NOTICE: St. Cloud office was closed effective June 1st, 2019 due to a move.
Miho Adkins now works at Birch Lake Counseling in Hackensack, MN. Please call at 218-675-5101 to schedule an appointment with Miho. Miho provides online counseling as well.
Four County Crisis Response Team (320-253-5555 or 1800-635-8008) for Stearns, Benton, Sherburne, or Wright Counties.
We tend to seek similarities, common cultural, religious, socioeconomic, and educational levels. Age is one of them.
We tend to seek mates who are from the same generation. Society also expects us to follow this tendency.
The tendency may be because the more similarities we have the less conflicts we may encounter. If you and your partner are following similar developmental stages, such as completing education and exploring your career paths, you may be able to share the similar experiences.
We are, however, exposed to more diverse opportunities in this world. Our world is no longer within a small town, and it could be expanded beyond the borders of our country.
There may be times we may fall in love with someone who is older or younger than you. There is a chance to have the experiences as we meet many different people.
What should you do if you fall in love with a person who is older/younger than you?
1. Internal conflicts
Since you are not following the social expectations and norms which expect us to have a partner who is similar to you, you are most likely to experience internal conflicts between social norms and your feelings.
No matter how rebellious you are, if you are not following the social expectations, you will experience the internal conflicts.
We will try to ease the internal conflicts by either breaking up the relationship or finding a peace inside by reconciling with the internal conflicts.
Neither is right nor wrong. It is purely our decision and the only thing we can do is to take a responsibility for the decision.
2. Different developmental stages
Since you and your partner are in the different generations, you and your partner may be in the different developmental stages. You may start exploring your career path, while your partner is just retired. You may already have adult children while your partner never had children and may want to have children.
3. Having children
Once you decided to have children, you are responsible for not only your life but also your children. You may want to seriously contemplate about how the society will perceive your family, and what kind of difficulty your children may encounter because of the parents' age different relationship.
If you are not able to have children in a tradition way, you may want to discuss with your partner whether infertility treatment is an option for you and your partner.
If so, how far and how long do you want to receive the treatment. Is adoption an option? What if you are not able to have children after the treatment? Are you ready for the life without having your own children?
All couples face difficulties in relationships. It is true that even if you married to someone who has similar background and is the same age as you, you will most likely encounter difficulties.
Age gap relationships can be overcome if you understand social expectations and internal conflicts. You may encounter more difficulty because you are not following social expectations and experience more internal conflicts.
The key is to seriously take a look at your relationship, think about pros and cons for being in the relationship, and think about how important your partner is to you.
After the deep contemplation, if you feel that, regardless of the age gap, your partner is the important person to you, you may be able to overcome the obstacles of the age gap relationship
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Your voice makes me tremble inside. And your smile is an invitation for my imagination to go wild. ~ BOAKYE YARQUAH