Age gap dating can have similar challenges as other relationships, but there are some special considerations to be made when you have a large age difference. This post discusses tips, cautions, and advice for age gap dating.
- Ensure that the other person is looking for the same thing in a relationship. If you like the person, this is something you can bring up early on. Although, you do have to understand that people change over time. Watch out for rebound relationships as this can affect how someone views another relationship (i.e. her or she might jump into something too fast).
- Get to know the other person’s character and personality. According to Psychology Today, the most important characteristics for a long-term relationship are kindness, reliability, and emotional stability. Your interactions will help you see that in the person.
- Compatibility is also important, especially with things like hobbies, vacation preferences, and views on religion and politics.
- Be aware of traits that you don’t like: anger, addiction, gambling, other mental health issues, so you know what you’re getting into. During the dating stages, this is when people are showing their best side. So, if you see things you don’t like, this should be a red flag.
Age Gap Considerations
It’s important to know if there are issues that can get worse with time. Also, does the person take good care of themselves? Smoking, drinking, food choices, exercise, sleep, work/life balance, regular medical exams, and stress management are all lifestyle factors that can have effects later.
Previous marriages can also be complicating and something to consider. There is spousal support, child support, emotional issues, so it’s good to talk about it during the dating process.
Previous bad relationships (not just previous marriages) can cause issues that may need to be addressed. Can lead to bad habits with communication and dealing with conflict.
Children from previous relationships
Child support and college can be a financial drain. Also, they take a lot of emotional support, even if they don’t have issues.
For the older partner, consider financial commitments, such as alimony, child support, mortgage, assets, debt, credit cards, business arrangements, liens, earning potential.
For the younger partner, student loans, credit cards. Is the person going to be a reliable financial partner? For either partner, are they financially stable?
For a lot of this, you have to use good judgment. Be open-minded, but watch out for red flags. If you’re getting serious, it’s important to be honest and open.
Also, be cautious about co-mingling assets. Who is going to provide income? You may need to do a prenuptual agreement if you want to get married. You also need to consider estate planning regarding previous children if it gets serious.
Dreams for home ownership, travel, children, pets, and how you want to spend your time are all issues to discuss.
Life Stage Differences
This can be an issue for age gap relationships, especially if one person is working and the other is retired.
This topic of Age Gap Dating is one that we covered in episode 4 of the Age Gap Love Story Podcast. Listen here!