other person in the relationship.  As J D Murrah  states, “As one party is wanting to experience life, the other may be wanting to take it slower as they deal with declining abilities. In the early days of a relationship, the differences may be stimulating and exciting, yet as the relationship matures, those same differences may lead to conflicts and fights” (Hubpages: Does Age Matter in Relationships?).  

Luisa Dillner, a writer from The Guardian (a newspaper in the United Kingdom), gave a quick overview about relationships and the age gaps and why it matters.  She stated that, “There is no evidence that anything other than wide age differences increase the likelihood of splitting up – more than 10 years, and the younger partner is more likely to be unhappy than in more standard relationships”.  Also, usually relationships with a wider age gap (more than 10 years) are more common among the poor, less-educated couples, and in certain ethnic communities.  People who are in a relationship with a significant age difference are more likely to live with each other outside of marriage (The Guardian: Relationships-Why the Age Difference Matters).  With these facts and opinions, it makes you think about whether age really does matter in a relationship or not.

Some people tend to lean in the opposite direction and say, “No, age doesn’t matter in a relationship”; they think that it isn’t right that an age difference could be a barrier to keep them apart.  Many women don’t care about age, they just want a man who is serious about a relationship and has the same goals and desires as they do.  Now, what about this little four-letter word called ‘love’.  Webster’s dictionary defines love as “a strong affection for another person, especially of the opposite sex”, (Webster Dictionary: Love). You can’t help who you fall in love with and if you meet someone who is older than you and you fall in love, then age shouldn’t matter.  Many people who are in a relationship with an older significant other, say that age is just a number and that a relationship is all about the qualities in the person and how the two people come together as one (Keen: Does Age Difference Matter in Love?). 

Does the value of love overpower the age difference in a relationship?  People who would answer yes to this question focus more on the love they have for each other, rather than looking at the future and wondering if health and the natural aging process will affect the quality for their lives together.  The article in NINEMSN: Does age difference matter in a relationship, summarizes their point of view on whether age matters in a relationship or not; “Making an age gap relationship work is like any other successful relationship — it depends on strong communication skills, dedication, honesty and a lot of effort” (NINEMSN: Does age matter in a relationship?).

As I mentioned before, my boyfriend and I are currently five and a half years apart and before researching this topic, I would have said ‘No, age doesn’t matter in a relationship at all’.  After reading other opinions and articles on whether age really does matter, I have slightly changed my outlook on this topic.  I think that it all depends on the couple.  All couples have problems at some point in their marriage, and it doesn’t matter if they’re 20 or two years apart, everyone has an issue at some point.  I think that if a woman and a man are in love and there is an age difference between them, then who cares?  Who are we to judge and criticize people for falling in love with someone who is older?  When people ask me how old my boyfriend is and I say 25, some people look at me with a snarled face like they’re disapproving of our relationship just because he is five and a half years older than I am.  Now, I think that there is a type of limit of how big an age gap in a relationship is.  As mentioned before, Hugh Hefner is 85 and just broke up with his ‘then’ fiancé of 25.  I think that an age gap of 60 years is a little extensive and I wonder what she ever saw in an 85 year old man (other than money).  I think that big of an age gap could cause serious issues and I don’t think it would be healthy for either party in the relationship.  I think love should be the reason two people are in a relationship and I think the value of love should overpower the age difference (unless the age difference is very big, like 60 years).  I don’t think people should be together if there is an extremely large age gap, like Hefner and his ex-fiancé- I think that is just asking for trouble.  In my opinion, it all just depends on the two people and what their circumstances are; after all, we can’t help who we fall in love with.

 In conclusion, the question of whether age matters in a relationship raises some very strong view points from many different people.  There are many people who think age does matter in a relationship because of the biological differences or just because people with an age gap are in two different stages in their lives.  On the contrary, other people think that age shouldn’t matter in a relationship-that age is just a number that should be looked past when two people are in love.  They expressed their opinions that love should be the main factor in a relationship, along with communication, effort, and honesty.  Those are the qualities every relationship should have and, in my opinion, it all just depends on the situation and the people in the relationship.   

 

Sources:

Green, Ariadne. “Does Age Difference Matter in Love?” KEEN: Your Personal Advisor. 1 July 2011. Web. 11 Oct. 2011. <http://www.keen.com/documents/works/articles/love/does-age-difference-matter-in-love.asp&gt;.

“Does Age Difference Matter in a Relationship?” Ninemsn Health: Health and Wellbeing. MSN and Bing, 25 July 2005. Web. 11 Oct. 2011. <http://health.ninemsn.com.au/sex/relationships/691136/mind-the-gap&gt;.

Wright, Cindy. “Age Gap- Should It Matter?” Marriage Missons. Jan. 2010. Web. 11 Oct. 2011. <http://www.marriagemissions.com/age-gap-should-it-matter/&gt;.

 Murrah, J. D. “Does Age Matter in Relationships?” J D Murrah on HubPages. Sept. 2010. Web. 11 Oct. 2011. <http://jdmurrah.hubpages.com/hub/Does-Age-Matter-in-Relationships&gt;.

Dillner, Luisa. “Relationships: Why the Age Difference Matters.”  The Guardian. 11 Sept. 2009. Web. 11 Oct. 2011. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/sep/12/age-difference-dr-luisa-dillner&gt;.

Schwartz, Alison. “Hugh Hefner, Crystal Harris Break Up Before Their Wedding : People.com.” People Magazine. 15 June 2011. Web. 11 Oct. 2011. <http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20502778,00.html>.

Orloff, Brian. “Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher Marriage Troubles? : People.com.” People Magazine. 28 Sept. 2011. Web. 11 Oct. 2011. <http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20532466,00.html>.

Morehead, Phillip D. “Love.” The New American Webster Dictionary. 3rd ed. New York: Penguin Group, 1995. Pg 406. Print.

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