Even as we enter an era where the vast majority of people are accepting of non normative romance, age gap relationships and dating is still often associated with the taboo and tawdry. So often terms like “gold digger” or “cougar” are thrown around to dismiss the seriousness of these connections. Which is a shame because age gap dating is an experience with profound meaning and human idiosyncrasy that are worth examining without shame or persecution. There are elements to age gap dating that speak to so many facets of love and relating, which is also probably why it’s not going anywhere.

For nearly all of recorded human history, the coming together of people from vastly different age groups has been an inherent fact of intimacy, whether it was an injustice or a choice of agency. We can’t deny that age gap relationships present opportunities for predatory dynamics or simply conflict from disconnection. However, for some people, age gap dating is just what works for them. In 2022, where we have more flexibility than ever in who we choose to enter into romantic bonds with, we should be analyzing the intricacies of dating age gaps in order to better understand and enter into them. Here are some elements to consider in your own love life if you’re drawn to age gap dating. 

 

 

Know Your Obstacles

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No matter what, love is love. It simply doesn’t matter what someone looks like, how they present themselves, or what their life is like. If you genuinely feel a healthy and connected love for another consenting adult, then that’s something that should be accepted without guilt or stigma. If the person you’ve become intimate with is much older or younger than you, accept your feelings but know your obstacles. 

People are altered and changed by different phases of their lives. There may be a lot of topics and areas of relating that you’re coming from different places on. Maybe your partner has been divorced or is a parent. Maybe they’re less knowledgable or experienced than you sexually. These sticking points can lead to discomfort if you’re not prepared to communicate over them knowing you both will have different perspectives. Above all, prioritize listening and expressing your viewpoint without judgment. 

 

 

Ask Questions 

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Age gap dating can have a lot of benefits. Perhaps your career is more advanced or you have a less normative lifestyle than your peers. If your life just happens to be more in the rhythm of someone older or younger than you, then it can be a wonderful solution to disconnects you’ve experienced with people your own age. 

But not everyone gets into an age gap romance for the right reasons. Many people will instinctively try to pretend like the age gap between them and a partner doesn’t exist. A better approach is to talk about it upfront. Ask why the people you are dating want an age gap. If it’s for any other reason than healthy connection, you may want to walk away now. 

 

Explore Your Differences 

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While at first the disparity of experience between two people far apart in age might seem like a disadvantage, it can actually be a big benefit of age gap dating! Whether it’s with education, sexuality, or work, that difference of life experience can be such an enriching exchange. Use it to explore together, either by guiding one another or trying new things. Own what you know and what you don’t know; what you can do and what you can’t do. When you embrace your opposites as benefits, there’s no need to be coy about them. 

The changes that age brings can be so belittled in mainstream discourse. Natural conditions like erectile dysfunction or menopause and the solutions used to treat them can come with a lot of embarrassment, as can a lack of knowledge about them. From needing to buy a better lube for older women to having to order minoxidil online in Canada, supporting your partner might look different than it has in past relationships.But we all age and when you’re given the chance to embrace that fact as a beautiful thing, it can be really freeing. So experiment! Try tantric massage or discover new kinks with one another. Finding new ways to relate as well as give and receive pleasure will bring you closer as well as enhance your life. 

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