By Ebi Kesiena
For some, age is just a number, while others consider it a determining factor for maturity in marriage. Ebi Kesiena seeks to determine if younger ladies crave for older men, old enough to be their father.
Last week Saturday, I dropped by at Apo Shoprite to pick up some provisions when I ran in to Solape, a friend from my secondary school back in Osun State.
We got carried away with chatting and catching up that I almost did not notice the 50-year-old looking Uncle who kept flocking around trying to break into our conversation.
Uncle finally got our attention, that was when Solape introduced him to me as her fiancé and their wedding will be coming up later in the year. I and Solape exchanged contacts and got chatting later in the evening.
She actually confirmed that Uncle Bayo is 20 years older than her, but she could beat her chest that in her over 10years dating spree, she had never come across anyone as loving, caring, romantic as Uncle Bayo, she affirmed that she made the best choice to be with him, and nothing could change her mind.
Solape revealed that Uncle Bayo is widowed, has two children from his late wife who presently school and live abroad, but regrettably her mum was totally against the union. She was not discouraged because she had made up her mind to be with Uncle Bayo for the rest of her life, she would not bow to family pressure, and was ready to walk down the aisle all alone, as long as her Uncle Bayo was beside her.
Solape is among the minority who have decided to throw age out of the window when it comes to matters of the heart, since some say it is just a number.
Others are of the opinion that maturity comes with experience so the older man younger woman paradigm takes centre stage.
Before the world became a global village, in Africa and specifically Nigeria, young ladies were often bethroded to older men, who they had no prior knowledge of, to become their wives.
I am talking about a honking great, could-be-your- parent age gap between them. These young girls were usually uneducated and ended up as baby making housewives. Actually, a study suggests that the desire for a much younger partner is largely a men thing.
Then the advent of the current 21st century, of the computer and global village, times changed, young ladies began to crave for young guys within their age bracket, people who could relate with them on different levels, someone they could date, courts and eventually get married to.
Young ladies desired to be with young men of their age, with whom they could share financially responsibility with and still remain influential and relevant in marriage.
Ironically, you cannot control who is attracted to you, but there is no fast rule to what the age gap should be between you and your partner.
The data that is available on the subject of age gaps in relationships is still fairly limited, and the intention of these researchers is more about understanding relationship trends than making a concrete claim about the ideal age gap between partners.
According to a 2014 study, couples with a one-year age difference have a mere three percent chance of getting divorced. When you move the age gap up to five years, the chance of divorce goes up to 18 percent.
A 10-year difference is 39 percent, and a 20-year age gap has a jaw-dropping 95 percent chance of ending in divorce. Researchers analysed over 3,000 couples for the study, and found that the larger the age gap between a couple, the more likely they are to get divorced.
So, it seems that a one-year age gap is the ideal difference in a romantic relationship. Of course, couples with a one-year age difference can and do still go through breakups and divorces. But it’s also used to describe the attraction younger women have for older men.
Speaking with Rosemary, a 29-year-old civil servant, she said all the men she has had a relationship with were either younger than her or just two years older than her.
According to Rosemary, she can never date not to even consider marrying a man old enough to be her father because there is the possibility of him not been able to satisfy her sexually for the reason that he is old.
She says her looks attracts the younger men to her because she looks way younger than her actual age, and it has actually become a burden to her as she wants to settle down with a man who is at least four years older than her.
When we posed to her the possibility of the older man having a billion-dollar empire to his name, Rosemary said she is ready to work, pray and build her young bobo to become a billionaire when he gets to that age, with her by his side.
Also, Amaka, a primary school teacher who is 32 years old, said the older men treat you like their daughter when you are dating them, but the young men make you strong.
Amaka stated that she would always prefer the younger man who is not so old and not too young either, a 10-year difference is idea for her considering the fact that she is an only child who has enjoyed a lot of pampering, it would be nice to enjoy the same in marriage.
My friend Solape is however not alone, as Juliet said the older guys are always her choice. Juliet added that she has always been attracted to them and she is presently dating a married man who is old enough to be her father. Juliet pleaded that she should not be judged, because when it comes to matters of the heart, it could be really complicated.
In all, the overall success of any relationship depends on a few basic components: shared values and beliefs, healthy communication and conflict resolution, trust, intimacy, and the ability to support one another’s goals.
None of these behaviours have much to do with age, although a large age difference between two people can mean different views of the world and thus the relationship.
Like we said earlier, studies show that a one-year age difference is ideal, and that a larger age gap can definitely challenge a couple. Just remember that age is not necessarily an indicator of relationship success or failure there are a number of other factors to consider.
Ultimately, a big age gap between you and your partner doesn’t doom your relationship, but it does mean that you both might have to work a little bit harder to feel on the same page. And that’s alright because every relationship requires at least a little bit of effort. (The Heritage Times)