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aerysa
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PostSubject: Relationship Age Gap   Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:57 pm

So lately, I've been trying to squeak in a bit of reading into my limited free time and in the two books that I started, there's a bit of an age gap between the hero and heroine. It got me thinking that I kind of like that as a setup in a novel. At least, I'm not adverse to the thought.

Then again, I am a fan of historical romances. Females are usually sent for their come-out around 16 or 17, and by mid-20s are considered to be firmly on the shelf if they aren't married by then. On the other hand, males are only reaching the prime of their lives when they hit 30s. That's when they're truly accomplished with years of experience in whatever field that they work in. If they were in the military first, they tend to come back with their battle scars and we get those broken "dark" heroes.

Anyways! Babbling aside, I was just wondering what you thought about the topic, whether it be for a story or even for yourself in real life.

Personally, I'm okay with both. A number of books that I love have that; not to mention stories that I wrote, I used that as part of the theme - age gaps up to 12 years difference. As for real life, I'm no longer 16 where anyone 20 feels like they're old. I've seen it work well since my grandparents had an 8 year difference between them, but I've seen no age gap work equally well (my parents are not even a year apart).

So either way, I'm totally cool with it! I think there would be a point where it might get to be TOO much, like I couldn't imagine dating someone who could be old enough to be my dad. But I think say, a 10-year gap would be okay. It's not like that would be the FIRST thing I would be looking at. At the same time, I don't think it would turn me off. Though, I think the acceptable age gap range is not equivalent both ways.

Considering that I'm in my late 20s (turning 29 in a couple weeks! Shocked ), a large gap going younger would be STRANGE. I seriously could not imagine myself going out with someone still in university. But the other way would be totally okay to me. We ALL know males tend to mature slower than females! XD (And I just prefer older men... haha!)

Ultimately, I realize it will depend on the person himself, but as a more general topic - what do you think?

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Veramonte
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PostSubject: Re: Relationship Age Gap   Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:11 pm

Yeah, there's a lot of great age gaps in old historical romance Smile
Considering the situation back at those era, the age gap might be seen as normal. Probably young gentries are not mature enough (mentally and financially), and they are probably not ready to commit?
Ladies were seen as 'having no right' and therefore must marry quickly, produce some heir, and so on, and so forth...
My professor said that women who got pregnant after 40 y.o are more likely to have a baby with down syndrome. The risk elevates after she reaches 50, and gets higher as she aged.
Not to mention people's life span used to be shorter (illness, war, less medication...)
Maybe that's why the early marriage for women?

However these setups are not fitting for today's situation.
I think I'm fine with 7-8 years age gap, max. Although 16-17 is waaayyy to early for a girl to be a mother.
If reversed, maybe 2-3 year old younger male is fine, but more than that and it will be odd (for me, personally).



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silvery
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PostSubject: Re: Relationship Age Gap   Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:25 pm

Hmmm... It's like Veramonte said. In the old days the life expectancy is shorter. Also, upper class women did not have anything to do besides look pretty and have babies (the regency era is one but lotus feet among the rich women of China is another) so yes, there would be an age gap.

My parents have an 11 year age gap and some of my relative have an average of about 8 years give or take between their spouses. So while it might seem like a lot, I think that if they can connect and communicate despite the age differences, why not?
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PostSubject: Re: Relationship Age Gap   Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:14 am

I have always loved reading romance novels where there's an age gap. That's definitely from my personal life. I hope I don't have some sort of oyaji thing going on lol Embarassed. I have, on occasion, searched specifically for a book featuring a couple with an age gap but the majority I own were found by coincidence.

My parents are only 2 years apart but, my grandfather was 43 when he married my 19 year old grandmother Shocked so even extreme age gaps don't seem that extreme to me. I have one aunt who's like, 3 years older than her husband but most of the men in my family tend to be a year or two older than their girlfriend/wife.
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aerysa
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PostSubject: Re: Relationship Age Gap   Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:08 pm

Veramonte wrote:
My professor said that women who got pregnant after 40 y.o are more likely to have a baby with down syndrome. The risk elevates after she reaches 50, and gets higher as she aged.
Yup, that's very true. And most women are starting to hit menopause around that age, so it's very likely that complications with pregnancy occur - because face it. By the time you're 40, your eggs are old as well...  Laughing 

Veramonte wrote:
However these setups are not fitting for today's situation.
I think I'm fine with 7-8 years age gap, max. Although 16-17 is waaayyy to early for a girl to be a mother.
If reversed, maybe 2-3 year old younger male is fine, but more than that and it will be odd (for me, personally).
Definitely! They're still teenagers. I think under 20 is too early to be married/mother. I mean, they're still growing up and figuring out what they want to do with their lives. Unfortunately, they grow up way too quickly nowadays.

silvery wrote:
My parents have an 11 year age gap and some of my relative have an average of about 8 years give or take between their spouses. So while it might seem like a lot, I think that if they can connect and communicate despite the age differences, why not?
I think age difference in any country was more prevalent in history, just because as you guys say - the life expectancy was much shorter. Not to mention, the whole gender "inequality". (Frankly speaking, some days I wouldn't mind just being a housewife without more to my thoughts than cooking and cleaning Laughing )
But yes, I definitely think it's more about the compatibility between two people rather than just the age difference. Though you would think you're more likely to find someone who has similar experiences when you've grown up in the same generation.

jollychick wrote:
I have always loved reading romance novels where there's an age gap. That's definitely from my personal life. I hope I don't have some sort of oyaji thing going on lol  Embarassed. I have, on occasion, searched specifically for a book featuring a couple with an age gap but the majority I own were found by coincidence.
Haha! I think that's cool. I mean, I do have my older man (fictional character) crushes... XD I don't think I've purposely looked for that, but I do like it when I see it! Sometimes I think it's really sweet.

jollychick wrote:
My parents are only 2 years apart but, my grandfather was 43 when he married my 19 year old grandmother Shocked so even extreme age gaps don't seem that extreme to me. I have one aunt who's like, 3 years older than her husband but most of the men in my family tend to be a year or two older than their girlfriend/wife.
Oh whoa! That is a really big gap between your grandparents!  Shocked  But yeah, I think it's just something that goes with the times. Back then, women didn't have to work or anything like that, so it wouldn't be surprising. I know my grandma was uneducated and didn't even have to worry about housework because they were wealthy enough to have servants.

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swedesamurai
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PostSubject: Re: Relationship Age Gap   Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:01 pm

I think that age differences do not make a difference in a relationship.  I am ten years older than my life's partner. This sounds strange but when I met her I was by no means as "mature" as she was.   She'd be the first to tell you that I still have to grow up - (I'm 57 but look like I'm my 30's-but act like a teenager at times.) I lived a very care-free, fun life before I met her (Sounds like I stopped after I met her-couldn't be further from the truth!- I enjoy life more because of her!)
Whatever your ages or your experiences-It doesn't matter.  What matters is if you enhance each other and that your goals are alike. Are you better off with your partner or alone and is he/she better off with you? If the answer is yes-well it wouldn't matter if one partner was 60 and the other 30.
Finding a Life's Partner is like buying shoes you have to try on a lot of pairs to get that one that fits just perfect.  When it does you know they're right for you.  It's the same with dating you try on other people to see if they fit.  We each know what we are looking for in a partner and when you find that right person - You'll know.  But just like buying shoes never buy one that doesn't fit you'll be sorry.  (Even though it is easier to exchange shoes than a partner.)
As for children have them in your twenties-live a while alone with yor partner, then have your children when you are young enough to actively play with them. Now that I'm a grandfather I'm glad I had my kids when I was young-I still have enough umph to chase my grandson around. Uups blabbing again.
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romance20
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PostSubject: Re: Relationship Age Gap   Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:56 am

I don't think age makes a differences if people are happy, and if it bugs other people then the need to shut up and leave it alone causes it not them in the relationship!  I love you 
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PostSubject: Re: Relationship Age Gap   Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:09 am

I don't think age really matters or even looks, as long as you get along well with one another. I find that it is hard to find someone who thinks in the same wave length as you or would truly treat you every day as if was their last time seeing you or vice-versa. As you get older it gets harder and harder, so age doesn't matter.
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PostSubject: Re: Relationship Age Gap   Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:11 am

aerysa wrote:

Oh whoa! That is a really big gap between your grandparents!  Shocked  But yeah, I think it's just something that goes with the times. Back then, women didn't have to work or anything like that, so it wouldn't be surprising. I know my grandma was uneducated and didn't even have to worry about housework because they were wealthy enough to have servants.

Yeah, needless to say, great-grandpappy didn't appreciate such an older man, 2 years younger than himself, marrying his teenage daughter  Razz. They were married in 1954/1955 I believe so it probably wasn't all that odd.

Ohhh. She had servants? Wow. They must have had a high status along with, at the very least, moderate wealth. Very cool!
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PostSubject: Re: Relationship Age Gap   Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:59 pm

I think it has something to do with the life expectancy of the wives too. I mean childbirth will take a toll on a woman, especially when there wasn't much in medical breakthroughs in those days. And for most people, an heir (male) is important. So they most likely end up marrying younger and younger wives...
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PostSubject: Re: Relationship Age Gap   Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:24 am

My parents are 17 years apart and my father is closer in age to my grandparents. From watching them I would not consider anyone more than 10 years apart from me in age. And I definitely think an age gap is more prominent when you are younger. The difference between a 20 and 30 year old can be great but between a 50 and 60 year old ten years seems like nothing.
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PostSubject: Re: Relationship Age Gap   Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:32 pm

I okay with with age gap relationship as long as the age difference isn't like 30 years apart. I can't find myself believing that someone in their 20s would like to be with someone in their 50s unless there are benefits for the 20s, like he rich or he famous.
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PostSubject: Re: Relationship Age Gap   Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:07 pm

I'm okay with getting married or having a relation ship with an age gap, but the maximum age difference would be 10 years, if the older person is male, although if the female is older id say 5 years if shes still in her twenties, in real life ofcourse. And from where i come from its still common to have arranged marriages, but it only ranges from the age of 18 to 25  (of course only if both the bride and groom to be agree on the arrangement) so its pretty common to see people with age gaps.

and if its a manga or a novel i dont mind the age since most of the time the author plants some strings of fate on them i guess.
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PostSubject: Re: Relationship Age Gap   Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:51 am

It seems like most people here are open to age gaps, which I think is really cool. We should never limit ourselves in what we think is "right". Quite easily, you might find that your ideals change when you're in the situation, but if you insist that something must be "exactly so", it's way easier to be disappointed because your scope is so limited.

I think each person should have some deal-breakers, or critical components to their list, but otherwise, keep an open mind. Let's face it - there will never be a "perfect" person, because people are not perfect and never will be.

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PostSubject: Re: Relationship Age Gap   Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:17 am

I tend to feel uncomfortable when the age gap is big, especially if one person is under 30 and the other is over 30. Once a young person has finished their schooling and figured out what they want to do with their life, at least having a more specific goal, then dating someone much older is okay. Once people become adults, however, especially once you are over 30, age gaps with others over 30 is no big deal, really. But age gaps the younger a person is, the less okay it is. Now I don't say this because I think this is the societal norm necessarily, but purely as my single opinion based on experiences I've observed in different people's relationships--what has worked, what hasn't, problems they've gone through, etc. So, take it for what it's worth. Of course, I realize that there are always exceptions, but one exception that I feel strongly about it an adult being with a minor--and that is according to societal norms and law. It's just not okay. On the child rearing point that was brought up, I think couples should wait until they have finished schooling and established financial stability for themselves before having children, if at all possible. It's so much more beneficial to the child if they have a secure home with all the provisions they need and to be raised by educated parents who can give their children the boost they need in things like literacy. Now, I am speaking from an American perspective and culture, so I do recognize that other cultures differ in their beliefs and practices. So, I don't criticize those as they do what works and is normative in their respective cultures. However, in America we have many subcultures that make up our population, but we also have a culture that makes us all American, like an umbrella culture. That is why we call individual cultures subcultures, because they fall under the umbrella American culture, not that they are lesser in any way at all. As we have this larger culture that everyone is a part of, we all have to figure out how our personal subculture can function as part of that larger culture. So, some subcultures find it acceptable to have such large age gaps, particularly men being a lot older than women, for example, but in the larger American culture, these age gaps are viewed with suspicion and skepticism. The 23 year old woman with the 85 year old man is viewed negatively--a greedy opportunist woman with a dirty old man usually. The 35 year old woman with a 22 year old man--a domineering sexually aggressive woman with a man who just wants good experienced sex, things like that, I guess. Of course, any adult with someone under 18 is just a pedophile with an innocent inexperienced unknowing child/young person--an absolute no-no. There are always exceptions to any rule, though, right? I think so; and they should be viewed on a case by case basis. I suppose, the pedophilia scenarios aside, a reasonable age gap is about 5 years, but I've seen people over 30 with 10 year age gaps and their relationships work just fine.
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PostSubject: Re: Relationship Age Gap   Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:14 am

You make a lot of good points, olinatasha, but next time, could you break up your comments? It's really hard to read through a big block of text like that. Just a side comment for future reference.

Anyways, definitely all about following the guidelines of the law, so I wasn't referring to anything that would be classified as pedophile relationships. I have a few misgivings about the exact laws and how it's applied, but that is a totally different topic, so I won't go there.

I think 5 years is a reasonable age gap, though not that big. I would definitely be okay with that for an older man, but like you said, the whole under 30/over 30 is a big demarcation of a person's life. I'm not quite there yet, so dating a man 5 years my junior would be weird. He would just be finishing university without his own set of ideas of career/future. Very awkward. Especially when you factor in that guys tend to mature slower than girls.

As for the child-rearing issue... The lack of preparation is just a sign of the times. Honestly, the best way to avoid that potential for having a kid is abstinence, but we all know that that isn't going to happen. There's no link between sex and pregnancy, until it actually happens. And kids are participating in the activity since there isn't a stringent lock on what is portrayed in media...

Really, it's just a vicious cycle. Parents aren't doing their part to raise their children properly (for whatever reason), so they just let them run wild on the internet or whatever. There's no control over what is influencing their children's growth. Then they freak out when their kids are having kids... Cuz face it, technology is way advanced in nowaday's times compared to when our parents were growing up.

First of all, they might not even know what they're capable of seeing out there on the internet (if they don't know how to use it). And secondly, the internet itself makes it super easy to see things that kids shouldn't be seeing, if the proper controls are not in place.

Bottom line: "Sex sells" and it's EVERYWHERE. Maybe more so in a North American culture than others, I'm not sure. But yeah, I'm just thinking of all the messed up reality shows of where young girls are saying "I want to have a kid!" and are actively involved in trying to make that happen. Or shows like, "Are YOU my baby's father?" UGH...

(Totally off topic, but I just had to comment.)

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PostSubject: Re: Relationship Age Gap   Tue May 20, 2014 9:52 am

Took me a little while to figure out how to reply  What a Face 

I love my historical romances but I do think it's unfair that men have so many years to find a wife while the girl just needs to get hitched asap. But I do agree, big age gaps work well for stories, but I don't usually see it for myself. Really depends on the people involved I think. Anyone heard of the formula to divide by 2 then add 7 for appropriate age range? I'm not sure I buy into it because it's both lower and higher than I would go, but maybe it's more about biological maturity compared to preference.
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PostSubject: Re: Relationship Age Gap   Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:11 pm

I'm fine with age gap because as long as they are in love age doesn't really matter to them. It is pretty much their own choice. My grandparents had like a 9 year age gap and my parents have a 7 year age gap. I think it's alright as long they are happy together.
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