How To Make Age Gap Relationships Work

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Our relationship expert, Dr Pam Spurr (@drpamspurr on Instagram and Twitter) gives us her best tips on how to deal with age gap romances.

Recent data reveals that age gap relationships are on the increase. People are definitely more open-minded about dating someone out of their general age range. Of course, groundbreaking people like Madonna and Kylie have led the way! Madonna has been known to have partners 30 years younger and Kylie up to about 15 years younger. And the late Barbara Windsor also broke ground marrying and happily living with Scott Mitchell. Plus Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones Douglas have been going strong for years.

What can we learn from celebrities who aren't "minding the gap"? Here are top tips to make an age-gap romance work:

Do be tactful to each other! You might think it's funny to tease your older partner about the grey hair or crow’s feet but it's not. Likewise you might think it's a laugh to joke that your younger partner hasn't got a clue - but they won't see the funny side.

Don't assume you’ll both fulfil certain roles! You might assume that the older partner will have more wisdom and a younger partner will listen to what they say. Scratch that thought because if this relationship’s going to work you’re going to have to treat each other as equals.

Do be strong when it comes to others’ opinions! You too might love each other and have a great relationship but friends and family might see it differently. Both of you need to unite about this sort of pressure. Support each other because you might well feel loads of pressure to give up the relationship. Convince those around you that it's a good relationship by keeping calm under pressure and not flying off the handle when they question the age gap.

Do think through big life issues! If you’re 25 and definitely want children but you've hooked up with a 50-year-old who already has them, you need to talk about it. Don't live in a fantasy world where you think you're going to get your way. When it comes to these big issues you two may be at very different life stages - and have to recognise this honestly.

Do be aware of difficult emotions towards each other! The older partner might get jealous of the younger one going out clubbing with friends. They feel they would look stupid clubbing and they don't want to go. Likewise the younger one might feel left out when the older one discusses things (with friends of the same age) from decades before they were born. They feel a bit foolish and like they can’t contribute to such conversations. Try to include each other where you can and acknowledge where you can’t.

Do be open-minded about what you can learn from each other! The younger partner can probably help the older one get clued up about current things whereas the older one might be able to get their younger one get clued up about things like mortgages. Always be willing to learn from the other.

Do pay attention to physical differences between you! Particularly if there’s a big age-gap between you there might be a number of physical differences. And these include sexual differences! The older partner may have a lower sex drive and might well have less energy overall to do various things. Always be tactful and loving about such differences rather than judgmental.

Finally, do be prepared for all sorts of challenges! All relationships face challenges. Being aware should enhance the way you communicate with each other, as well as the honesty and respect you have for each other - in other words the things that will help melt away your age-gap.

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