In this article, video, and podcast episode, Alan and I discuss our experience managing our differences in life stages, plus what we have learned over the years.
What are Life Stages?
There are several definitions of life stages, ranging from a strictly age-based definition to one that is more about how your purpose in life may change with time. Almost any way of describing life stage differences can be applied to age gap relationships.
For instance, it is common to assume that the life stage of someone in her or her 20s will be very different than when that same person is 70. In your 20s, you are more likely to be still figuring out what you want to do with your life, what you might want to study in school, what type of career you want to pursue, etc.
On the other hand, someone in his or her 70s might be more focused on enjoying the fruit’s of his or her labor, such as traveling or spending time with grandchildren.
How Do Life Stages Affect Age Gap Relationships?
When a couple has a difference in life stages, it can both negatively and positively affect the relationship. On the negative side, it can be difficult for the couple to fully connect if they have different goals. On the positive side, however, it can be helpful and invigorating to be with someone who is at a different life stage.
How to Manage the Differences
It is not impossible to have a successful and fulfilling relationships despite differences in life stages. Carrie and Alan, the creators of Age Gap Love Story, are a great example! Carrie has pursued her graduate degrees and starting a business when Alan was in the process of retiring.
A few tips we have for managing the differences include:
- Make sure your overall goals and values are similar.
- Keep the lines of communication open to be aware of any changes in attitude.
- Be willing to compromise and have patience for your partner.
- Always keep an attitude of learning and openness to change no matter your age.
Podcast & Video Links
People in age gap relationships may need to manage differences in life stages. But, assuming the couple is committed to the relationship and has similar overall goals and values, these differences do not have to be a hindrance overall.