Sunday, August 13, 2006

Big age differences in a love relationship: Is it even an issue?

I’m annoyed with some people making a big fuss about this.

Now, we all know the common case of an older person dating someone significantly younger. One case would be a 50-year-old man dating a woman half his age. An example: Siti Nurhaliza’s marriage with Datuk Khalid, who’s 20 years older than her. Another is Harrison Ford’s relationship with former ‘Ally McBeal’ actress Calista Flockhart; she’s 22 years younger than the 63-year-old ‘Han Solo’.



Historically, it is very common for men in classical Greece to marry when they are around 30 and take wives half their age. (Wikipedia).

While relationships with 10+ difference in age is not too common (as far as I know personally), there’s numerous amount of couples with less than double-digit numbers with their age gap.

Normally, it is usually the man that is the older one in a relationship. What about woman being the older one? It is less common?

I don’t think so. Look at Hong Kong celebrity Nicholas Tse, who once had a relationship with fellow Chinese pop-diva Faye Wong (she’s 11 years older than him). What about the relationship between ‘Punk’ed’ host Ashton Kutcher and Hollywood actress Demi Moore? He’s 27, she’s 42. 42-27= 15.



Oh don’t forget American rockstar Kid Rock (35) getting married to ‘Baywatch’ icon Pamela Anderson (39). Not that big a difference, but still she’s older nonetheless.

So what’s wrong with May-December romance?

Now, as far as I know most Western countries now are pretty fine with it (Correct me if I am wrong). However, in Asia we seemed to have a problem with that. Sad to say that Malaysia’s one of those countries in Asia that makes an issue of out of age disparity in relationships.

Of course, I’m just stereotyping and generalizing in Asian culture’s context la! I know not all Malaysians or all Asians think like that. But there ARE some.

So far, what I know is that people think of it as something uncommon, and even a very bad thing to do. They think that such relationships meant something rather than love. There’s the “gold-digger” relationship; one young female would date a really old man for the money the man can provide for her. And then there’s the sex: the same old man would date the young female in that she’s hot and he would like to fuck her. The old lady – young man relationship is even more abnormal, considering that men in general would always rather have sex with someone their age or younger (prettier and sexier than the older ones obviously).

And that is very much the criticism regarding Siti Nurhaliza’s relationship with Datuk Khalid.

While there are such kind of relationships… how do we know she’s not ‘gold-digging’ and he just want to fuck her? Do take note that critics are not always right. Maybe they are really in love with each other after all.

People would usually say “he’s too young for her” or “she’s too old for him”. My question is: How do you define “young” and “old”? I know a 14-year-old girl who amazingly thinks more maturely for her age than her fellow peers (esp. about relationships). And I know two 28-year-olds who act more like 19-year-olds. So how can they say that this person is “too young” when the person has so much maturity to consistently keep a relationship a happy one? Or they prefer to have a couple who have about the same age but their relationship is like a miserable dump?

Another case would be that the younger one needs the chance to grow up. While that is true, that can’t be applied to those who have long graduated from university. And like I’ve mentioned before, a 28-year-old doesn’t necessary act their age. Also, those in high school can grow up faster than you think. Not all, but there are some. Let the young ones decide if they want to grow up some more or prepare them the responsibility on an adult earlier. The old ones should better know if their younger partners are not just having a ‘puppy love’.

My point is: simply because the age gap is big doesn’t mean that they cannot be in a relationship.

Here are the following quotes taken from Wikipedia to justify my point:
“…a popular adage is "love is blind". For those who feel they are in love, it doesn't matter if their partner is several years older than they are. And as factors such as the divorce rate, changing patterns in dating, and basic incompatibilities affecting personal relationships, the average age difference between prospective partners has also changed.
Many find that the younger partner is appreciative of the life experience and wisdom the older partner brings, and the older partner appreciates the vigor, enthusiasm, and new political, social, and cultural perspectives their young partner has to offer.”


So for those of you who think that dating someone much older is just _completely_ foolish, you’re pretty damn narrow-minded. Do be open minded and accept it, as love is blind indeed.

Don’t even bother using religion as an excuse to criticize age disparity. The prophet of Islam, Mohammed is younger than his first wife Khadija. Buddhism teaches nothing about such relationships being a taboo, and I’m certain Christianity is the same too.

As long as the intention is good, there is nothing to make an issue of.

HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean I support the idea of “Lolita”. Any old man fucking an underage kid is just not cool to me.

References:-
Plentyoffish Forums (http://forums.plentyoffish.com/datingPosts4633186.aspx)
Wayne & Tamara (http://www.wayneandtamara.com/topicagedifferenceadvice.htm)
Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_disparity_in_sexual_relationships#Social_criticism)
Various websites for smaller information and pictures.

7 comments:

ivan said...

To me, age is always just a number. THe phrase 'wisdom comes with age' nowadays may not necessarily be true to certain extend. I've known of people who are just in their teens but their mentality exceeds those that are older and can be said equivalent to those matured working adults.

I guess in our society, we tend to view it as a negative issue which should not be the case cause we can never dictate the direction of it. Regardless of age, we should just love without bothering about the petty things in life. This world needs more love.Just my 2 cents worth

Sam said...

If love was defined by age, a lot of things would be so much easier in this world, but it isn't.

So...^.^ What is there to do but make it into gossip material...

The flaws of human nature...Negative thinking ^.^

multidimid said...

In many cultures, an individual is not considered in terms of his age at all and the numbering of age is regarded as insignificant. It would do us all good – young, middle age and old alike – to forget the number of your years because so many of the beliefs are limiting in those ways. Youth is denied its wisdom and old age denied its joy.

Actually the point of reality and power is, once more, in our present, current experience.
There is no limitation to the self as you can still do it at any age.

The entire complex social world rests however on strong probable relationships, and the power behind civilizations rests upon a great unconscious rapport, and is built upon, in any given present, future and past, personal and social relationships.

Each of you who have the opportunity to share with another then know that is grace, and be thankful for that which you experience, and do not underestimate what you have.

You can know each other in each life a brief time. What joy and comfort you can give, then give. What support you can render, render. Do you realize that by doing this you become more than you think you are?

saykhia said...

There's also the issue of inter-racial relationships. Lately, I find that there are many people I know who are against it.

By the way, do I happen to know the 14 year old girl who thinks more maturely than her fellow peers? Just being curious here =P

. said...

Akaka Mike, I'm loving your post, I think you should know why =P

Its quite sad when people ask me stupid questions just because
I'm in a relationship whereby i'm older than the guy, adding in the fact that its an inter-racial relationship.

Some told me I shouldn't be with a younger guy because they believe "with age comes wisdom".
But to me, it all depends on the individual and how they grew up along the way.

Ah_Mike said...

Ivan: Well said.

Sam: Hahaha...gossip material indeed!

Multidimid: I like your comments. Took me a while absorb your style of commenting, but it's good :)

Saykhia: Yea, there's the more 'serious' issue of the inter-racial r/ships...but I would blog about that yet. Hmm...I think you know the 14-year-old kua...:P

Teng: Eh, I didn't know your boy's younger than you :P But yea "wisdom comes with age" is too old-school liao.

da'piNkch3ekz said...

heHe... i just started dating a 32 year old guy. everyone's making a fuss. they shud read this post. :P