6 things to consider before dating someone older
Dating a much older person has its own challenges, which is why you should carefully consider some things before committing to this kind of a relationship. Knowing what you’re getting yourself into can help you decide if this is the right situation for you or not. Here’s more on relationships with big age gaps and what to consider
As we grow older, we become more emotionally mature and can handle conflict or stressful situations better. Your older partner might be more emotionally mature than you and this can create conflict in the relationship because you might find it difficult to communicate or solve problems in a way that you both are comfortable with.
Unfortunately, your sexual needs and those of your partner might differ because of the age gap and experience. Your partner might want to explore sex more than what you’re comfortable with. So, if you’re not ready to have sex, it might not be a good idea to be in a relationship with someone much older than you as you may feel pressured.
Depending on how old you and your partner are, one of you might be ready to have children while the other may not be. Your partner might feel that they’re financially and mentally ready to start a family, while you may have other goals like finishing school or starting your employment journey. If your partner is much older and already has children of their own, they may not be willing to have more when you decide you’re ready. It’s important to have a conversation with them about this before deciding to enter a relationship with them.
A huge age gap between you and your partner means that you might have different mindsets. Different generations are exposed to different things, which makes them likely to see the world from a different lens. While this is not always a bad thing, it can be very frustrating to try and make someone understand your struggles and issues when they’re much older than you.
Power in a relationship should be equally shared between both partners, where you both have a say, and no one makes decisions for the other. In most cases, an older partner controls power in a relationship because, at times, the younger partner may find it difficult to voice their opinion. This is especially true if the older partner is also the one who controls the finances.
Can you legally give consent?
Before getting into a relationship with a much older partner, you need to make sure that you’re old enough to give consent. In South Africa, the legal age for consent is 16 and above. If you’re younger than 16 and have sex with someone who’s 16 and older, it will be considered statutory rape.
While there are a lot of people who believe age is just a number, this isn’t true when you’re young and still in school. Age plays a huge role in compatibility and figuring out whether someone is a suitable and appropriate partner. Although dating someone much older than you can seem exciting from afar, it can actually get complicated and pretty imbalanced. I hope you’ll consider the points I’ve mentioned above before deciding to get into a relationship with a much older partner.
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