This article was published on June 17th, 2020
“I need myself a daddy,” is a common phrase among queers, especially the younger generation. In a way, it’s an acknowledgment that intergenerational relationships exist, and do so for a variety of reasons.
Being queer means there is no “normal.” It’s not uncommon to see couples who are genuinely in love and have been together in long-term relationships for many years, building a happy life together, who also happens to be an entire generation apart. These relationships can be daddy-son, puppy-master, and more.
Age discrepant relationships may have been considered taboo and unconventional in the past, but a shift is happening that normalizes them. There is a greater realization that age may or may not be that significant. What matters is the dynamics of the relationship, mutual respect, love, and participation.
What is an intergenerational relationship?
An intergenerational relationship, also known as age-discrepant, age-gap, or even “May-December ” relationship, is a relationship in which there is an age gap of more than 25 years between the partners. Twenty-five years is typically regarded and accepted as the cycle of each generation.
While most people view intergenerational relationships suspiciously, they are healthy as same-age relationships. The immutable fact of nature is that love works in mysterious ways. Sometimes it hits you like a ton of bricks. It’s difficult to fake. You always know whether you love someone or not because you feel it deep down to your bones.
Any successful relationship requires partners to have common interests to survive. Age-discrepant relationships not only celebrate the similarities but embrace – non-hypocritically, the differences in that relationship. Age-gap couples have a clearer perspective about what the relationship ought to be. Embracing their differences ultimately strengthens the relationship.
The pros and cons of intergenerational relationships
Love is love, and it doesn’t discriminate. However, before you commit to that intergenerational relationship, go in armed with what to expect.
Spice up your life
By bridging two generations, age-gap relationships spice each partner’s life. The younger learns from the older’s experience and wisdom while the elder re-lives some of his youth while treating the younger to vastly richer and more authentic experiences.
A wider social circle
One of the best perks of an intergenerational relationship is the chance to expand your social circle and meet people vastly different from your peers. Chances are, you have vastly different friends, work contacts, hangouts, etc. Coming together merges your circles, setting the stage for more exciting dinners, interactions, and events.
Experience life from a different perspective
Too often, most of us seek relationships of comfort. We stick to what we know, for example, only dating friends of friends who are closer to our age. That, however, limits our experiences since these people typically have similar experiences to ours. Dating outside your comfort zone, such as in an age-discrepant relationship, opens your life to new experiences and perspectives.
Intergenerational relationships are more about connecting on shared interests than they are about age. You learn to appreciate and celebrate what brings you together and deepen that whether it’s dining, gaming, traveling, volunteering, dancing, etc. The more time you spend on your shared interests, the stronger your relationship gets.
Still considered unconventional and judged by society.
Dating across generations, while common nowadays, is still considered unconventional in some circles. People always assume a hidden agenda, such as gold-digging or daddy-issues. Be ready to endure some unsavory and unapproving glares from within and outside the LGBT community.
The tendency to fall into prescribed roles.
Age-gap relationships tend to sometimes fall into prescribed roles such as that of master and his “puppy,” or dominant-submissive roles with the younger one being submissive while the older asserts authority. Regardless of your relationship dynamics, accept each other, and openly communicate your needs. If a role doesn’t mesh with your personality, talk about it openly with your partner.
The future awaits
While an age-discrepant relationship works in the present, have you thought about it in say ten, twenty, thirty years from now? Are you prepared to deal with changes in your partner in matters of sex and health if you are younger? Are you ready to potentially take care of him in their old age? As the older partner, are you prepared to see your younger partner repeat some of the mistakes you made in your youth? Are you confident in satisfying him sexually and emotionally?
Age is truly just a number, and the many successful intergenerational couples are a testament that love knows no boundaries. Your success or failure in a relationship comes down to this: Are you willing and ready to make it work?