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Or maybe a salt-and-pepper beard just gets you going? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you might want to consider dating an older man. Amal and George. Blake and Ryan. These celebrity couples all have age gaps that span at least 10 years.
And they all seem to be making it work. But there are a few things you should consider before jumping into a relationship like this, including emotional maturity, finances, children, ex-wives and so much more. So I tapped two relationship experts, clinical psychologist Dr Chloe Carmichael, and integrative holistic psychotherapist Rebecca Hendrix, to break down the most important things you should consider before dating an older man.
You could be projecting stereotypes on to them just because of their age, Hendrix says. If your S. But the truth is, this grateful feeling can be fleeting. Fast-forward a year into the relationship, and his less-than-busy schedule could feel stifling, Hendrix warns. You may find that you two have different ideas about how you want to spend your time together. Are you cool with this? If not, and this is the case, you might want to have a chat — or date younger. Yes, I said it! You want someone who knows how to fight and handle conflict, Hendrix says. An older man might not want to play the back-and-forth games of a younger gentleman.
But are you? Dating an older man might require you to become more vulnerable and let down a few your typical guards. And one of them may have even ended in divorce. Again—not a bad thing. How old are his kids? Does he see them often? Will you be involved in their lives? This requires a serious conversation. Integrating into his family could prove to be more difficult than you thought, especially if he has older daughters, Carmichael says. Studies show daughters are less receptive to bringing a younger woman into the family, she notes. Chances are, he may have a completely different picture of what the next 10 or 20 years look like.
Maybe you want to get married and have two kids, move out to the country and retire somewhere on a vineyard. He has the kids, a retirement house far from the city, and is one maintenance payment away from hiding his money offshore. An older person has an older body, and an older body can tend to have less energy and a different sex drive. According to Hendrix, older men tend to be good communicators because they have been in serious relationships and they want to get it right this time remember: emotional maturity. But you might reach a point of conflict when it comes to the style of communication.
At this point in his life, he probably has his lifestyle down pat. Do you really care? But Hendrix says that not having all the same interests or cultural reference points can actually be a really good opportunity to learn from one another. The problem only arises when one person is less flexible or spontaneous, while the other is constantly begging them to try something new.
The best fix? You guessed it: compromise. Is half of his money tied up in maintenance and child support? Or are his children all grown up and financially independent? Not sure how to start the convo? Carmichael usually advises her clients to just name the issue. This will create an opportunity for open and honest dialogue. The conversation might feel a little uncomfortable at first, but you definitely want to have this discussion well before the vows, Carmichael says.
An older guy might have more disposable funds to spend on building a life together—if so, fun! Are you in an age-gap relationship? Have you considered it? Tell us about it here. This article was originally published in Women's Health SA. Follow us on social media: Facebook , Twitter , Instagram. From something new to something borrowed, all the wedding trends and fashion inspo you need for your upcoming nuptials, plus, a peek into real life weddings.
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What to expect when you date an older man