Age Differences in Lesbian Relationships

Can a Relationship With Age Differences Last?

Lesbian Couple
Photo © Steve Cole | Vetta | Getty Images

Sometimes you just happen to fall in love with someone older or younger than you. Other times you're naturally attracted to women older or younger than yourself. Some people claim that age differences do not matter in relationships. But the truth is, it often does. When does age difference matter in lesbian relationships and what can you do to ensure your relationship will survive?

How to Make Age Differences Work

First, you need to be open to the fact that even though you love each other and have so much in common, one thing that is different about you is the amount of time you have lived. It’s not a deal breaker, but it can cause conflict. Everyone is different, but people tend to go through different stages at certain ages of their lives.

For example, many women attend college in their early 20s to early 30s. You might spend your twenties hanging out a lot with your friends, partying and jumping from job to job. In your forties, you might be more settled in your job, have some money saved for retirement, own a house and have children who are adults themselves.

A woman in her twenties, even if she is mature for her age, is not going to have had all the same life experiences as someone in her forties. Does this mean the relationship cannot work? Of course not! But it does present some challenges that a couple that is the same age may not experience.

Ten, Twenty, Thirty Years Difference

How many years separate you and the age each of you can be a factor. A 15 year age difference might not seem like a big deal to a 30-year-old and 45-year-old. But if one is 18 and the other is 33, there might be challenges. One can't go to over 21 clubs, may be just starting out on her own or in school.

Like any kind of difference in a relationship, whether it be economic, race, class or culture, it is important to look at where these differences enhance the relationship and where they may lead to potential conflict. Good communication and trust will improve your chances of relationship success.

Outside Forces

Regardless of how well suited you are for each other, your friends and family may disapprove of a relationship with a large age difference, especially if both of you mainly have friends within your own age group. Be sure your social circle includes people of varying ages. And make sure to socialize as a couple with each other's friends so they can get to know you as a couple.

Life Goals

More than our differences, it's our similarities that make a relationship work. Make sure you’re on the same page about life goals. Do you both want children? Where do you each see yourselves in ten years? Are you compatible on a day-to-day basis? Do you share the same interests, hobbies, spiritual beliefs and values? These things may be more of an indicator of success than how old you are.

Other Differences

Money and sex are issues that couples often fight about. Age can contribute to both these factors. An older woman may make more than her younger partner, or if she is retired, she may be on a fixed income and make less. As our bodies age and we enter perimenopause and menopause, women often experience different levels of desire and arousal. If you are aware of these issues and are prepared to deal with them as they arise, your relationship should be on firm footing.

Making Age Differences Work

Sexual attraction and love are important, but it takes more than love to make a relationship work. Communication, trust, and respect are essential. The key to relationship success is not what differences are or are not present, rather how you deal with those differences. Here are some tips for keeping the romance alive.