Ageas a Factor in Relationships
Ageas a Factor in Relationship
Beingin a relationship with a person or a set of persons involves a numberof personal and societal considerations. While there are many factorsthat people take into consideration when deciding on theirrelationships, age is one of the most important and controversial atthe same time (Golson,2007). This is because it is thefactor that attracts more views and conflicting opinion. According toHeinrich (2004), theconsideration of age when choosing social partners is considered asthe factor that brings other contemplations such as finance intoplay. To explore this aspect, this paper will discuss the role of agein a relationship by analyzing the case for age as a factor and caseagainst age as a factor.
Compatibilitybetween two people is one of the main aspects of a relationship thatpeople consider before formalizing their love relationship. This isbecause compatibility is the element that keeps the love going oneven after the original attraction is faded. While age does notmatter in terms of love, it is a key factor that determinescompatibility (Mehta,2013). People with a wide age gapbetween their ages have a higher probability of incompatibility interms of their coherence with the ideas of each other. Theincompatibility is because of the diversities between two age groups.According to Agnew (2014), there are several changes in fashion,preferences and social perspectives that come along with differentage groups. As a result, age becomes an important element ofrelations.
Ageis an important factor to consider because it determines the maturitylevel of the people in the relationship. People should enter intosocial relations based on their mental and physical abilities tosustain their relationship. The maturity or people to form healthyrelationships are determined by their readiness to accept each otherand care for each other. It is the readiness that also notifies aperson of his ability to accommodate the view of the other. AccordingtoHeinrich (2004), a relationshipcan only be successful, it the partners in it are ready to let go oftheir personal perspectives and embrace the perspectives of others.The age of a person in most cases determines his or herreadiness to associate, which is commonly termed as the maturity of aperson.
Theage of a person is tied to the legalities that are set up by thesociety or the government (Agnew, 2014).However, the legality is determined by the type of the relationshipbeing formed. For instance, a relationship that involves a loveaffair can only be between people who are legally adults. The adultage is determined and set by the constitution as 18 years in somecountries, but the number varies slightly across the globe (Golson,2007). Any relationship betweenpeople of lower age or by an adult with a minor is deemed unfit. Thelaw sets this requirement as a way of protecting the minors who areconsidered immature and so not ready for such relationships.
Atthe same time, the age of a person is considered to be an importantelement of determining the formality of a relationship in the publiceye. When people relate in terms of intimate relationship, thegovernment has set the regulations that determine the formality ofthe resulting union (Cantelo,2010). While some countries haveregulations on the legalization of relationships and marriages,others leave the task to the society (Agnew,2014). The problem with the societies isthat they consider relationships based on their culturalperspectives. In this regard, the age gap is the most influentialfactor in deciding whether a relationship is formal or not. Whenthere is a large gap between the people in a relationship, thesociety deems it as inappropriate.
Forpersonal satisfaction in a relationship, the age gap between thelovers is an important consideration. According toCantelo (2010), it is sometimesembarrassing for a person to be dating a partner who is twenty orthirty years older. Heinrich(2004) cites a situation the twoare walking into a social place and everyone is asking if the partneris a father or mother of the person. This affects the emotionalcomfort of a person as well as the feeling of being accepted in thesociety (Agnew, 2014).While some people do not consider that as a bother, most of thesocieties take it seriously, especially in the conservative cultures.This makes age an important factor to consider in terms of socialacceptability.
Onthe other hand, age does not matter because it does not determine thelove between two or more people. According toHeinrich (2004), a healthyrelationship is based on the love that exists between two people. Theelement of age does not at any one time determine the depth of thelove as well as the length of the love affair. Even if therelationship between people is affected by their ages, the loveaspect between the people in a relationship is not impacted on(Mehta,2013). This makes age an insignificantfactor in a love affair or any social relationship between people.Moreover, the relationship between people depends more on theirunderstanding of each other compared to the age diversities.
Inaddition, age does not necessarily measure the compatibility betweenpeople, just like it cannot measure the maturity. According toHeinrich(2004), age is just a number thatdoes not necessarily carry a lot of weight in terms of emotional orbehavioral aspects of people. For instance, a man of 25 years mayhave a relationship with a lady of the same age but may not becompatible. In fact, most relationships, people have problems thatare not necessarily age-related.
Similarly,the maturity of a person cannot be measured in terms of the numbersthat represent the age. People can be immature even when they arewith a higher age or adults in terms of the societal definitions. Forinstance, a person can be forty years and yet he is mentally immatureto handle the knowledge that comes along with a relationship.Moreover, he can be regarded as a mature adult legally, but his mindand behavior reflects a low level of maturity like that of ateenager. This means that such a man cannot have a healthyrelationship due to the emotional immaturity that is associated withhis behavior.
Whileage is a factor that many people consider as insignificant in therelationship, it is an important factor that helps determine thecompatibility of two people. In a relationship, the only outwardelement that people see in a relationship is the compatibility of twopeople. Age is influential in the relationship and can be used toevaluate the perception that people are compatible and mature in arelationship. Therefore, age matters in a relationship.
Agnew,C.R. (2014). SocialInfluenceson Romantic Relationships. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press
Cantelo,A. (2010). What`sAge Got to Do with It?: A Guide to Age Gap Relationships. London:Vision Paperbacks
Golson,W.T. (2007). Onthe Matter of Relationships.Maitland, FL: Xulon Press
Heinrich,T. (2004). Resistanceto Change – Does Age Matter?London: Turnshare Publisher
Mehta,V. (2013). WhenIt Comes To Dating, Do Age Differences Matter?Retrieved From<http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/head-games/201308/when-it-comes-dating-do-age-differences-matter>December 1, 2014