age gap"While you were playing on the playground during recess I was crawling around in pampers. When you were in high school I was at home watching cartoons!" I often jokingly tease my husband when it comes to our age difference. He isn't that much older than me but he is old enough to be the butt on a joke or two. The songs he was dancing to as a teenager are the songs I watched the older kids dancing to as a kid or, never even heard until I got older and listened to them play "throwbacks" on the radio. You know the dance cabbage patch? He did that. I on the other hand, had a Cabbage Patch Kids doll. The movies he went and saw were movies that my mom didn't think I was old enough to see. Yes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rocked. No, my mom wasn't happy that my father had taken my brother and I to see it. She thought we were too young to be watching those "heroes in a half shell" on the big screen. At the time my husband was probably starting to show an interest in girls, I was still convinced boys were yucky and had cooties (don't they still?).
Over time things would change. Things would "even out" a bit. We would watch the same shows, listen to the same music (mostly), and the age difference that would have seemed so huge in our early years no longer was a big deal.
For the most part I don't think about the difference in our ages. It is something that just is. While many women will date older men out of a belief that they are more mature than their younger counterparts, I know that is not always the case. I've always had a thing for older guys but some of them were no more mature than guys my age.
Recently, The Huffington Post highlighted a survey that revealed what is said to be the "ideal age gap" for couples. Although women dating younger men has become increasingly common, when it comes to relationships the ideal relationship tends to be defined as one in which the woman is dating an older man.
A survey of 2,000 adults found that the average gap is one of four years and four months older. In addition to a select number of participants who said there was no ideal age gap, "33% of women wanted a guy up to seven years older than them while only one out of a hundred women preferred a younger man."
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Reasons for wanting to date an older man included financial stability. According to the article 55% of women said they were unable to afford mortgages and rent on their own. While that is another post in itself it is interesting to see the leading factor in the decision to date an older man.
This week my family and I watched as my Uncle said "Yahoo!" He got married and during the wedding vows he swapped out his "I do" for a "yahoo." And the woman he married, she is younger than him. A lot more than the ideal amount of four years, but after eight years together it is evident that marrying an older man was the way to go for his happy bride. In listening to the speeches of guests at the wedding it was evident that he had brought some stability to her life and, of course, a whole lot of love.
As for my husband, he was born in 1980 and I made my debut in 1984. When we got together he had been working at his job for years and I was a full-time college student working part-time and caring for my one year old daughter. We were both in our twenties and that meant the two of us had a lot of growing up to do. I for one am still in my twenties (although on my way out) and he's in his thirties. The two of us are still growing in so many ways, as individuals and as a couple.
With the exception of him being the perfect target for my "old man" jokes there isn't much of a difference between us. Except maybe he walked to school in the snow uphill both ways and my mom dropped me off. For more on the ideal age gap for couples visit The Huffington Post.
-By Krishann Briscoe
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