Dating a younger man might not be such a problem as society deems it to be, as long as there is love and very real affection.
Dating, as a life experience, finds no parallel to any other experience. To me, it can be best described as a roller coaster ride, with the addition of heartaches, which the roller coaster ride doesn’t have. It is filled with thrills, highs, lows, fun, happiness, fear and sometimes pain.
As a society, we have come a long way from times where marriages were ‘arranged’, wherein your mate for life was a collective decision of a myriad people, but not yours. Today we are a society where one has the flexibility to choose ‘love’, probably a neighbour or a college mate or a colleague – preferably of the same caste. We are also a society where dating, which is meeting people socially out of romantic interest, is slowly becoming common.
Dating involves exploration, and in this quest to find that ‘right one’, what role does age play?
Traditionally, all over the world, even where dating was a norm decades before its existence in the Indian society, men have always looked for women younger than them. One might be tempted to say that the patriarchal setup works better that way or, as adherence to an age old belief, which said that women mature earlier than men. Thus, a younger women is supposed to be better suited to a man.
In today’s times where men and women try to walk shoulder to shoulder, is the right age difference still a part of the mix of a good relationship?
I believe that a woman’s maturity vis a vis a man’s, bears no difference in the maturity progression curve. The society of yester-years, which put a lot of pressure on young girls to better mold themselves as good wives, didn’t bother about her education or aspirations. Probably, this did force a girl to mature beyond her years – but it wasn’t natural.
Considering a Utopian society – at least for now – where we treat girls and boys exactly the same way – can a younger man be a good fit for an older woman?
Keeping gender out of the equation, two people having a significant age difference usually tend to be in different phases of their life. A 22 year old boy, fresh out of university, might be struggling in his early career stage, compared to a 27 year old woman who might be stable in her career. As a result, their expectations on the personal front might be different too. If the couple score high on the compatibility front, different career phases might not hinder love. However it definitely does require an extra dollop of understanding and accommodation for each other.
The infamous ‘biological clock’ of women starts ticking after a certain age. Age and fertility are major factors in women, compared to men. Women go through a lot of physical and emotional struggle sometimes when trying to conceive at a later stage in their lives. Maybe not a norm, a woman in the age group 25 to 30 is better prepared to have a child than a man in the same age group. Put a younger man in the mix and child bearing might be a decision which could face some challenges too.
Considering the generation of women who have a concrete career of their own, the partner is expected to contribute almost equally to the kids in the house. The decision necessarily needs to be unanimous.
Having said that, love definitely knows no boundaries. When two individuals come together with mutual love, passion and respect, a lot of other challenges and decisions are just a matter of discussion and consent.
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