Age Gap Relationships

Lehmuth_Lehmuth_Rachel_Brenke_Photography_lauren28bw_lowFrom your classic gold-digger generation to modern day cougars age gap relationships have always been of great interest to me. There’s no great secret to my enthusiasm for the subject, it stems solely from my parents who have nearly three decades between them – 28 years if you’re counting. My mother is a youthful 50 and my Dad still as sprightly as ever at the age of 78. Has it affected their relationship? Honestly? Yes it has. But do they regret it? Probably not.

Growing up my Dad never held back from his parenting duties, already in his mid to late 50’s people would constantly ask my sister and I – “is that your Grand-Dad?” We never once hesitated from proudly proclaiming “no, that’s our Dad!” An old Dad is better than no Dad I always said. The setup between my Mother and Father has always fascinated me – perfect material for a relationships writer you might say. Age differences can be tricky at the best of times, even five to ten years can sometimes prove event_225976522.jpegdifficult, so how do you make a gap of three decades work? When they got together my Dad was the most devilishly handsome (and surprisingly young looking) 48 year old you could feast your eyes on and my Mum – a fresh faced 20 year old who’d only recently left her seaside town for the big city. Perhaps my Dad was the strong arm my Mum needed to help her settle into her big move or perhaps he really was just incredibly handsome. I can only imagine the two of them complimented each other perfectly in the same way I still observe them do to this day. My Dad is funny. It’s my favourite quality in him and any person for that matter, I love people who make me laugh and I guess my Mum is the same. My Mum on the other hand is organized, sensible and well – motherly. In fact it’s incredible just how much I am like my Dad and my sister is like my Mum but it just goes to show that with the right balance of characteristics in a pairing, age gaps really do become irrelevant. For just about every time I have seen my Mum stress over a phone bill I have watched my Dad reduce her to tears of laughter only moments later, maybe these are the true great qualities of a successful relationship? Not appearances or money or how you might look on paper, just the purest form of balance. I envy them every day.

One of my fondest memories of seeing them together was on holiday in Devon (England) as a youngster. We’d taken a trip to the zoo and my sister and I sat on a bench devouring ice lollies whilst my Mum and Dad went for a wander. My Mum was more the sun bathe by the beach type whilst my Dad (like myself) was quite the explorer, in fact we often took gruelling day trips just to keep the peace more than anything. The zoo of course was fun, but as my Mum marched ahead with her arms crossed my filmnoirpage-e1319841938815Dad blissfully trundled along gazing at every animal, bird, leaf, plant, tree etc that came his way – ‘Father Nature’ I used to call him. As my sister and I watched from a distance they came to a bridge overlooking a stream full of exotic fish, it was one of those bridges that you could shake and sway from side to side, my Mum who has suffered from vertigo for many years naturally walked across as quickly as humanly possible, my Dad on the other hand stopped in the middle to admire the fish in sheer wonderment. What happened next still makes me laugh and to this day I have never seen my Mum laugh harder – she was quite literally floored. My Dad in his mid-60s at the time is only around 5ft 3, a group of young and very excited German tourists had spotted the bridge from afar and in their excitement hadn’t even noticed my Dad innocently watching the fish as they sprinted to the middle. They bounced around on that bridge like kids on a trampoline at Christmas. The bridge wasn’t high so he was in no immediate danger but watching my Dad’s face as he hung on for dear life whilst this group of athletic young men almost twice his size bounced around was a sight I’ll never forget. This was the beauty of my Dad’s persona, whether he was making a joke or just finding himself in yet another comedic situation there was always laughter. It was in these moments that I knew my Mum would think that loveable little man…is mine.

It’s not easy to brush aside the opinions of others and although I wasn’t there at the time, I can’t 13-wedding-kiss-photography-in-the-1950s-uncovered-on-ebayimagine a 20 year old on the arm of a man approaching 50 sat well with those around them, but did it put them off? I wouldn’t be sat here on this cold Autumn evening if it had. I talk a lot about not caring about what others think, frankly I believe life is too short and I spent most of my teens trying to make the world around me like me before I myself even liked me. It’s only tonight that I’ve realized this attitude comes from my upbringing. So to those suffering the strain of a scrutinised relationship, if you’re not hurting anyone – just do whatever the hell you like.

PTB

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41 Comments

  1. September 23, 2014 / 8:31 pm

    Very interesting read. I thought my parents had quite a gap with 18 years between them, but you win! Wow!

  2. September 23, 2014 / 8:42 pm

    PTB – J’adore this post! My husband is 19 years older than I, and we are so finely matched! I do believe I am an old soul so maybe this can explain some of our attraction – he’s also quite dashing, if I may say so.

    What a lovely tribute you wrote here to your parents. When I found love, I thought to myself, who the hell am I to turn away from it? Love is so precious, I believe we should not be so quick to judge but rather follow where it leads . . . that is when life is most alluring, no?!

    Cheers to you and thank you for this lovely post ~ Allison

    • September 23, 2014 / 8:44 pm

      Hi Allison thank you so much that really means a lot. All credit to you and your husband, if you love each other then who cares. Really appreciate your thoughts 🙂 Paul

  3. September 23, 2014 / 10:47 pm

    Touching story Paul. Thank you for sharing this with all of us.

  4. September 23, 2014 / 11:15 pm

    That really was a sweet story, thanks for telling it. Lots of laughter in your parent’s relationship. I think that’s the key. Love doesn’t care about things like age, love just transcends the physical. My hubby is six years older than me.

  5. September 24, 2014 / 4:22 am

    What a lovely post! My dad is 10 years older than my mom and I always wondered how they never notice the age gap and still be in love after so many years. My dad still look at my mom like he just met her and it kills me. I wish every one of us had that kind of partner, if you know what I mean. Your mom and dad sound as same as mine, specially my dad, who always makes my mother laugh at the most difficult times and it makes me wonder if I’d ever witness such a pure love. Thanks for this post! 🙂

  6. September 24, 2014 / 6:32 am

    My partner is 12 years older than me, and it doesn’t make an ounce of difference. I suppose the only thing that makes it hit home is when I see his kids. They are all grown, unlike my own who are still early teens. Plus, he has 5 grandkids. It seems kind of weird at times. I’m not old enough to be his kids mother….lol
    Seriously, though, age doesn’t matter unless you make it an issue. As long as you are both happy, that’s all that counts!

  7. September 24, 2014 / 8:32 am

    I really enjoyed this post, it was a lovely reminder of the blindness of love 🙂

  8. September 24, 2014 / 9:09 am

    I love this story. Absolutely love it. And you are right…it’s about finding that perfect balance in another. Age has nothing to do with it.
    Great post!

  9. September 24, 2014 / 9:52 am

    I always love and enjoy reading you. 🙂

  10. September 24, 2014 / 4:58 pm

    WOW! What a great story… congrats on having such loving parents and source of inspiration for your writing.

  11. September 24, 2014 / 6:10 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this blog post yet again! Keep it up Paul! Glad I followed you 🙂

  12. September 27, 2014 / 3:50 am

    Reblogged this on In Transit and commented:
    Having been on both ends of the spectrum (i.e. the much younger one, and the slightly older one), I find this piece really spot on. It doesn’t matter what people think, really. Happiness is never age-gap-bound.

    If you’re in a relationship that has prominent age-gap and you’re concerned, read this insightful post. Lovely <3

  13. October 1, 2014 / 12:41 pm

    Great post! Thank you for sharing.

  14. October 1, 2014 / 9:20 pm

    Such a lovely story to share about your parents. Age is simply a number, and the heart knows no such thing as numbers. Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.

    • October 1, 2014 / 9:48 pm

      Thank you Olivia really appreciate your comments 🙂 thanks for reading

  15. October 1, 2014 / 9:22 pm

    Great insight into ages and relationships – people can be so different too at exactly the same age (‘old’ 30 or ‘young’ 30). Thanks for the share here!

    • October 1, 2014 / 9:49 pm

      That’s a very good point Christy, I’m 28 and my sister is 24 and in a strange way she is older than me, guess it’s down to the individual personality. Thanks for reading 🙂

  16. October 1, 2014 / 10:18 pm

    My mother passed away and my father is going out with someone 25 younger than him at first it was hard because she is my age but she keeps my dad young and they are happy. Age means nothing.

  17. October 5, 2014 / 2:54 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I think you recently read my post “Is it ever too soon to say I love you”*. Indeed the man I’m referring too in this post I share a 17 year age gap with. It’s something that at the beginning played on my mind but as soon as I stopped trying to please those around me I realised I didn’t care at all. Thank you for your post it has re-affirmed what I already knew and it has given me the confidence to continue pursuing the relationship further.

    *http://thewanderingangel.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/is-it-ever-too-soon-to-say-i-love-you/

    • October 5, 2014 / 3:50 pm

      Hey 🙂 thank you so much for your comments. If my writing has a positive effect on just one person’s life then it was more than worthwhile doing. Looking forward to reading more of your work 🙂 have a great day. Paul

  18. October 8, 2014 / 12:32 pm

    Beautiful. My late partner was 14 years my senior and the light of my life. He died at 54 so we didn’t have long, but I would rather have shared a decade with him than a lifetime with another.

    • October 8, 2014 / 2:06 pm

      Thank you Sue really appreciate your comments. Sorry to hear about your partner but glad you had so many happy memories. Keep in touch, Paul

      • October 8, 2014 / 2:41 pm

        A long time ago now, Paul, but memories don’t age.

  19. October 8, 2014 / 12:37 pm

    A splendid read!
    17 year gap here 😉
    SO much of this was like reading a bits of my life. Could not trade it for the world.

    • October 8, 2014 / 2:07 pm

      Hey 🙂 thank you I really appreciate that and I’m glad you feel the way you do as long as you’re both happy then more power to you. Keep in touch, Paul.

      • October 8, 2014 / 10:14 pm

        Thanks 🙂 Will try to do so Paul.
        Idiot. 😀

  20. October 8, 2014 / 8:52 pm

    Beautifully written. By far the most relatable account I’ve read today. My husband and I have a rather large age gap as well. Subsequently you nailed the most important point: happiness is key. Thank you for sharing.

    • October 8, 2014 / 9:03 pm

      Thank you so much that really means a lot to me, genuinely. Keep in touch, Paul.

  21. October 8, 2014 / 11:29 pm

    Lovely, lovely, lovely.

  22. October 9, 2014 / 6:21 am

    very touching. I know one couple, got married with 17 years of age difference. and thanks for following my blog, hope i will become in writing as time goes.

  23. October 14, 2014 / 3:39 am

    This post is great! I’m currently dating someone who has eighteen years on me and I’ve got a lot of flak for it. I can ignore their comments 90% of the time but it was nice to read this today. I needed it. Thank you 🙂

  24. October 24, 2014 / 1:02 pm

    Your folks sound wonderful! The ex and I had a 12 year ago gap and it was never a problem with one big but. We were well suited, well matched and personality wise the 12 years didn’t make a difference. The problem came that in those 12 years he had a failed marriage and it had jaded, hurt and damaged him. He never dealt with it and I feel that is one of the biggest reasons we broke up. He had had 12 years worth of life experience and hadn’t. So where I was all heart, flowers and love will win he was one day it will all end…and it did… he left!

    • October 25, 2014 / 12:34 pm

      Thank you 🙂
      I’m sorry to hear that your ex was so damaged from his past experiences, it’s always frustrating when the past affects us in such a negative way because it not only prevents yourself from moving on it affects those around us as well and ultimately those who could have put us back together again.
      Sincerely hope you’re both in a better place now.
      Thanks for reading, means so much.
      Paul

      • October 27, 2014 / 9:14 am

        Not yet fully in a better place, but I am not letting this relationship ruin me. As for him, I sincerely hope he has faced up to his past so he can move on, but that’s only something he can do. Perhaps loosing me (his choice) was the catalyst he needed to face his past but I won’t ever find out!

  25. November 1, 2014 / 1:22 am

    Great post – personal and philosophical. I agree with you. Do whatever the hell makes you happy and don’t give a fig about what anyone else says about. Value your own experience.

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