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If you find yourself in an intergenerational relationship, making sure you have common goals is more important than ever. Generational differences, as well as being in different stages of life, complicate May - December dating and marriages. Ideas about marriage, having children, finances, retirement, etc. need to be compatible. The larger the age difference, the more difficult it may be to find common ground when it comes to key life goals. If the age difference is considerable, one person may be thinking about retiring when the other wants to start a family. By discussing your ideas of the future and each other's life goals, the two of you will have a better chance of working out your relationship. Dating someone who is remarkably younger or older than you is a definite challenge. It is important to make sure you both share the same goals and dreams.
Family and friends often object to intergenerational relationships. This effects you and your partner. Tension, hurt feelings, and anger lead to disagreements and generalized strain on the relationship. There are two things that can greatly help May - December relationships pull through. The two of you compose a team. It is nonsensical for teammates to undermine or sabotage each other because they have the same goal. The two of you share the goal of nurturing a loving, happy relationship. Keeping this agreed upon goal in mind, talk openly to work toward agreement of how to handle situations that arise. You do not have to defend the other people involved. You do not have to take their reactions personally. You do not have to let them pull you and your partner apart at a time when you need one another. The two of you are to work together, tirelessly if needed, to overcome the obstacles those on the “other team” put in your way. Secondly, no matter how beautiful your age difference marriage is, the two of you do not exist on a deserted island. Having a community or network of others that are accepting will help support and strengthen your relationship. It is important to have others you both feel comfortable sharing time with and turning to during difficult times.
An age difference in relationships draws attention, especially when a younger man and older woman are involved. However, intergenerational relationships in which younger men are with older women are increasingly common. Some couples unintentionally end up in this type of age difference relationship, while others purposefully set out to find it.
The reasons some men prefer older women include:
The mental stimulation of being with someone with more life experience
Higher maturity level
Increased self-sufficiency and independence
Clarity on life goals.
What are the reasons more women are choosing to date men that are significantly younger than themselves? Physical and sexual attributes may be the seemingly obvious and logical conclusion you leap to. Although this could be icing on the cake, these particular intergenerational relationships are often motivated by more practical matters. Age differences in relationships between older women and younger men revolve around the following:
A home health care worker improves opportunities for ongoing independence in cases of aging or illness. Choosing a home health care worker requires consideration of many factors such as compatibility, experience, skills and needs. The ideal search method will include specific criteria that can be used for screening that yields the best overall fit.
Write down needs and expectations. It is easier to find the right person when you are clear about what is expected, when it will happen and how it will be done. Consider using the needs-assessment worksheet at www.familycareamerica.com.
Conduct a broad search. Ask friends and co-workers, place advertisements in the paper and on bulletin boards, contact agencies such as the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, and call schools that train certified nursing assistants. Include telephone and email contact information for ease of applicant contact.
Screen applicants by telephone before scheduling in-person interviews. Ask questions about experience, availability, special skills or training, and willingness to accept assigned duties.
Use the Eldercare Locator database at http://www.eldercare.gov to find trustworthy help nationwide. Ask questions to determine the reputability of any agency chosen to provide home health care workers.
Conduct criminal background and reference checks. Ask applicant for picture identification and Social Security card. Contact the local police or sheriff's department for criminal background information and previous employers and instructors for references.
Hire a home health care worker. Consider instituting a probationary period of 30 to 60 days. At the end of this period provide feedback about what is going well and what is not. Use this evaluation to determine if the worker will be terminated or become permanent.
When there is an age difference in relationships, open communication becomes even more vital for survival.
Honest and frequent communication needs to focus on:
1. Life Goals: Ideas about marriage, having children, finances, retirement, etc. need to be compatible. The larger the age difference, the more difficult it may be to find common ground when it comes to key life goals.
2. Family and Friends: Friends and family often do not understand why you have chosen your partner. Approach discussions openly and honestly. Being upfront about your relationship can help them better understand your choices.
3. Strain Due to Lack of Support and Community: When family and friends object to your relationship it effects you and your partner. Tension, hurt feelings, and anger are common. The more you can talk openly and work toward a mutual understanding and agreement regarding how to handle the situation, the less strain that will be caused.
If you are interested in May – December relationships, prepare for some negative responses. People react strongly to age difference relationships. Being confronted with other people's opinions and standards can be difficult. Strangers are bad enough, but often friends and family object as well. Age difference relationships undoubtedly have added complexity because of this external pressure. However, there are things you can do to make this easier on everyone. If friends and family appear judgmental, it is often driven by their not understanding why you have chosen your partner. Sometimes, this lack of understanding translates into outright hostility. Of course, this makes interactions uncomfortable and strains feelings between you. Try to be sensitive rather than defensive. Approach discussions empathically, openly and honestly. Being upfront about your relationship, and the impact of other's reactions, can help them better understand your choices. Most often, friends and family are simply concerned about your happiness. They do not want to see you hurt. Respond to their love for you vs. the parts that feel like criticism.