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    From annoying questions, inapproriate jokes and dealing with death, here are 6 things you’ll only know if you’re in an age gap relationship.

    The questions will get annoying

    “Did you marry him for his money? What is your sex life like? What about when he’s in his 60s and you’re 40?’ The questions just seemed to keep on coming” says 34-year-old Amelia. Amelia was in a relationship with a man 19 years her senior for nearly 3 years. “People seemed to feel they had the right to comment on our relationship simply because of the age gap.”

    On the other hand, Sarah Bannister, who has been married for 11 years, has never felt the age gap in her relationship – 15 years – has been an issue: “I’d always liked older men, and there was a 17 year age gap between my parents so it was normal to me. He was the one who pulled back initially due to the age, and it took two years for us to finally get together.

    “My friends and family were very supportive of us, they warmed to him quite quickly. We were in the same circle of friends, so they were all very happy for us.”

    People will assume any relationship problems you have will be because of the age gap

    While other couples are given the benefit of the doubt, and any problems they might face are assumed to be the cause of extenuating circumstances, if you’re in a relationship with an age gap that courtesy isn’t extended to you.

    Denise Knowles, a relationship counsellor, says the couples themselves will often assume this as well: “Couples will come to me and say they’re having problems and I’ll say, ‘OK, let’s talk about it as two people. Not as you being a 30 year old and a 50 year old.”

    Planning for the inevitable is hard

    “When we were together of course I thought about what would happen as he got older,” says Amelia, “I think we both tended to ignore it and pretend it wasn’t going to happen. We lived in the moment and, in hindsight, that probably wasn’t very wise.”

    Sarah and her partner have considered the future: “There are going to be obvious physical differences as he gets older, and I know he will probably pass before me, but we are a great partnership and I will always be there for him. We make it count while we are able and fit to do so.”

    The ‘Sugar Daddy’ jokes are seemingly endless

    Websites promising ” mutually beneficial relationships” are becoming more commonplace in today’s society. Typically, these websites pair wealthy men with young women, offering them ‘allowances’ in exchange for their companionship.

    Amelia recalls being asked by some of her closest friends if this was how she met her former partner, “I’d tell them time and time again he wasn’t my ‘sugar daddy’ and I know they probably believed me, but it didn’t stop them from asking.”

    Having children is an important conversation you need to have – even if you don’t like the answer

    “One of the biggest problems I find with couple who have an age gap is children,” says Denise, “sometimes one will want a child and the other won’t. Sometimes one will have children from a previous relationship but feel like they’re perhaps to old to have one in the new relationship. Sometimes the woman may feel that he is only with her because she’s young and can still have children.”

    You can’t care about what people think

    With all the questions, assumptions, and jokes regarding your relationship, it’s important you have a thick skin. “Often couples that come to talk to me don’t have a problem with the age gap themselves, but they say it’s the people around then – their friends and family – that have the problem with it,” says Denise, “there’s a negative societal attitude towards age difference that the couple often doesn’t share.”

    “Relationships that have an age gap are outside of what we see as a societal norm, we can’t fit it into a box so we judge them. When you have a twenty year old with a forty year old we tend to think that it’s a large age gap, but when we have a couple where one is thirty and the other is forty-five, we don’t think anything about it.”

     

    Culled from The Telegraph

    Photo Credit: http://www.singleblackmale.com

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