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Dealing with Responses to Intergenerational Relationships

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Dealing with Responses to Intergenerational Relationships

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.



1/31/2008 3:56:24 PM
shawn said:

I am currently in a relationship with a 50 year old women. I am 38. We are both divorcees. When we became friends we discussed alot of what we had been through and where we wanted to be in life. The attraction had always been there, so I let things take their course and we started with a fairy tale beginning. Until her ex, oldest son (33) and her mother decided that they would not only cause alot of pressure on her and started treating her like a child. She was told she was not allowed to see me anymore. She has tried to fight them, make them understand and sometimes do what they asked. I have suffered along with her in this and would like to see it work out. We have been together for 3 years and the presuures have weighed down this relationship like a wet blanket over a fire. Now she is starting to doubt us. She says she still loves me, is in love with me, and that the attraction is very much there. What to do we are secretly ingaged and she is now getting cold feet. I have decided that after she told me that she started feeling like a mother figure, and that we were in different places in life. To me this is a cop out. Because we are the same people that met when we are away from prying family. I get it! She may have baggage, but aren't you supposed to stick by the one you love?

12/8/2008 9:04:32 PM
Lisa said:

I think if you meet someone with whom you are compatible, enjoy his or her company, and you both talk about and agree what you want in life, then age differences should not be a factor. What is the expression in the Bible about not judging unless you want to be judged? I think people who judge anyone's relationship are out of bounds and treading in an area which is none of their business. I accept people by how they treat me. I don't care about their ethnic background of age. What is, after all, a "perfect" relationship? Muslim men can have 4 wives. Is that wrong? Or is that their culture? How friends and family members respond is their issue, not mine. I don't dictate to them how to live their lives and would hope that they, in return, do not judge or dictate to me how my lived is to be lived. I would hope for their support, but I wouldn't lose any sleep over whether they want to be part of my life and my happiness. I have a wonderful relationship with a man who is about 20 years younger than I am, and I wouldn't let anyone tell me that it is wrong for us to be together. Unfortunately American culture is one sided. An older man can be with a younger woman and somehow that's acceptable. But an older woman and younger man, and she's a cougar? I just don't agree.

1/16/2009 11:03:56 PM
Joe said:

I agree with what Linda said. Though it is still difficult with the older man, younger woman, I can speak first hand of the problems encountered by the younger man and older woman.
When in my 20's, I dated a woman who was in her late 30's. We lasted 7 years and had lots of fun together. She lost some friends over our relationship, but her true friends supported her decision to be with me. My family and friends were fine with her!

Now I'm in my late 40's and am looking the other way. I have been dating younger women, and am looking for what is a comfortable age difference. Reality plays it's part!

As a friend said to me, "Don't let society choose your mate. Only you can live your life, no one else can do that for you".

Be it older woman- younger man or vise versa. Do what makes you happy! Life is short, there are no winners or losers. Just be happy!

1/31/2009 3:07:26 AM
steve said:

I am 40 yrs old and I find my self on the edge of starting and relationshp with a 19yr old we have known each other for over a year and have become close friends which alot of people dont like but last week we where hanging out and we started to kiss and she looked at me and said"is this wrong?" the only thing I could do and say was I dont know so instead of continuling I got up and tolg her i was going to go outside and smoke a cig and let us both think about first and not do something we will regret later so when i came back in the room she was still laying on my bed and told me "i want you right or not" well we made love and I'm telling you that night woke up deep emotions that i havent felt in 15 yrs. We are takeing it slow cause i dont want to rush it and give her every room to make her own mind. I was in a marriage for 10 yrs before this my exwife and i split 2yrs ago and i have been with one other person since my devorce (self imposted chasity).But i never loved my exwife half as much as i love this girl
given the chance I would marry this girl.


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