If a pedophile was asking me this, then YES, absolutely, positively age matters.
Sixteen is the legal age for consensual sex in Canada. But the answer is a bit different when this question is asked by my 25-year-old BFF regarding the 45-year-old man she’s deeply in love with.
Things just get more complicated when we grow up and start doing things like paying rent, showing up to our 9-5s, and dating all kinds of people – people you sometimes aren’t “supposed to” date, according to contemporary society. In the world of monogamy, even topics that seem black and white, like cheating, often have a million shades of grey hidden within them. So when my friend asks where she should draw the line with age, I think A. this is the blind leading the blind here, and B. I really don’t know that there is an answer to that.
There are two ways people handle falling in love with the “wrong” person; there are those who withdraw and flee at the sight of big age gaps, and there are those who persevere.
Neither, in my opinion, should be regarded as wrong or inferior.
Regardless of whether one decides to pursue or retreat, the obstacles they’re faced with are still the same. They must understand that they will be at different life stages than their partner, they’ll have to discuss if and when to begin a family, how to deal with questions and judgement from family and friends, and other super fun details.
For instance, the whole thing becomes more loaded when the woman has a desire to have children and start a family. We’re lucky that in 2016 our plans for settling down have been naturally delayed by a few years thanks to higher education and other advances, but we’re still faced with science and general facts regarding human anatomical capabilities.
At the end of the day, women everywhere are all dealing with that annoying sound. Do you hear it? It’s that noise we can’t drown out. Tick, tock, tick, tock – it’s the arms of our biological clock swinging. The sound is anything but welcoming or comforting. You can call me a backwards ass anti-feminist, something I know I’m not, or we can agree that there are validities in assuming that it is much more difficult and risky to prolong childbearing. And so a woman who decides to date a much older man may begin to feel pressured to speed things up in hopes that the man can still be a father without being the age of a grandfather.
Unlike coal, this kind of pressure on a relationship does not produce something shiny and beautiful, but rather something toxic and potentially destructive.
Such obstacles can deter some people from continuing or even initiating this kind of love, unfortunately.
Yes, I’m sounding pessimistic; but like I said, this is one way people may handle the challenge. Others see it as just that: a challenge. It’s a love to be reckoned with and held onto. There are people who just can’t see the world without their partner and won’t let the notion of time rip them apart for the sake of inconvenience. They’re the special kind of fighters in this world, loyal lovers who hold their middle fingers up to the narrow-minded bystanders as they kiss their lovers in rebellion.
I admire these people but as mentioned, neither decision is right or wrong. Some view the time that separates them as time lost, others see it as time to catch up. I love love and the effects it has on people. I salute those who take the plunge and give their love a shot and I sympathize with those who can’t. It’s not easy leaving your lover for something that isn’t in either person’s control.
So my advice, should my friend read this, would be to try.
If you found each other in the first place – through crowds of people, various milestones, and walks of life, maybe there’s a reason for it. And sure, relationships are hard enough as it is and there are “plenty of fish” but you’re lucky enough to have caught yours now.
So f*ck the judgemental looks, dodge the annoying questions, and give it a shot.