It’s been said that you’re only as old as you feel, and it’s not surprising that more and more people today are entering relationships with others who are significantly older or younger than they are.
How to Handle Age Differences in Relationship Successfully
Whether it’s ten, 15 or even 20 or more years apart, large numbers of men and women are finding themselves in relationships with large age gaps. And while it’s definitely possible to have a strong and meaningful connection with someone who is considerably older or younger than you are, there are things to keep in mind so that you and your mate are able to enjoy a happy and healthy relationship that can ripen with age.

1. Make sure your goals align

When you enter any relationship, it’s important that you and your mate share the same values, goals, priorities and long-term objectives. And this is even more crucial when you’re in a relationship with someone who is significantly older or younger than you.

While you both will of course have your differences, in order for your relationship to truly have the potential to blossom and grow, you and your partner have to be on the same page when you’re not close in age.

For example, if your younger girlfriend wants to have children one day while you have no interest in doing so, this is going to create a problem in the long-run. At the same time, if your older girlfriend sees herself retiring soon and wanting to travel the world while you’re at the height of your career, this can also create difficulties. It’s important to determine in the present that you and your partner want the same things in the future.

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2. Make sure you communicate effectively

In order to have a happy and healthy relationship, it’s imperative for you and your partner to be able to communicate with each other in a successful and productive way. However, when you and your mate differ significantly in age, it’s possible that you also differ significantly in terms of your communication styles.

For instance, your younger boyfriend may want to text you 24/7 while you’d be much more comfortable talking to him on the phone or in person. Or perhaps your older girlfriend is extremely assertive, direct and forceful, and while her thoughts and opinions are coming across to you, your feelings and beliefs may be getting lost in translation.

If you’d like to have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship with someone who is significantly older or younger than you are, you have to be able to communicate in a way where you both have an equal voice.

3. Make sure you’re compatible

If there’s a wide age gap between you and your partner, it’s also important to determine that there’s not a wide gap in terms of your compatibility. Many times in relationships that contain age differences, people may find that they have less in common with their mates because they don’t share the same kinds of life experiences, general attitudes and overall outlook.

After all, the world views of a 50-year-old can be quite different from those of a 25-year-old. At the same time, there are definitely 50-year-olds who act like 25-five-year-olds—and vice versa. With this in mind, it’s important for you to decide if you and you partner are well-suited and like-minded, and this will simply depend on you and your partner. Every relationship is different, and it’s up to you to determine if you and your partner make a good match.

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4. Make sure you’re yourself

If you’re in a relationship with someone who is much older or younger than you, it’s important to make sure that you’re still able to be your 100% authentic self.

You shouldn’t have to fake it or feign interest in certain activities or pastimes just to appease your partner. While you may enjoy the fact that your 20-something girlfriend makes you feel young and hip, partying and barhopping with her friends every weekend might make you feel as though you’re going to break a hip.

Along those lines, if your older girlfriend’s top priority is playing golf while the only game that matters to you is on your Xbox, your relationship may a losing battle. Making compromises is a part of any happy and healthy relationship, but don’t let a relationship with a much younger or older mate compromise that you truly are.