When it comes to relationships and marriage in this part of the world, age is one of the most important deciding factors. For a relationship to be considered serious, the man must always be older than or at least the same age as the woman. It’s unusual to find a man dating or married to an older woman, or a woman married to a man younger than she is. In the few cases where such marriage does exist, it is usually not perceived as based on love, but on one party gaining financially or socially from the other.

Should age be a deciding factor when it comes to love, relationships, and marriage? My answer is no, and I’ll explain why as we go along. Some of the reasons why age is considered important are respect and maturity. In either case of a man marrying an older woman or a woman marrying a younger man, the man will most likely feel that the woman won’t respect him. Some women also say they can’t marry someone younger because they want someone mature, who can take charge and take care of them.

Let’s start with the maturity issue. Is “older” really synonymous with “wiser and more mature?” In my experience, it is not. I’ve dated men who were much older than me, men who were close in age, and much younger men. My interactions with these men taught me that just because a man is older doesn’t mean he is mature or wise. A key factor to look out for in a partner, regardless of age, is emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions and those of the people around you. The ability to manage one’s emotions and understand how one’s actions may affect another is the secret to a lasting relationship. Emotional intelligence has nothing to do with age; it is solely based on a person’s personal development. 

When you find a partner whose values and personality match yours, someone you can vibe with, someone whose mannerisms, appearance, and sense of self appeal to you, respect won’t be an issue. Respect has nothing to do with age because respect is earned. It’s only in this part of the world that respect is forced or coerced. In the same way that it is possible to work for someone much younger and respect them as a leader because they have shown leadership qualities, it is also possible to marry someone younger and respect them as the head of the home (same applies to men marrying older women). A relationship depends on the understanding and connection between two individuals, regardless of their age. A couple can have a strong relationship as long as they love, respect, and care for each other.

To the women thinking, “women mature faster than men,” we need an older man to bridge the gap. Ask yourself: are you really that emotionally intelligent and mature? In all of your past relationships, have you always been the more mature one? 

Despite a significant age difference, there are many couples whose marriages are #couplegoals. It would be unwise to close the door on a potential relationship just because of an age difference. When you think about it logically, age is nothing but a number. Pardon my profanity, but I’m sure a lot of us thought that by a certain age we would have our sh*t figured out, but how many of us do? Our age is just a number to help us mark our time here on earth. It shouldn’t serve as a barrier for us to finding love or achieving whatever we want in life.

So, ladies and gentlemen, keep your options open! 

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