Does age matter! Is age really important! These are some common questions Nigerians ask when they’re falling in love. Well, does it?
In the Nigerian society, an “ideal” relationship or marriage is one where the man is older than the woman by a couple of years. There are not many relationships where the woman is older than the man as a lot of men won’t date women older than them and similarly, most women won’t date men younger than them.
Nevertheless, it’s not unusual. Age, as they say, is just a number and it’s perfectly ok for a man to fall in love with someone older than him and a woman to fall in love with someone younger than herself. Love is a feeling and they’re several factors in play.
Why do you worry about age?
If you’re a teenager or adolescent, you’ll worry about age a lot if you’re falling in love. It’s quite normal and is as a result of you not having much experience in life. Your approach to life is different as you’re still growing. As a lady, your age mates may not be so much exposed to guys as someone that’s older. You’ll be fascinated with what you can learn from older people.
Notably, it’s against the law to have a sexual relationship with someone that’s underage. Thus, when as a lady you’re up to 19, you’re left with no option than to date someone older hence you grow with it. On the other side, as an adult, you’ve had as much experience as most people would have in a lifetime. So, you’re free to make your choices and you can date anyone you want to date irrespective of their age.
When does age matter?
Is there any time when age matters? Yes! Age matters if both parties are not adults. Maybe one partner is an adult and the other is a legal-aged teenager. Such a relationship might not be healthy because both partners are bound to grow. The younger partner may grow to find the older partner to be very older for him or her and start reconsidering their choice. This is common when the age gap is very large – say 20 to 25 years for example. If both partners are adults, then age doesn’t matter so much.
Attraction and Trust
Men are attracted to not just beautiful women but women that are smart, successful, and with good character. It doesn’t matter whether the lady is older than them or not. In the same way, women are attracted to men who are handsome, successful, good mannered, and disciplined. It’s a misconception that most women believe older men are more disciplined than their age mates which is why they mainly choose to date them. However, age has not much to do with maturity.
The question is, are the two people involved attracted to each other? If yes, then the relationship can last just like any other relationship – the “ideal” Nigerian relationship. Age doesn’t make the difference in any relationship. What does is the trust each person has for the other and how they plan to build their life together.
Handling the society
If you’re in a relationship where the male is younger than the female, the biggest challenge you’ll have to face is the society. And this includes friends, family, and whatnot. Another misconception about this type of relationship is that the woman will be in control and if you’re not careful, the society will make you believe that.
This is most common is the woman has a bigger career and is more successful than the man. It could also be said that the guy is only with the lady for monetary reasons. Whether these are true or false, only you and your partner can know. If you’re sure your relationship is based on pure love and trust, there’s no need worrying about what society thinks.
These days, if you watch movies, especially foreign ones, you’ll find a lot of relationship casts that involve people of similar age or older women. This shows that the narrative is changing even if it’s not very evident in our local societies. A lot of relationships where the woman is older than the man has succeeded. In this writer’s opinion, society shouldn’t be much concerned about the age difference between couples. The main things to focus on are what makes and breaks relationships.
When in a relationship where the female is older, what should you focus on? You should focus on you and your partner getting along and improving the love you have for each other. So long as you both are getting along, try to solve your problems together and maintain perfect communication between one another.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have someone that brings out the best in them. It’s something you should consider very precious and it’s much bigger than whatever age difference exists between you both. If other people think you shouldn’t be together, it should be their problem to deal with and not yours.
What is the right age to start dating in Nigeria?
This is one of the most asked relationship questions in Nigeria. There’s no official age for someone to start dating. However, for a teenager, the higher the person’s age the better. In this writer’s opinion, an ideal age to start dating is from 18 years. Nevertheless, some people would argue that 16 years is good enough for someone to date. Well, if you must date at 16 years, avoid having sexual relationships with your partner. The age of consent in Nigeria is 18 years.
You should stop worrying if it’s ok to have a partner who is much older than you or much younger than you. What you should ask yourself is if you love the person and if they love you in return. A relationship will survive if there’s love and trust; not if both partners are of a certain age. However, it’s vital that you and your partner are adults because emotional connection requires maturity.